29/06/2014

A week in the life of a global citizen

10 ply aran cotton vs no 8 embroidery thread - such entirely different tactile experiences!

Hello! We have just entered the holy month of Ramadan (fasting from dawn until sunset) here in Doha and even though I am well acquainted with customs surrounding this month, traditions differ significantly across Muslim countries and Islamic societies. In the Gulf, non-Muslim expats have to adhere to local practices even though we are not fasting per se. It is not acceptable to eat, drink, smoke or even take medicine in public during the day and therefore restaurants, fast food outlets and cafes are all closed bar one F&B outlet in each of the hotels. Live music during the day, swearing at all times and acting like a loon is off-limits during this month of piety and  peace.

The practicalities of how Doha functions to accommodate this month, is certainly new to me. Malls, shops, banks and more are now open for about 5 hours in the morning and then close between 1 in the afternoon and 8 in the evening. From 8/9pm - 1/2am, it is business as usual, meaning it is entirely plausible to visit any of the museums or government departments or malls or even banks after midnight!  I love this month as it is also a time for strengthening ties with community. We will be visiting Ramadan tents and share in Iftar feasts with locals for the next 29 days. 


Colours of Grace Aran cotton, hand dyed

Since going anywhere in the afternoon and early evening is off-limits and the children are on their summer school holiday break from next week, I have a fair amount of time on my hands in which to indulge in reading and crocheting. I am still busy with the hexagon blanket and have finished more than 200 motifs so far. I had to put the project aside for a week though (something I don't easily do since I work on one crochet project at a time) and designed a new square for a secret project, meaning I started and frogged and pondered and re-started more than 30 efforts before I was happy with a design. I can't wait to be kicking off with that project, since I will finally get the chance to use my Colours of Grace 10 ply Aran cotton! The colours are gorgeous and working with a thicker thread is most enjoyable. It will be a piece to die for, and you will have the benefit of trying out a new pattern!



I do have an obsession with army, gold, old gold and chartreuse colours at the moment! I might just order Vinnis Serina in Army for a blanket soon, it will be perfect for a lacy motif.

The French/spool knitting necklace getting longer and longer.  I cannot wait to finish this, and work on it when my hands get tired from too much crocheting.


Grrr I honestly cannot bare the feeling of acrylic yarns, but this ball of yarn came in handy for trying out different motifs - it can handle getting frogged a few times. It is fascinating though, how an ordinary motif is transformed into something really special depending on yarn and colour.  The minute I tried these motifs in hand dyed cotton, it became something else altogether!


I have long since been fascinated by a country that is so unique that it can neither be reduced to East nor West, but has indeed been shaped by both. I am hoping this read will not disappoint!  I share a special friendship with a fellow researcher who works at the Russian State University and owe it to her to learn more about a society she was critically analyzing during our post grad studies.  I hope we get the chance in future to become research partners yet again, neither one of us are afraid of exploring progressive, interdisciplinary approaches.


Once in Kuala Lumpur I sat down at a candy store and watched the artisan create these wonderful candies.  It is a beautiful, mesmerizing process and I was in 7 heavens when I stumbled across Spanish chain Papabubble here in Doha.

Last week, a group of adults involved in global change, hosted an online, real time discussion among 14-17 year old Teens representing many different societies across the globe. We connected countries, cultures and individuals through one shared goal: to create memorable global, nurturing dialogues in order to foster learning and develop intercultural understanding.  It led to interesting discourse and one we will repeat soon with a 12-14 year old group.  I am so glad to be living life as a global citizen again as it provides me with opportunities that would otherwise not have been possible. I love connecting people and making a difference on an international level. Enjoy the rest of your week, I hope it is an equally interesting one with lots of fun!



7 comments:

  1. Hi Magda !
    Once again, whilst reading your post, I realised what a rich life you must live !
    It must be so interesting to learn so much about different cultures by being submerged in them. And it also must be difficult by times... your daily life as you know it, now upside down during Ramadan, for instance..

    One thing is sure, one can learn/study/read as much as one wants about a culture, this knowledge will never equal the real life experience ...

    On a lighter note, I am very eager to see what you're planning to make with the 10 ply Aran cotton !!!

    'n soen en 'n drukkie, Ingrid

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  2. One of the most interesting aspects of living in a country that is not one's original homeland is the great differences, both great and minuscule, that makes our cultures different. A global dialogue with teens must be empowering, interesting and full of wonder and hope....and I can't wait to see your new pattern, too! Chrissie x

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  3. Magda,
    oh thank you for this post! It was very interesting to read! And you pictures and your work! Fantastic. I love the colours! All my best from Austria
    Elisabeth

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  4. Oh it must be such a fascinating culture to live in, and to have such liveliness very late in the evening is very intriguing!

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  5. Thanks for sharing. Really interesting to learn more about another place through your eyes this way.

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  6. 200 motifs???????? Wow!!!!!!!
    Hahahahaha.... a great work, Magda!
    I looooove all your projects!
    Kisses from Catalonia!

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  7. Honestly. Every single picture made me drool. (Don't picture it.)
    The yellow circle in the first photo looks sooo squishy, I adore the texture of it (and the colour).

    Oh. I want to wear that necklace! Pweh, thanks Magda, that's just great - now I have to learn te punniken. ;-)
    xhaafner

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