Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 6 and the Qatar Exxon Mobile Open

What an absolutely wonderful way to end LeaderShape. We spent the week in the town of Al-Khor at the Al Sultan Resort and it was fantastic. The staff was so helpful and exceeded every expectation we had! I have included a few more pictures from the site:
- A picture of the security guard (we had security at the entrance of the buildings).
-The lovely pots of flowers all over the site. They are probably 5 feet high, gold in color (do not think it is real gold -- but it could be) and filled with all types of lovely flowers. We could put something like this in the lobby of our new building! :)
-The front of the resort with the manager's mercedes...very nice!
-A picture of the top of the mosque that was right outside of the resort. There were actually two in this small town and when the calls to prayer occurred it was quite loud.
Last night we also had the opportunity to say good-bye to the faculty from the Institute and it was a memorable experience. I truly enjoyed working with each one and have learned so much from the experience. Thanks Aalaa, Lesley, Michael, Dave, Rachel, Gerard, and Jumana!
The Commencement was unlike any I have ever attended before...the Sheikha was very humble and her comments were perfect for the event. The parents and students really enjoyed hearing her and were quite respectful of her. Two students presented her with a beautiful ornate gift of a glass and gold replica of gates and a sincere message of thanks for being supportive of LeaderShape. The staff from the Foundation were so pleased that she was willing to support this program as it will mean more families will be willing to send their children to future Institutes. Due to the Sheikha's attendance we had to move some of the elements of the last day around a bit but I believe the end result was a "home run" for the participants.
After LeaderShape ended, Ameena drove me back to the hotel in Doha where I relaxed, had a nice lunch, and took a nap. Even in Qatar you need a nap after LeaderShape.
But alas, the day was not over -- I was able to go to the Qatar Exxon Mobile Open with Lindsay and Justin (see their picture above!) I also included several pictures of the match. It was quite an exciting night!
We saw the final men's match today between Nikolay Davydenko (Russia) and Rafael Nadel (Spanish). It was fantastic. Davydenko won --but not without a fight. This was the first time I attended a professional tennis match and certainly the only one I will probably see with Royality present -- the Sheikh -- the Emirs' son gave Davydenko his pure gold falcon trophy. I have included some pictures of the presentation.
I have also included pictures of the show that occurred prior to the awards ceremony. It was quite interesting and included a person dancing in neon lights, camels, and a huge crane that brought in part of the white covering that was lowered into the middle of the court. (Imagine the risk management that would surround that move in the US!) The pictures are just not going to do the real event justice but it is a place to start!
Lastly, we had to laugh as during the match the temperature dropped to about 66 degrees and people were wrapped up in can see the red blankets throughout the pictures. I guess when it gets to 120 degrees in the summer, 66 seems cold! Justin joked saying next year maybe the Qatar Open could be the Qatar Snuggie Open.
Throughout the week the temparture varied from 55 or so during the night to 80 or so during the day.
I am going to see the Museum of Islam tomorrow and will enjoy a nice dinner with some people from the Qatar Foundation before I leave for the airport. This certainly will be a nice way to end my first Qatar experience.
If I have time before I board the plane I will post the pictures from tomorrow -- if not I will do so when I get home!
Take care and looking forward to seeing you all soon!


  1. Travel safe home - bring one of those blankets back with you - been in the teens here at night and 30/40 during the day. Should warm up to 60 by the end of the week here.

  2. This sounds like a truley amazing trip! I've enjoyed reading the blog! Have a safe trip back and look forward to seeing you soon and hearing more about it! Stay warm!