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Abstract

The presentation will explore the historical development of Doha and Qatar through historical sources, archaeological excavations and ethnographic research (oral histories), through the work of the QNRF-funded Origins of Doha and Qatar project (NPRP 5-421-6-010). The historical perspective will encompass Qatar's involvement in 19th-20th century globalization, when Doha and other Qatari and Gulf towns were drawn ever more closely into international networks. We will demonstrate how the appearance, expansion and florescence of Doha was partly the result of international developments, but was locally and strongly rooted in the booming pearling industry, and the dedication and hard work of the Qatari people. It will show how historic Qatar's society and urban life was rooted in tradition but also outward looking and cosmopolitan, as today. The archaeological aspect will explore the results of joint excavations conducted by Qatar Museums and UCL Qatar in central Doha. The well-preserved buildings and material remains revealed in the excavation testify to the everyday lives of its people. We are able to relate them to the living experiences and memories of Qataris today. The data from the excavations runs from the foundation of Doha in this area up to the period of rapid transition as oil revenues began to make their impact. The ethnographic aspect explores how the historical memories of living Qataris have contributed to their identity, rootedness and their common experience of life in Doha. Oral histories are being gathered by a team of young Qataris who are keen to uncover how their families both shaped and were shaped by Doha, particularly with regard to traditional life in the town and the transition to its vibrant modern form. By referencing the past and drawing out the strands of continuity with the present, this work is creating contemporary cultural value. We consider that Doha's past can be embedded in modern consciousness through museums, online resources and ongoing dialogue with the past through its history, the evolution of its physical fabric and most importantly the experiences of its people. The presentation will specifically relate to Grand Challenge 8 (Holistic and Systematic Assessment of the Rapidly Changing Environment), particularly: &8a: Impact of rapid globalization, economic growth, and wealth on Qatar's national identity, history, customs, religion, education, employment, and adaptive capabilities. &8b: Role of behaviour and culture at multiple societal levels (e.g. individual, family, institutional, national) in change management in the Qatari context. &8e: Ensure that Qatar's rapid development brings cultural value. The aims of Grand Challenge 9 are also relevant (Transition to a Diversified, Knowledge-based society), in that the project provides the resources necessary to build a knowledge-based society.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2014.SSPP0749
2014-11-18
2020-09-26
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http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/papers/10.5339/qfarc.2014.SSPP0749
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