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Jason Derulo in Doha – A Five-Image Gallery

Jason Derulo live in Doha

I’ve learned quite a few things during my stay in Doha over the past 21 days. Like how blissfully out of touch I am with today’s pop music.

Another case in point was last night’s post-match concert at the World Handball Championships by R&B singer Jason Derulo, a man who’s sold more than 30 million singles, has 19 million Facebook fans and 3.2 million Twitter followers, and whose Youtube videos have been watched over two billion times.

The first time I heard his most recent major hit, Talk Dirty, was when I googled him a couple hours before his performance.

Given the lyrics, I’m a little surprised he was allowed to sing it in the emirate.

Obviously he wasn’t here for me. He was here for the few thousand teens, tweens and post-millenials who were screaming –some crying, too– their approval. Great time had by all. He’s now off to the Super Bowl.

As with the previous performers whose galleries I posted from the January 2015 Doha Pop Parade –Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams, Qatari pop star Fahad Al Kubaisi and Iraqi baladeer Kadim Al Sahir– Derulo performed mostly with his back to me, so the pickings, after shooting for less than ten minutes, were slim.

Most attractive to me when shooting in a concert settings is using the lights to your advantage. It’s been fun having the opportunity to play with bouncing streams of light, even if briefly. I’m hoping Doha will give me another before I leave Sunday night.

Enjoy!

R&B singer Jason Derulo performing in Doha

R&B singer Jason Derulo performing in Doha

Jason Derulo performing live in Doha

Jason Derulo performing live in Doha

Jason Derulo in Doha, Qatar

Jason Derulo in Doha, Qatar

R&B singer Jason Derulo performing live in Doha, Qatar

R&B singer Jason Derulo performing live in Doha, Qatar

 

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Terraced Fields, Isla Del Sol

Terraced fields along the shoreline on Isla Del Sol, Lake Titicaca

Along the Bolivian shores of Lake Titicaca, my favorite lake on the planet, for (almost) Wordless Wednesday.

For more from Isla del Sol, an Island on South America’s largest lake where the Inca believed the sun was created, check out my galleries one and two.

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 380th straight, was snapped on 24-Apr-2013.

Auschwitz-Birkenau: From Memory To History

Suitcases collected from inmates at Auschwitz

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, one the planet’s largest cemeteries.

Some 300 survivors from Nazi Germany’s most notorious death camp gathered today in Oświęcim, the southern Polish city that served as the sprawling camp network’s setting, for a commemorative ceremony to honor the 1.5 million people, most of them Jews, who were systematically slaughtered there from 1941-45.

As Auschwitz and The Holocaust drift rapidly from memory to history, today’s will be the last milestone anniversary gathering for which a substantial number of former prisoners will be able to attend.

There’s no shortage of stories related to today’s anniversary, nor is there a dearth of first person traveler accounts. I posted briefly about my visit there last June and won’t add to the noise with any banal platitudes now – other have spoken and written about their experiences, analyzed the ‘lessons learned’ and implored ‘never again’ with far more eloquence than I’ll ever be capable of.

Just one example from today’s ceremony, via The Guardian:

In an eloquent address, 86-year-old Polish writer Halina Birenbaum, who was led to the podium by her grandson, described Auschwitz as a “bottomless pit of hell that I couldn’t get out of”, recalling her impressions as an 11 year old of the “grey bone faces with legs like sticks wearing muddy clogs, nothing reminding you of anything remotely human”.

She said that even if she could have, trying to forget her experience had never been an option, because “it’s only in my memory that can I be next to my loved ones”.

As I walked aimlessly across parts of the grassy 440 acre Birkenau complex last June, my thoughts weren’t with the dead, but mostly with those who survived, like Halina, or my grandfather Anton who lived to tell me tales of the two-and-a-half years he spent in Dachau.

I wondered about the fortitude needed to merely survive when so much of mankind’s barbaric cruelty is stacked so heavily against you. Maybe that that sort of fortitude and desire to live can be found is the only real lesson here.

