Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Carnage on Karabaa

Running errands today in the heat and humidity gave me a new insight into these last few days of Ramadan. I briefly got annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring water, and then realized ‘oh no!’ I had left the water on purpose so I wouldn’t unthinkingly violate the no-eating/ no-drinking-in-public-during-Ramadan laws. When it is SO hot, and SO humid you sweat! You just ooze moisture! When I got home, I was exhausted. (It might also be a little bit of jet lag) I was so tired, I had to take a nap.

I cannot imagine what it must be like to try to live a semi-normal life and fast during this kind of heat. I cannot imagine how it will be next year. And the year after that. It is brutal.

I knew Karabaa street was going to undergo some changes for the new ‘Heart of Doha’ project, but the reality was shocking. Old landmarks are gone. Just gone.

The Garden Restaurant, where they had the purely vegetarian restaurant on the ground floor and the more elaborate carnivore restaurant upstairs:

00TheGardenRestaurant

This rubble is where the Garden used to be:

00WhereGardenUsedToBe

When visitors came to Doha, one of the standard stops was always the Yemeni Honey Man (he also sold baskets from the Asiri mountains in Saudi Arabia, gorgeous baskets, in a building I always thought of as the Beehive Building, because of the honey, and also because of the shape of the multiple domes on top of the building:

00BeehiveBldg

00YeminiHoneyMan

You can see a tiny remnant of the building in the right corner – all the rest is rubble. All the surrounding buildings are also empty, ready to be demolished:

00WhereBeehiveUsedToBe

00BeehiveRemnant

Here is the parking lot which used to be full – there used to be another restaurant, not a fancy restaurant but a very tasty restaurant called The Welcome – it was torn down, only five years ago, and now the building that replaced it is also being torn down:

00ParkingLotWelcomeUsedToBe

All the little shops are just gone, all the little jewelry shops and textile shops, gone:
00AllLittleShopsGone

I wonder how long these old shops will remain?
00LittleShopsStillThere

September 19, 2009 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Building, Bureaucracy, Community, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Photos, Shopping

6 Comments »

  1. nooooooooooo. knowing this was coming is much much different from seeing the rubble!

    I can’t believe the Garden is gone. Gone-gone, or maybe (she says, hopefully) just relocated??

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | September 19, 2009 | Reply

  2. This is expected when modernisation is achieved through more money than sense… Nothing new here I’m afraid. Like us in Kuwait, they will learn when it’s too late!

    Comment by Bu Yousef | September 20, 2009 | Reply

  3. Yemeni honey is reputed to be an aphrodisiac , the users are now high strung until the shop relocation is found

    Comment by daggero | September 20, 2009 | Reply

  4. There are other Gardens, Little Diamond, branches of the original, more posh. One not too far away from where we live. It’s not the same. I hope to discover they have relocated. Come help me find it!

    Bu Yousef – I grieve the loss of the beehive building because it was unique and quirky, but, as you have seen for yourself, the Emir is doing a rather remarkable job of renovation/restoration with some character. For example, the new/old Souk al Waqif – I felt the same way, I worried the character of the souks would be lost. Now there are all the old shops and a few new ones. I do miss the old hardware shops, where if they didn’t have a steel masonry nail, they would take you by the hand to the shop that did, and I miss the scribes and their booths who were in the parking lot. On the other hand, the Souk al Waqif has new life breathed into it.

    I can grieve, but I withold criticism because I have seen that where there is a vision, something wonderful CAN come out of it. 🙂

    You need to come visit, with Umm Yousef, Yousef and Nur. 🙂

    Daggero – true story. He always insists my guest sample the wares. One of my guests was diabetic, and tried to refuse because honey can make her almost pass out. He said this honey is not harmful to diabetics. About 45 minutes later, as we were leaving the area, she turned to me and said “I feel wonderful! The honey didn’t hurt, it made me feel better!” and we went back and she bought a big container of it (and his honey is EXPENSIVE).

    When another friend had twins, and was nursing them, the only thing that kept her going was honey from this man’s shop, mixed with bee jelly and pollen. All the Qatteri women were in there buying the same stuff (at like $50 for a lb!) and they all told me the same thing you were saying – women take this to make their husbands happy! 🙂

    He has been relocated to the Souq al Waqif. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 20, 2009 | Reply

  5. Ras Al Nasaa restaurant (red castle)
    Parachute r/a
    Aladdin’s Kingdom
    Crazy r/a
    Bandar rest. in corniche
    Souq Al Ahmad
    Oasis Hotel
    Doha Club
    The old mamoura supermarket..

    memories! *sigh*

    Comment by B | September 22, 2009 | Reply

  6. LOL, B, Crazy Roundabout was before my time, and also the Mamoura. I remember all the rest – I even have photos of the Parachute being knocked down. I see the Bandar Restaurants have been relocated to the Souq al Waqif, but oh! The view they had! Sitting out on their long curved balcony on a breezy evening, looking out over the Corniche. I remember going there to watch the French air team perform, and oh, it was magnificent!

    Comment by intlxpatr | September 22, 2009 | Reply


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