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Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 72, Sunday, Doha

*So, first of all, I am so sorry that it has taken me this long to get back on track with my writing. I have been home for over a month now and have been pretty busy since I landed. No excuse, however, is good enough for my prolonged absence from my blog and so I hope that this last week’s worth of posts can at least make up for it a little.*

From the first day I arrived in Doha and saw the pyramid-shaped building which is the Islamic Museum of Art in Doha, Mary Anne has promised that she would take me there. So that’s what we did today.

It is a very interestingly laid out building. When you walk in, the first things you will probably notice are the circular staircase and the open atrium. The central plaza of the museum is quite open and everything is light colored. One wall is made of glass and gives a beautiful vantage point overlooking the bay. (By the way, this is the same bay which hosted the hydroplane races which finished my first day in Doha.) 

The levels of the building are arranged in stacked semicircle configurations so that, while you can enter through a number of doors along the route, I think the most logical way to peruse the artifacts is by entering one end of the semicircle and following from one adjoined room to the next until you have reached the other end where you can exit and proceed to the next level. If that didn’t make any sense to you (and I don’t blame you if it didn’t) here’s a link to the museum’s website where there is a map:

The rooms housing the artifacts were quite dark but each piece was well-lit. You can get an audio guide, but I just read the little plaques next to everything.

Mary Anne and I also had fun stretching our Arabic vocabularies since the plaques had both English and Arabic on them. We would read the names in both languages and match the words we knew in order to match the ones we didn’t through process of elimination. Mary Anne took notes and I greatly admire her dedicated pursuit of the language. I was a little more interested in the shiny objects (though Mary Anne has told me that she has been to the museum so many times that I am sure she probably knows what all of the pieces look like already).

Here are a few pictures of things I saw (you are allowed to take pictures, yay!).
Amazing wood carving

I liked these little glass artifacts.

Glass lamps

Yes, those are real diamonds, emeralds, pearls, gold, and silk.

This is for my brother-in-law because he is in medical school: Look, Ben! Anatomical drawings! I thought they could help you study. :)
I thought it was interesting that most of the pieces in the museum were found in modern day Iran.

After the museum, we took a little drive and went past Aljazeera’s headquarters, a major news-source in the region (here's their website: You can’t see much of the building from the road way so I didn’t take a picture. Apparently they have been set back from the main road for security reasons.

On our way home we drove through the sort of downtown area and saw one of Mary Anne’s favorite buildings, I like it too:


  1. That drawing is pretty much squat on....*spot on.

    Cue my pity laugh.

  2. Glad to see you are back! The last picture of the building is my favorite building in Doha as well. A wonderful blend of old and new!