Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Blink Your Eye; Doha Changes

We know we are “old hands” in Doha, because now we say things like “this was taken from the spit where the Bandar restaurants used to be” and “you turn left at old Parachute roundabout.”

We drove around, noting the amazing expansion of the city and the changing character of the downtown. As I did in Kuwait, I am trying to photograph a lot of it before it goes away, but the urgency is greater in Doha, where change of enormous magnitude can happen almost overnight.


I watched these guys for a long time; I had a safe parking spot and the view was great. I don’t think there is any such thing as a grown man when it comes to heavy machinery. Guys that operate bulldozers and steamshovels always make it look like WAAAYYYY too much fun, don’t they? I wonder if they can hear their Mamas in their heads saying things like all Mamas say: “Don’t you go up on that building in that heavy tractor, that’s DANGEROUS! !”

Look – no underpinnings in the floors beneath, nothing to stop a collapse, and these guys are making dust swirl and sparks fly with their big-boy toys. They ARE wearing helmets.

This is old Dhow roundabout. (You can see the dhow in the center of the roundabout over there on the left, see it?) Everything is changing in this area, but Dhow roundabout hasn’t changed – yet. The traffic pattern has changed a little; you can no longer turn off Dhow roundabout to enter the souk area. It is all for the best. Traffic runs more smoothly now, and when you do get to the souk parking, there is more of it. 🙂


This is old Al Ashmakh; this is what most of Doha used to look like back when it was “sleepy little Doha” – not so long ago, like seven years ago.


I know you are thinking “why is she taking photos of things like that?” because it still looks like this in parts of Kuwait, too, like Maidan Hawally and Hawali, and some of the back streets in Subaihiya, but these parts of Doha are disappearing, with all the little tiny stores and their colorful signs and merchandising.

I was in Al Ashmak because I want to have some new kneelers made for our church, and the priest thought the idea of having them done in the sadu-like upholstery fabric was a good one. It would add a more local flavor, and, insh’allah, hold up a little better than the current cotton, which is wearing a little thin.

I went to a shop and waited patiently while two Sudanese women bought beds and mattresses, and when the clerk came to wait on me, some very important gentleman rushed in, interrupted us, and took the clerk away to wait on him. I waited about five minutes – about 4 minutes and 30 seconds too long – before I walked out. I should have known better. I will find a place in my own neighborhood.

When I saw this truck, I shuddered. My household goods should be coming any day. This is how I am afraid they will show up, and maybe a box or two fell off on the way 😦


When I moved to Kuwait, three boxes got lost, the first time that has ever happened to me. Here is what is amazing to me – two of the boxes were full of book. Not just books, but books on quilting. I keep thinking “who on earth would want these books???” The problem is, quilting books are expensive, and some of the ones I had were old, not just out of print, but limited edition books, so they are priceless – and irreplaceable. I used them for teaching, and I shared them generously. It broke my heart to lose them. I almost don’t want my goods to show up; I am almost too afraid, wondering what might go missing this time?

June 21, 2009 - Posted by | Adventure, Community, Doha, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Moving, Qatar, Shopping


  1. More posts about this amazing change (and pace) please… Maybe we can learn something for Kuwait and wake up from our twenty-year snooze!

    Sorry about your books. I hope nothing is missed this time.

    Comment by Bu Yousef | June 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. It is my pleasure! Bu Yousef, I think Kuwait IS coming out of the snooze. There are some amazing, and committed people, young and old, working for development AND preservation.

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  3. Interesting how 2 out of 3 boxes that went missing (sorry) were books. Are you sure they went ‘missing’, or were they taken by border control in Saudi Arabia… a couple boxes with my dads books went ‘missing’ when moving from Doha to Kuwait as well.

    Comment by sp4rkster | June 24, 2009 | Reply

  4. Sp4rkster – they went by boat, Doha to Kuwait! And I can never figure out why anyone would want them. They are books about quilting, with patterns and instructions. Maybe they were just too heavy, I can’t figure it out, I can’t imagine anyone would want them. The third box had some copper flowerpots I use as trash cans; they are old and beautiful, from Jordan, and I can understand why they would go missing. But . . . quilting books??

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 24, 2009 | Reply

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