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Monday, March 8, 2021

Qatar desert ‘the graveyard of young men,’ resident says

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There is no graffiti in Doha, but in the dunes Qatari youths have created a culture for themselves away from the home, mosque, school and shopping mall.

Geir O’Rourke, an Australian expat whose family lives in Qatar, in an article for The Nose titled, “The Graveyard of Young Men.”

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O’Rourke, who visited his parents in Doha over winter break, spent some time in the desert with young Qatari men to try to understand extreme dune bashing, a popular but dangerous pastime here.

His conclusion: In a respectable land once deemed “the most boring place on Earth” by Lonely Planet, dune bashing is an escape, a rebellion and, for some men, a return to their roots:

Amro and his friends insist that there is nothing the cops can do to stop them. “What are they going to do?” Ali, a former stunt driver, told me, “there are undercover police here, but we’ve got over 500 outlaws, are they going to arrest all of us?”

…What is most striking about these “outlaws” is that their rebelliousness is so often expressed as an attempt to return to their Bedouin roots. Street racing and games of chicken may be easy to sneer at as merely the expressions of men living in perpetual adolescence but this is a land where newspaper editors must be approved by the Minister of Culture and poets can be jailed.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by fazfarahh

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