While extending a warm welcome reflecting Qatar’s spirit of hospitality, many Qataris have opened their camps and majlises to the World Cup fans so as to enlighten them on Arab values, customs, traditions and cultural heritage. Among the new trendsetters are Khaled al-Ajmi and Adel Lary, who have opened the doors of their majlis to football fans from various countries.
Talking to Qatar TV, al-Ajmi, who receives guests from 4pm to 10pm, said that the initiative is aimed at introducing Qatari hospitality to the visitors. Al-Ajmi and Lary treat the guests with traditional Karak tea, Qahwa and Qatari sweets while acquainting them with the Qatari traditions and attire.
“The guests enjoy the food, snacks and the Oud perfume,” Lary said. The fans, while thanking their Qatari hosts, said that they were pleased to spend the time at the majlis while getting to know the Qatari culture and heritage.
Talking to local Arabic daily 'Arrayah', the Qatari citizens said they are keen to welcome the World Cup fans to their winter camps and majlis to get to know the Qatari people closely. They said the tourists’ contact with the Qataris during the tournament will show them on the ground to what extent the Arabs are a great nation and have a great heritage of morals, values, tolerance and acceptance of others.
They noted that coexistence is closer and truer in conveying perceptions than the lies of the Western media while pointing out that the tourists will be surprised by the good reception, Arab magnanimity, generosity and hospitality. “They will witness great values that are lost in the whole world except in the Arab nation,” they said.
“Our hands are extended with affection for others,” said Ghaith al-Kuwari, a resident of Al Shamal. “I have been camping at Al Maroona Beach for 15 years. I welcome families, friends and cousins throughout the camping period for fishing,” said the citizen who is ready to host the fans at his winter camp.
“We welcome Qatar's guests to our camps to know us closely, and see our religious rituals, customs and traditions that we cherish, hoping that this will have a positive impact on visitors to Qatar. We cannot change anything in people's thoughts by force, but we can offer kind words, good reception, Arab hospitality, traditions and values that express our civilisational identity," al-Kuwari explained.
Abbas al-Khayat said that the campers are honoured to receive the guests of Qatar. “Welcome to Qatar. Qataris are able to change the wrong stereotype about the Arabs and the Gulf with their morals, good reception and honouring of their guests,” he said.
Ali Mohamed Rabia said that the World Cup gives the tourists an opportunity to get acquainted with Arab values, Arab civilisation and Arab heritage closely. “The coexistence is closer and truer in conveying perceptions than the lies of the Western media,” he said.
Yousef Rashid al-Mohannadi said: “Our majlis are open to any guest or passerby, and the hospitality is available for all visitors to the country,” He pointed out that the masses will see a reality different from what the Western media drew in their minds about Qatar.
"They will see for themselves the Qatar of goodness, the Qatar of love and tolerance, and the Qatar of generosity, morals and values," he added.
Football fans in a Qatari majlis (screengrabs from Qatar TV)
Qatari hosts with a football fans in a majlis.