Here are 23 photos taken in June 2014, my humble attempt at keeping one of the planet’s most heinous crimes on that cusp that separates memory from history for just a bit longer. Most are taken at the museum at Auschwitz I, the original camp, and some at Auschwitz II, or Birkenau, which was engineered specifically for extermination.

According to a recent poll, 20 percent of Germans under the age of 30 have never heard of Auschwitz.

 

Barbed wire fence at Auschwitz

Barbed wire fence at Auschwitz

Barbed wire fence, Auschwitz

Barbed wire fences between block houses at Auschwitz

Barbed wire fences between block houses at Auschwitz

Train car at Birkenau, Auchwitz

Train car at Birkenau, Auschwitz

Train car at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp

Train car at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp

Auschwitz memorial plaque, English

Auschwitz memorial plaque, English

Auschwitz memorial plaque, Slovene

Auschwitz memorial plaque, Slovene

Portraits of prisoners at Auschwitz

Portraits of prisoners at Auschwitz

Portraits of prisoners, Auschwitz.

Portraits of prisoners, Auschwitz.

Teenaged prisoner, Auschwitz

Teenaged prisoner, Auschwitz

Zyklon B cannisters at Auschwitz

Zyklon B cannisters at Auschwitz

Shoes collected from inmates at Auschwitz

Shoes collected from inmates at Auschwitz

Artificial limbs collected from inmates at Auschwitz

Artificial limbs collected from inmates at Auschwitz

Auschwitz 11

Communal bath

Communal bath

Execution wall, Auschwitz

Execution wall, Auschwitz

Fence at Birkenau, Auschwitz

Fence at Birkenau, Auschwitz

Guard tower at Auschwitz

Guard tower at Auschwitz

Auschwitz 20 Auschwitz 13  Auschwitz 14

An Israeli soldier visiting Auschwitz

An Israeli soldier visiting Auschwitz

 

 

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Mannequin Monday #35

Mannequin, Rijeka, Croatia

This week’s addition to the largest repository of blighted mannequins on the planet was snapped exactly six years ago today in Rijeka, Croatia. I’m feeling absolutely lousy and the confusion illustrated here managed to put a smile on my face, even if briefly.

If you’re new to this series, you can and should catch up here. Enjoy and do spread the word.

By the way, this image also serves as today’s Pic du Jour, the 378th (!!) straight. When you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you can catch up with some of those here.

Gwen Stefani In Doha: A Mini-Gallery In 8 Images

Gwen Stefani in Doha 6

And the Doha pop parade goes on.

Two nights after Pharrell Williams made an appearance, organizers of the World Handball Championships gave the post-match stage last night (24 Jan) to Grammy award winner Gwen Stefani.

I’m down for the count with an annoying bout of bronchitis so only stayed long enough to listen to the first two songs. I’m not a big fan, but did enjoy and appreciate the dancers. Although her performance  was brief, it was the No Doubt vocalist’s first solo concert since 2009.

I processed eight shots today between naps, coughing fits, cups of tea and bowls of soup, some in monochrome and a few in color. I like the black and white better. You? Seven more are below.

From earlier in the week: check out the Pharrell Williams gallery here, another with Qatari pop singer Fahad Al Kubaisi, and another with Iraqi singer singer Kadim Al Sahir.

 

Gwen Stefani in Doha 7 Gwen Stefani in Doha 5 Gwen Stefani in Doha 4 Gwen Stefani in Doha 3 Gwen Stefani in Doha 2 Gwen Stefani in Doha 1

Gwen Stefani's shoes in Doha, January 2015

Gwen Stefani’s shoes in Doha, January 2015

 

Mate Vending Machine, Bariloche (Pic du Jour)

Mate vending machine, Bariloche, Argentina

Technically, this isn’t a vending machine in the sense that it will spit out a nice hot stream of Argentina’s national beverage. Rather, it’s a machine that provides hot water for mate, the pick-me-up that’s as much a national obsession as it is sign of friendship and comeraderie in Argentina and elsewhere in the region.

