The gem of Qatar is the Museum of Islamic Art, with pieces from the time of Mohammad to the beginning of the 21st century. The building, by American Architect I.M. Pei, is designed to allow for the play of sun and shadow on both the outside and inside the atrium. Natural light plays against structural forms, floor patterns, winding staircases, balconies and light fixtures to create massive geometric patterns that move with the sun and complement the micro geometric patterns common in Islamic art. In this building you can get lost in yourself, the art and perhaps infinity. Having lived in … Continue reading Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar,– I.M. Pei’s symphony of geometric light and shadow.
I rewrote this post from three family letters, written in 2010 from Dubai, 2011 from Doha and 2012 from Zanzibar. People think about Arabs as a desert people, riding camels, “The ships of the desert” as I was taught in school, across waves of sand. But in my travels I learned that Arabs were also master seafarers taking their dhows all around and across the Indian Ocean, carrying trade goods, culture and Islam to East Africa, India, Malaya and Indonesia just as the ships of the desert carried the same across Arabia and North Africa. Along the coast of the … Continue reading Sea Arabs, Oman, Qatar and Zanzibar
On February 11, Hosni Mubarak stepped down as President of Egypt. Suzi and I were in Doha, Qatar that night and went out on the streets as soon as we heard he had left power. We were watching the events on Al Jazeera in our hotel room. I looked out the window and across the bay I saw what looked, to me, like a large number of cars for that time of night. We could hear a lot of honking so we set out from the hotel on foot to see what was happening. Doha is a strange place. To … Continue reading Arab Spring, Feb 11, Mubarak Steps Down