The gentleman third from right is Mohammed Rida. You've seen pictures of him on my blogs before. I was chatting with him during the week about football, as you do.
He lives in Al Wakrah (a little town about 10 mins south of Doha on the coast). Coincidentally, I bought a football shirt of that team when I arrived here. So I'm now officially an Al Wakrah fan.
We've chatted about football before but this week he dropped a bombshell. In his youth he played for Qatar! This is pretty cool right? But wait - there's more. He played for Qatar...against England. Again - large on the purdzilla cool-o-meter.
But wait - there's more still. He played for Qatar...against the 1966 World Cup winning England side. Wooh mama. AND QATAR WON!!!! 3-2. You want to know more right? I know I did. When my mouth finally closed and I could focus on my mind/brain/mouth combination again I had about a billion questions for him.
Turns out this all happened in 1977. Mohammed was 17 (I was 20) and playing for Al Wakrah when he was chosen to play for his country. In 1977 the 1966 England legends embarked on a middle eastern tour, eleven years after their only world cup triumph. The tour took in Qatar. They won all of their games - except against Qatar. Unfortunately Mohammed's career was cut short by a cruciate ligament injury that wasn't treated properly. Still - he has a great memory of when he played against, and beat, Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Alan Best et al. WOW!
I always hear great stories from these people. In another for instance, Lulua told me during the week that Qatari men don't wear gold wedding bands (this after she commented on mine). Apparently the thought is that gold affects their fertility. Stories like that are gold (sorry - couldn't resist). I told her I had four children so maybe it wasn't the same for us pakehas.
And in other news...
Jacky and I have paid a real visit to the Museum of Islamic Arts. You can do a virtual one via this link - http://www.mia.org.qa/english/#home . It's a remarkable building and well worth a visit if you find yourself in Doha. It's currently got a great exhibition on Pearls. Really brilliant collection of jewellery and especially pearls - even has Marilyn Monroe's famous cluster. Here are some snaps from our excursion (we only visited two floors so we'll have to go back for more).
On the way to the museum with the Islamic Cultural Centre in the background.
We walked around the corniche past the dhows that you can charter to go out fishing.
This is the elaborate entrance to the museum.And inside it's equally spectacular (the roof is hard to get a sense of in the photograph)
The weather has been interesting as well - a cold 20 degree day on Friday and a dust storm at the end of the week were mixed in with sunny blue sky days of 26 -27 degrees.
These were taken from our bedroom window. Normally this is a crystal clear view of lots of buildings in the distance but alas - not today or yesterday.
Ka kite ano/Caio for naio/ Love and peace - Wozza