This month in Doha has been crazy – I haven’t had the time, or desire to update this blog. This morning I finally have some downtime, and so I will slowly chip away at sharing updates from this trip.
First, about a month ago at this point, I headed about an hour outside of Doha to the Al-Zubarah fort. This is Qatar’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a fun and quick trip – and something I had never previously done. As this is my last trip to Doha, I wanted to do and see things that I had not before. While Al-Zubarah is not nearly as impressive as some of the other forts or sites I have visited in my travels, it was still interesting to see a part of Qatar’s history. As Qataris were traditionally nomadic, there is very little physically remaining of their history.
The following weekend I headed out to a part of Doha called The Pearl. The Pearl was originally designed to be a popular place for high-end shopping and restaurants for expats. Restaurants could serve alcohol – which is otherwise only allowed at 4 and 5-star hotels. Gordon Ramsey even planned to open a restaurant in this neighborhood. However, local Qataris did not want to go to The Pearl because of the drinking, and so they pulled the liquor licenses of all the businesses – leaving The Pearl mostly boarded up and uninhabited. There is still plenty of shopping and eating to do there, but it is nothing in the scope of the original design. I did have some pretty decent Mexican food there, however, so it was worth the trip to me!
The most important update I have from the past month is last weekend’s trip to Jordan. After 5 years I returned to my Peace Corps village in Jordan to spend a weekend visiting with some of my closest friends – meeting new babies and getting caught up on life. It was a whirlwind, but worth every minute. That trip warrants its own post.
I am headed back home a week from today. The countdown has begun.