Thursday, February 12, 2009


My first day in Doha over a year ago, I brought crummy weather with me. Crummy weather in Doha can be heat and humidity or in the equivalent of a rainy day- a sandstorm. A year ago it was harsh winds and whipping sand but it was nothing compared to the storm that came in yesterday afternoon.

Yesterday Darbi and I were discussing the effects of the Carnegie Mellon's building shadow on the vegetation outside (plants in the permanent shadow didn't flower, those on outside the shadow would). I stepped out of her office for one moment and suddenly she began yelling for me to return. What had moments before been a bright blue sky had become hazy and golden as the sandstorm rolled in. We watched the sky become hazy and fog-like, only the fog wasn't moisture but sand. After experiencing sand in your eyes and teeth during windy days, I have a better innate understanding and appreciation for the tradition of the keffiyeh or the Arab headscarf. I've even wrapped my head and face, saving only my eyes, once during an extremely windy day.

Since Carnegie Mellon Qatar's building is not quite finished (especially on the third floor) and let's face it, the construction quality isn't amazing to begin with, within minutes of yesterday's storm the hallways and main atriums of the building had a hazy smoke quality to them as sand particles drifted in the air. It was very eerie.

The top image is from the QTel building on the Corniche. Below are some comparison shots from Education City, looking towards Ceremonial Court (gorgeous day vs. this morning)

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