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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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Born this way

Nabil Al Nashar

Born: August 1, 1990

Profession: Radio presenter on QF Radio English and Arabic

Nationality: Egyptian

In Qatar since: 1995

Annual residence permit renewal: February

Earliest Qatar Memory: It’s got to be looking outside the car’s window during the sunrise. I must’ve been no more than 5. My family was driving my sister and me to spend the day with my grandfather at the Sheraton. The sun had that specific golden glare in it that was reflecting off of everything, making even the least noticeable objects that you would dismiss even when directly in your line vision, look so magical as if they came from some Asgardian realm. But the most glorious looking of them all was the Doha skyline. It was nowhere near as complete, high or staggeringly futuristic as it is today. But to my child eyes it looked mighty from that angle with that light.

Those other places: Lack of hospitality and certain mannerisms. That’s the one thing I instantly notice anywhere else I go.  And it’s not particularly something you get from the Qataris but you get it mostly from the Southeast Asian population that works within most of the service sectors.
In Qatar the people really try to make you feel at home. It’s not what they do for you as much as it’s how they do it It isn’t about smiling and saying: “Have a wonderful day”. It’s a lot more than that.

The thing I’d missed most about Qatar: After my friends and family, it is definitely my car and the general streets of Doha. It’s the fact that I have confidence in saying things like: “This is my town” or “I know the streets of this town like the back of my hands” that gives me some kind of solace and reassurance that I do and do NOT belong here at the same time.

What must change here, now: I don’t want the continuous fear of the future that I might not be here if for some reason my visa expires. I don’t want to be a Qatari either because I’m not. There are so many third culture kids like myself, who grew up in this town, yet we don’t have that security.

What do you wish would never changed: Karak at Corniche. I can’t lose that place.

Home is… the place of firsts, I always thought. It’s your first kiss, first love, first time driving a car, first time learning a bad word and go tell your friends about it because you thought it made you look cool. That’s what it’s all about.

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