For our first visit to downtown I had carefully dressed in a flowing cover-all outfit with my new ugly closed-in shoes. The guide book had mentioned that this would be the appropriate dress for women downtown. My first sight was of a beautiful young girl in very tight jeans trying on an exquisite pair of very high silver strappy shoes which she proceeded to strut down the mall in. My shoes had now gone from ugly to throw-away! If you sit for a while this will be your vista- the high-stepping booted women beautifully groomed and heavily made up, next to a black-covered woman whose face is not visible at all. Each will be brandishing credit cards and mobile phones as they shop in the latest branch of Esprit, Monsoon, Krispy Kreme Donuts- you can't imagine that you are here in the 'dreaded' Middle East (my friends' interpretation). They would physically cringe at the thought of you coming to this truly uninviting place- only goes to prove once more that those who have not been here should not cast stones!
Friday, 15 February 2008
Doha Day Two
Doha used to be a small town with many of its inhabitants living in tent communities around the outside. It sits on a bay with a skyline of birds, inhabited by the proud Qatari people who are rapidly adjusting to some startling changes in their world. Presently there are more cranes and building sites than you could count and elegant, tall buildings emerging out of someone's imagination joining the birds in the skyline.