All you need to know: Majlis culture in Qatar
If you've been in Qatar long enough, you are bound to hear the word majlis or be invited to one. To start off, the majlis is an essential part of the Qatari tradition. It is an area or a room usually located near the entrance of a house but is a separate space that visitors can access to avoid the more private portions of their homes.
The outdoor Majlis is usually only for men while the women have one inside the house. The tent is sometimes made up of traditional wool, but has windows and air conditioning, providing a very comfortable fusion of tradition and modernity. In this set-up, newspapers and business magazines are always in abundance, and a big TV screen is obligatory.
It's a popular destination for Qataris to socialize, discuss important news and topics, watch football or horse races, play games, enjoy snacks, and hot drinks, and relax in comfortable positions while providing an assortment of entertainment to their guests. Meetings of this type are at their most lively during the evening.
As tradition has it, no sandals or shoes should be worn inside the Majlis, which is similar to a home. Usually Dates are offered to visitors and qahwa (Arabic coffee) is served in tiny cups without handles, poured from dallah, a traditional Arabic pot.
As its interior design progressed with time, unique and modern designs emerged for the majlis. The traditional and simplistic designs which are rooted in Qatar's rich history and heritage, however, are still preferred by some.
Traditionally, the majlis was the only room in the house with a window facing out onto the street and was the most decorated space. Houses with a simpler design chose to use recessed niches (roshaneh), while homes with a more lavish exterior adorned the majlis with colored glass, carved gypsum panels with symmetrical geometric designs, and window screens.
Qatar's hospitality is famed worldwide; throughout the country, you will find Bedouin-style Majlis and some that blend traditional and modern elements.
The Majlis culture is even more prominent during Ramadan. Following the Taraweeh prayers, you will find that the Majlis is crowded with families and friends gathered to celebrate Ramadan, creating joyful and memorable moments.
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