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Georgetown University in Qatar

The GU-Q designed App

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to speak like a local, a new app designed in Qatar could help.

The Qatari Phrasebook aims to teach non-Arabic speakers more than 1,500 common Arabic words and phrases, all in the Qatari dialect.

The brainchild of Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) Arabic instructor Hany Fazza, the app provides pronunciation of handy phrases. It also has the actual Arabic text and their phonetic spellings.

Shenghung Lin/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The app is divided into sections such as Travel, Shopping, Food & Drink, Emergency and Weather.

It also works offline so you don’t need to have a data connection, is searchable and allows users to star their favorite phrases for easy retrieval.

Authentic Qatari dialect

Five Qatari GU-Q students volunteered to read the phrases for the app. This was to ensure that the pronunciations are as authentic as possible.

Georgetown University in Qatar

Qatari students recorded the phrases for the app

Fazza, who is a mobile learning specialist, came up with the idea after speaking to expats who were frustrated that they couldn’t communicate in the local language, but had no time to attend classes.

He said he decided to focus on the Qatari dialect after realizing that it hadn’t been taught in app-form before.

“The common mobile applications we have are for Modern Standard Arabic – you will find very few applications that have something to do with the dialects,” he added.

The app, which is free to download from the Apple App Store and on Google Play, was funded by a GU-Q faculty research grant.

Have you tried it yet? Thoughts?

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Don’t let the sticky summer weather discourage you from going out this weekend.

There’s lots to do around town, including checking out an exhibition by photographers from the Philippines, playing or watching basketball and volleyball tournaments and testing your wits against Mindsports opponents.

Here are our picks:

Mindsports challenge

If you are a chess champion, a Go gamer or are brutal at backgammon, then the 4th Mindsports World Championships could be for you.

Mamooli/Flickr

For illustrative purposes only.

Starting Aug. 19 until Aug. 27, the event at the Doha Exhibition and Conference Center (DECC) in Dafna/West Bay will feature competitions for six different games, including Arabic and English Scrabble, e-sports such as FIFA and Call of Duty, as well as chess, bridge, backgammon and Go.

There are entry fees to participate, and cash prizes for winners. For details on event schedules and registration, see here.

Filipino photography

Daily life in Qatar will be the focus of a new photography exhibition at Katara Cultural Village which opens on Aug 17.

Katara

Qatar Through Filipinos’ Lenses

The display, Qatar Through Filipinos’ Lenses, is being hosted in conjunction with the Embassy of Philippines in Doha. It will include works by locally-based photographers.

The free exhibition at Building 19 will run daily until Aug 27. from 10am until 10pm daily.

Volleyball battle

Qatar’s expat volleyball league is pitting 14 of its best players against one another in the Battle of the Titans at Qatar Sports Club in Dafna/West Bay.

Q-Tickets

Battle of the Titans volleyball

The exhibition games, on Aug. 18, include a men’s match from 5pm with Josh Villanueva, Vince Mangulabnan, Marck Espejo,Tony Koyfman, Ish Polvorosa, Peter Tores, Isay Marasigan and Rex Intal.

The women’s match, from 7pm, will include Rachelle Ann Daquiz, EJ Laure, Julia Morado, Sisi Rondina, Chie Saet and Royce Tubino.

Tickets cost from QR50 to QR150 per person and are available online from Q-Tickets. No reserved seating.

Basketball challenge

Aspire Active is launching a Triple Threat basketball tournament at Aspire Dome on Aug. 19, with free registration for men 18 years and older.

Aspire Active/Facebook

3×3 basketball tournament

Teams will be made of three players, and can be made on the day of the tournament.

The event takes place from 10am until 6pm and is open to all. See here for more details.

Festival parades

Angry Birds, Smurfs and Disney’s Pluto will take part in Summer Festival parades at DECC on Aug. 18 and 19.

Summer Entertainment City/Facebook

Parades at Summer Entertainment City

The life-size plush mascots will tour the venue, meeting and greeting with fans young and young-at-heart throughout the weekend.

The parade is free, but entry to Summer Entertainment City costs QR15, and games and activities cost extra.

Children under 2 years (with proof of age) old are free. You can buy your ticket online here, and more information on the event is here.

To mark Independence Day, Pakistani and Indian nationals get a 40 percent discount on the gold and platinum passes this weekend. More information is here and here.

Appliqué art

Learn how to create your own artwork using fabric and the technique of applique during family workshops at Katara Cultural Center this weekend.

Katara

Applique workshops

Classes will be in Arabic and English and are open to men and women. They are held in Katara Art Studio B19 from 5pm until 7pm. Places are limited to a maximum of 12 per class and cost QR200 per person. More information is here.

What are your plans this weekend? Thoughts?

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Light rainfall is expected to continue sprinkling over Doha during the next few days, local forecasters have said.

The announcement comes after many were pleasantly surprised by a sudden rain shower in the capital yesterday.

Rain in August

The rain was attributed to the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), which is where different trade winds collide, sometimes forming thunderstorms.

Speaking to Doha News, the Director of the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET) said that rain is not that common in August.

But it isn’t unheard of either, Abdulla Al Mannai added.

While cloudy weather with light rain is in the forecast this week, the precipitation won’t affect temperatures.

That means you can still expect highs to hit the low 40s and lows to drop to around 33C at night.

Have you seen any rain yet? Thoughts?