Thursday, December 23, 2010

Qatar Doha: WISE Summit

My second trip to Doha, this time for a summit on Education. This picture sums up my feelings about these gulf states. It's an uneasy clash between the modern and medieval worlds. A seventh century theological mindset in a 20th century oil-created state. No matter how sophisticated the image, the photographer is not free to be seen. To be fair there seems to be a genuine attempt at modernity, with Al Jazeera, a well-planned capital and successful World Cup bid. Qatar does seem to be trying to create an outward looking state, participating in the wider world. In this case, with the WISE summit, they are generous, sophisticated and participative.

Limousine from the airport to the 'W' hotel, which tries hard to be a celebrity come boutique sort of place, but falls between tacky and wacky. Rooms were nice though, and I was told I had Zinadine Zidane's suite on the 15th floor.

I've blogged at length on the summit itself on PlanB, needless to say, it was sunny, but as I was in largely in hotels, cars, restaurants and bars, not much to report on the travel front.

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