A Portion of Chicken Fry Ahead of City Souq.

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Goodbye Domes Mosque, a mosque full of history in Old Doha area.

Leaving Old Doha Mosque.

I said “wadaa’aan” from its back door on the edge of Al Jabr Street. Stepping a narrow alley bordered by a smooth wall on left and a rough wall on right. Now, it was time to find a diner to brakes my stomach protests.

Yes…I quickly found it. No more time to compare with better one. Between hunger or worry about being cutted my exploration time, I finally decided to go in and sat down. Obviously I realized, this was an Indian restaurant, it was clear from food composition display, as well as the look of the seller.

“Karak, rice and chicken fry, each one portion”, I said spilling all rote in my head. Chicen fry was my favorite meal since entering Dubai eight days earlier. Indians were kind, every time I asked for a chicken fry they would give two pieces of curry-flavored dry fried chicken. So when I was in Bahrain, I asked for a half so that they only served a piece of chicken.

Apparently this habbit wasn’t same with in Doha, they didn’t know the term half portion. He took a pair of thighs with a smile, he felt that my request was strange.

My order was being prepared by the seller.
11 Riyal, a serving but i ate for two meals….
Making two parts before eating, a part for dinner…. Hahaha.

A full stomach made me ready to heading to Souq Waqif, the oldest market in all of Qatar. It would be a memorable experience for sure. It was just that, before I arrived at Souq Waqif, I was fascinated by the existence of a seven-story shopping center.

“City Souq”, my inner mouth read a large signboard in the middle of building. “Oh, this looks like a modern mall in Old Doha area”, I thought. There was nothing wrong with entering even if it was only for several minutes.

Mall area of ​​half a hectare.

Entering through door number one of four available doors, I was immediately confronted by stalls selling bags, shoes, clothes, fabrics, abaya accessories and perfumes. I myself never knew category prices….expensive or cheap?, because I only had a transaction, which was when I bought a fridge magnet for 12 Riyal at this shopping center.

Bag and shoe shop.
Perfume and eyewear shop.
T-shirt and pants shop.
Sewing supplies shop.

It didn’t take long to exploring around City Souq, and in an instant I was leaving through door number four.

My choiced door to leaving City Souq.

City Souq itself is right at the corner of an intersection with the eastern boundary is Al Bareed Street, the south ones is Al Tarbiya Street, the north ones is Central Municipal Council and is closed by Al Fanar Mosque in the west ones.

Central Municipal Council, an independent entity whose aim is to serve the state and people of Qatar.

Come on, don’t wait too long, let’s get closer to Souq Waqif.

Next Story—->

Forty Four Domes of the Domes Mosque

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I heard a faint sound of adzan calling me while I was walking around Souq Faleh. That was a moment that I’ve been waiting for. My imagination of praying in congregation with Qataris for the first time would come true soon. For that reason, I rushed down stairs to first floor and immediately left this modest shopping center. Goodbye Souq Faleh

A last photo before leaving an Abaya sales center.

Located 200 meters to southeast, it didn’t make me worry that Iqomah will overtake me. I slowly but surely treaded Al Ahmed Street, a one-lane two-way street with a parking lot lane to north.

Five minutes later I arrived. There were no signboards except for a light brown board with the lightning logo titled KAHRAMAA….Oh, that must be Qatar’s state electricity company. Very predictable.

Front gate.

The old mosque building looked more like a fort than a worship place. It was difficult to tell whether it was brown with faded white or white with brown plaque. But this combination gave it a classic and aged feel.

I slowly step in a short stairs in front of entrance gate and a moment later was greeted by mosque’s courtyard which was beyond my expectations, it wasn’t covered in luxurious ceramics, but left authentically covered with white desert sand.

Sandy yard.

The main building of mosque was to right of entrance gate, while a single minaret was to left, which combined with a room that didn’t know what its function. The main building itself had forty-four domes in an arrangement of eleven columns and four rows.

Domes Mosque’s single minaret with a room.

I kept looking for ablution room, I looked on every side of main court and never found it. I tried to wait for arrival of another congregation and follow him, because I believed that the first place he would look for was a place for ablution. It turned out that the ablution room was in the west of the building, hidden behind. Meanwhile, in the front left corner of courtyard, was a house of mosque’s imam (leader).

Ablution room.
Al Imam House.

Now I entered the main part of mosque to pray Dzuhur, along the entrance side of main building was made from clear glass so as to made the whole mosque visible from courtyard. The mosque, which was believed to have originated in the Middle Ages, was supported by 60 giant pillars. This shows the robustness of Domes Mosque.

