The Alternative Tour of Qatar is a Community Based Research Project to create a product that aims to add perspective to the social, economic and cultural developments of Doha city within the past years. Conventional tour of Doha are one-dimensional – highlighting the recent developments (Souq Waqif, Museum of Islamic Art, the West Bay and other infrastructural projects) without taking the diverse multicultural fabrics that are interwoven to form Doha. In addition, the project aims at bridging the generation gap and involving representatives of older generations to interact and share experiences with younger citizens and residents of Qatar. In addition, this project aims to initiate conversations and speak of the history of Qatari citizens and expatriates in the building of modern Qatar.
Additionally, the aim of the project is to identify a database of community assets (Qatari and Non-Qatari) that can talk about their experiences in the ever-evolving Doha city. Through the tour, we will be focusing on history, town planning, migration, culture, identity, language, architecture and other themes.
Interested students will form a focus group and will lay down the schedule for a 4-6 hours long city tour. They will attend seven planning meetings throughout the year and will be tasked with building the database of potential speakers. The project will end with the building of a “tour script” and the delivery of the tour to guests at Georgetown.
The activities of this focus group will consist of field-visits and skills-development and should be an exciting learning experience for participating students and staff. By the end of the years’ activities, it is hoped that the students would learn basic social research techniques, oral history and listening skills, interviewing skills amongst others, and develop cross-cultural perspectives of the many identities, cultures and social stratifications that constitute their home – Doha.