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Left-handedness can be a bit of a taboo in Arab and Muslim countries.

According to Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon, founder of ILoveQatar.net, that’s because the left hand is widely considered to be the “dirty hand.”

In one of his latest Qtips, Al Haroon explained that in Arab culture, the right hand is reserved for eating meals and greeting people.

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

This follows in the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, who favored his right hand for such actions.

Insult

But the left hand is typically used to clean one’s self after going to the bathroom.

Thus, trying to do a lefty handshake or even waving at someone with your left hand could be considered insulting to some people.

“Oh, and of course there are exceptions as to when to use the left hand, like when you can’t use your right,” ILQ adds.

So now you know. Thoughts?

Weddings tend to be a lavish affair in Qatar, especially for local women. Typically, the celebrations are separated by gender.

While men’s weddings are generally casual and open to typically everyone, women’s are invite-only and pretty fancy.

This is because women take weddings very seriously, according to Aisha Al-Ziani at I Love Qatar, which came out with a Qtip on the subject this week.

Lesley Walker

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Speaking to Doha News, she explained that weddings in Qatar are large and “far from being considered simple.”

She continued:

“Sometimes thousands of people can attend the wedding, and therefore the wedding has to meet the needs and standards of most of the guests.

Wedding halls have to be big enough to host such a big number of people, and different kinds of delicacies and cuisines are served in abundance, all to express generosity and welcome people that are here to celebrate the union of the two souls.”

In her Qtip, Al-Ziani highlights some things you may not already know about these celebrations:

1) No phone zone

During wedding celebrations, women aren’t wearing their abayas and hijabs.

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

So phones and cameras may be taken away at the entrance to the wedding to protect guests’ privacy and modesty, Al-Ziani says.

2) Don’t bring gifts

When going to a Qatari wedding, there’s no need to rack your brain about what to get the new couple.

FutUndBeidl/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The bride and groom aren’t expecting their guests to bring any gifts, and instead will likely show their appreciation to attendees by giving them stuff, Al-Ziani says.

3) Dress to impress

Expect the evening to be filled with dancing and fashion show-esque fun.

Ren Wlasiuk

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Women will be dressed in their finest clothes, and some might even throw cash at you. This is simply to celebrate the bride and “express generosity,” Al-Ziani says.

4) No men allowed (except the groom)

Though this is a segregated affair and men aren’t allowed in the hall, there is one exception: when the groom arrives to take photos with his wife.

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

“And that’s when you see everyone running around trying to cover up,” Al-Ziani quips.

Have you ever been to a Qatari wedding? Thoughts?

JFK Airport/Twitter

JFK International Airport

A Qatar high school student and her father were detained and handcuffed at a New York airport late last month after a new travel ban on visitors from certain countries was put into place.

The ban has since been suspended, but caused chaos and confusion at airports around the US for several days.

Since then, several stories have come out detailing mistreatment of travelers from the seven-Muslim majority countries on the banned list – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The teen from Qatar has shared the details of her harrowing experience in a video posted on Youtube.

26 hours in an airport

In the video, she introduces herself as Iman Bakir Sudki.

The Iraqi national and her parents left Hamad International Airport (HIA) to go to New York’s JFK airport in January, unaware of the new rules.

Full of excitement about her trip, Sudki filmed the beginning of her journey, including scenes of her ride to the airport, as well as shopping and getting a manicure at HIA.

Chris Hoare / Flickr

HIA

She continued to film throughout the flight and after the family’s arrival at JFK, but then the screen goes dark.

The rest of her experience – being detained at the airport for 26 hours – is narrated through a series of statements written in white text on the screen.

Handcuffed

Sudki explains that after a long wait at customs, her mother – who is Qatari – is told that she can enter the US.

But she must leave her Iraqi husband and daughter behind.

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Video still

Sudki and her father are told they will need to wait more than 12 hours for the next Qatar Airways flight, which will return them to Doha.

Her mom opts to wait in the airport with them, but just before the flight is due to take off that evening, she is told to leave.

YouTube

Video still

Afterwards, Sudki – a minor – said she was handcuffed and moved to another terminal, before being told that she and her family may not have to fly back to Qatar after all.

Hours later, the pair are finally told they will be able to enter the US after all, and are greeted by Americans holding supportive placards in the arrivals terminal.

Legal assistance

It remains unclear why Sudki and her family were reunited. They have not spoken publicly about what happened, and their lawyer did not return a request for comment.

But a US firm did file a legal request for Sudki and her father’s release on Jan. 28.

JFK Airport/Twitter

JFK International Airport

Signed by her mother, the document stated that the family had been awarded Diversity Immigrant Visas to enter the US last August.

Under that program, 50,000 permanent resident visas are made available each year to people from countries deemed to have low rates of immigration to the US.

Thus, the family’s green card status may have helped them enter the US.

Many other families were not so lucky, and there have been several reports of other travelers being sent back to HIA.

However, the US courts have so far found the travel ban to be unconstitutional so it remains on hold for now.

Thoughts?