Getting grounded in Doha

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.

A pesky sandbar marooned this Dhow boat and forced NU passengers to jump ship (literally) to another boat.

A pesky sandbar marooned this Dhow boat and forced NU passengers to jump ship (literally) to another boat.

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!

Students pose outside the Souq Market.

Students pose outside the Souq Market.

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About This Site

A contingent of Northwestern University faculty, staff and students traveled from Evanston, Ill. to Doha, Qatar for the official opening ceremony of Northwestern’s Qatar campus. This site contains the sights, sounds and stories of the opening ceremony events and offers a glimpse into the life of the Northwestern community in Qatar.

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