Since 2005, I’ve lived on a quasi-island otherwise found in the dictionary under the category of peninsula. Surrounded by water on three sides, perched on the top of the Arabian Peninsula, sharing a border with Saudi Arabia, Qatar has been our home for over seven years.
The population has grown in the last few years and with this has come more entertainment options including the opening of the Swiss brand Ikea (tomorrow). Yes, when you live on a peninsula and more or less fly to most destinations, the arrival of Ikea is a lifestyle changing moment.
A few weeks ago I shared the trailer for my first short documentary about comics in the Arabian country of Qatar. The comedians and the shows are the most multicultural places in the small country. Expats and locals, people from all ages and backgrounds come together several times a month to poke fun at the foibles that often drive us apart during the regular work week.
I’ve been a part of this group for nearly two years. Making the film helped me learn more about standup comedy and the ins/outs of how to tell a story in a new medium.
See what you think of Laughing with an Accent. Are these guys funny, no matter where you’re from?
I loved the break from writing so much I’ll definitely be making another short film soon. Stay tuned!
Qatar’s international profile has increased on a steep ascent in the last few years. Those of us who call Doha home grow immune to the stereotypes about the Middle East (we’re all in tents, hiding from suicide bombers, eating camels too old to ride, the women cowering against the back corner).
Called everything from the “world’s richest” to the “world’s fattest” by everyone from comics to nightly news, it’s sometimes difficult to tell which is the real Qatar, even if you’re living here.
Here’s a project I started under Creative Commons Qatar (meaning you can remix or reuse these videos if you attribute) called “Dohati” which means My Doha in Arabic.
As the capital (and where most of the population is concentrated) Doha means many things to many people.
See for yourself what those living and working here have to have to say.
We’ll release three new Dohati videos a week in the month of May, so check back in often for the latest releases.
Record your own version of what Dohati means to you and submit for consideration to be included in the project.
Or share with me as a comment, your favorite stereotypes, myths, or honest questions about life on this small but mighty Arabian Peninsula.