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Photographer's Note

No, I am not in Mogadishu taking photographs of the local militia at night - I am in Doha, the capital of Qatar, where it seems almost as wild tonight.

It is Thursday night (equivalent to Saturday night in the West) and the young Qataris are out in force on the Corniche (the boulevard along the bay) celebrating the opening tomorrow of the first Asian Games to be held on the Arabian Peninsula.

They are driving up and down the Corniche blowing horns, waving flags, screeching tyres and revving the engines of their top-of-the-range four wheel drives to a screaming pitch Ė and making them backfire. Iím not sure how they do that, but it canít be doing their engines any good, and it sounds like there are gunshots going off all over the place (so I suppose you could say itís a Mogadishu atmosphere).

Young wealthy Arabs in Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Mustangs are racing up and down the main roads making as much noise as they can with their modified mufflers, and along the Corniche there are dozens of young men in Toyota Landcruisers (they all look brand new) hanging out of windows, and sitting on the roof (some chatting away on their mobile phones) as they drive down the road (if you donít believe the bit about them sitting on the roof Ė have a look at the photo I have posted to the Workshop).

Thereís not a cop to be seen anywhere (they seem to be busy escorting all the motorcades of the VIPs arriving for the Asian Games). I was once chastised by a Qatari for saying in a photo caption on one of my earlier photo websites that Doha was the most boring place in the world Ė but it sure ainít boring tonight!

PS: No, this vehicle was not parked. It was driving down the road like this with the guy sitting on the front windscreen. It wasnít going very fast at this point, having slowed down for a roundabout Ė but it took off at great speed on the other side of the roundabout with the guy still clinging to the front.

Flavia, jaywalker, jhm, capthaddock, plimrn, SchwebagMike, axiotea, Ramy, woozbman has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by David Astley (banyanman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 108 N: 2568] (7789)
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