In November 2016, it will be ten years since I moved here. So I have called Doha home for a long time. During that time I have both hated and loved it. Today, I am going to tell you what this city means to me.
Doha is Karak and Shawarma.
I am not a tea person but when you are in Qatar, you have to drink tea called Karak, at least once. There are a gazillion Shawarma places here and each of them serves a different Shawarma than the rest. Some serve it grilled with pickles, some add French Fries, Tahina, etc. The possibilities are endless. There is no other place than Middle East to eat a classic Shawarma. And Qatar happens to have a vast variety in this case.
Doha is hot weather.
If you know me in person, you would already know that ten months out of twelve, I am complaining about the hot weather here. Because it is brutal. You can’t go from one room to another without getting 3rd degree burns in the process. No makeup ever stays put, hair has a life of it’s own, it’s just bad. And I hate it. The only upside is that when the weather changes, I am ever so grateful for it. And I try my best to make it last.
Doha is friendships and memories made with friends.
This city for me means, friends and family. Every little nook and cranny, from the old Raunaq where my friend bought all of my notebooks along with hers, Tennis stadium where eight of us shared a single medium Pizza, to the school in Abu Hamour where we spent most of our senior year reading books, talking and eating amazing food, reminds of the great times I have lived through.
Doha is where I grew up.
I came here as a 11 year old who barely had any idea about what life really was. This city saw me grow up, go to High School, get engaged, married and handle everything with a responsibility that I never realised I had in me. It’s a very small dot on a very large world. Despite that, the experiences I have had here taught me some valuable life lessons.Doha is excellent healthcare.
Until last year, I never realised why expats were crazy about free healthcare over here. My father got injured in a terrible car accident. I wrote about it here. He went through 8 major and numerous minor surgeries. He stayed in the hospital for almost four months. And for that we paid only for the crutches he got. That also only 25% of it. That is it. It’s not just about money. We know for a fact that had it been any other country, doctors would have refused to take his case and risk their reputation. So I owe Doha a lot. Because it gave me something that I didn’t know I could lose.
Doha will always be home.
My parents live here. And my husband’s parents live here. So no matter where I go next, Doha will always hold a piece of me. It will always be home.
If you happen to live in Doha, Qatar, tell me what it means to you ? Are you here for good or just on transit.