Radwani House: A Classic Form Of Qatari Property

At the end of my visitation to Msheireb Museum, I explored with a middle-aged man from France. I slowly lead him into room after room.

Radwani House was an original depiction of a typical Qatari house built in the 1920s on the border of Qatar’s oldest districts namely Al-Jassra and Msheireb. This house was bought by Ali Akbar Radwani on December 5, 1936 and lived with his family for more than 70 years.

The Radwani House has been enlarged and remodeled from the original building over time and was one of the most important historical buildings in Doha. This house showed the extraordinary history of Qatari life and lifestyle and illustrated the adaptation to vast societal changes in Qatar during the twentieth century.

Special research on Radwani House was carried out in the winter of 2012-2013 by a team of archaeologists from University College London Qatar. This was the first archaeological investigation conducted in the whole of Qatar.

The discovery of other foundations in this building indicated that this house had undergone many renovations throughout its life, it seemed that a well was found which, if you looked at the initial layout of the house, this well was located outside the main building, precisely in a narrow alley.

It was also known that this house originally consisted of two buildings, which after these two parts were purchased by the same owner, the two parts were combined. Both ends of the alley were closed so as to produce a wider house shape.

Old house foundation.
Well and bath.

Excavations at Radwani House uncovered several objects that provided clues to daily life in this house. Found incense burners from 1920-1930, a series of discarded pearl shells that were the result of collecting sea shells at low tide, coffee cups, glasses, jewellery, clothing and toys.

Sherbah, a long-necked clay jug that served as a drinking place.
Pearl shell.
Coffee cup.

Radwani House was renovated in the early 1940s to produce the house you see today:

The current form of Radwani House.
Front door.
Terrace.
Majlis – typical Qatari home page -.

Even though the yard looked spacious, Ridwani House still showed a concern for privacy. The outside of the house looked windowless. The window was only on the wall facing the courtyard. Meanwhile, the courtyard itself was surrounded by houses on all sides.

Meanwhile, the part of the main gate which would lead people to the courtyard must first turned 90 degrees to ensure that the courtyard was not visible to outsiders.

The arrangement of the Radwani House rooms also showed its own peculiarities. There were rooms which function very specifically liked kitchens and warehouses. Some of them were built as functional spaces.

Living room.
Bedroom.
Family lounge.
Guest lounge.
Kitchen.
Room furniture.

This was the last destination during my visitation in Qatar. Then of course, I had to immediately leave Qatar.

Where did you want my feet to go? ……

Mohammed Bin Jassim House: Designing the Future City

Left side of Mohammed Bin Jassim House.

Museum Staff : “Hello, how many part of museums which you have visited, Sir?”

Me : “Just two….Company House and Bin Jelmood House, Ms”.

Museum Staff : “Oh, you’re on the right step. Now you are in Mohammed Bin Jassim House. It will tell you about old Msheireb and the modern one”.

Me: “Sounds pretty good”.

Museum Staff : “Is that your own camera? Are you professional? “

Me: “Yes, my camera. I’m a travel blogger. Is it okay to bring inside?”

Museum Staff : “Oh sure. Enjoy your visitation, Sir”.

—-****—-

This gallery was dedicated to Msheireb natives. Collections depicted everyday life in Msheireb that can be remembered by Qatari youth as well as foreign workers working in the oil-rich country.

Clay as a building material of old building.

In the early days of Qatari civilization, people used desert to raise livestock, but over time they created a special area for housing. History began when residents from Al-Jassra established a settlement in Msheireb. The construction of their houses initially used stone and clay before introducing gypsum and bricks.

Religious Events and Celebrations Session

Past dining utensils.

In the early days of Msheireb, residents often celebrated religious holidays, such as Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. Festivals were held to celebrate it, restaurants would be open until well past midnight and houses would open their doors.

Residents used drums to wake people up for sahur in the morning and used them to sing religious music at night. Then, Eid was determined by the crescent moon seen in Saudi Arabia. At that time Saudi Arabia did not have radio and television broadcasts. News would be obtained by Qatari citizens from Bahrain.

