Ramadan’s coming

Here’s the blurb we got from HR today.  Emphasis mine….

Hello Everyone:

This year Ramadan will likely start on Tuesday, June 7th, and lasts for a lunar month (29 or 30 days). The start of Ramadan depends on an appropriate observer seeing the Crescent “new moon” with the naked eye, and therefore cannot be predicted with absolute certainty ahead of time.

All employees are ambassadors of CNA-Q and Canada and it’s important we adhere to the following guidelines and conduct ourselves accordingly especially during this very important holy month.

Guidelines:

  • Ramadan is a holy month in Islam during which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset (eating, drinking, or smoking is not permitted during this daily fasting period) until Eid Al-Fitr arrives. The laws of Qatar strictly forbid all residents (regardless of their religion or nationality) to engage in any of the above mentioned activities in public. Exceptions may prevail for health reasons; let discretion be your guide on this. It is worth mentioning that people violating this law may face arrest and or harsh penalties.  Smoking is not permitted anywhere out in public nor on the campus during this time.
  • During Ramadan one should take care and dress conservatively in public. Also, store hours will be altered, usually opening later in the morning and with evening hours extended until quite late. There is a distinct drop in morning traffic, but the late afternoon and night time traffic becomes heavy.
  • Working hours during Ramadan for most CNA-Q Support Staff will be five hours from 9:00 am to 2:00 p.m. Due to operational requirements there may be departments who require their employees to work different hours and if so, your manager or Dean will inform you.
  • The cafeteria services and Tim Horton’s will be closed during Ramadan.

We ask all employees to conduct themselves accordingly and ensure adherence to the Qatar laws and customs of Ramadan.

 

 

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of the best things about living in this part of the world is that you are literally on the ‘other side’ of the world. I’m 9 time zones away from Western Canada, and taking a flight that far is arduous and costly at the best of times. However, once you’re ‘here,’ getting on a quick flight that will take you to places you can only dream of is easy peasy. The airport in Doha is one of the newest and largest in the world. It has airlines from around the world flying in and is home to Qatar Airways – a first class airline.

And – all of us have ‘bucket lists’ of places we want to travel to. A couple weekends ago I was able to tick one of those dream locations off my list – Dubrovnik, Croatia. A Mediterranean city on the Adriatic that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. (And more recently, the site of Kings’ Landing in Game of Thrones.)

I met my cousins, Regina and Juergen at the Zagreb Airport. I had only done a flight from Doha to Zagreb – they on the other hand drove from their home in Germany to Prague and connected through Vienna to get to Zagreb. That’s just incredible in itself! We then flew together on Croatian Airlines to the Dubrovnik Airport.

We stayed in a small guesthouse, which I highly recommend (Villa Klaic) and on our first night walked down to the Old City and had supper.

Views of and from Villa Klaic

First Sights

I was already amazed by Dubrovnik even in the night. The next day we did an area ‘panoramic’ tour and then spent the remainder of the day walking on top of the wall that surrounds the Old City. The sights were amazing. And during our day in the Old City, Regina and I kept commenting on how similar it was to Venice. The architecture, the streets and alleys and the plazas were like a smaller version of Venice, but without the canals. And no wonder, the architects and builders of much of Dubrovnik were Italian.

Dubrovnik Panoramic Tour

Sights from Dubrovnik’s Old Town

Walking along the walls of the Old Town

The next day, we drove from Dubrovnik to the city of Mostar in Bosnia. Starkly different economically and culturally, my pictures from the day highlight only the area of the old city in Mostar surrounding a bridge that was bombed during the Yugoslavian Homeland War of 1991 – 1994.

Mostar old bridge area

 

The impact of that civil war was also evident in Dubrovnik’s Old City where pock marks from shelling can easily be seen.

I hope you enjoy all those pictures – I took more than 150 in just 2 ½ days!

Coming up, a place previously unknown to me, Salalah, Oman.  (Salalah on Google Maps)  The home of the Queen of Sheba and source of Frankincense.