The main pillars.

When viewed from above, Domes Mosque had a Letter-L shape with an area of ​​about one and a half hectares. Built on Old Doha area with Al Ahmad Street in the north, Al Jabr Street in the east, while the west and south sides were directly adjacent to Doha Metro Souq Waqif Station.

The room itself was quite neatly arranged with a green carpet with Air Conditioner. The Domes Mosque also implied the strength of Qatar by decorating the spearheads in each dome.

After Dzuhur congregational prayer was over, I finally exited from back door on Al Jabr Street side.

Then, I struggled a bit by walking to find a cheap but decent restaurant for lunch.

I found a small typical Indian restaurant, similar to “warteg (warung tegal)” in Indonesia. I ordered a portion of Indian style’s rice and chicken fry.

Restaurant or stall?

Next Story—->

Seporsi Chicken Fry Menjelang City Souq di Doha.

Selamat tinggal Domes Mosque, masjid penuh sejarah di kawasan Old Doha.

Meninggalkan Old Doha Mosque.

Aku mengucapkan “wadaa’aan” dari pintu belakangnya di tepian Al Jabr Street. Menapaki gang sempit yang dibatasi tembok halus di sisi kiri dan tembok kasar di sisi kanan. Kini, saatnya menemukan sebuah kedai makan untuk mengerem protes perut yang kian menjadi.

Yes…Aku menemukannya dengan cepat. Tak ada waktu lagi untuk membandingkan dengan yang lebih baik. Antara lapar atau khawatir tersunatnya waktu eksplorasi, akhirnya kuputuskan untuk masuk dan duduk. Jelas kusadari, ini adalah kedai makan India, terlihat jelas dari komposisi food display, juga tampang penjualnya.

Karak one, rice one and chicken fry one”, ucapku menumpahkan segenap hafalan di kepala. Itulah makanan favoritku semenjak memasuki Dubai delapan hari sebelumnya. Orang India memang begitu, setiap meminta satu chicken fry maka mereka akan memberikan dua potong ayam goreng kering beraroma kari. Oleh karenanya, ketika di Bahrain, aku memintanya setengah supaya mereka hanya menyajikan sepotong ayam saja.

Ternyata tak berlaku di Doha,  mereka tidak mengenal istilah setengah porsi. Diambilnya sepasang paha diiringi senyum, tampak dia melihat aneh permintaanku. Mungkin porsi makan orang India memang banyak, jadi begitulah aturan makannya.

Menu pesanan sedang disiapkan penjual.
Rp. 44.000, seporsi untuk dua kali makan….
Jadikan dua bagian sebelum disantap, satu bagian untuk dinner….Hahaha.

Perut yang penuh terisi membuatku siap menuju Souq Waqif, pasar tertua di seluruh Qatar. Ini akan menjadi pengalaman yang mengesankan tentunya. Hanya saja, belum juga sampai di Souq Waqif, aku terpesona dengan keberadaan julangan tujuh lantai sebuah pusat perbelanjaan.

City Souq”, mulut batinku membaca signboard besar di tengah bangunan. “Oh, ini sepertinya mall modern di kawasan Old Doha”, aku membatin. Tak ada salahnya masuk walau hanya sedasa menit saja.

Mall seluas setengah hektar.

Masuk melalui pintu bernomor satu dari empat pintu yang tersedia, aku langsung dihadapkan pada kios-kios penjual tas, sepatu, pakaian, kain, aksesoris abaya dan parfum. Aku sendiri tak pernah tahu kategori harganya….mahal atau murah?, karena aku hanya memiliki satu transaksi yaitu saat membeli sebuah fridge magnet seharga Rp 48.000 di pusat perbelanjaan ini.

Toko tas dan sepatu.
Toko parfum dan kacamata.
Toko baju dan celana.
Toko perlengkapan jahit.

Tak lama berkeliling di dalam City Souq, dalam sekejap aku sudah beranjak pergi melalui pintu bernomor empat.

Pintuku keluar dari City Souq.

City Souq sendiri berada tepat di salah sudut perempatan dengan batas timur adalah Al Bareed Street, selatan adalah Al Tarbiya Street, utara adalah Central Municipal Council dan ditutup oleh Al Fanar Mosque di sebelah barat.

Central Municipal Council, entitas independent yang bertujuan melayani negara dan rakyat Qatar.