During Eid, residents will dance Tanbora, Laywa, Fajery, and Haban. There were so many traditional dances at that time.

Electricity” Session

Street signage and some mid-1950s electrical equipment.

Doha’s first electric generator was installed at the Company House in the late 1930s. Then in the mid-1950s, a power station was built in the city and underground power lines began to be laid. The path which was through by underground cable line was then given the name Al-Kahraba Street (“Al-Kahraba” itself means “electricity”).

Then Al-Kahraba Street was bustling with shops selling electric tools.

It was said that Doha citizens neatly sat in their chairs when their Emir Sheikh Salman cut a pipe to inaugurate their first power plant.

Al-Kahraba Street was Qatar lifeblood. Throughout the day and night during Ramadan month, the street was fully light. And Al-Rayyan people came here just to see the street.

It was narrated by a resident named Hassan Rasheed that the first television he bought came from Al-Kahraba street with the brand “Andrea”, it was shaped like a small cupboard, the cupboard had to be opened first to see the screen.

Shopping and Eating” Session

Shops signage and other service businesses, including the equipment which was used.

Between 1950-1990, the Msheireb District flourished and was teeming with commercial buildings. Many new and first-time businesses appeared there such as the first hotel, the first bank, the first pharmacy, the first coffee shop and the first cold drink place. Residents could buy supplies and equipment, television, saris and shoes here. Tailors, barbershops, opticians, butchers, doctors, dentists, chicken shops and cafes greatly contributed to enliven Msheireb.

A resident said that the streets of Msheireb were very lively, there was the Al-Nasr Fountain, a pharmacy owned by Hussain Al-Kazim, Lebanese shops and restaurants, the Al-Tilmeethe library and bookstore owned by Abdullah Naima. At the corner of street there was a tailor who specializes in suits. The first bank in Doha was The Ottoman Bank and the main landmark at that time was The Bismillah Hotel.

Resident Abdullatif Al-Nadaf said: “If you need something that isn’t in Doha then you will find it on Al-Kahraba Street”.

Schools, Healthcare and Security” Session

School learning equipment and medical equipment.

To ensure Qatari children could contribute to the development of Qatar’s oil industry and the nation’s economic growth, in September 1947 the first modern school named Al Islah Al Mohamadia was established. The Bin Jelmood House was used as a Qatar police station in the 1950s. The legendary hospital in Qatar was Rumaillah Hospotal which had been in operation since 1956, opened with 200 beds with ambulance services and outpatient facilities.

Msheireb Downtown Doha” Session

Modern design at MDD.

Next, a session on Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) was described as a Sustainable City Regeneration Project in the Msheireb Region.

Under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Msheireb Properties which was a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation was building urban districts where Qatari citizens and expatriates would live, work and socialize.

In this MDD session we would learn how patrons, planners, architects and engineers carefully reinterpreted Msheireb’s original architecture, sustainable construction with community traditions, commercialization and innovation to create a modern area but still firmly rooted in history and created a sense of place.

Old Msheireb was very popular with business activities. Shops and restaurants were built along the main road. Making this district a popular place to live and for anyone to visited. Since the first shops opened in the early 1950s, Doha had played an important role, not only for Qatar’s economic growth but even for the global economy. Doha was currently a promising business destination and tourist destination for travelers around the world. And Msheireb Downtown Doha would play an important role in maintaining the city’s commercial prominence.

At the southern end of Al-Kahraba Street had become a new business district with offices, banks, restaurants and cafes. And within this business district, Doha Metro would take passengers to West Bay and Hamad International Airport.

It was estimated that when the Msheireb Downtown Doha development project was completed, more than 2,000 residents would occupy an area of ​​31 hectares. Residents would mingle with thousands of workers, commercial consumers and tourists.

