On a recent trip to Qatar’s west coast, Doha News reader Alyssa Palmquist captured several powerful images, some of which appear to show the country’s past frozen in time.
After several visits to Richard Serra’s East-West art installation, Palmquist decided to explore the area in more detail. Her trip to Zekreet included stops at an oryx reserve, Qatar’s “Film City” – a recreation of an antique Arabic village – and an abandoned town, just past the Cuban Hospital.
“Myself and a few friends like to take our cameras out into the streets of Doha and beyond to take pictures of daily life and all wanted to make a trip out to Zekreet,” Palmquist told Doha News. “We were not disappointed.”
She said the town that she photographed is now largely uninhabited, save for a handful of residents. It’s situated next to an archeological dig site that Palmquist said likely has “many treasures yet to be uncovered including its history, who lived there, when it was abandoned and why.”
To get to the area from Doha, Palmquist recommends driving west past Education City until one sees signs for Dhukhan. If one keeps driving straight past the Cuban Hospital, the town will be on the right.
To continue onto the Zekreet Peninsula, head to the Richard Serra site and proceed along the road on the eastern end of the installation (near the mud flats) and continue until the fenced-off border of the Zekreet nature reserve. Palmquist says a 4×4 vehicle is required and recommends bringing water and food as restroom facilities are few and far between.
“Please respect the fenced-off area if it is closed. Once you enter the Zekreet nature reserve, keep an eye out for what looked like wild antelope or deer. The Oryx reserve is on your left about 10 minutes into the reserve, immediately followed by film city. When approaching film city, someone will approach you offering tea and a tour of the compound. Please provide a small tip.”
Have you visited the Zekreet peninsula? What were your impressions? Thoughts?