Qatari Traditional Wedding
Interview of a woman who explains traditional marriage ceremonies in Doha.
Me: Mama Amina tell me about traditional weddings
Mama Amina: First the groom’s family talks to the bride’s mother. They say we want to visit you and see your daughter. This happen without asking the bride about her opinion. Then the bride’s mother ask her father about his decision. After that the men (the groom and his family) visit the bride’s house.
Mama Amina: The men talk about the wedding and ask the bride’s father about the dowry.
Me: what was the average dowry?
Mama Amina: The dowry was between 3000 and 5000, and they also bring Al-Dazza.
Me: What is AL-Dazza?
Mama Amina: Al-daza is a box that contains clothes.
Mama Amina: Few days before the wedding, they told the bride about her wedding. And she stays in her house till the wedding day.
Me: what was the engagement duration?
Mama Amina: It wasn’t too long. A week or maximum two.
Mama Amina: They told their neighbors about the wedding. And after that we come to the marriage contract day.
Mama Amina: Then they chose the wedding day, it is usually in the weekend. So the neighborhood’s girls visit all the houses. They visit their neighbors and collect from them mirrors, matrices, and pillows. They bring them to prepare Al-kela. Al-kela is the bride’s room in her family house and it should be surrounded by mirrors.
Mama Amina: 7 days before the wedding all the neighbors gather in the bride house.
Me: A week before the wedding!
Mama Amina: Yes, they gather each day till the wedding. And the groom’s family brings Al-Dazza, it contains clothes. They also bring rice, sugar and oil for the wedding. And they buy gold. All these things are in Al-Dazza box. Then they invite their neighbors and friends to show them Al-Dazza. The ladies set on the carpet and start to see what is inside the box. They see the bride’s clothes, gold and all the new stuffs.
Mama Amina: A week before the wedding the ladies start to clean the rice and prepare for Al-Haries ( traditional dish). They spend the whole week celebrating and dancing. However, the bride stays in her room. She doesn’t join them.
Mama Amina: In the wedding day Al-Ajafa comes to prepare the bride.
Me: Who is Al-Ajafa ?
Mama Amina: she is responsible to prepare the bride each day for one week. She takes care of the bride’s cleanliness and beauty. Also she helps the bride in wearing her wedding dress. ( It wasn’t a white dress).
Mama Amina: In the night, Al-tabalat ( traditional singers) start to song, they also make dinner and dance. And they don’t throw money like now.
Mama Amina: When all the people leave, they put the bride in a carpet.
Me: Does this happen at the end of the night?
Mama Amina: Yes, the ladies carry the carpet and take her to the groom.
Mama Amina: Next day, in the morning, Al-ajafa brings the breakfast for the groom.
She brings Ansnas, Balalet and etc… ( Traditional food). So the groom put money in the breakfast tray for Al-ajafa.
Mama Amina: Early in the morning, they cook rice and at 6:00 am they send the food for all the neighbors. They cook 4 or 5 lambs. And this is called Egra. After distributing the Egra, they cook again for lunch.
Mama Amina: In the first week, Al-Ajafa visits the bride daily to take care of her look and in this week, the people come to see the bride. At the end of the week she go to her husband house.
Mama Amina: That’s the end. This was our traditional wedding.