Qatar History: Growing Up Fast


Our children study Qatari History as part of their school curriculum – it’s compulsory. I like the idea and agree that international students should gain a better knowledge and understanding of their new home.

“That won’t take very long,” people joke. It’s true. It doesn’t. I’ve seen the teachers be pretty creative, filling an hour each week across every academic year.

On one occasion, the creativity had run out and our son’s Qatar History lesson consisted of watching Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller‘ (full length of course) accompanied by cake. The reason? “Because it’s a Thursday and it’s nice to eat cake on a Thursday”. (A LOT of cake is eaten here – but that’s another story).

Qatar is a young country – bedouin tents were the main form of accommodation as recently as the 1930’s and 40’s. It’s now a place more quickly associated with beautiful architecture, stunning skyscrapers, natural gas and of course, extreme wealth. However, it is still a developing country, still playing catch up. Some processes, rules and regulations you’d expect to be in place seem missing, health and nutritional education is in its infancy, online retail stores are few and far between, and sometimes… stuff just doesn’t work:- in 10 months, we’ve had more power cuts than I’ve ever had in my lifetime.

Of course, the upside of being a young, wealthy country – creating everything for the first time, with no legacy infrastructure to hold you back – is that their ideas and aspirations have no boundaries. It’s a country aiming high. To be world leaders in sports, medicine, education, research – the list goes on. I believe they’ll make it too – just see their 2022 World Cup stadium designs.

I came across this article today: it’s the best summary of Qatar’s history I’ve seen so far – probably because it’s all in pictures. If you’re considering a move to Qatar it’s definitely worth a read – it doesn’t cover all of Qatar’s culture and traditions, but it’s still good.

By the end of today, my children will have read it. Of course, I might follow it up with a Michael Jackson video or two, just for authenticity.