I left Doha Sports City just before sunset. Exit from Villaggio Mall, went to Al Aziziyah Station, which was only 100 meters from door number four of this famous shopping mall.
At the station entrance…..there was a slight conversation between me and a traveler.
“Hello, do you want to go with the metro?”, said the curly youth, white skin and a typical Arab face but a little shorter than me.
“Yes, brother,” I said briefly.
“Use this ticket!, I will go back with the bus, You can use it”, he handed me the ticket.
“Oh, No, thanks. I will buy a single journey ticket at downstair”, I politely refused because I had a wrong guess, I thought he was selling his ticket to me. I knew it was a Standard Day Pass ticket for 4 Rial.
“Brother, just take it. I don’t need more because I will use the bus”, He seemed to hurry and slipped the ticket into my right hand.
Oh my God….Turned out he gave it away for free. “Thank you very much, brother”, I briefly said.
“I’m Donny from Indonesia, what is your name, brother?”, I asked before separating.
“Said from Algeria …”, he smiled as he adjusted his green backpack and then hurriedly left me.
“Thank you, Said”, I started down the escalator to Doha Metro platform.
Pursuing the MRT, which was ready to going, a Filipino officer ordered me to entering the metro via luxurious Goldclub class wagon and then moved to the Standard class wagon behind it. Wow….. the Goldclub wagon offered a luxurious single seat like an airplane business seat, armrest seats which were separated from each other in a long line facing each other. Sitting in a standard wagon, I was taken along Gold Line to Souq Waqif Station, which was quite close to Al Ghanim Bus Station. I would take Karwa Bus number 12 to hotel.
I still remembered a message from a hotel staff from Islamabad that tonight they invited me to cook together and ate their country’s signature dish, namely Pakistani White Pulao-a rice dish mixed with chopped carrots, vegetables and beans-.
After taking a bath, it was true, they went into my room to hijack me and were taken to kitchen to join a impromptu chefs of Casper Hotel.
The fourth dawn I felt in Qatar. I was a little lazy because fatigue and boredom became my new enemy. Towards ten in the morning, I started leaving for Al Ghanim Bus Station. Initially planned to head to Islamic Museum of Art. Oh, but….As soon as I arrived at the terminal, I thought again. My wallet stopped my intentions, it led me to find free destinations to save my budget.
Trying to surf in internet by sitting relaxed in the terminal, I finally knew where I must to go. Msheireb….Yes, Msheireb!
There was Msheireb Museum which was open for free to tourists there. I thought further….After visiting the museum, I was able to explore Msheireb Downtown Doha to see the concept of this planned city.
You needed to know….MDD (Msheireb Downtown Doha) was a replacement city for Mushayrib District whose development was planned in great detail.
I wandered along Ali Bin Abdullah Street, past the Gold Souq -a building with ten curved glass windows, a center for buying and selling gold-, passed the cash office of Qatar National Bank (QNB) Souq Waqif and then turned right at an intersection.
Before actually arriving at Msheireb Museum, my steps were stopped under an iconic building, which I myself understood from its shape that it was a defensive building or a fort. Later, I came to know it as Al Kort Fort.
Also known as Doha Fort, this 140 year old building was built during the Ottoman Empire as a police station. Thirty-five years from its founding, this fort was turned into a prison at the end of the reign of the Ottoman Empire.
Then history changed again when Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, the third Emir of Qatar, rebuilt this fort as crime rates soared around Souq Waqif. It was said that a group of famous thieves appeared in the market area. So this fort became the security center of Souq Waqif at that time. In accordance with the characteristics of a desert fort, the building was square in shape with a rectangular tower at a corner and three round towers at the other three corners.
Unfortunately, this fort was still under renovation so I couldn’t get into it. But that was okay, because I could quickly visit the Msheireb Museum.
Do you want to know what the Msheireb Museum is like?…. It was a long story, you knew…. Be prepared to read with patience!