Wednesday, 7 May 2008
As I sit in my comfortable house and listen to the television about all of the world's worries, I realise again what contrasts exist in our world. Being here is being in a world of huge contrast with money being the dividing factor. We are living in someone's dream here, with an endless supply of money to achieve the goals of the dream , which are very noble as they are all related to education and the improvement of the lives of Qatari people. It is sometimes quite overwhelming when I see how these dreams are being brought to fruition. All around our compound there used to be some very nice houses, built out of concrete and steel, carefully designed with arches and palm trees and courtyards. I remember writing about one of these compounds in an earlier blog, with a large house and a smaller house in the same yard. Unfortunately this house and many others in our neighbourhood are in the way of something in the dream. Perhaps it will be the new Music University which will house the Qatari Symphony Orchestra or maybe the golf course which will be one of the best in the world, or perhaps the state of the art hospital to be built by 2011 beside us somewhere? No matter what it will be, these lovely houses(some of which were only just being built) must be removed. So each day this week there have been huge machines with large concrete-bashing bits hammering away at nearby houses. In one day each house is flattened, leaving a pile of twisted steel and powdery concrete in its wake. The steel is collected to recycle(I hope) and the concrete cleared away ready for another building. I am struggling a bit with the mentality of this. I know that the families concerned have been handsomely paid out to move, and I know that there is a plan in place to improve lives but it seems so disrespectful of the past, the local history which is being lost hit by hit. Perhaps I am being too sentimental, but the priority here is certainly to have everything looking glamorous on the outside. I cannot imagine the cost involved in doing this! And this week it was Andrea Boccelli who came to sing at the graduation ceremony with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, not Sarah Brightman(she had to cancel) .