Thursday, May 16, 2013

Doha,Qatar – The Land of Sand and Tan!

Daughter's Housing Complex
Daughter's House on left

Qatar is a large sand box! Plus the houses are sand color or tan!  As the rest of the Middle East it is HOT and DRY.  Everything green in color has to be watered.  The temperatures have reached and exceeded 100 deg every day. 

Qatar has Liquid Natural Gas that is estimated to last a looong time!  Electricity and gas are cheap ($.90/gal of gas)! We don’t know about water, except there is water all around. 

Rainbow Round-a-Bout

Doha City-Scape
Qatar as a country has existed for hundreds of years, but is a relatively newly developed country, in the past 20-25 years.  Doha, the capital city, has developed different areas of the coast line around the bay.  There is Downtown, and to the west is an area called West Bay. Farther west is the airport which is now too small so a new airport is being built farther west. To the east of Downtown is an area called The Pearl. (Diving for pearls is an old tradition in this area), then south of all these areas is Education City.  In each of these areas and between all of these areas, construction of all sorts is taking place. The architecture is very interesting. In the near future all of theses areas will be one big city.  Embassies for many countries dot this Capital City area, many having prime locations along the water.  Doha will host the World Cup Soccer matches in 2022 and is trying for the summer Olympics in 2020.
Museum of Islamic Art

Museum of Islamic Art - Inside

View of City From Museum

The Pearl Development

The Pearl

The Pearl

Souq Waqif - Shopping Area

The Souq

Souq Police

Qatar Men at The Souq

Camels for sale at The Souq

The Souq

Preparing a Pastry - Very Tasty

Women at The Souq

Arriving at The Souq to Shop

The Souq at Dusk

Waiting to Transport Purchases

The Qatar Foundation, a branch of the Qatar Gov’t/Royal Family owns/finances. The Qatar Foundation, QF.  QF has/are continuing to build the area of Education City. Within Education City are 7 western Universities each with their own emphasis – I will list those I can remember - (Carnegie Mellon, Texas A & M (Engineering degree), Northwestern, Weill Cornell (Medical School), Georgetown (Foreign Service degree), Virginia Commonwealth Univ. (VCU) and a school from London(First year).  Each university has around 250-300 students and provides an education in only one specialized area here in Qatar.  Under The Qatar Foundation there are 7 pre-university schools, Qatar Academy, The Academic Bridge Program School, A Music School and several other K-12 schools.    
Texas A & M Building

Georgetown Student Lounge

Georgetown Library

Education City Ceremonial Court

Education City Green Space

Carnegie Mellon Building
Carnegie Mellon Entrance Hall

Carnegie Mellon Student Lounge

Also in Education City they have just completed a Convention Center, a hospital (still under construction), a State Library (still under construction), and Islamic Studies Center (still under construction), and the Northwestern University building (still under construction.  Construction is going on everywhere.  It will be interesting to see this city in 2, 5 and 10 years from now.

Our daughter works for QF in their pre-university Administrative Offices.  She is working in the area of Professional Development for the pre-university schools. Today, we had a tour of several of the University building.  The University buildings are built and owned by QF, but have University Administrators and Staff. These buildings are ‘over the top’! The architecture is a study in itself!  Designs for the builidings are only accepted from the top 20 ‘Signature Architects’ in the world!

We are touring and meeting our daughter’s friends who are each involved in school Administrators in the 7 pre-university schools, with whom she works. 

Besides taking care of our jet lag, we have visited the Islamic Art Center, Islamic Cultural Center, walked around the Pearl area, driven through the West Bay and Downtown areas several times, visited the Souq (the traditional market area) and Rachel has had a wonder massage.  It is HOT so drinking plenty of water is a MUST - you do not leave the house without bottles of water. 

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