Through These Doors

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Through These Doors, a set on Flickr.

A photographic essay of the vanishing mud-brick houses in Doha, Qatar

The corner of Malik Bin Anas and Sheraouh in Doha’s al-Salata district is only about ten minutes drive from the soaring skyline of West Bay.  But it might as well be a century apart. Mud-brick houses line up the streets that are better designed for pedestrians and emaciated stray cats than cars. Fashioned in Halawa-inspired architecture, with narrow corridors leading to a central courtyard, these bungalows recall the fishing and pearl diving village that thrived around Doha Bay before Qatar became an oil and gas powerhouse.

Today, these houses are home to low-wage male migrants mostly from South Asia, some of whom are also fishermen. Time and the desert sun have prematurely aged the masonry of these buildings. Uneven doors and cracked walls reinforced with patches of cement and terra cotta also betray the less than standard construction techniques. The low-pitched roofs are stacked with assortments from used tires to rusty wheelbarrows and mattresses, while clotheslines compete with satellite discs — sight that may be an eyesore to many.

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