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MIA Park bazaar a melting pot of cultures

MIA Park bazaar a melting pot of cultures


Ailyn Agonia
Doha
THE weekly winter bazaar of variety of food and crafts at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park in Doha has become one of the major attractions for residents.
Families and groups from different nationalities are seen hanging out at the annual winter event which features stalls of homemade food of different cuisines such as Turkish, Filipino, Indian, Thai and Arabic which gives opportunities for expatriates to try out authentic menus from other countries.
Stalls of crafts including traditional clothes and ornaments also capture the attention of park visitors.
"This weekly bazaar has been going on for several years every winter. It usually starts in September. It is actually open only to home-based businesses and not to regular entrepreneurs. For this year, we have about 35 food vendors and several non-food stalls," according to one of the participants at the bazaar.
Other attraction at the park is a painter selling his artworks made of spray paints showcasing planetary sceneries and dramatic shadow scenes. Also a crowd-drawer is a photography booth with Arabic theme.
"We appreciate having this kind of bazaar as we get to sample various cuisines at a very affordable price. It is also great to know that the foods are all homemade, which means the products have authentic touch," said Lana, a Lebanese expat.
Filipino expat Rovic expressed appreciation of the initiative of MIA.
He said the bazaar is an opportunity to get to know more about other cultures at a very convenient and accessible way.
"This weekly event gives residents more reasons to hangout in parks. Not only we get to stroll around but we get to shop for items and eat food that we don't get in just one place. It is an activity that encourages residents to spend more time outdoors," he said.
John, a European, also lauded the bazaar, which he said gives residents a chance to appreciate the iconic MIA building.
"By holding this bazaar, MIA promotes not just the park but the museum as well. Many residents have this misconception that the museum is not accessible. Through this, I guess many will be more curious to visit the museum someday as they have been given a chance already to appreciate the beauty of the building at a closer range," the expat added.

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