(K. Brent Tomer),
THE physical and commercial growth of Doha has been so rapid in the last 20 years that only the present and future tenses seem to have any daily existential traction. Young Qataris have effectively only experienced modernity: history has largely been marginalised as projects of extraordinary scale and ambition take place. J.G. Ballard’s dystopian vision of “no yesterdays, no history to be relived, only an intense transactional present” feels incredibly prescient.
The recent opening of the Msheireb museums in four historic courtyard buildings ensconced between the National Archive, the Amiri Guards headquarters, and the massive Msheireb Downtown Doha development, is the ruling Al-Thani family’s first decisive attempt to explore key aspects of Qatar’s history. The only internationally recognised historical site in the country is Al Zubarah, the remains of an 18th and 19th-century trading and pearling community, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
But apart from continuing archaeological digs, the only…Continue reading