Mate (pronounced ma-tay) is serious business in Argentina; die-hards don’t leave home without their gourd into which the finely chopped yerba mate leaves are stuffed; the bombilla which serves as straw and filter; and a thermos for regular refills. On the road, thermoses are fill with machines like this one.

It’s bitter and earthy taste –reminiscent of green tea— comes from yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis), a plant in the holly family that grows primarily in northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and southern Brazil. The leaves are dried and chopped, mixed with twigs and stuffed into a gourd-like cup. Add hot water and enjoy. But be sure it’s not too hot.

Even when prepared properly, it’s an acquired taste to the uninitiated. Those who taste a batch made with boiling water will probably never try it again. Consider yourself warned.

When shared among a group of friends, it’s somewhat of a ritual with rules that should be observed. The brewer gives the gourd to one person, who returns it after taking a few sips. It’s refilled by the brewer and then given to another. One never says thanks until they’ve really had enough and it’s always consumed from the same straw. Don’t even think about whipping out your own.

Many other forms are becoming increasingly common – carbonated versions, infusions prepared in tea bags, mint and herb-flavored—but are largely considered as bastardizations by true aficionados.

While it’s largely identified with Argentina and Argentines, who consume about five kilograms per capital per year, they’ve got nothing on Uruguayans who drink twice as much annually. It’s also quite popular in Brazil, where it’s known as chimarrão, and in Bolivia as well. In the latter, I suggest you stick with coca tea, aka mate de coca. Because it’s better. And because you can.

And for the record, today’s pic du jour, the 376th straight, was snapped on 13 March 2013 in Bariloche, Argentina.

 

 

 

Pharrell Williams in Doha, And Live Earth II

Pharrell Williams in Doha 3

The unlikely Doha pop parade continues.

Organizers of the World Handball Championships here in Qatar flew in Pharrell Williams for a 40-minute concert held last night at the recently-minted Lusail Arena. The 15,000-seat venue was packed and yes, everyone did leave happy.

Williams arrived directly from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he joined former U.S. Vice President Al Gore to announce the second round of ‘Live Earth’ concerts to he held in June.

According to Gore and Kevin Wall, who co-founded the Live Earth event in 2007, and Williams, who serves as the event’s creative director, more than 100 artists will perform across seven continents during the June 18 event which they hope will become the largest global climate campaign in history.

The concerts are slated for New York City, South Africa, Australia, China, Brazil, Antarctica and Paris, the setting for next December’s climate conference. Apart from the locales, few details were announced. Williams only said:

“Instead of just having people perform, we literally are going to have humanity harmonize all at once.”

An intro video for the event is here. And the Guardian has an extensive write-up as well.

The July 7, 2007 event, Live Earth: The Concerts For a Climate in Crisis, was held in Sydney, Johannesburg, New Jersey, Rio de Janeiro, Antarctica, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, London, Hamburg, Washington DC and Rome. Williams performed on the Rio stage.

As for the Doha performance, the seven-time Grammy award winner spent most of the time with his back to the press area –the only place I had access to– so bear that in mind when browsing the gallery below.

Enjoy!

Pharrell Williams in Doha 6 Pharrell Williams in Doha 5 Pharrell Williams in Doha 7 Pharrell Williams in Doha 1 Pharrell Williams in Doha 4 Pharrell Williams in Doha 2 Pharrell Williams in Doha 8 Pharrell Williams in Doha 9

 

 

Fahad Al Kubaisi In Doha

Fahad Al Kubaisi 1

I didn’t expect this week to evolve into somewhat of a Parade of Middle Eastern pop stars, but sometimes you just have to play with the cards you’re dealt.

Pop parades don’t happen too often on Piran Café — you’re more likely to come across a post with photos from a South American presidential election inauguration parade — so why not?

This is Fahad Al Kubaisi, a popular Qatari pop singer who performed after last night’s World Handball Championship matches at Dusail Arena in Doha. The 33-year-old, who is well established in the region, has several records and a music soundtrack to his credit.

The music? Not my particular cup of green tea, but the crowd liked him. I much preferred the traditional style of Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir a few nights ago.

