Name: Rana Jubara.
Where are you from? Both countries of The Sudan.
Why did you move to Qatar? My parents moved here in the early 80s.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since birth.
What are you passionate about? I have a passion and enthusiasm for design and technology but my bigger passion is to travel. My life is so damned busy and knotty between work and family commitments, so I love to squeeze a trip somewhere in there not only to visit beautiful places around the world, but also to create a memory out of it that I myself can treasure forever.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since you moved to Qatar? To follow my gut 90% of the time but to always remember what my mother taught me. She is more experienced than my gut.
Why do you want to be part of this project? It is a very cool project. I’ve been seeing posts of similar pages like People of New York that clearly show that everyone has a story, So I’m sharing mine here, maybe someone can relate to it.
Name: Leila Natsheh.
Where are you from? I was born in Budapest, Hungary, but consider Szombathely home.
Why did you move to Qatar? My father came back to Qatar to work, after he went to Hungary for college, and I came here with him and my mother.
How long have you been in Qatar? We came for a visit in April 1993, then we moved here in January 1995.
What are you passionate about? I love to observe everything around me, whether it's people or nature. I love to see people playing with their children at the park, or just staring at the leaves that move nicely with the breeze. So a part of observing for me is documentation. I photograph, and sometimes also scribble also random things. When I am in Hungary, I try to bike everywhere I go - it is probably my favourite outdoor hobby.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? This question came at the right time. The biggest life lesson I recently experienced, is that anything –and when I say anything, I mean ANYTHING– is possible, with patience, determination, and a lot of prayer. God always knows what is best for you at the right time, place and state of mind.
Why do you want to be part of this project? I want be a part of this project to show that diversity is great, and to show how mixing cultures –which is what many are scared of in Qatar– can turn into very happy and blissful results. I am half Palestinian, half Hungarian, and now happily married to a Pakistani Canadian.
Name: Susana Fabre.
Where are you from? Mexico City, Mexico.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since August 2014.
Why did you move to Qatar? My husband found a job here.
What are you passionate about? I love all forms of human artistic creation (handcrafts, art, design, architecture, etc) and I especially like the way they 'translate' into completely different ways of expression and definition, depending on their cultural background. I believe that through them we are allowed to get a glimpse of the best of all of us.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learned since moving to Qatar? I believe that being faced with so many different cultural groups without having one in particular as the unquestionable dominant one is a test for all of us. We all have to accept and try to understand even the greatest of cultural differences. This either drives you to total intolerance and isolation into your own group or pushes you into learning from and accepting things you didn't know existed. In that sense I think Qatar offers a unique opportunity for cultural exchange to the ones willing to take it.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? So many nationalities coexist here. Many people come only for short periods of time and the city sometimes feels like one big airport. I think projects like this are great tools for creating a very lacking sense of community and the pursuit of the common good.
Name: Gustavo Tesolín.
Where are you from? I was born in a small city in Argentina called Junín. Then, at 18, I moved to Buenos Aires.
How long have you been in Qatar? I have been here since March 2015 .
Why did you move to Qatar? I moved to Qatar with my wife. She was assigned to work here; so, together, we're starting a new stage of our lives.
What are you passionate about? My whole life, I have been passionate about music (I used to play transverse flute) and photography.
I recently discovered a passion for scuba diving. The feeling of freedom and the beauty of the underwater world is amazing.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learned since moving to Qatar? To be honest, I haven't felt I've learnt a big life lesson yet, but so far, I have realised beyond any experience I had in previous leisure travels, that people have many differences, experiences, histories in their lives and it's enriching to open our minds through listening to what everybody has to say.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? I feel like being a part of this project will show others that no matter where you come from all of us have many similarities. All of us are equals.
Name: Tomas Kocourek.
Where are you from? Prague, Czech Republic.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since September 2015.
Why did you move to Qatar? During my bachelor studies in Politics and International Relations back in Czech Republic, Istarted to focus on the Middle East - I adjusted my essays towards this region. I started by reading daily news about the region and gradually I decided to write my bachelor thesis about some issue of contemporary Middle Eastern politics. In the end, I decided to write about patron-client relationship between Qatar and the US which (to a significant degree) helps Qatar to engage in more regional issues than one might expect from such a small country, with citizens numbering no more than 300,000.
