qatari safari


I am an American student studying abroad in Qatar for the Spring 2012 semester. Hope you enjoy reading about my adventures in Doha and beyond!

Are u a muslim?

- asked by tashasangolovesyou

No. Personally I am not religious, but I respect and appreciate all religions. It was a great experience living in a Muslim culture for a few months.

The Power of Food

Despite my study abroad trip ending over a year ago, I still occasionally post here. Today my roommates and I went to an Indian restaurant in downtown Salem. I ordered lamb kabob and it came with rice. I had one spoonful and was immediately brought back to Doha. There’s is a large Indian expat population there, so it was common for me to have food from other cultures. The rice tasted exactly the same, made with the same exact spices. I definitely got sentimental during lunch. It’s amazing how food can do that to you. 

Hi, I am supposedly a native Arabic speaker, but as I live in America I haven't had a chance to speak much Arabic so I've forgotten it all. :/ But I have been considering going to study abroad in an Arab country, and now that I've found your blog I think I may actually do it! Thanks for encouraging me. :)

- asked by htmnise

This is what I like to hear!! When I started this blog I never thought I’d get messages like this. I’m so happy that you found my blog! Keep me updated on how your study abroad journey goes :)

So I’ve been back home for about 3 months now, and starting the 2nd full week of school. I’m starting to realize how much the cultural immersion is helping me as I continue onto Intermediate Arabic. I feel a lot more confident in my Arabic. I’m more than on top of things in my Arabic class. I have been doing homework for about an hour now and I find that I’m not struggling as much I was before. I can read with a lot more ease and pronouncing words right on the first guess. 

While I was Qatar, my university approved a brand new Arabic Studies minor! I’m really excited that my school is seeing how important learning Arabic and understanding this culture is going to be in the near future. I wish I could declare it, but I would have to drop the concentration in my main major and stay probably an extra semester (I’m set to graduate Dec 2013). Looks like I’ll have to find potential minors and encourage them to declare it! 

After every storm, if you look hard enough, a rainbow appears…

Crisis = Danger, then Opportunity

This is the Chinese word for crisis. Why am I posting this? Well, like the picture shows, the two characters by themselves mean danger and opportunity. It looks like an oxymoron, but it’s not. It perfectly explains my situation.

I had put myself in danger. Almost a week later, I am not in danger anymore. I now have the opportunity to become healthy and strong again. As bad as this whole situation was, nothing but good things will come from this.

My study abroad experience was cut short due to health reasons. I never expected this to happen. I knew Doha was going to change me and make me a better person, but not like this.

It feels so weird right now. I’m back in the same hotel I was at when I first arrived in Doha. I am going back to the States in the morning. No more blog posts :(

I enjoyed my time here in Doha. I have no regrets. I really wish I could have stayed and finished the semester. I fell in love with this city, with this country, and I fully intend on coming back someday.

These are screenshots of the essays I wrote, photos I Googled, and the powerpoint I put together for my Geography of the Middle East course. This course was the catalyst in deciding where I wanted to go study abroad. My top two choices for the country project (and where to study abroad) were Qatar and the UAE.

One of my classmates, a native Qatari, asked me why I chose to study abroad in Qatar. Besides the cliche answers of, “I wanted to learn Arabic” and “I wanted to learn more about Middle East culture”, I mentioned the Middle East course I took. I told her that after I had presented my powerpoint on Qatar, I felt that I NEEDED to come here. I spent the entire semester researching and learning about Qatar; why waste all this knowledge I obtained?

It’s been about a year since I took that course. I still can’t believe that I am actually here. If you told me I’d be in Qatar this time last year, I would have laughed in your face. Looking through all of the assignments I did for that course, it amazes me that I’ve visited some of the places I mentioned. I squealed with excitement when I stood in front of or drove by some of the buildings I have looked up pictures of. Most importantly, by being here, I have a greater understanding about some of the environmental and social problems that I had written about in my essays.

This may sound a little out-there, but I truly believe that there was a reason I was given my first choice for that country project. It was fate. I was supposed to learn more about this wonderful country and actually get to live in it for a while. 

It is now May 1st. I have 45 days left. 45 more opportunities to make lifelong memories; to cherish and enjoy every moment of. 45 sunrises and sunsets. 45 more trips to the shawarma place (kidding. or am I? ;]). 45 reasons to remind myself why life is beautiful, and how lucky I am to be experiencing something most never get to experience in their lifetime. 

and so the desert heat begins!

and so the desert heat begins!

Day 1 of Hijab/Shayla week. I’m also wearing an abaya today.

Day 1 of Hijab/Shayla week. I’m also wearing an abaya today.


API Doha #studyabroad student Sarah Lopez won a photo contest at her home university of Salem State and this photo will be featured in their calendar - congratulations Sarah!


API Doha #studyabroad student Sarah Lopez won a photo contest at her home university of Salem State and this photo will be featured in their calendar - congratulations Sarah!

hope u like QU and the life in Qatar ?

- asked by basilashqar

I like very much! I can’t believe I have to leave in June!! I want to stay longer! I love Qatar :)