Four more images below. Enjoy!

 

Iraqi Singer Kadim Al Sahir In Doha – An 11-Image Gallery

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Here’s a small gallery of images from last night’s Doha appearance by Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir, one of the most popular and widely respected singers in the Arab world.

Most appealing about the performance was what I’d call his authentic, or traditional style, which largely eschews the tendency towards electronics and modern synthesization that ruins the vast majority of Arabic and Middle Eastern pop music today. Instead Al Sahir relies upon classical orchestral accompaniments –mostly strings and percussion— and traditional regional instruments and melodies.

Born in Mosul in 1957, Al Sahir —his name also appears as Kazem, Kadhem and Kathem and his family name as Saher, El Saher and Al Saher— recorded his first album in 1984 and has since released 21 more. According to his wiki bio –and local colleagues as well– his repertoire consists mostly of romantic ballads, but has made room for some political work as well.

I can generally only take the melancholic melodies of “typical” Arabic music in very short bursts, so was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed and appreciated this 30-minute set as much as I did.

El Sahir left Iraq in the early 1990s after the first Gulf War and has lived in most Arab countries, along with Paris, since. In 2011 UNICEF named him a goodwill ambassador for Iraq, resulting in his first visit to his homeland in 14 years.  Here’s a brief Al Jazeera report on that return.

Last night’s concert was sponsored by organizers of the Men’s Handball World Championship that is currently underway in the Qatari capital, with more performances on the way. Appearances by Pharrell Williams (22 January) and Gwen Stefani (24 January) have already been announced.

Enjoy.

 

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir in Doha. Jan 2015.

 

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Mannequin Monday #34

Doha's Algerian mannequin

This week’s addition to the largest repository of blighted mannequins on the planet happens to be sporting Algerian colors. But this one, found at a fan shop in Lusail Arena at the Men’s Handball World Championship in Doha, Qatar, isn’t so much blighted as it is simply vacant.

If you’re new to this series, you can and should catch up here. Enjoy and do spread the word.

By the way, this image, snapped on 17-Jan-2015, also serves as today’s Pic du Jour, the 371st (!!) straight. When you’ve got a few minutes to spare, you can catch up with some of those here.

 

Slovenia vs Belarus – 14 Images From Day 3 Of The Men’s World Handball Championship

Dragan Gajic unleashes a penalty throw against Belarus at the World Handball Championship

Here are 15 shots from yesterday’s Slovenia-Belarus match at the Men’s Handball World Championship in Doha, Qatar.

Slovenia prevailed 34-29, led by Dragan Gajic, above, who scored a whopping 15 goals, the high for the championship thus far. He’s also the championship’s leading scorer after two games with 24.

Enjoy!

Luka Zvizej of Slovenia shoots and scores against Belarus at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Luka Zvizej of Slovenia shoots and scores against Belarus at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Viachaslau Shumak scores for Belarus against Slovenia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Viachaslau Shumak scores for Belarus against Slovenia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Slovenia fans at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Slovenia fans at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Slovenia's goalkeeper Gorazd Skof at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Slovenia’s goalkeeper Gorazd Skof at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Dragan Gajic finds an opening against Belarus at the World Handball Championship in Qatar

Dragan Gajic finds an opening against Belarus

Miha Zvizej of Slovenia in action against Belarus at the World Handball Championship

Miha Zvizej of Slovenia in action against Belarus at the World Handball Championship

Dean Bombac of Slovenia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Dean Bombac of Slovenia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

A Slovenia fan at the World Handball Championship in Doha, Qatar

A team Slovenia fan at the World Handball Championship in Doha, Qatar

Marko Gajic scores for Slovenia against Belarus at the World Handball Championship

Marko Gajic scores for Slovenia against Belarus at the World Handball Championship

Siarhei Shylovich scores for Belarus against Slovenia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Siarhei Shylovich scores for Belarus against Slovenia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Dragan Gajic on the attack for Slovenia against Belarus at the World Handball Championship

Dragan Gajic on the attack for Slovenia against Belarus at the World Handball Championship

Luka Zvizej of Slovenia in action against Belarus at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Luka Zvizej of Slovenia in action against Belarus at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Slovenia fans at the World Handball Championships in Doha, Qatar

Slovenia fans at the World Handball Championships in Doha, Qatar

 

Today’s Headlines #44

Qatar Papers for 17 January 2015

From Doha, Qatar, for 17 January 2015.

