6˚ of Separation: Qatar in transition
In this series, residents share their experiences of Qatar and how the country has shaped them. Each interviewee recommends the next person to interview, building a network of ‘friends of friends’. By the time we get to interview number six, will we have gone full circle?
Visual artist Mohammed Ramadan, on how Qatar has changed and how it has changed him.
Qatar is my home and the place where I belong even though I am not Qatari by nationality. My father is Palestinian, so I have no homeland. I can’t see any other place where I can fit in.
Since I was born I have seen the rapid change in Qatar. The country is booming and I can feel the direction in which Qatar is heading.
Change is not just about construction. People are changing and this is becoming a more open culture. There’s been a big change in attitude, welcoming expats from all over the world and from all cultures.
When I compare myself to my eldest brother (he’s seven years older) I am part of a different generation. I have more opportunities to meet people from different cultures and to participate in various initiatives in Qatar. This has opened up my universe.
Young people today in Qatar are very ambitious. You can feel their energy. People have goals, dreams and they are working towards them. Earlier, when I would ask my friends, “where do you see yourself in five years’ time?” they had a limited vision of what they could do and where they could go.
My younger brother is 19 years old and he’s investing in the stock market. He likes to sell and invest and he thinks about business day and night.
The environment you live in plays a huge role in shaping your life. My mother is from Lebanon. If my brothers or I had grown up there our personalities would have been different.
The big impact that Qatar has had on me is that it changed me from being closed and private to a person who is social and wants to be part of everything that’s happening in Qatar.
Like any other guy my age I am in to social media. It is a powerful tool to find out what’s happening and to promote my interests and myself.
I am a photographer and photography is my hobby. I am part of Creative Commons which helps me to promote and share my work, so that I can make it open for people to use and remix.
Fashion is really important to me. I don’t just do photography. I also have a concept in mind. So I dress the model, devise their make-up and do everything else.
The feeling of sharing knowledge with people makes me so happy, it gives me an amazing satisfaction. That’s a big part of who I am. I like to share the knowledge I gain from experiences and people.
See Mohammed’s work at: www.bymoe.com
The next interview in the series will be with Mohamed’s friend Jassim Yacob Almass, a graphic designer based in Doha.