Monday, March 15, 2010

In the Desert

I've gone back to my desert-themed layout here on the blog.  As temperatures rise and the sun becomes more intense, it just seemed like the right 'feel' for the postings.  

As I look at the picture, I'm struck by how diverse Qatar is.  To be sure you do indeed see things like this camel (though usually only at the markets or in the back of a pickup or out in the wild) and the man in the robe (known locally as a thobe).  But right alongside those sights, you'll see skyscrapers and Lamborghini's.  

Qatar is one of the most multi-national places I've ever been.  One of the things I enjoyed about living in Miami is how diverse it was - Cubans, Haitians, South Americans, Europeans and native-born Americans.  Miami has nothing on this place.   Not only do you have the local Qataris (who make up only 20% of the population), but you have Indians, Filipinos, South Africans, Brits, Canadians, Nepalis, and just about every other place you can imagine.  The school my children attend has students from 70 different countries.  

While we are very strong in our Christian beliefs, I am thrilled that my children are friends with people of other faiths and cultures.  I think their entire world view is being shaped by the fact that they are getting to know real people from all over the world, not just radicals who get on the evening news.  It's very easy to just paint everyone in a group with a broad brush and not get the whole picture.  

Living here in Doha it's very easy to take out your frustrations on a certain group of people - these people are rude, these people are the worst drivers, you name it.  But then you meet someone from that group and realize that it's just people.  That there are rude people where you are from too.  That there are bad drivers in your hometown.  It may be more prevalent here because there is such a mix of cultures where people have come from that it's like a melting pot of expectation and backgrounds, but the truth is there is good and bad in all of our cultures.

I'm glad that my kids are getting to know that now instead of when they are my age.  


Leeann said...


I completely agree with you. Being exposed to so many types of people and their cultures, foods, religions etc is an absolutely life changing experience. I can virtually promise you that in their later years, your children will count this time as expats (even though it can be incredibly difficult) as one of the most memorable and life shaping parts of their lives.

By the way, I can tell how much more adjusted you are by the off-handed way you commented on camels in the back of pickup trucks. HYSTERICAL!!


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