June 2018: Again, it is all in the title; ‘Bahrain Maserati Club Third Anniversary Ghabgah’. Since Ramadan moves forward by 10 or 11 days each year (according to the ‘Lunar Calendar’, the annual get together of the Bahrain Maserati Club bash seems to move forward as well, in keeping with Ramadan itself of course.
Sorry (a bit) if we did not attend your event! Obviously, video coverage is far more involved than simple photography, so we cannot cover every event anyway. The media can hardly keep up with the number of Ghabgah invitations, that is if they are indeed invited. Looking at the calendar, ‘Who Does What’ was not invited to many Ghabgahs during the 2018 Ramadan festival of um..er.. Ghabgahs. Not many at all, which is a pretty good reason why we were not at your’s in that case, if your PR doesn’t deem us worthy, but still we land in buckets of tepid water for not just turning up as if expected! What can we say? Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.
So on the surface, the coverage of the Maserati Ghabgah does seemingly appear ‘selective’ if one considers that in Bahrain alone there must be 30 or more Ghabgahs going down every single evening during the month of Ramadan. These events are anything but ‘news worthy’ items, quite the contrary in fact, despite the delusion big company’s and hotels might be suffering. Who Does What merely covers them for Social Media as like print magazines, showing faces. After all, if local news papers can print endless pix of children face painting and jumping on bouncy castles as ‘news items’, then the Maserati Club 3rd Anniversary bash is exclusive reporting by comparison. Rifat AlGhawi the President and Co Founder of the Maserati Club really does have his PR ducks in a row and makes sure the Who Does What were well informed.
The Bahrain Maserati Club Third Anniversary Ramadan Ghabgah was well presented, lots of food and some very nice people, mainly from within the Diplomatic community. It was held at the AlAreen Palace Hotel & Spa which is out by the F1 track in Bahrain. Entertainment was in the form of Arab musicians plucking out the region’s favourites and a raffle with some worthy prizes. Almost everyone won something, except the Who Does What crew and our faithful Russian mates. Conspiracy for sure!
For our Eskimo readers: As with most of the hotels and big companies, they erect their own tents (or Khaymats) during Ramadan and the ‘Iftar’ is big business. The evening was not exclusive as such and best described as a large booking for the hotel’s Ghabgah, but the Maserati party sort of dominated the evening for most.
Quite why the celebration is held in Ramadan must be a thing for philosophers to decide, or it could be considered more economical when lavish ‘Iftars’ are plentiful around the Islamic world. For example; with Ramadan being the ‘Holy Month, rarely will you find a Ghabgah or Ghabqa with booze provided (which is obviously an expensive addition for a non-profit club to cough up). That is in the Gulf anyway, but not all are so pious and life is pretty liberal. What one does get though is a very lavish spread with traditional lamb dishes the main feature. Traditional means traditional too, since some of those dishes are not for the faint-hearted western pallet. ‘Lamb Harees’ for one (or however you might like to spell it as a transliteration). This is a very heavy dish of boiled lamb with lots or barley or wheat depending the region. Arabs traditionally cook huge pots of it and present it to neighbours as a gesture.
Don’t try this at home, but it is sweet really, since Arabs around the Gulf are so used to speaking English they easily accept and some even pronounce Ghabgah(الغبقة) like the English transliteration. It makes life easy for them, but the true sound is nothing like that. There is no ‘G’ as such in the name at all, but a ‘غ’ which is ‘ghayn’, more like a back of the throat micro lion roar. It gets worse; the ‘qaff/ق’ makes it even more interesting. Worse still, non Arabic speakers quickly get mixed up with three very similar sounding words; Ghabgah is one, Ghahwa (coffee) is another and the third we do not print here, but it makes for very interesting responses when English speakers think they are saying the right word to an Arab. It seems that everyone learning a new language always manages to learn the swear words first 🙂
So here we go; to the next one.