This Friday’s “Drive by Shooting” took me to an area in the heart of Doha just off a busy throughway that has always intrigued me. My eye is constantly caught by vestiges from Qatar’s past nestled incongruously amidst the glamorous backdrop of massive construction and glitzy high rises.
Architecturally it is easy to spot the past in Qatar as it is more often than not simply abandoned
These abandoned buildings lie on very busy thoroughfares as well and often compromise whole blocks of the abandoned past.
They speak of a lifestyle more geared to human welfare with more space for people and access to the outdoors. The governmental buildings are whimsical in their design with a heavy concentration of concrete decoration.
Many buildings catch my eye not only for their design but also because their function is not immediately clear.
The lack of planning is evident with both abandonned buildings and streets that are either not finished and/or are cut off abruptly by a new road creating a dead end.
Some of the villas are still inhabited
and sit side-by-side with their deserted sisters.
Evidence of a quieter, more relaxed past are everywhere.
And some cling quietly to their existence resisting the onward march of construction.
Qatar’s growth is sort of like someone who decides to fix his teeth with shiny veneers yet leaves his rotting teeth in as well.