Quite likely the first and last time that stories about Slovenia and John McCain, the man who unleashed Sarah Palin onto the world, will ever appear together on the front page of a Gulf region newspaper. Or any paper.

Bosnia vs Iran – 14 Images From Day 2 Of The Men’s World Handball Championship

Nervous Bosnian fan at the World Handball Championship in Doha

I was asked by a visitor to share any photos I have from the Men’s Handball World Championship. Time permitting, I’m more than happy to oblige. Thanks for asking.

The only match I managed to catch with my camera was Bosnia vs Iran, a battle of two teams making their world championship debut. As you can surmise from the worried look the Bosnian fan was carrying in the match’s waning moments, it was a close game. Iran led at the half 16-12, but Bosnia turned things around in the second half to win 35-30.

Up today in the Lusail Multipurpose Arena, where I’m stationed, is Slovenia vs Belarus at 17:00 local followed by Chile vs Qatar at 19:00.

The preliminary round will conclude on 24 January when the 24 teams are whittled down to 16 for the eighth-finals scheduled for 25 and 26 January. The quarter-finals take place on 28 January, the semi-finals on 30 June and the final on Sunday 1 February, also in Lusail.

Enjoy!

The Match

Mohammadreza Rajabi on the attack for Iran against Bosnia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Mohammadreza Rajabi on the attack for Iran against Bosnia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Muhamed Toromanovic scoring for Bosnia against Iran at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Muhamed Toromanovic scoring for Bosnia against Iran at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Ivan Karacic setting up an attack against Iran at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Ivan Karacic setting up an attack against Iran at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Sajad Esteki of Iran looking for an opening against Bosnia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Sajad Esteki of Iran looking for an opening against Bosnia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Milad Masaeli is stopped by a Bosnian defender at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Milad Masaeli runs into a Bosnian roadblock at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Kosta Savic on the attack for Bosnia against Iran at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Kosta Savic on the attack for Bosnia against Iran at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Dusko Celica scoring for Bosnia against Iran at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Dusko Celica scoring for Bosnia against Iran at the World Handball Championship in Doha

Ehsan Abouiei of Iran looking for an opening against Bosnia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Ehsan Abouiei of Iran looking for an opening against Bosnia at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

Faruk Vrazalic scores for Bosnia against Iran at the World Handball Championships in Qatar

 

And the Fans

Iranian fans at the World Handball Championships in Doha, Qatar

Iranian fans at the World Handball Championships in Doha, Qatar

Team Iran fans in Doha

Team Iran fans in Doha

Team Iran fans at the World Handball Championships in Doha, Qatar

Team Iran fans at the World Handball Championships in Doha, Qatar

Iran fans at the World Handball Championships in Doha, Qatar

Iran fans at the World Handball Championships in Doha, Qatar

Team Bosnia & Hercegovina Fans

Bosnia & Hercegovina fan at the World Handball Championships in Doha

A member of the Bosnia & Hercegovina support crew at the World Handball Championships in Doha

 

 

 

Arbol Bandera II (Pic du Jour)

Arbol Bandera, Tierra del Fuego

I’ve been in a dry, dusty desert setting for the past eight days, which reminded me of one of my favorite trees, what the locals in the southernmost reaches of Patagonia call an arbol bandera, or flag tree.

The name comes from the shape the ceaseless winds pound it into. This is along a dirt road along the Beagle Channel in Tierra del Fuego, about 85 kilometers east of Ushuaia, Argentina, the sourthernmost city in the world. I posted another pic of this tree’s neighbors a couple years ago. (I hugged the one on the right.)