During my masters', I continued my focus on the Middle East and came across a scholarship to study modern standard Arabic at Qatar university. This was a huge opportunity for me (since I studied Arabic back in Prague a little bit) to increase my level of learning Arabic as it would allow me to understand regional dynamics better. I would no longer have to rely on foreign media and translations, but instead, I could talk with people directly about any issue I'dchoose to cover. In the end, I was granted the scholarship and now I'm here studying language and discovering more about this country.
What are you passionate about? Since leaving high school, I've been passionate about discovering the world; meeting new people, talking about their lives and comparing differences with my life back in central Europe; studying new languages; working in non-governmental organisations that engage in developing countries and elsewhere. This is why I travel and try to see as much of the world as I can. Travelling will help me later in my professional life as I hope to be working with people from different backgrounds and cultures and so I will not be surprised that people are different and they solve problems differently. I believe, as a result, I will be more professional than my colleagues who might lack this experience.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learned since moving to Qatar? I would say, that it's the realisation of how different people are as this is my first long-term stay outside my country and in Middle East specifically. There are different approaches to life, different customs, different values, different patterns of behaviour and a lot more.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? I love the idea! To show that Qatar is (from sometimes obvious, sometimes unclear reasons) voluntarily missing out on the opportunity of being a meeting point of cultures.
Name: Andrea Gutierrez.
Where are you from? I was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico. I was raised mostly in Mexico and Singapore with a few stops in between. I'm a third culture kid.
How long have you been in Qatar? I relocated to Qatar September 2012.
Why did you move to Qatar? I moved to Qatar for work opportunities; it's given me a great platform for career advancement.
What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about travelling and exploring the world. I love backpacking and seeing how other people live.
What's the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? The biggest life lesson I've learned while living in Qatar has been developing more patience. I've lived in 6 countries so far and Qatar is the youngest of those. It's easy to forget that, but it's been interesting to see its development and ambition and how far it's come.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? I wanted to be part of this project as I'm fascinated by cosmopolitan cities and how we all come together to live in one place.
Name: Rachel Woon.
Where are you from? Singapore, Republic of Singapore.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since March 2015.
Why did you move to Qatar? I had an opportunity to come here to develop a new area of health care for children.
I only started to find out about the country after accepting the job, which was a very risky thing to do. However, I wanted a challenge - I wanted to see if I could use my life skills to survive and thrive in a new environment and I was very glad I took the leap of faith. This city has tested a lot of my courage, patience, but it's also challenged me to build my social circle from scratch, made me a stronger person to do things I would never have tried at home and learn from mistakes, be smarter, be brave and keep pushing on. It only gets better.
What are you passionate about? Food. I live to eat and am all about tasting food from different cultures.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt? I've learn a few critical ones:
To collect experiences, not things. Enjoying people, not material things. Learning to live in the present, create experiences, use your phone less to talk. Instead, use it more to facilitate face to face experiences.
Be present. Enjoy life for what it brings now because things change, people leave, new people come into our lives, and that is the beauty and tragedy of living in a place like this. The only way to get the most of it, is to enjoy your friends, appreciate your family at home and make the best of whatever environment you are in.
Be kind. Say thank you.
Why do I want to part of this project? There are about 400 Singaporeans in Qatar and I wanted to represent our island nation and show we are part of the social fabric of this country.
Name: Shagufta Abdullah (aka Shagy Abdullah).
Where are you from? Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since June 2012.
Why did you move to Qatar? To be with my dad.
What are you passionate about? Many things; family, friends, food travel, experiencing new things. In fact, life itself and my religion.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learned since moving to Qatar? Family and good friendship matters the most and one should not get too attached to things & places.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? I wanted to represent the face of a Pakistani living in Qatar. Plus, I think it is a really cool project and we are getting to learn so much about people coming from different parts of the world where we are all so unique but we still have so much in common.
Name: Tereza Vlasatíková.
Where are you from? I am from a small town near the mountains, Hořice v Podkrkonoší in the Czech Republic.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since August 2010.
Why did you move to Qatar? To follow my husband in his job opportunity.
What are you passionate about? I love cooking, baking and caring about my dear ones. In my free time, I am an addicted cross stitcher, beginner in sewing and I love all kinds of arts and crafts. Animals are also a big part of my life here in Doha.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learned since moving to Qatar? Being so far from home and family, you have to face so many challenges. I wouldn't change anything. I have no regrets. I am grateful for every new situation. It also surprised me, how kind people are down here.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? It is interesting to know with how many nations I share one country with. The Czech republic cannot be missed!