Although the scale of MDD was very broad, it would evoke the intimacy of Old Msheireb. The pedestrian path would be drectly connected to Souq Waqif. The entire MDD would be connected to a network of underground roads and underground parking which would make the street area very friendly-pedestrian.

MDD’s tradition of innovation also provided solutions to Old Msheireb’s three challenges, namely traffic congestion, waste management and water conservation. MDD would have 12,000 underground parking slots which would clear congestion and create a pedestrian-friendly environment. The state-of-the-art waste disposal system would recycle waste from the source and would be disposed of via underground pipes. Around six million liters of recycled water would be used daily to flush toilets, irrigate crops, and would cool buildings in MDD.

Corridor at Mohammed Bin Jassim House.

The same innovation would produce hot water and electricity through thousands of solar cells installed on each building’s roof.

There were seven steps that make buildings at MDD unique:

1. The continuity of the past, present and future through timeless urban design motifs.

2. Harmony and diversity through architectural language which was accepted by all.

3. Informal setting of buildings reflecting the original view of Msheireb

4. A living environment which provided privacy, security, indoor and outdoor areas, a family spirit and community care.

5. Creating a vibrant street life that could make pedestrians comfortable and provided shaded spaces.

6. Maximum comfort with minimum energy consumption through traditional and modern technology by utilizing energy and conserving natural resources.

7. The sustainability of Qatari design through a new architectural language that connected with past designs.

The design and layout of old Msheireb buildings respected the environment by minimizing the effects of the sun, maximizing ventilation and using local materials. These traditional practices were still being implemented in the development of MDD. The design and layout of MDD were made by utilizing the sun’s shade and the coastal breeze. Construction materials were taken from local sources. Renewable energy utilized solar panels on the roof of the building. Clean water would be saved by efficient use of every faucet and shower. The recycled water would be used for irrigation and other purposes.

MDD would reduce people’s dependence on vehicles. For example, this district would be friendly to pedestrians, it would be easy, safe and comfortable when walking from one place to another in the shade of trees and interspersed with parks. The district would provide routes for cyclists and buses. Doha Metro would connect Msheireb with other regions. Centralized waste recycling would eliminate the need for garbage trucks entering the city.

Pakistani White Pulao and Al Kort Fort

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.

Pakistani White Pulao…..Yummm.

—-****—-

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.

Gold Souq.

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!

Radwani House: Bentuk Klasik Properti Qatar

Di bagian akhir kunjungan ke Msheireb Museum, aku melakukan eksplorasi bersama lelaki setengah baya dari Perancis. Aku menuntunnya pelan-pelan memasuki ruangan demi ruangan.

Radwani House adalah gambaran asli dari rumah khas Qatar yang dibangun pada tahun 1920-an di perbatasan distrik tertua di Qatar yaitu Al-Jassra dan Msheireb. Rumah ini dibeli oleh Ali Akbar Radwani pada 5 Desember 1936 dan ditinggali bersama keluarganya hingga lebih dari 70 tahun.

Radwani House ini sudah diperbesar dan ditata ulang dari bangunan awal seiring waktu berjalan dan inilah satu dari sekian banyak bangunan bersejarah terpenting di Doha. Rumah ini menunjukkan sejarah kehidupan dan gaya hidup warga Qatar yang luar biasa dan menggambarkan adaptasi atas perubahan sosial kemasyarakatan yang luas di Qatar selama Abad XX.

Penelitian khusus mengenai Radwani House dilakukan pada musim dingin 2012-2013 oleh tim arkeolog dari University College London Qatar. Inilah investigasi arkeologi pertama kali yang dilakukan di seantero Qatar.

Ditemukannya pondasi lain dalam bangunan ini menunjukkan bahwa rumah ini sudah mengalami banyak renovasi sepanjang umur berdirinya, tampak ditemukan subuah sumur yang apabila diperhatikan dari layout awal rumah itu, maka sumur ini terletak di luar bangunan utama, tepatnya di sebuah gang sempit.

