MY HOME IN QATAR

High­way Engi­neer, WS ATKINS Been in Doha since: Septem­ber 2007 (seven years)

Qatar Today - - CULTURE > DOHA DIARY -

COM­ING TO DOHA

Hav­ing pre­vi­ously worked in the Mid­dle East for many years, I was re­ferred by a friend to my pre­vi­ous em­ployer, the Gulf Engi­neer­ing and In­dus­trial Con­sul­tancy. I came here on a busi­ness visa and then later con­verted to res­i­dence visa.

THE CHANG­ING FACE OF DOHA

In the past six and a half years I have wit­nessed a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion to the State of Qatar, be it in the in­fra­struc­ture or growth in pop­u­la­tion. I re­mem­ber when I ar­rived back in 2007 it would usu­ally take you half an hour or up to one hour be­fore one could find a taxi. There were not too many res­i­dents as well.

Of course on the down side, traf­fic con­ges­tion was not an is­sue at that time. The ex­pats com­mu­nity mostly con­sisted of In­di­ans, Nepalis, Phillipinos, Pak­ista­nis, and Egyptians among oth­ers. To­day there is a huge rise in the for­eign work­force which in­cludes ex­pats from Greece, Por­tu­gal, Spain and Korea. With such a large in­flux of ex­pats, road ca­pac­i­ties are no longer ad­e­quate, and one can see that the Qatar govern­ment is try­ing to keep up with the ris­ing pop­u­la­tion. On a more nos­tal­gic note, I am start­ing to miss some of the old round­abouts and a few of the good res­tau­rant that have been de­mol­ished at the Mush­erib area to make way for the up­com­ing metro.

QATAR MADE ME A BET­TER PERSON TO­DAY

With­out sound­ing too pa­tro­n­is­ing I would like to say, “Thank you Qatar”. Com­pared to my pre­vi­ous life, I would say that Qatar was just right for me, as I wanted a sim­ple life. It has pro­vided a ful­fill­ment of my ca­reer and my per­sonal life as well. Work­ing in a vi­brant com­pany with won­der­ful col­leagues makes work and life easy. I have even man­aged to save money and buy my own house and even some prop­erty back home.

DIS­COV­ER­ING PEO­PLE JUST LIKE ME

Dur­ing my ear­lier years in Doha I spent most of my week­ends with my friends. It was in my sec­ond year that I dis­cov­ered the Philip­pine In­sti­tute of Civil En­gi­neers-Qatar, one of the sev­eral Philip­pine Pro­fes­sional or­gan­i­sa­tions recog­nised by the Philip­pine Em­bassy here in Doha. The group has about 1,700 ac­tive mem­bers in­volved in var­i­ous as­pects of Civil Engi­neer­ing in Qatar. The main ob­jec­tive of the or­gan­i­sa­tion is to pro­mote the pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment of each mem­ber, and sup­port so­cio-civic ac­tiv­i­ties that will be ben­e­fi­cial to the host coun­try and other com­mu­ni­ties.

My life here evolved with the ac­tiv­i­ties of the group tak­ing most of my week­ends and week­day evenings. It was a to­tal priv­i­lege to be the pres­i­dent of the chap­ter last year. In the same year we cre­ated another group, the PICE-Qatar Toast­mas­ter Club which is reg­is­tered in the Toast­mas­ter In­ter­na­tional.

My mes­sage to every­one who is new here is to get in­volved with so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties from sev­eral groups and have a mean­ing­ful stay here in Doha.

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