In their first full day in Doha, the Northwestern University contingent strolled the narrow streets and alleys of the city’s Old Town, including getting a hands-on look at falcons, and received a thorough grounding in the ways of the Gulf. So thorough that one group of students, faculty, staff and even members of the Board of Trustees found themselves grounded on a sandbar for more than an hour during a boat cruise in the Gulf. Fortunately, all passengers were transferred to another boat without incident or injury.
Doha is a testament to ambition — and the necessary resources to achieve that ambition. A massive opulent development on man-made islands in the Gulf is nearing completion and is expected to be the home of nearly 40,000 residents when completed. Downtown Doha is a chaotic knot of busy roads circling a minimum of a dozen skyscrapers simultaneously under construction. And on a prime site facing the Gulf is the ground for what is planned to be the world’s tallest building, expected to dwarf even the 90-story building now going up next to it. For the pedestrian, though, Doha outstrips even LA as dangerous territory: no sidewalks, an obstacle course of construction barriers and cars constantly hurtling past at high speed. Fortunately, like Chicago, Doha has an expansive walkway along its waterfront, providing a safe passage for those on foot.
Click here to see photos of today’s events.
More to come tomorrow!