I’ll admit right from the start that I have sentimental attachment to Busamra Park. It was the first park I discovered in Doha. It is also the park that sparked one of the largest fights my husband and I have ever had.
If you look at the right place at the right time, the peak of a red slide is just barely visible from D-Ring Road. In fact, I drove D-Ring Road four times a day for weeks before noticing the red. Doing what my truck-driving father taught me to do, I checked out a map. Sure enough, in the general vicinity of where I’d seen the slide, a park was indicated by a tiny palm tree. It looked easy enough to find. Since it was so close to us I suggested we make a family outing one evening. When my husband asked for the directions, I chirpily replied, “It’s visible from the main road; how hard can it be?” (Please, excuse my naivety; it was a few years ago. I was still in early days, thinking my learned and innate directional abilities were transferable to Qatar.) We packed the children in the car and drove around the neighborhood for forever and ten minutes more; we couldn’t find the park. Finding parks in Qatar is like that, if you don’t know the precise road to take, you may well loop around it forever. My husband was not amused. When the sun went down, we gave up. Never again should a marriage be jeopardised by the innocuous seeking of outdoor spaces in the city.
Busamra opened in 1985 for the residents of the area but everyone is welcome. Officially, it is only open in the afternoon but you can walk or run, if you please, through the open gate from morning to night. The entrance is located across from the worn, yet colourful, Al Sama Ladies Tailor. A wooden post tunnel leads visitors to the playground which specializes in climbing and slides; one is especially for the 0-3 age group. The playground is not shaded but much of the park is, including some benches. Busamra refreshes with a light and airy touch that begins with the green, iron gate at the entrance and continues through to the large palm trees and curvaceous paths that are plentiful enough for a jolly jaunt with a friend.
A sister park for women only is located a block away, making the number of male visitors to this park slightly higher than at other parks.