Doha residents rediscover joys of staying home, being together
April 03 2020 09:49 PM
Eman Abdulla makes learning enjoyable for her children.
Eman Abdulla makes learning enjoyable for her children.

From baking and cooking sumptuous meals for the family to exercising and engaging in other fitness activities, many Doha residents have found ways to remain positive and enjoy staying home amid the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
“I enjoy spending time with my family. This situation is making me realise how important personal connections are,” Italian expatriate Federica Zuccarini told Gulf Times.
“I and my husband started baking and making fresh pasta at home. I wouldn’t say that it’s my passion, but I find it relaxing and a way to reconnect with my roots,” she said.
Like Zuccarini, writer Ai A shares that same endeavour by baking cakes, bread, muffins and different kinds of pastries.

Eman Abdulla

Federica Zuccarini preparing fresh and home-made pasta

Fresh and home-made pasta being readied

Ai A's freshly-baked vanilla glazed and chocolate donuts

Ai A's munchkins for snacks

Authentic Italian pasta

Lorna Inciong motivates other residents to exercise daily

Romeo Magno and son Elle Prince during a workout

“Sixteen hours of prep time all worth it. Made the dough last night. Proofed for three hours. Chilled in the fridge for 12hours and few hours more before popping in the oven. Baked donuts that are pillowy-soft and perfect for coffee. Vanilla glaze or chocolate? Take your pick,” she said on her Facebook post with hashtags #stayhome #makeyourownfood.
For Qatari citizen Eman Abdulla, the current crisis provides an opportunity for working mothers to teach and learn, and strengthen relationships and bond with their family.
She said they do activities that spark every family member’s imagination and develop their skills – the type that nurtures their emotional intelligence and brings them together.
The pandemic also “builds a bridge between our family and the community as well through play,” according to Abdulla.
“Now I’m engaging in e-learning together with my kiddos, things that are fun and educational and help other families who are watching our videos,” added Abdulla, a mother of five children.
As the head of Learning and Outreach at Qatar Children’s Museum (QCM), she said she was lucky enough to work at a place that has recognised the challenges families face while staying home.
QCM’s live sessions invite families in Qatar, for both English and Arabic-speaking, to include playing and learning as part of their daily routine during this current situation.
“I and my team develop content to be posted for other families, and we get the chance to work with our kids to develop such content, work with our QCM family and deliver to other families and around the world,” Abdulla said. “Families can find me and the other QCM families on Instagram ( and they can join us during the weekdays from 3 to 4pm.”
The Abdulla family, especially the children, also find time to pick fresh berries from their garden and prepare a healthy jam for breakfast.
A number of residents, meanwhile, share their fitness activities to motivate and inspire others who are also staying or working at home.
Fifty-one year-old Lorna Inciong, a Filipino expatriate who works as a fitness trainer, tries to engage other people to stay fit and exercise constantly by posting her workout videos on Facebook.
“These aerobic exercises can really relieve stress and worries, and I feel great after burning a lot of calories. Most of all, it boosts our immune system,” she said, adding that preparing and eating healthy meals complement such activities.
Compatriot Romeo Magno is also reaping the same benefit from his physical workout at home since the outbreak.
“I stopped working out for a long time and I now have the chance to do it again regularly and be fit since I am getting big,” he said. “It also helps me to pull out my son Elle Prince away from electronic devices and instead play or do other physical activities like biking around our premises.”

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