Diketahui pula bahwa rumah ini awalnya terdiri dari dua bangunan, yang setelah kedua bagian ini dibeli oleh pemilik yang sama maka kedua bagian itu digabungkan. Kedua ujung gang ditutup sehingga menghasilkan bentuk rumah yang lebih luas.

Pondasi lama.
Sumur beserta bak mandi.

Penggalian Radwani House menemukan beberapa benda yang memberikan petunjuk akan kehidupan sehari-hari di rumah ini. Ditemukan tempat pembakar dupa dari tahun 1920-1930, serangkaian cangkang mutiara yang dibuang yang merupakan hasil dari pengumpulan kerang laut saat air sedang surut, cangkir kopi, gelas, perhiasan, pakaian dan mainan.

Sherbah, kendi berleher panjang berbahan tanah liat dan berguna sebagai tempat minum.
Cangkang mutiara.
Cangkir kopi.

Radwani House direnovasi pada awal tahun 1940an untuk menghasilkan rumah seperti yang anda lihat saat ini:

Bentuk Radwani House saat ini.
Pintu depan.
Teras.
Majlis- halaman rumah khas Qatar-.

Walaupun halaman rumah tampak luas, tetap saja Ridwani House menampilan concern sebuah privasi.  Tampak bagian luar rumah tak berjendela. Jendela hanya ada pada dinding yang menghadap ke halaman. Sedangkan halaman itu sendiri seluruh sisinya dikelilingi oleh bangunan rumah.

Sedangkan bagian dari gerbang utama yang akan menghantarkan orang menuju ke halaman harus berbelok dahulu 90 derajat untuk memastikan bahwa halaman rumah tak terlihat oleh orang dari luar.

Penyusunan ruangan Radwani House juga menunjukkan kekhasan tersendiri. Ada ruangan yang berfungsi sangat khusus seperti dapur dan gudang. Sebagian lagi dibangun sebagai ruang fungsional.

Ruang tamu.
Kamar tidur.
Ruang lesehan keluarga.
Ruang lesehan tamu.
Dapur.
Furniture ruangan.

Inilah destinasi terakhir selama kunjunganku di Qatar. Maka sudah barang tentu, aku harus segera meninggalkan Qatar.

Mau kemana ya kedua kakiku ini hendak dilangkahkan?……

Mohammed Bin Jassim House: Merancang Kota Masa Depan

Sisi samping kiri Mohammed Bin Jassim House.

Staff Museum   :     “Hello, how many part of museums which you have visited, Sir?

AKu                       :     “Just two….Company House and Bin Jelmood House, Ms”.

Staff Museum   :     “Oh, you on right step. Now you are in Mohammed Bin Jassim House. It will tell you about old Msheireb and the modern one”.

Aku                        :     “Sounds pretty good”.

Staff Museum   :     “Is that your own camera? Are you professional?

Aku                        :     “Yes, my camera. I’m a travel blogger. Is it okay to bring inside?

Staff Museum   :     “Oh sure. Enjoy your visitation, Sir”.

—-****—-

Galeri ini didedikasikan untuk warga asli Msheireb. Koleksi di dalamnya menggambarkan kehidupan sehari-hari di Msheireb yang bisa dikenang oleh generasi muda Qatar dan juga para pekerja asing yang bekerja di negeri kaya minyak itu.

Tanah liat sebagai bahan konstruksi bangunan tempoe doeloe.

Pada masa awal peradaban Qatar, penduduk menggunakan gurun untuk beternak, tetapi lama kelamaan mereka membuat area khusus untuk perumahan. Sejarah dimulaiketika penduduk asal Al-Jassra mendirikan pemukiman di Msheireb. Konstruksi rumah mereka pada awalnya menggunakan batu dan tanah liat sebelum mengenal gypsum dan batu bata.

Sesi “Religious Events and Celebrations

Peralatan rumah makan masa lalu.