Name: Kusum Manglani-Bhatia.
Where are you from? Bombay, India.
How long have you been in Qatar? I came here in December of 2004.
Why did you move to Qatar? My husband manages his family business, Qatar branch. We moved here when it started.
What are you passionate about? Creativity in all its forms: Art, décor, music, writing and poetry.
The creator and the creation fascinate me.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt? In the recent past, I've learned that no matter what, life goes on and (unfortunately) I've learned that cancer does not just affect one person, it affects the whole family.
Why do you want to be part of this project? I love being in Qatar because of the diverse population. Being a part of a project that portrays this diversity is a pleasure.
Name: Corinne Anderson.
Where are you from? I'm from the United States of America. I grew up on a farm in the small town of Carthage, Missouri. When I was 18 I moved to Portland, Oregon for 6 years and then moved to Boston, Massachusetts for 2 years before moving to Qatar.
How long have you been in Qatar? I moved in October 2013, just after I had finished my master's degree in the US.
Why did you move to Qatar? I chose to move to Qatar to capitalise on the professional opportunities in my field. The librarian profession in Qatar is really in its infancy at this point and there is great opportunity for expats to come here, work with Qatar-born citizens and foster an apprenticeship type relationship with those interested in this career. Its important for me to feel challenged in areas of my life and uprooting my life in the USA to move to a culture quite foreign from my own was something I wanted to experience, in hopes it would make me a more understanding and aware individual. I also chose to move here to be closer to my family that has also relocated here.
What are you passionate about? In my professional realm, I'm really passionate about literacy and promoting reading for fun. When I lived in Portland, I was involved in a fantastic volunteer program that visited classrooms with low literacy rates once a month and delivered books for lending to promote literacy. It was the greatest feeling to see how excited these kids would get when I showed up to their classroom, just the hugest smiles.
Personally, travel has definitely become a passion since moving here. Qatar is the perfect jumping off location for more travel.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? Gratitude. This is not to say I didn't feel grateful before moving here, but I do feel that since moving here I have been able to greater appreciate the fortunate circumstances of my life.
Why do you want to be part of this project? I was attracted to this project because I think it's important to expose the individuals that make up a particular environment, especially one as diverse as Qatar. It's easy to forget that images constantly reinforced by the news and media do not necessarily reflect the people that make up a community. I hope this project will facilitate breaking down some of the walls that unnecessarily exist within Qatar and also help shape how the rest of the world views Qatar.
Name: Noor Saleh Gharib.
Where are you from? Um Garn, Qatar.
What are you passionate about? I would say details in everything. I just enjoy the beauty of details.
Art, in all it forms. I strongly believe that art makes this world a better place. I don't mind staring at a piece of art for hours, or spend the whole day at an art museum!
I like racing as well! I've tried karting once and since then I realised how much I love speed.
Music! Especially eastern music. I'm taking some oud lessons now.
As a Qatari citizen, do you feel the diverse ethnic mix migrating to Qatar adds to Qatar's identity? Absolutely and I love it, it's allows us to understand and accept other cultures, it's nice. In fact I believe it does improve the Qatari identity.
Qatar's identity is not perfect. We have many things wrong in our culture, so why don't we look to other cultures and learn from them? Why are people afraid to mix with other cultures? I'm not saying we forget our Qatar identity. We should preserve it, but take what's good from the other cultures and the things we do not like, we leave.
Accepting others and their different ways of life, will, in the end, make us better people. We should not have the mentality of, "we're perfect and we do not want anyone to add or take away from our identity."
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt? Never give up! I've learnt to never underestimate the things I can achieve as an individual; even when it seems like I can't do something, I need to push through and have faith that I can.
Why do you want to be part of this project? I just loved the idea, I loved how all the people participated in the project looked so different yet so beautiful! It's just makes me happy to see people from different parts of the world enjoying Qatar the way I do.
Name: Nora Abdul Manaf.
Where are you from? Singapore - a country which is a melting pot of different races. And this is how I came to be. A diverse mix of Japanese and Pakistani (maternal grandparents) and Sumatran (Indonesia) and Chinese (paternal grandparents) heritage. But being raised by my grandmother, my mother tongue is the Malay language. Most of the time back home, we speak a combination of English and Singlish (colloquial Singaporean English).
