28 Dec 2017 - 11:43

Historical connections

The Peninsula

Qatar has shown a commendable level of resilience and development despite the unjust blockade imposed on the county by neighboring countries since June 5. It has also demonstrated excellent diplomatic ties as well as deep-rooted relations with the world nations. 

Today’s Doha reflects a process of adaptability and development that has been in place for hundreds of years. A pioneering effort to know the origins of Doha has recently found about the living experiences of the people in the 19th century, and how Qatar was intimately connected to global networks – international patterns of trade, economics and consumption. 

“Old Doha Rescue Excavation”, a joint project by UCL Qatar and Qatar Museums (QM), has unveiled valuable findings recently. It was supported by Qatar National Research Fund, a member of Qatar Foundation. 

The research has uncovered evidence that shows Qatar has always been globally connected and how the pearl trade – considered for centuries a luxury item in the West – led to the import of foreign goods such as ceramics from Europe and Far East.

It shows that building, buying and global expansion is not new to the people of Qatar. 

This has allowed archeologists explore the undocumented lives of the people of Doha, from the foundation of the town at the start of the 19th century, through the first impact of oil in the 1950s. 

Archeological finds such as pottery, kitchen hardware, glassware, food remains, jewellery, coins, pearl-fishing, merchant’s equipment have led to know about the people’s lives and economic existence within the urban environment.

According to archeologists and historians, over last two hundred years there have been at least four instances where the people of Doha resolved to rebuild the city from scratch. It is also important to mention that Doha’s initial development, as with many of the biggest hubs in the Gulf, was inspired by the Pearl Fishing Industry. It is believed that from the early 19th century, the Gulf provided around 80 percent of the world’s pearls, with Qatar being a foremost player in the region.

The archaeological finds from the urban excavations has also proved that Qatar’s global ties are not new and the historic Doha was well connected with the world. It has shown that Doha was well connected to the regional and international trade patterns. 

Far from being isolated, Doha was a global town as its highly vibrant people and economy were intimately integrated with the world. The resilient people of Doha have always adapted rapid changes, faced challenges courageously and owned achievements.