I had no expectations for Doha – we simply went because it was close, easy (and truth be told inexpensive) to get to, and the Museum of Islamic Art was supposed to be amazing. One night in Doha – about 24 hrs there. Aside from the museum, the only thing I really knew about the city was that Al Jazeera was based there, and a considerable amount of reporting during the first Gulf War occurred from Qatar (and that none of the reporters could agree on how to pronounce the country’s name…)
But there we were in Doha – and ready to see something new and different from the UAE. It familiar for some reason, although I could not quite put my finger on it. Perhaps it was the clean and modern café in the Museum of Islamic Art – it reminded me of some museums in Boston and Los Angeles
Or maybe the smiles from the locals in the Souk Waqif
or even the art of getting shoes shined while we waited and listened to the Friday morning prayers
Or just knowing that at all hours of the day, the Souk keeps moving, people are working non-stop, and delivering stories
It felt real and that is what we were looking for – there was less glitz in the souk than we have seen in recent months, less ostentatious. It simply was, and that was enough for us.