Pada masa awal Msheireb, penduduk sering merayakan hari raya keagamaan, seperti Ramadhan dan Hari Raya Idul Fitri. Festival diselenggarakan untuk memeriahkannya, restoran akan dibuka hingga lewat tengah malam dan rumah-rumah akan membuka pintunya.

Penduduk menggunakan drum untuk membangunkan masyarakat menjalankan sahur di pagi hari dan menggunakannya untuk bernyanyi musik religi di malam hari. Lalu, Idul Fitri ditetapkan dengan bulan sabit yang terlihat di Saudi Arabia. Saat itu Saudi Arabia belum memiliki siaran radio dan televeisi. Berita akan didapat warga Qatar dari Bahrain.

Saat Idul Fitri , warga akan menari Tanbora, Laywa, Fajery, dan Haban. Banyak sekali tarian tradisional kala itu.

Sesi  “Electricity

Papan nama jalan dan beberapa peralatan listrik pertengahan 1950-an.

Generator listrik pertama Doha di pasang di Company House pada akhir 1930-an. Lalu pada pertengahan 1950-an, pembangkit listrik dibangun di kota dan kabel listrik bawah tanah mulai dipasang. Jalur yang di lewati oleh kabel bawah tanah ini kemudian diberi nama Al-Kahraba Street (“Al-Kahraba” sendiri berarti “kelistrikan”). Kemudian Al-Kahraba Street ini ramai dengan pertokoan yang menjual alat-alat listrik.

Dikisahkan warga Doha rapi duduk di kursi ketika Emir mereka Sheikh Salman melakukan pemotongan pipa untuk meresmikan pembangkit listrik pertama mereka.

Al-Kahraba Street menjadi nadi kehidupan Qatar. Sepanjang siang dan malam selama bulan Ramadhan  jalan itu menjadi juaranya cahaya. Dan orang-orang dari Al-Rayyan sengaja datang hanya untuk melihat jalanan itu.

Dikisahkan oleh seorang warga bernama Hassan Rasheed bahwa televisi pertama yang dia beli berasal dari jalan Al-Kahraba bermerk “Andrea”, bentuknya seperti almari kecil, almari itu harus dibuka dahulu untuk melihat layarnya.

Sesi “Shopping and Eating

Papan nama toko dan usaha jasa lainnya, termasuk peralatan yang digunakan.

Antara tahun 1950-1990, Distrik Msheireb berkembang dan penuh sesak dengan bangunan komersial. Banyak usaha-usaha baru dan pertama kali muncul disana seperti hotel pertama, bank pertama, apotik pertama, kedai kopi pertama dan tempat menikmati minuman dingin pertama. Warga dapat membeli perlengkapan dan peralatan, televisi, kain sari dan sepatu di sini. Penjahit, tukang pangkas rambut, ahli optik, tukang daging, dokter, dokter gigi, kedai penjual ayam dan cafe-cafe sangat berkontribusi meramaikan Msheireb.

Salah satu warga mengatakan bahwa jalanan Msheireb sangat meriah, ada Al-Nasr Fountain, apotik milik Hussain Al-Kazim, toko-toko dan restoran-restoran Lebanon, perpusatakaan dan toko buku  Al-Tilmeethe yang dimiliki Abdullah Naima. Di pojok jalan ada penjahit khusus jas. Bank pertama di Doha adalah The Ottoman Bank dan landmark utama kala itu adalah The Bismillah Hotel.

Warga bernama Abdullatif Al-Nadaf berkata: “Jika kamu memerlukan sesuatu yang tidak ada di Doha maka kamu akan menemukannya di Al-Kahraba Street”.

Sesi “Schools, Healthcare and Security

Perlengkapan pembelajaran di sekolah dan peralatan medis.

Untuk memastikan anak-anak Qatar dapat berkontribusi dalam pengembangan industri perminyakan Qatar dan pertumbuhan ekonomi bangsa, pada September 1947 didirikan sekolah modern pertama bernama Al Islah Al Mohamadia. Sedangkan Bin Jelmood House dimanfaatkan sebagai kantor kepolisian Qatar pada tahun 1950an. Rumah sakit legendaris di Qatar adalah Rumaillah Hospotal yang dioperasikan sejak 1956, dibuka dengan 200 tempat tidur dengan layanan ambulan dan fasilitas rawat jalan.

