Qatar has changed a lot during the last few decades… especially since Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani ruled the country in 1995.
Qatar’s population was less than 50,000 in 1964, around half a million in 1994, and lately, it grew a lot, notice the jump in 1995:
In 2014, the population is about 2 million. In 20 years it multiplied by 4, in 50, it multiplied by 40… I don’t think any other country has ever had this kind of population growth. This has a lot off effects on the country’s security, culture, and many other factors…
In the 1980s, life was much simpler… (My father has more details about the 50s or 60s when Qataris were the majority)
I remember being in a car with some older boys, the oldest was 16 years old. I remember them stopping a car because the “Indian” driving it overtook their car…. I remember when it took 5 minutes to get anywhere in Doha.
I remember driving when I was 16, and the rules were simple, as long as you’re not in an accident, you can do whatever you want… drive as fast as possible, overtake from the left or right, … and most people didn’t use the seat belts.
I remember the centre was the main “Shopping mall”… A group of guys would just stand there looking at the “English girls”… A similar scene was going on every night around Pizza Hut, Caravan, at the Ramada intersection.
I remember when most of the expat communities were really closed-up, we never saw Indian or Filipino families, they were mostly in their compounds.
Then the biggest changes started happening with the opening of “The Mall” in 1997, then the Landmark in 2000. It did the unthinkable, it had a food court that didn’t have a “families section”… Everybody ate together in one place. The same happened the next year when the “City centre” opened in 2001 with a parking lot that was so huge that people thought it was crazy to have it that big (10 years later, one wouldn’t easily find a spot to park). Then the number of malls started exploding…
“Quo Vadis?” is a Latin phrase meaning “Where are you going?” …