It is often exhilarating, if a little unsettling, to look out your window in the morning and know immediately that you are, without a doubt, not in Kansas anymore. In this case, I feel I’m as far away from my home in Salt Lake City, UT as I could be—Doha, Qatar. Yes, that Doha—the city hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Obviously, Doha is so much more than that. Its location on the Saudi Coast and booming business community has brought scores of foreigners to this young city (by Middle East standards). So much so, the city is only one quarter Qatari residents. Yet, the flavor of the Middle East thrives here.
I’m here as the Technical Director for Brazil to Qatar: One World Many Stories, sponsored by Qatar Foundation International in collaboration with Al-Bayan Educational Complex for Girls, Qatar Leadership Academy and National Geographic Photo Camp. About 40 Brazilian and Qatari teenagers have visited outdoor markets, schools, Modern and Islamic art museums, Katara Cultural Village and an Overnight Arabian Desert Safari. Their goal, tell the story of Doha through their photos and experiences.
So far, the kids are getting along well through photography and, wouldn’t you know it, through my nephews’ favorite dance song, LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem (It’s worth a listen/watch.) Seeing the kids together, talking, asking each other questions, beat-boxing . . . experiences like these remind me our future is in their hands and if art can unite them, then I want to be part of that as often as possible.
Here are some photos I’ve been able to catch during this busy workshop. I hope to post more soon.