Sesi “Msheireb Downtown Doha

Desain modern di MDD.

Selanjutnya dijelaskan sebuah sesi mengenai Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) sebagai Proyek Regenerasi Kota Berkelanjutan  di Kawasan Msheireb.

Dibawah kepemimpinan Yang Mulia Sheikha Moza binti Nasser, Msheireb Properties yang merupakan anak perusahaan Qatar Foundation membangun distrik perkotaan dimana para warga negara Qatar dan ekspatriat akan tinggal, bekerja, dan bermasyarakat.

Di dalam sesi MDD inilah kita akan belajar bagaimana patron, perencana, arsitek dan insinyur secara hati-hati menginterpretasikan lagi arsitektur asli Msheireb, konstruksi yang berkesinambungan dengan tradisi masyarakat, komersialisasi dan inovasi untuk menciptakan kawasan modern tetapi tetap berakar kuat pada sejarah dan menciptakan sense of place.

Old Msheireb sangat popular dengan aktivitas bisnis. Toko-toko dan restoran dibangun di sepanjang jalan utama.  Membuat distrik ini populer untuk tinggal dan untuk dikunjungi siapa saja. Sejak pertokoan dibuka pertama kali pada awal 1950-an, Doha memainkan peran penting,  tidak hanya untuk pertumbuhan ekonomi Qatar tetapi bahkan untuk ekonomi global. Doha saat ini menjadi tujuan bisnis yang menjanjikan dan destinasi wisata bagi para pelancong di seluruh dunia.  Dan Msheireb Downtown Doha akan memainkan peranan penting dalam mempertahankan keunggulan komersial kota.

Di ujung selatan Al-Kahraba Street telah menjadi distrik bisnis baru  dengan perkantoran, bank, restoran dan cafe.  Dan di dalam distrik bisnis ini, Doha Metro akan mengambil penumpang menuju West Bay dan Hamad International Airport.

Diperkirakan jika proyek pembangunan Msheireb Downtown Doha selesai, lebih dari 2.000 warga akan menempati wilayah seluas 31 Ha. Warga akan berbaur dengan ribuan pekerja, konsumen komersial dan para wisatawan.

Meskipun skala MDD sangat luas, MDD akan membangkitkan keintiman Old Msheireb. Jalur pejalan kaki akan terkoneksi langsung dengan Souq Waqif. Keseluruhan MDD akan terhubung dengan jaringan jalan bawah tanah dan parkir bawah tanah yang akan membuat area jalanan sangar ramah buat para pejalan kaki.

Tradisi inovasi MDD juga memberikan solusi dari tiga tantangan Old Msheireb yaitu kemacetan lalu lintas, pengelolaan sampah dan konservasi air. MDD akan memiliki 12.000 slot parkir bawah tanah yang akan menghapus kemacetan dan menciptakan lingkungan yang ramah untuk para pejalan kaki. Sistem pembuangan sampah yang canggih akan mendaur ulang sampah dari sumbernya dan akan dibuang melalui pipa bawah tanah. Sekitar enam juta liter air daur ulang akan digunakan sehari-hari untuk menyiram toilet, mengairi tanaman, dan akan menjadi pendingin bangunan-bangunan di MDD.

Koridor di Mohammed Bin Jassim House.

Inovasi yang sama akan memproduksi air panas dan listrik melalui ribuan sel tenaga surya yang dipasang di setiap atap bangunan.

