Exploring North of Qatar
Trip Start Sep 29, 2010
48Trip End Feb 02, 2011
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In Al Khor which used to be the major city in Qatar, we visited the Fishing and Pearl Harbor, and the Al Khor Corniche. Pearls and fishing was the only way that Qataris used to make a living. This was previous to the oil and gas finds. In this area we were greeted by the fisherman who had already come in with their daily catch. Here, we also saw the port where the Dhows that go out fishing are being repaired. We were treated with a big welcome by an elderly Qatari who was more than gracious to explain to us the tribulations of getting the Dhows repaired. There is no wood/trees in Qatar so it all has to be imported. There are also the protected Dakhira mangroves located in this area
Our next stop was to view the Jassassiyeh Carvings, currently this site is being studied as well. These were made very long ago and it is not known why. The belief is that they map out different areas of the Arabia area for the traders that traveled through the desert, but there is uncertainty around this. Well one day we will know, in the mean time I am just amazed to view them.
Next we travelled on to Al Ruwais. Al Ruwais is a small fishing village, located at the northern tip of the Qatar peninsula, and historically was an important base for pearl fishing. It has a Bedouin lifestyle as it is a much smaller place than other towns we have seen. This is the most Northern place in Qatar, when you think of Qatar it basically looks like a thumb, think of this as being the very tip of the thumb. From here we could see Bahrain! The plan is that Qatar will build a bridge to link to Bahrain
Um Suwaya, which is an old abandoned village and Zubara Fort were next on our trip. Have I mentioned yet that Qatar is all desert, probably, just maybe in one of my other post. Anyways, At the north west tip of Qatar’s peninsula, the rather desolate area of Al Zubara was once a thriving settlement, 6,000 inhabitants lived there. They earned a living by fishing, pearl harvesting and trading. This city was destroyed in a siege in 1878. In this area there are archeological excavations going on that support the early habitation of Qatar (from 4000 BC), the history here is huge, but there is little to show for its ancient lineage. The story is that the famous ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy talks of ‘Qatara’ in his map of the Arab world. This is thought to be a reference to Al-Zubara, Qatar’s main trading port right up until the 19th century. When you are in this area however it is hard to believe this history. The Zubara fort was built in1938.
Gosh, I could just ramble on about everything else in between that we saw on this trip, but I hope you have enjoyed the highlights and the pic's!
Hugs to all!