How long have you been in Qatar? I have been here a little over 2 months. I arrived on Thursday, 24th November 2016. Thanks giving day. A pretty symbolic day to start my adventure in a foreign land. I am always always thankful.
Why did you move to Qatar? I was offered a job doing something I enjoy – baking. It’s truly a blessing. My first job after school was in a bank – HSBC. But I found it quite stifling as there were no avenues for creative expression. Then I worked in the advertising and promotion department of IKEA for a month shy of six years. But it must be something in the Malay blood in me to want to feed people. In the culture I grew up with, we have a tendency to feed people when someone gets married, someone dies – any reason. You feed the people you love. A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – so the saying goes. This reason coupled with a sense of curiosity. This is delicious. How is it done? What are the ingredients?
I have never gone to any culinary school. I learned through experience. This is why I believe I have to work harder than those who have formal training in this profession.
Initially, I wanted to start a Halal café in Singapore. At that point in time, there were not a lot of Halal cafés serving Western food. But along the way, I discovered that I just want to be happy, live a life without too much stress or worry. So this is why I moved to Qatar. To be happy, working in a Halal café.
What are you passionate about? With all that has been said, one might have thought that it would be baking. This is only a fraction of what I’m passionate about. There is just so much more to life than this. I’m passionate about travelling, exploring different cultures. Not only meeting people and making new friends but really getting to know them and building relationships. I am caring and this helps in my career when I put a face to say, a particular dessert that I’m baking and I know that it’s so and so’s favourite. It’s not a secret, but the most important ingredient to any food is love. I also gravitate to collecting kitchenware and tableware that attracts my eye. Be it an acacia wood cheese board, a Japanese ceramic serving bowl or a tea towel. I tend to splurge on these whenever I travel. The funny thing is that it might not originate from the country I buy it from. For example, I bought a wooden and brass cake spade from a shop in London but it’s made in India.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? Good intentions lead to positive results.
Why do you want to be part of this project? At first it was to be brave and raise my self confidence in having my picture taken. I have always been camera shy. But after learning more about this project, it is really about having a greater appreciation in the community I now call my home.
Name: Seyda. It's a Turkish name so the 'S' is pronounced "Sh". My name is therefore pronounced "Shai-da".
Where are you from? I am half Turkish, half Scottish, but born and raised in Qatar, Doha.
How long have you been in Qatar? I was born and raised up until the age of 10, when I moved to Bahrain. I then moved to Singapore and then Dubai. When I turned 15, I came back to Qatar.
Why did you move to Qatar? I was born here.
What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about the piano and music, even though I was never able to learn it. I love art in all forms, especially literature.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since coming to Qatar? Well, as I grew up here, I really experienced how those less fortunate are being treated around the world as a whole, and with the luxuries provided to us as an expatriate society, we kind of neglect these people because we think all that matters is that we have all that we need. So a life lesson I've come across with living here is money can't buy happiness. Not for everyone.
Why do you want to be part of this project? It's the first project I've come across that really acknowledges the significance of people and how special we all are individually and how we make up the world as it is today with our beautiful backgrounds. This project is a chance for us to really embrace that and come together.
Name: Ashwin Dhungel.
Where are you from? I am from Nuwakot, Nepal, which has the tallest mountain in the world and many different cultural and natural heritages.
How long have you been in Qatar? I have been here for more than a year now. I moved to Qatar in March, 2016.
Why did you move to Qatar? I moved here from Dubai for better opportunities. Everybody has the opportunity to improve themselves. In 2016, after working for more than three years in Dubai, I got a big opportunity for a better life in Doha. That's why I am here.
What are you passionate about? Of course coffee. Coffee is my freedom. Coffee is my life. I feel so good when I am working as a barista. Espresso machine, grinder, temper - I love to be around all of these.
A good cup of coffee doesn't happen without a passionate barista. That's what I believe.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? I have learnt so many things and I am still learning. Perhaps life here has taught me and continues to remind me how independent I can be and the importance of finding some time just for myself. I also learnt to relax and "go with the flow"; not to hurry and to appreciate the little things in life.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? Because I want people to know that everyone is similar on the inside and that we should turn the walls that separate us, into bridges, to open up new opportunities for us all and to make our lives better overall.
Name: Serkut Akdeniz.
Where are you from? Bursa, Turkey.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since April 2006.
Why did you move to Qatar? To build a better future for my family.
What are you passionate about? My family, sea, all kind of water sports, underwater photography, discovering the world and different cultures.
