vanishing villas

 

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.

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Architecturally it is easy to spot the past in Qatar as it is more often than not simply abandoned

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These abandoned buildings lie on very busy thoroughfares as well and often compromise whole blocks of the abandoned past.

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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.

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Many buildings catch my eye not only for their design but also because their function is not immediately clear.

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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.

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Some of the villas are still inhabited

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and sit side-by-side with their deserted sisters.

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Evidence of a quieter, more relaxed past are everywhere.

And some cling quietly to their existence resisting the onward march of construction.

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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.

 

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