All photos by Reem Saad

Fourteen of the nation’s most muscular men spent last night lifting hundreds of kilograms in truck tires, sand bags and metal rods while competing for title of Qatar’s Strongest Man.

The finalists were selected following a qualification tournament earlier this month that attracted 131 hopefuls.

This year’s competition was open to both Qatari and non-Qatari participants and for the first time, prizes were divided among both groups.

Qatar's Strongest Man 2016 competition

Reem Saad / Doha News

Qatar’s Strongest Man 2016 competition

Referees timed the event, and contestants were awarded points based on pace, agility and strength.

Winners

Forty-one-year-old Fahad Al Haddad, who was named Qatar’s Strongest Man last year, emerged as the Qatari victor, beating out five other local competitors.

Meanwhile, 26-year-old Christopher Oketch from Kenya, who clinched the title in 2014, won first place among non-Qatari participants.

Oketch was also the only contestant who was able to pull a five-ton truck in last night’s competition.

Qatar's Strongest Man 2016 competition

Reem Saad / Doha News

Qatar’s Strongest Man 2016 competition

Speaking to Doha News, first-time Egyptian competitor Mohamed Dewidar, said he did not expect to exert so much mental strength.

“I would only realize my mistakes afterwards and that most of the competitions required more mental and technique-related challenges than physical (ones),” he said.

The competition is now in its fourth year. It’s part of Aspire Zone’s year-long mandate to encourage residents to be more active and reduce high obesity rates nationwide.

Did you check it out? Thoughts?

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AC Milan

AC Milan

AC Milan

Tickets to the much-anticipated face-off between Italian football giants Juventus and AC Milan in Qatar will go on sale this afternoon.

The first batch will be available online starting at noon on the Qatar Football Association (QFA) website.

The Supercoppa match will take place on Dec. 23 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

Supercoppa

QFA

Supercoppa

Fans can buy up to four tickets that cost either QR150 or QR250 each. Organizers said they expect this initial batch to sell out “in a matter of hours.”

However, more tickets will be released soon and others will go on sale at shopping malls across Qatar at a later date, QFA said.

Barcelona game

December is set to be an exciting month, football-wise.

Spanish team FC Barcelona will be in town on Dec. 13 for a friendly match with Saudi club Al Ahli.

Tickets for that match are also being released in batches and have already sold out twice. They are slated to go on sale at malls soon as well.

Who’s going to the games? Thoughts?

A Qatar resident has spent a year producing a stunning time-lapse video of the desert at Zekreet on the country’s west coast.

Croatian expat Vedran Strelar moved to Qatar in 2011, and since then has been a regular visitor to the area, often camping overnight.

Strelar told Doha News that he decided to produce the video to make residents more aware of what the area has to offer:

“Many of my friends here would ask me if photos I took in Zekreet were actually taken here in Qatar,” he said.  “This encouraged me to make a video that would introduce the Zekreet area to residents.”

Zekreet is characterized by limestone “mushrooms” and cliffs, and home to Film City, Zekreet Fort and Richard Serra’s towering “East-West/West-East” sculptures.

Painstaking work

Strelar said that in order to make the film, he visited the area many times over the course of one year.

And last stop for today. Clouds are gone 😧😭 #sunset #timelapse #desert #qatar #sonya7r2

A photo posted by Vedran Strelar (@strelar) on

During each visit, he would put cameras in different locations and set them to take pictures for hours.

Many were mounted on rails so that the shot would move very gradually.

Strelar said he tried to choose timings when things in the area might “move” to make the video more interesting:

“For day time-lapses, I was waiting for the days when there were more clouds in the sky. For the night shots, it’s good to avoid light from the moon, therefore I would usually wait for a new moon period, when there is no moonlight so I can get a great view of the Milky Way,” he said.

Do you like the video? Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

michael davis-burchat/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

As winter closes in across the Middle East, several Qatar charities are preparing to provide urgent humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of people in Syria and Iraq.

According to UNHCR, some 4.8 million Syrian refugees have fled their country in the past five years. And a further 8.7 million people are predicted to be displaced within Syria itself in 2016.

