Showing posts from September, 2010

The Curse of Mundane Uniformity posing as Sophistication

You know the history. Some sixth sense had told me that the unique mural and decor of Doha Ramada Library Bar might be under threat in the name of Ramadan refurbishment. To preserve its memory for posterity, I photographed and blogged it. A couple of nights ago, I went to check for myself. My worst fears have been realised. The Library has not yet re-opened for service but the door was unlocked so I stepped inside. The end wall that featured God, Adam, cave-dwellers, the Sphinx and the Pyramids is no more. It has been knocked into the adjoining suite to make space for a larger toilet. The long wall and corner that traced the history of the written word from ancient Rome to the Information Age are entirely obscured by a new plain surface. Even the book-backed bar stools are gone and as for the creeping painted vines that festooned the ceiling, well you know the rest. Brown and beige, beige and brown - who gives a toss for art or originality? Patently not the Ramada management.

The Burj Paranormal - Spot the Difference?

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? - Matthew 7:9 According to my Feedjit gadget, yesterday, a visitor from Brunei arrived from on "The Paranormal Hotel" by searching for "burj khalifa". Well done Google! The guy's looking for the World's tallest building and you send him to Dubai's lowest dive. Just as well it's all virtual, or he'd have been very disappointed. Or maybe not...

Qatar News Agency bites the dust.

all things... must have an end... Recognise this building? Qatar News Agency and the several fairly new apartment blocks behind it are just the latest victims of the city-wide orgy of destruction from which the new Doha will rise, Phoenix like, to delight the privileged few who will be able to enjoy it. It's arguable that city reconstruction on this scale has not been seen since Napoleon's Paris. But most of what Napoleon cleared away would probably have fallen down of its own accord, left to its own devices. You can't say the same of these apartments (below). Even the little substation looks fresh out of the box. One can only guess how many smaller dreams, plans and ambitions were dashed by the round of eviction orders that preceded the onslaught. Uncounted small sacrifices for the greater good, perhaps. ...must unto dust be brought