Recently, in April, I went to Moscow to visit my elderly mother, other relatives, see familiar places, connect with the Russian culture, both past and present.
My trip from Australia that time ran through Qatar and I did not want to miss the opportunity to get to know this Gulf country. I spent almost four days in its capital, Doha. It has a combination of Middle Eastern traditional exotics and modernity. Qatar has enormous reserves of gas, which it exports in liquefied form to many countries. They have lots of money, and over a few decades its capital city turned into a modern, beautiful, dynamic metropolis with skyscrapers and good infrastructure, retaining at the same time some old areas.
Doha, in many ways, resembles two other miracle cities in the desert: Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I visited several museums in Doha, got acquainted with very interesting modern Arabic visual art, saw various expositions.
The indigenous population of this 2-million city is small: about 200 thousand people. The rest are from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc., who come here to work. With their earnings in Qatar they help relatives back home. There are also immigrants from different republics of the former USSR: Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, etc. People in Doha are friendly and hospitable. Of course, one should not forget that this is a Muslim country, and must respect its laws and traditions. However, Qatar wants to be a part of the modern world, it is in a constant movement, many things are changing here. I believe that the situation for gays both in Qatar and throughout the Muslim world will gradually improve.
And here’s the first set of my Doha photos.