Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

It’s Good To Be The Amir :-)

One of the first things visitors say when I take them around Doha is “It’s so clean!” said in a voice of total wonder. Doha IS clean, noticeably clean. Along the Corniche, everything is clean – and manicured. Doha is beautiful. The roads are beautiful, and getting beautifuller – er . . . more beautiful.

Qatar is not a democracy. It has a monarch, the Amir. The Amir has huge resources, and he channels much of his resources into infrastructure – highways, water treatment, electricity, parks (along the Corniche, wireless internet is provided to the community, totally FREE, miles of free internet), education – and serious work is being done to raise the level of education and educational possibilities continually – planning for future food and water, trying to insure that if and when the gas runs out, Qatar will have a sustainable economy.

It’s not a job I would want. It’s a lot of hard work, and who do you trust to share your vision and help you get the job done? Every day must have its frustrations, and the triumphs take a lot of work and perseverance. Building a country’s infrastructure is not for the faint-hearted.

But the job has its perks, and one of them is that you can create your own viewing stand for the 0800 Friday morning military review parade. This reviewing stand makes me grin. This Amir has some Events people with a flair for the dramatic and a tip of the hat to the traditional at the same time. While some complain that the new souks are like Disney Does Doha, anyone who used to go there and goes there now will tell you that there is new life in the souks. They are clean and safe and light and well cared for.

Anyway, I digress.

Here is where the Amir gets to sit to review his military at the parade tomorrow morning at 0800:

I was afraid to go any closer, as people were practicing for the parade, security might not like me taking photos, but how cool is this? They used original beit as-shar (house of hair, i.e. wool) fabric for the inner lining of the review tent. I totally love it. This fabric was originally made mostly from goat hair, but also stripes of sheep and camel hair. I have some. It’s tough and strong, and in panels, woven by the women. I don’t think they make tent bodies like this any more.

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Generational, Leadership, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Qatar, Social Issues, Work Related Issues | 7 Comments

Doha: The Best Time of the Year

We have the windows open and the A/C off, well, most of the time. Some times it gets humid, and we have to turn the AC on to keep our carpets and textiles from molding. Aarrgh!

Yesterday dawned a crisp 60+°F, clear, sunny, the birds are singing and I have errands to do but . . . it’s also a great day for taking photos. I decide maybe I can do both, but I give the photos a priority and get myself down to the Corniche.

There is also a part of me that wanted to see if I COULD drive on the Corniche; it has been on-again-off-again as people prepare for the grand parade at – oh yes, 0800 Friday morning.

0800 Friday morning? No one in Qatar is up at 0800 on Friday morning. You are going to START a parade at 0800 on Friday morning? Like soldiers will have to be up early? Pilots flying those cool fast little planes – up before dawn? This is Qatar – no one is up at 0800 on a Friday morning!

The weather is gorgeous and the photos take themselves. There has been so much building on the Corniche and over in the West Bay Business district:

Off in the distance, glimmering like Shangri-La, are the buildings going up on The Pearl:

And look at the minaret on the new National Mosque! It’s as tall as many of the taller buildings! Do you think they will have an elevator? Will the muezzins be able to call out the call to prayer after climbing 37 stories?

December 17, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Building, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Photos, Qatar, Weather | 5 Comments