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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Qatar Saluqi Dogs

These past few weeks I've been looking high and low for information online about Qatar. I prefer first-hand information, or blog-style writing as opposed to governmental/tourism/slick marketing hoopla. My search so far hasn't lead to any solid information that I wanted.

That being said, I've found a number of blogs about American expats in Doha, but most chronicle the daily lives of young American couples and their newborn babies. While the babies are cute, those blogs look more to be a way to keep in touch with the grandparents back home, rather than explain and share information about Qatar. The blogs do not offer an informative look at Qatar history, government/politics, or traditional/modern culture. On a side note, these American expat blogs lead me to believe that there is a large amount of expats from Houston, Texas. Yea! In fact, they there is such a growing relationship between Houston and Doha that there will soon be more direct flights provided by Qatar Airways.....

Having found very little online information, I finally went to the local university library and searched for actual books on "Qatar," but also found little. Here's what I did find: four books, two published in 1973 and the other two published in the 1990s and one in 2007 on trade (boring). One book, titled "Bedouins of Qatar" by Klaus Ferdinand is a pictorial of traditional Bedouin life in Qatar. Many of the photos were taken from the 1950s by the Danish photographer Jette Bang. I know that life has changed rapidly for the majority of Qatari people since then, but I always like to know the history of a people before I visit (move) there. After all, certain things like traditional values do not change quickly, if ever.

After spending three years in Korea, where the majority of locals treat animals (some eating dogs and cats) quite differently than the way most western people do, I was very relieved to see many photos in the book of Bedouins caring for and living side by side with saluqi dogs perhaps the origin of the Southern Illinois mascots The Salukis. After seeing the connection that the locals had with their dogs, I felt even better about moving to the region. It is my belief that if a culture treats their (domesticated) animals with simple kindness, rather than cruelty, then they are inherently good people.

I will try and post more about Qatar background facts soon. I seem to have sidetracked on the dogs! They are beautiful though, aren't they?