I love it here in Doha. Students from the region are always very surprised, but I always give 3 reasons: the family-focus of the culture, the small-community in Education City, and the weather*.
So if I love Doha and the region so much, why I am going to the States for my Spring Break? My fiance is my best reason. But to me, study abroad is not really about learning about Qatar. By living apart from my home country, most of my friends and all of my family, I am learning about how they effect my perception of the world. It’s not just my assumptions about gender, class and work–it is how I view God and McDonalds. Here, I feel challenged every day to account for my assumptions.
And when I go home, to one of my many homes, I think I will keep questioning everything what I see and why I feel the way I do.
And then I will come back to Doha, the newest of my homes, and once again, so how I am different.
Study abroad allows me to see my home differently–I guess I want to see how different it is before I come home for good.
*I am usually told to hold my appreciation of the weather until I’ve been here in June (which is “hellishly hot” according to one of my, Egyptian, teachers).
“A modern democracy is a tyranny whose borders are undefined; one discovers how far one can go only by traveling in a straight line until one is stopped.”