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The Foreign is Familiar: A Week Inside Doha, Qatar
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The Foreign is Familiar: A Week Inside Doha, Qatar


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The Foreign is Familiar: A Week Inside Doha, Qatar …

The Foreign is Familiar: A Week Inside Doha, Qatar

An American educator spent a week as an external reviewer of a learning center in Qatar's Education City for Texas A&M - Qatar. This is a photo essay of that experience with a particular focus on the uses of technology, cultural norms, and Qatar's role in being the bridge between Western and Islamic countries in the Middle East.

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  • 1. The Foreign is Familiar: A Week Inside Doha, Qatar PHOTO ESSAY
  • 2. Image Sources: & Where is Qatar?
  • 3. 13 Hour Flight 7 Hour Time Difference from NY
  • 4. “…fewer than 250,000 native Qataris who make up the country's population -- grandchildren of pearl fishermen -- are now the world's richest people, with an average annual income of about $100,000. They are also the world's most brazen investors -- in property, art, television, sports, mining, and banking.” Population: Approximately 2 Million People (1.5 million males) Qatari Nationals are less than 15% of the population Most of the population are non-Qatari & prevelantly male laborers (Indian, Nepali, Sri Lankan, Filipino and Sudanese) Each Qatari national is entitled to just over $100K per year Doha is the capital and has been likened to the NYC of the Middle East. Information Sources – The Lonely Planet &
  • 5. Doha, Qatar Ariel Photo Source:
  • 6. 1 min time lapse video:
  • 7. Our guide quipped that the Qatari “national bird” – the CRANE Construction is a constant state of existence in Doha.
  • 8. Qatari Men’s Clothing “white to be cool” Thobe Ghutra
  • 9. Qatari Women’s Clothing “black to be modest” Abaya Hijab
  • 10. Souq Waqif “Standing Market”
  • 11. Fanar Islamic Cultural Center
  • 12. Museum of Islamic Art
  • 13. Public Use of Tech Public use of technology is fascination of mine, but also very interesting in Qatar because of some of the prohibitions on photography. I saw over and over again (Qatari men and women in particular), the use of 2 smartphones (typically iPhones).
  • 14. I could not be sure what this woman was doing with her smartphone in this picture, but I had observed the irony in the same museum with two other women in burkas checking Facebook. I took the risk of snapping this from the second floor balcony.
  • 15. Education City
  • 16. Since DRIVING is so much part of Qatari life and we spent a lot of our time being transported from one location to another, the road signs were something I took a keen interest in because of their unique use of English. Here is the Qatari equivalent to “Don’t Use Your Cellphone While Driving”.
  • 17. Signs
  • 18. Public “CLEANLINESS” Campaign Signs •Don’t throw garbage over public beaches; •Don’t spit on public property; •Don’t dump your garbage; •Don’t throw garbage in your neighborhood; •Don’t spit on public streets; •?????. The ads also carry the primary slogan ”We see you, you are not alone.” Source for billboard above:
  • 19. My Obligatory Camel “Selfie” My Formal “Look Behind Me” Camel Pose
  • 20. Camels for the Tourist “Travel” Experience
  • 21. The Camel Market
  • 22. Work Life
  • 23. I Love Qatar – Info for ExPats/Professionals • It’s all about family • Great place to live and have kids thrive • Exposure to different personalities
  • 24. I Work In Qatar: From the Laborers • Tea and Coffee Men and Women • The “Blue Men”
  • 25. Find Out More
  • 26. 4 min time lapse video -