Ada tujuh langkah yang membuat bangunan-bangunan di MDD menjadi khas:

  1. Berkesinambungannya masa lalu, masa sekarang dan masa depan melalui motif desain kota yang abadi.
  2. Kehamonisan dan keberagaman melalui bahasa arsitektur yang diterima semua kalangan.
  3. Pengaturan bangunan informal yang mencerminkan pemandangan kota Msheireb yang orisinil
  4. Lingkungan tempat tinggal yang menyediakan privasi, keamanan, area indoor dan outdoor, semangat kekeluargaan dan kepedulian masyarakat.
  5. Membuat kehidupan jalanan yang bersemangat dan mampu membuat nyaman pejalan kaki dan menyediakan menyediakan ruang-ruang teduh.
  6. Kenyamanan maksimum dengan konsumsi energi minimum melalui teknologi tradisional dan modern dengan memanfaatkan energi dan melestarikan sumber daya alam.
  7. Kelestarian desain Qatar melalui bahasa arsitektur baru yang terhubung dengan desain masa lalu.

Desain dan layout bangunan-bangunan lama Msheireb sangat menghargai lingkungan dengan meminimalisir efek matahari, memaksimalkan ventilasi dan menggunakan material lokal. Praktek-praktek tradisional ini tetap diimplementasikan pada pengembangan MDD. Desain dan layout MDD dibuat dengan memanfaatkan naungan matahari  dan tiupan angin pantai. Material konstruksi diambil dari sumber-sumber lokal. Energi terbarukan memanfaatkan panel-panel surya di atap bangunan. Air bersih akan terselamatkan dengan penggunaan yang efisien di setiap keran dan shower. Sedangkan air daur ulang akan dimanfaatkan untuk irigasi dan keperluan lainnya.

MDD akan mengurangi ketergantungan masyarakat pada kendaraan. Sebagai contoh, distrik ini akan bersahabat untuk para pejalan kaki, akan mudah, aman dan nyaman ketika berjalan dari dari satu tempat ke tempat lain dalam naungan pepohonan dan diselingi taman. Distrik akan menyediakan rute buat pesepeda dan bus. Doha Metro akan menghubungkan Msheireb dengan wilayah lain. Daur ulang sampah yang tersentralisasi  akan menghilangkan kebutuhan akan truk-truk sampah yang memasuki kota.

Pakistani White Pulao dan Al Kort Fort

Aku meninggalkan Doha Sports City menjelang maghrib. Keluar dari Villaggio Mall, menuju Stasiun Al Aziziyah yang hanya berjarak 100 meter dari pintu nomor empat shopping mall kenamaan itu.

Di pintu masuk stasiun…..terjadilah insiden tipis antar pengelana….

Hello, do you want go with metro?”, ucap pemuda ikal, berkulit putih dan berwajah khas Arab tetapi lebih pendek sedikit dariku.

Yes, brother”, ucapku singkat.

Use this ticket!, I will go back with bus, You can use it”, dia menyodorkan tiketnya kepadaku.

Oh, No, thanks. I will buy a single journey ticket at downstair”, kutolak halus karena salah duga, kukira dia menjual tiket kepadaku. Aku tahu itu Standard Day Pass ticket seharga Rp. 16.000

Brother, just take it. I don’t need more because I will use bus”, Dia tampak bergegas dan menyelipkan tiket itu ke tangan kananku.

Ya ampun….Ternyata dia memberikan dengan cuma-cuma. “Thank you very much, brother”, ucapku singkat.

I’m Donny from Indonesia, what is your name, brother?”, tanyaku sebelum berpisah.

Said from Algeria….”, senyumnya sembari membenarkan tas punggung hijaunya lalu bergegas meninggalkanku.

Thank you, Said”, aku mulai menuruni escalator menuju platform Doha Metro.

Mengejar MRT yang sudah mengambil ancang-ancang, diperintahkanlah aku oleh petugas berkebangsaan Philippines untuk memasuki metro melalui gerbong kelas Goldclub yang mewah lalu berpindah ke gerbong kelas Standard di belakangnya. Wahhhh…..gerbang Goldclub itu menawarkan tempat duduk tunggal mewah bak business seat pesawat terbang, kursi bersandaran lengan yang terpisah satu sama lain dalam baris memanjang berhadapan. Terduduk di gerbong standard, aku dibawa menyusuri jalur Gold Line menuju Stasiun Souq Waqif yang lokasinya cukup berdekatan dengan Al Ghanim Bus Station. Aku akan menaiki Karwa Bus langganan bernomor 12 menuju penginapan.