What would you says the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? The importance of civilization - a real civilization. Also, your friends can be your family while you are away from your real family, even if they are from different countries.
Why do you want to be a part of this project? I feel myself as part of the cultural mosaic of Qatar and want to represent my country Turkey.
Name: Nisan Akdeniz.
Where are you from? Bursa, Turkey.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since September 2010.
Why did you move to Qatar? My family works in Qatar.
What are you passionate about? I am passionate about playing piano, swimming and dancing. I want to play with my friends in the garden all day.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? The importance of learning with several different nationalities and cultures. I am happy being in a multi-cultural environment at this early age. I believe it will add great value to me in the future.
Why do you want to be part of this project? When I grow up to see a beautiful project that I'm a part of.
Name: Panita Chanachote.
Where are you from? Bangkok, Thailand - a land of smiles.
How long have you been in Qatar? Actually, this is my second time in Doha. The first time was from 2004 to 2007. It was my first time to leave my country and work aboard, in the international hotel. After that, I was moving a lot: first to Bahrain, back to Thailand, France, Dubai and now here again to Doha
Why did you move to Qatar? My first experience in Qatar was so nice. It is multi-cultural, beautiful, Arabian scene. People are more calm and relax compared to Bahrain or Dubai; more or less like Bangkok. So, when I got a second chance to move back, I jumped at it.
What are you passionate about? Smartphones, mobile phones and new technologies. The first time I left my country, I spent a lot of money calling my home town, so instead I chose to send written letters to my mom and dad.
Time has passed by and new technologies have been created. We have a new and fast way to communicate with our loved ones. The mobile phone brings so much convenience to my daily life: watching Thai news, movies, listening to music, playing games, seeing the weather forecast and FaceTimeing with my family.
I wonder what will be the next thing in the smartphone world.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? I have learnt to respect everyone. People are different. Every culture has its own beauty. I am adding some new words to my dictionary like "alhamdulillah" and "insha allah"
Why do you want to be part of this project? Knowing that there are so many nationalities living and working here in Qatar and everyone respects each other is great. I am so proud to be adding Thailand to this great project.
Name: Kiều-Anh Phạm (sometimes Pikachu).
Where are you from? Hai Phong, Vietnam.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since 8th September, 2014.
Why did you move to Qatar? I came here for a better job and to do what I like to do. When I was 19, I dropped out of school twice and went to work in a bar, instead of studying. My parents were pretty patient with me because they thought I went back to university and they didn't know I worked at a bar. I was not brave enough to tell them the truth. It was only when I moved to Qatar, the fact that I work in the F&B industry could sound like a real career for them and I can proudly tell them where I work.
What are you passionate about? My work, salsa and fighting against my laziness. For me, no matter what happens in my life, dancing salsa always eases my mind. The interactions with the dancing partner, the music, the breathing and the movement make me forget everything and just live in that moment.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? Never assume anything. I've heard a lot of different stereotypes about Indians, Egyptians, Qataris, Saudis, Filipinos and the British, but everyone has their own character and lives their life differently. I've seen beautiful classy Arab ladies who cannot stop playing Pokemon Go. They go around to catch Pokemon in her high heels. I have also met an amazing Qatari salsa dancer, who drives very carefully.
Why do you want to be part of this project? To prove to myself that there might be many nationalities in Qatar, but somehow, at some point, we are all the same. So I can tell myself home is where good friends are. I am not alone here.
Name: Mirna Busatlic Zeljkovic.
Where are you from? I was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and grew up in Belgrade, Serbia. So I love to say that I'm a child of two cities.
How long have you been in Qatar? Since April, 2016.
Why did you move to Qatar? My husband got a job - that was a first reason - but also because there are great opportunities here for me too.
What are you passionate about? I am very passionate about a few things. People and socialising - human psychology, behaviour, emotions, everything part of human nature - is definitely one of the first things.
Art: it is a form of living or a way of interpreting something. I am also very passionate about travelling and learning. Knowledge is key.
What would you say is the biggest life lesson you have learnt since moving to Qatar? Uh, so many things I learned and I'm still learning. Perhaps life here has taught me and continues to remind me how independent I can be and how important it is to find some time just for myself. I also learned to relax and "go with a flow", with no hurry and to appreciate the little things in life.
Why do you want to be part of this project? Telling a story about one city through photography for me is definitely a form of art and learning, so for me it was mandatory to part of it.