Whether at home, at work or anywhere else, serving Arabic coffee is a very present tradition in Qatar And its neighbors in the Persian Gulf region, to the extent that it is considered a symbol of the “hospitality” of the host country for the 2022 World Cup.
“I didn’t even know there were coffee beans in there. It doesn’t taste like the coffee we know,” said Lanka Pereira, a 29-year-old Sinhalese resident. Qatar There are three.
The yellowish drink, which has the consistency of tea, adds Pereira, has a strong spicy flavor and is “drank almost every day.” “Our Qatari brothers make us take it every day, but I didn’t know how it was made or where it came from,” he admits after a session dedicated to the famous coffee at Embrace. DohaIndependent cultural center.
The entire ritual of consumption is a gateway to the culture of the principality. The origin of coffee goes back at least 600 years, with the introduction of Ethiopian coffee into the region – legend has it that the properties of the beans were discovered by a shepherd from Yemen – and continues to form the drink, from roasted beans. And boiled coffee, in addition to cardamom and saffron.
“Italian coffee is very famous, but did you know that it comes from here, from the Arab world? We are very proud of it, because so many people consume it. Moreover, it is a great way to start a conversation,” explains Shaima Sharif embracing public administration Dohalocated in Doha.
“symbol of generosity”
In the majlis (reception spaces and social centers, especially for men), the head of the family prepares coffee for his guests and serves the drink to the young children.
The guiding principle is that the coffee should be served with the left hand in a traditional coffee machine called a dallah and divided into small cups called a fajan, which should be filled to a quarter of its capacity so that the right hand consumes the drink. Tasting is also accompanied by dates.
The way to communicate that you are already full is to shake the “cup,” instead of communicating out loud. This custom is a legacy from the past when deaf people served in the “Council”, a way to avoid political or military matters from being leaked.
“The symbol of coffee is part of our history. In hundreds of years the country has changed, but the coffee has not,” Sharif said.
In 2015, an initiative of the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and Qatar Making coffee accepted as the intangible cultural heritage of mankind. “Serving Arabic coffee is an important aspect of hospitality in Arab societies and is considered a symbol of generosity,” UNESCO stated at the time.
Visitors drink traditional coffee at the House of Culture embracing Doha in the Qatari capital in September 2022. – Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP
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