Meanwhile, inside Iraq, there are currently 3.2 million displaced people, while 4 million have fled their homes.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

UN/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

At least four Qatar charities have all launched winter campaigns for donations. The money raised will help provide food, clothes, blankets and shelter to refugees during the harsh cold months.

They are the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS), Eid Charity, Qatar Charity and RAF.

In a statement, QRCS Secretary-General Ali Hassan Al-Hammadi said:

“While we are safe in our homes, we should never forget those homeless and destitute widows, orphans, elderlies, and patients who lost their homes and livelihoods.

They are in dire need of help as the cold winter approaches, and we also need to put an end to their pain, so that we may deserve blessings and reward from God.”

Here’s some information on how to help:

Qatar Red Crescent Society

During its “Warm Winter” campaign, QRCS will provide aid to 206,000 people with a total budget of QR10 million.

The money will cover main necessities such as warm winter clothing, blankets, electric heaters, fuel and covers.

The provisions will go to people in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and displaced refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.

The Qatar Red Crescent says it has delivered thousands of meals to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

QRCS

The Qatar Red Crescent says it has delivered thousands of meals to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Residents can donate online or call the hotline numbers (66666364 and 66644822).

Bank transfers are also accepted to QRCS’s account no. 11111-26666-202 (IBAN: QA28QIIB000000001111126666202) at Qatar International Islamic Bank (QIIB).

Other methods include texting a donation. Mobile users may send the message “13” to:

  • 92176 to donate QR50;
  • 92966 to donate QR100;
  • 92770 to donate QR500; and
  • 92740 to donate QR1,000.

Eid Charity

This NGO is running a “Before the Cold Gets Them” campaign to help around 300,000 people in Syria and Iraq, with a total budget of QR35 million.

The charity plans to donate QR20 million to Aleppo and other provinces in Syria, and QR15 million to help those in Mosul and other affected areas in Iraq.

Some of the donations will go toward caravan shelters, food baskets, warm meals, children’s milk, tents and tent renovations.

Winter bags will also be given to adults (QR250 per person) and children (QR200). These will include: a pair of pants, coat, woolen clothes, gloves, earmuffs, hat, socks, shoes and a shawl.

Eid Charity Caravan in Syria

Eid Charity

Eid Charity Caravan in Syria

Donations can be made online to help Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Upon payment, a confirmation will be sent to the e-mail address provided.

Residents can also make payments to any of the bank accounts affiliated with the charity.

Qatar Charity

QC will launch its campaign “Below Zero” at Gulf Mall today (Nov. 29).

The initiative targets beneficiaries in Syria to help aid families during winter.

Translation: They don’t miss winter, they’re afraid of it! Public Invitation. Place: Gulf Mall, Al Gharafa. Time: 10am to 1pm, and 3:30pm to 10:30pm. 

According to Al Sharq, an exhibition that uses technology will raise refugee awareness among Qatar residents and students.

There will be cut-out designs displayed to portray the plight of Syrian families.

Donations will go toward shelter, tents, well-equipped caravans, winter clothing, blankets, food baskets, ready-made meals, water, flour, bread, medical equipment, ambulance bags, medicines and the construction and operation of hospitals.

The exhibition is open until Dec. 4.

RAF

RAF’s campaign “The Winter of Mercy: Let’s Grow Warmth in Their Hearts” is aimed at collecting QR19 million in donations to provide basic necessities to 120,000 families in Syria and Iraq.

Food baskets, winter bags, caravan shelters and medicines will be donated to those who are displaced, and to refugees in Lebanon and Jordan.

According to RAF, QR11.6 billion is needed to meet the basic needs of Syrian refugees this year, with some 6 million children in need of urgent help.

There are also 6.7 million who are suffering from food insecurity.

Donations can be made online, or by sending the text message “2” to 92648 to donate QR50 to Syrian refugees, or “26” to 92648 to donate QR50 to refugees in Iraq.

Contributors may also call RAF’s hotline at 55341818.

Thoughts?