Aku masih mengingat pesan salah satu staff hotel asal Islamabad bahwa malam ini mereka mengajakku memasak bersama dan menyantap masakan khas negeri mereka yaitu Pakistani White Pulao-hidangan nasi yang dicampur dengan cacahan wortel, sayur dan kacang-kacangan-.

Seusai mandi, benar adanya, mereka ke kamar membajakku dan digelandang e dapur untuk bergabung bersama para chef dadakan Casper Hotel.

Pakistani White Pulao…..Nyammm.

—-****—-

Fajar ke empat yang kurasakan di Qatar. Aku sedikit bermalas-malasan karena kelelahan dan kejenuhan menjadi musuh baru. Menjelang pukul sepuluh pagi, aku mulai berangkat menuju Al Ghanim Bus Station. Awalnya berencana menuju ke Museum Islamic of Art. Eh, tetapi….Begitu tiba di terminal, aku berfikir ulang. Dompetku mengkhianati niat, dituntunnya aku mencari destinasi gratisan untuk menghemat amunisi yang mulai menipis.

Mencoba berselancar maya dengan duduk santai di terminal, akhirnya aku tahu harus melangkah kemana. Msheireb….Ya, Msheireb!

Ada Msheireb Museum yang dibuka gratis untuk wisatawan disana. Aku berfikir lanjut….Setelah mengunjungi museum itu, aku bisa berkeliling di area Msheireb Downtown Doha untuk melihat konsep kota terencana itu.

Perlu kamu tahu….MDD (Msheireb Downtown Doha) adalah sebuah kota pengganti Distrik Mushayrib yang pengembangannya direncanakan sangat detail.

Aku menjelajah sepanjang Ali Bin Abdullah Street, melewati Gold Souq -bangunan sepuluh jendela kaca lengkung sentra jual beli emas-, melintas kantor kas Qatar National Bank (QNB) Souq Waqif kemudian belok kanan di sebuah perempatan.

Gold Souq.

Sebelum benar-benar tiba di Msheireb Museum, langkahku tertahan di bawah sebuah bangunan ikonik, yang dari bentuknya aku sendiri faham bahwa itu adalah bangunan pertahanan atau benteng. Sewaktu kemudian, aku mengenalnya sebagai Al Kort Fort.

Dikenal juga sebagai Doha Fort, bangunan berusia 140 tahun ini dibangun pada masa Kesultanan Utsmaniyah sebagai kantor kepolisian. Tiga puluh lima tahun dihitung dari masa berdirinya, benteng ini berubah fungsi menjadi penjara di masa akhir kekuasaan Kesultanan Utsmaniyah. 

Lalu sejarah kembali berubah ketika Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, Emir ketiga Qatar, membangun kembali benteng ini seiring melonjaknya angka kejahatan di sekitar Souq Waqif. Konon, muncul sekelompok pencuri terkenal yang merajalela di area pasar. Nah benteng inilah menjadi pusat keamanan Souq Waqif pada masa rawan itu.

Sesuai ciri khas benteng gurun pasir, bangunan ini berbentuk persegi dengan satu menara persegi panjang di salah satu sudut dan tiga menara bundar di ketiga sudut lainnya.

Sayang , benteng ini masih dalam proses renovasi sehingga aku tidak bisa masuk ke dalamnya. Tapi tnetu tak mengapa, karena aku bisa lekas berkunjung ke Msheireb Museum.

Mau tau ga Msheireb Museum kayak apa?….Panjang lho kisah yang tersampaikan di dalamnya….Siap-siap membaca penuh kesabaran ya!.