The marble floor:
All the detail in the Mona Lisa painting was done in Arabic script!
I wonder how many people could be fed from one of these Ostrich Eggs before they were so cleverly decorated!
We watched as this very energetic teacher explained the room's items to her group of English-speaking students from one of the city's international schools.
We saw the changes brought about to family life by the discovery of oil and the arrival of electricity. We learned how families were closely connected and how they spent their daily lives before the advent of modern day conveniences.
Excavations carried out by archeologists at Radwani House were the first archeological digs in the center of the city. These excavations produced a number of important finds which provided clues to the daily life during those times.
Life wasn't easy for the laborers. One of them described their living conditions as being in a sort of barracks made of mud and stones with 20 or so men in one room and beds made of iron.
Bu Abbas started work for the Company driving geologists around the desert in a large truck loaded down with camping gear and provisions before driving the International truck nicknamed the 'silver menace.' The roads were dirt tracks slicked down with oil to make them more passable
The Decades Before Oil: Before the discovery of oil, Qatar was a maritime nation that depended on fishing, trading and hunting for natural pearls as its main sources of revenue. The country was hit hard by the economic recession that followed WW I, the Great Depression and, crucially, the popularity of the cultured pearl which was developed commercially in Japan in the 1930s. On the eve of WW II, Qatar was a country in poverty and with little hope for its future.
Fast forward to the beginning of the 1960s when Qatari authorities worked to achieve their long-term ambition: national control of their oil. Political changes and rapid economic growth in the region secured independence for many of the Gulf's protectorates.
Qatar became an independent state in 1971 and three years later formed the General Petroleum Company. By 1977, it and Shell Qatar Ltd. had both become fully nationalized to become Qatar Petroleum which meant the country's oil and gas were at long last managed by the state.
The earliest known aerial photo of Doha, taken in 1947:
Aerial view of Doha, 1955:
Slavery in the Arabian region was widely practiced in late antiquity and the pre-Islamic period. Enslaved people came from the eastern Mediterranean, Egypt and Africa. Mecca and Baghdad were leading commercial centers and major slave markets. Indigenous Arab populations were enslaved through warfare and tribal conflicts as were people who committed certain offenses. It was so sad reading that poor families felt they had no recourse other than to sell themselves and their families into slavery. Manumission or the freeing of slaves was rare.
The Influence of Islam: Islam regulated the institution of slavery by improving the lives of the enslaved through the Qur'an's teachings and sayings, according to the exhibit.
Sharia or Muslim law contains rules governing slavery but Islam prohibited only the enslavement of Muslims. It allowed capture in war, purchase and birth into slavery as the only methods of enslaving people. 'Islam encouraged humane treatment and the freeing of slaves as an act of piety.'
Modern slavery: Qatar, like every nation, has long since abolished slavery. Yet we all continue to be faced with a global problem. Slavery not only continues in the present day but may also be a greater human tragedy than it has ever been. An estimated 27 million people are victims of modern slavery around the world and almost every country is involved. Most modern slavery takes the form of human trafficking.
We left the Museums at 2 and decided we needed some fresh air and exercise so we walked back toward the Corniche, the 8km-long walkway along Doha’s waterfront.
City clock with Arabic numerals:
This building was the Ministry of the Interior:
As we passed a number of traditional Arab boating vessels known as dhows, crew members asked us if we wanted to go on a 30 minute boat ride in the bay for $30 but we declined, preferring to walk.
We saw a number of exercise stations at regular intervals along the way but didn’t see anyone using them probably because it was so hot.
There were free phone charging stations at the exercise stations which I thought was a brilliant idea.
The city looked like it was one big construction site.
We were constantly impressed by the city’s spectacular architecture and skyline.
So many of the buildings were blue to reflect, we thought, the water they faced in the bay.
I imagined the coffee pot sculpture reflected Qataris' love of coffee.
What an interesting mix of limestone and glass.