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Gepubliceerd op 5 maart 2024 om 19:27

we come from Sila in the UAE

at the border with Saudi Arabia we are checked 8 times

police escort on the highway

a pick-up with 4 Arabs offers us a lift

before we know it we're in Dohai

we cycle along the modern corniche with the traditional dhow harbour, a nice contrast

the Expo 2023 world exhibition

the Dutch pavilion: condensing water from the air on a cooled glass tube

the Museum of Islamic Art

on the origins, spread and influence of Islam

immersed in souq waqif

the sheik who shopped here banned redevelopment of this area

it is now Doha's number one tourist attraction

from perfume to kashmir shawls, from kandoras to all sorts of knickknacks

we find Doha a very nice city and enjoy it to the full

we eat in a Thai restaurant

and end on the corniche, a last view of the skyline at night

on our way to Al Thakhira in the north

past the pearl (actually already dated)

World Cup 2022, football stadium in the shape of a Bedouin tent

the new Lusail district

beautifully designed public space, very natural with a fine human scale

a shark floats between the tall buildings

we sleep in a kiosk under construction right by the sea

over the Olympic cycling track

to the mangrove forests where we stay for a few days

on our way to Zekreet in the west

a small hamlet with a monumental mosque and a restored house of the imam

founded by the British after the discovery of oil

at night we hear the heavy hum of oil extraction

we are invited to sleep a few nights in Shaja's Bedouin tent

Richard Serra's artwork

huge steel plates that give you an idea/feeling of the endless size of the desert

simple but oh so beautiful

al shahaniya, camel races and miss camel elections, multi-million dollar business

camels through the x-ray checked for Botox and plastic surgery

the camels were ridden by young light boys

due to numerous accidents and falls, the boys were replaced by robots

on both sides of the course 4-lane tarmac roads

where owners and keepers ride along with the camels

shouting into the walki talki and operating the whip

now the big all-terrain vehicles occasionally hit each other to drive in the best position

at Rachid's farm, near the races, Wen becomes unwell

taken by ambulance to hospital

blood pressure much too high, all other tests are good

a sign from the body to rest

in mid-January, much earlier than planned, we return home

we enjoyed the endless deserts and the fine winter temperatures so much

of the hospitality and being included in Arab culture

we are far from tired of the Middle East


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