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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

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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The Foreign is Familiar: A Week Inside Doha, Qatar

  1. 1. The Foreign is Familiar: A Week Inside Doha, Qatar PHOTO ESSAY
  2. 2. Image Sources: & Where is Qatar?
  3. 3. 13 Hour Flight 7 Hour Time Difference from NY
  4. 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. 5. Doha, Qatar Ariel Photo Source:
  6. 6. 1 min time lapse video:
  7. 7. Our guide quipped that the Qatari “national bird” – the CRANE Construction is a constant state of existence in Doha.
  8. 8. Qatari Men’s Clothing “white to be cool” Thobe Ghutra
  9. 9. Qatari Women’s Clothing “black to be modest” Abaya Hijab
  10. 10. Souq Waqif “Standing Market”
  11. 11. Fanar Islamic Cultural Center
  12. 12. Museum of Islamic Art
  13. 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. 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. 15. Education City
  16. 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. 17. Signs
  18. 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. 19. My Obligatory Camel “Selfie” My Formal “Look Behind Me” Camel Pose
  20. 20. Camels for the Tourist “Travel” Experience
  21. 21. The Camel Market
  22. 22. Work Life
  23. 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. 24. I Work In Qatar: From the Laborers • Tea and Coffee Men and Women • The “Blue Men”
  25. 25. Find Out More
  26. 26. 4 min time lapse video -