Today’s Pic du Jour, the 368th straight, was taken on 31-Jan-2013, an apt image for Serenity, this week’s Wordress Photo Challenge theme. As stark and unforgiving as this landscape at the end of the world is, it also imparts an irrepressible calm.

 

 

 

Brazil vs Qatar – Nine Images From The Opening Match Of The Men’s Handball World Championship

Eldar Memisevic in action for Qatar at the Handball World Championships in Doha

Here are nine images from tonight’s opening match of the 2015 Men’s Handball World Championship which got underway today in Doha, Qatar. My two favorites are probably the one above, showing Qatar’s Eldar Memisevic on the attack, and the one below of one player asking another for a dance.

The hosts, powered by a squad comprised of several foreign-born nationals, got the tournament off to a strong start with an entertaining 28-23 victory over Brazil in front of a crowd of 11,500 who inaugurated the newly-built Lusail Multipurpose Arena. That official tally was a bit high, but definitely half of the venue, which has a capacity of about 15,000 in its present configuration, was filled.

This was the first time I shot a handball match, and it proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable 20-minute exercise in trying to keep up with this relatively fast-paced game. I’m not here working as an accredited photographer, but hope to squeeze in a few minutes from each match I attend to snap some a few images.

Action kicks off in earnest tomorrow with the busiest slate of the two-week event, with 11 matches on the schedule. The preliminary round will conclude on 24 January when the 24 teams are whittled down to 16 for the eighth-finals scheduled for 25 and 26 January. The quarter-finals take place on 28 January, the semi-finals on 30 June and the final on Sunday 1 February, also in Lusail.

Enjoy!

Action from Brazil vs Qatar, the opening match of the Men's Handball World Championship 3

Care to dance? Action from the opening match of the 2015 Handball World Championship

Joao Pedro Silva scores for Brazil at the Handball World Championship in Doha, Qatar

Joao Pedro Silva scored four times for Brazil in the opening match of the Handball World Championship in Doha, Qatar

Action from Brazil vs Qatar, the opening match of the Men's Handball World Championship 1

Brazil’s masked attacker?

Eldar Memisevic on the attack for Qatar in Doha

Eldar Memisevic on the attack for Qatar in Doha

Injured Kamalaldin Mallash en route off the court and to the hospital on the opening day of the Men's Handball World Championship in Doha, Qatar

Off the court and to the hospital for Kamalaldin Mallash after suffering a back injury in the opening match of the Men’s Handball World Championship in Doha, Qatar

Kamalaldin Mallash tossing in one of his two goals before being carried off the court with injury in the Handball World Championships opening match in Doha, Qatar

Kamalaldin Mallash tossing in one of his two goals before being carried off the court with injury in the Handball World Championships opening match in Doha, Qatar

Action from Brazil vs Qatar, the opening match of the Men's Handball World Championship

Action from Brazil vs Qatar, the opening match of the Men’s Handball World Championship

Action from Brazil vs Qatar, the opening match of the Men's Handball World Championship 2

Doha Sunset – Pic du Jour

Doha Sunset, 14 January 2015

I hit the one-year straight mark yesterday with my Pic du Jour project, and was rewarded by the Gods with a nice sky just before sunset tonight.

This was taken outside of the Lusail Multipurpose Hall, a futuristic arena with a capacity of 15,300 built specifically as one of the three host venues for the Men’s Handball World Championships which begin in Doha tomorrow 15 January. The 80,000-plus capacity Lusail Iconic Stadium, which will host the opening and closing matches of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, will be built nearby. Cost hasn’t been a major obstacle yet when it comes to Qatar’s ambitions to host major sporting events. There has been a heavy human cost, however.

The arena sits on the edge of Lusail, the newest planned Qatari city, located 23 kilometers from the center of Doha. When completed it will accommodate upwards of 250,000 people.

For the record, today’s Pic du Jour, the 366th straight, was taken in Doha, Qatar on 14-Jan-2015. For more on the Qatari capital from previous visits, including several photo galleries, check out my Qatar page here.