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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Education City construction serves as microcosm of Qatar’s growing pains

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Drilling, dust and diversions. That’s what life has become for many students enrolled in universities across Education City, as Qatar Foundation constructs several new buildings and embarks on an ambitious upgrade of its infrastructure.

In a sense, EC offers a glimpse into what life will be like for all Qatar residents over the next decade as work on megaprojects like the metro system, 2022 World Cup stadia and an untold number of roadwork projects get underway.

According to William Biddle, a housing and residence life coordinator in Education City who was interviewed by the Daily Q, the work is wreaking havoc particularly on the students who live in dormitories there. 

“There is a lot of drilling and digging going on. It’s definitely affecting students’ ability to sleep, study and relax in their apartments.”

Accidents are also on the rise following the closure of Gate 2 and the ensuing heavier traffic that is being diverted behind Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, the publication states.

When asked about the problems, officials acknowledged the pain felt by university-goers, but echoed an oft-repeated sentiment:

“It’s very disruptive but it’s also very essential,” Kevin Murray, a health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) directorate at Qatar Foundation, told the Daily Q.

Qatar’s Emir also appealed for an understanding of the greater good in last year’s address to the Advisory Council, saying:

“It is not possible to build Qatar society, economy and institutions without this population growth, which include expertise, jobs, workers, services etc. This is normal. While it was difficult to develop services in the same pace of the exceptional population increase, we have done a lot. However, the quality of services must be raised and its range extended.”

So, in essence: no pain, no gain.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Syed Owais Ali

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