Tersimpulkan sudah bahwa pusat perbelanjaan unggulan di Old Doha ini tak semegah dari tempat sejenisnya di Jakarta. Jadi berbelanja di Jakarta tentu sudah lebih dari cukup, tak perlu belanja ke negeri seberang (ah, itu mah buat elo Donny yang ndak berduit. Kalau punya duit, ya pasti lo belanja ke Paris, Donny….hahaha).

Yuk lah, jangan menunggu lama, kita merapat ke Souq Waqif, jangan mampir-mampir lagi ya, Donny….Wkwkwk.

Empat Puluh Empat Kubah Domes Mosque

Kumandang suara adzan sayup memanggilku ketika sedang berkeliling Souq Faleh. Itulah saat yang kutunggu. Imajinasiku shalat berjama’ah dengan Qataris untuk pertama kali akan segera terwujud. Karena alasan itulah, aku bergegas menuruni tangga menuju lantai satu dan segera meninggalkan pusat perbelanjaan sederhana itu. Selamat tinggal Souq Faleh !

Foto terakhir sebelum meninggalkan pusat penjualan Abaya tersebut.

Terletak 200 meter di tenggara, tak membuatku khawatir tersalip Iqomah. Aku perlahan tapi pasti menapaki Al Ahmed Street, sebuah jalan satu jalur dua arah dengan lajur parking lot di utara.

Lima menit kemudian aku tiba. Tak ada papan nama apapun kecuali papan coklat muda berlogo petir bertajuk KAHRAMAA….Ah, itu pasti PLNnya Qatar. Sangat mudah ditebak.

Gerbang depan.

Bangunan masjid tua itu sekilas lebih mirip sebuah benteng daripada tempat peribadatan. Sulit membedakan apakah berwarna coklat meluntur putih atau putih terkotori plak berwarna coklat. Tetapi kombinasi itu memberikan nuansa klasik dan berumur.

Aku perlahan menaiki anak tangga berukuran pendek di depan pintu masuk dan sesaat kemudian disambut dengan halaman masjid yang di luar dugaanku, tak berlapis keramik mewah, tapi dibiarkan otentik berlapis pasir gurun berwarna putih.

Pelataran berpasir.

Bangunan utama masjid ada di kanan pintu masuk sedangkan minaret tunggal berada di kirinya yang berkombinasi dengan sebuah ruangan yang entah berfungsi sebagai apa. Bangunan utama sendiri memiliki empat puluh empat kubah dengan susunan sebelas kolom dan empat baris.

Minaret tunggal Domes Mosque beserta sebuah ruangan.

Aku terus mencari keberadaan tempat berwudhu, aku mecari di setiap sisi  pelataran utama dan tak pernah menemukannya. Aku mencoba menunggu kedatangan jama’ah lain dan mengikutinya, karena aku yakin tempat pertama yang akan dicarinya adalah tempat berwudhu. Ternyata ruang wudhu ada di bagian barat bangunan, tersembunyi di belakang. Sedangkan di pojok depan kiri pelataran, terletak rumah imam masjid.

Ruang berwudhu.
Al Imam House.

Kini aku memasuki bagian utama masjid untuk bershalat Dzuhur, sepanjang sisi masuk bangunan utama terbuat dari kaca bening sehingga membuat seisi masjid terlihat dari pelataran. Masjid yang dipercaya berasal dari abad pertengahan ini ditopang oleh 60 tiang raksasa. Hal ini menunjukkan kekokohan Domes Mosque.

Tiang-tiang utama.

Jika dilihat dari atas, Domes Mosque memiliki bentuk Letter-L dengan luas sekitar satu setengah hektar. Dibangun di atas kawasan Old Doha dengan batas Al Ahmad Street di bagian utara, Al Jabr Street di sisi timur, sedangkan sisi barat dan selatan berbatasan langsung dengan Stasiun Doha Metro Souq Waqif.

Ruangan dalam sendiri tertata cukup rapi dengan karpet hijau dengan siraman Air Conditioner. Domes Mosque juga menyiratkan kekuatan Qatar dengan penghiasan mata tombak di setiap kubahnya.

Setelah shalat berjama’ah selesai, akhirnya aku keluar dari pintu belakang di sisi Al Jabr Street.

Kemudian, aku sedikit berjuang keras dengan berjalan kaki untuk menemukan rumah makan murah tetapi layak dijadikan sebagai tempat makan siang.

Aku menemukan sebuah restoran kecil khas India, mirip dengan warteg di Indonesia. Kupesan seporsi nasi dan chicken fry ala India.

Restoran atau kedai ya?