We regularly walk through the greeny green Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park, but following up the trail in day light is a visual treat like none other. Walking over the periphery covering gardens with exotic shrubs can stretch your daily walk upto about a robust 5 km but you may also take a detour cutting corners to a shorter distance of 2 km (not bad) if you so wish . Only you will be missing sight of myriad mynahs and chasing cats of all hues and sizes in the event. There are sweeping smooth grassy lawns peppered with trees transplanted from as far as the Amazon for partying and picnicking, and delightful play pens for kids, besides the crisscrossing walking-biking tracks and even a place of worship for believers, that make the park ideal weekend destination for families. There is ample drinking water and restroom facilities and further a cafeteria for light snacks and drinks.
When mercury soars to 51 C in this time of the year, you may hardly look forward to any outdoor activity, but MIA Park is as inviting as ever with its rich and breezy vistas that you don’t want to miss it even for a day.
Winter sights of the park bordered by a shallow sea on the rear merit a secondary write-up! December to February can see temperature dipping to as low as 4 C which is heavenly season. Crisp weather of perfect sunshine with intermittent balmy skies and a pleasantly chill air. Late evening walks are under delicately placed lamp posts and hidden lighting all solar-powered, subtly illuminating your way for you minus a glare. The skyline of Doha in either scenario is a treat from the far shore of the Corniche : beautiful in setting sun and lit up dazzlingly after sunset.
Walking through the lush emerald lawns, you may opt to climb a gently sloping knoll and/or stroll about the cobble stoned walkway meandering along the lazily lapping backwaters where water scooters to tourist ferry are regular recreational sport. Rocky boulders in the rugged sea coast define the contours of the park but are a pretty sight.
You may choose a serene spot under a shady tree (and there are quite a few date palms as well) or in the cool lawns or in the stony steps leading up to the sea waters to just unwind, read a book or relapse into a relaxing catnap… just like the feline creature snoozing right next to you in this heavenly abode…. Or you may simply follow up the trail for the very pleasure of walking through this paradise for health and fitness which is all the more invigorating and rejuvenating that you feel a lightness come over you…
Om Shanti ! Peace !
I salute the tiny state of Qatar that puts not only their citizens’ welfare first and foremost over everything, but also that of other residents (expats) like us. The quality of our life is greatly improved living for over 10 years now in this peninsular nation which is like a dot in the Persian Gulf .
My hometown is Chennai and once upon a time, we were touted to have the second most beautiful and longest sandy beach in the world. No more so, sadly. We in India are bestowed with natural gifts, but instead of appreciating our wealth, we depreciate it by misuse and mismanagement.
The kind of peace I feel walking around MIA park adjoining the sea in tandem with nature created with such a loving care in the midst of parched desert … is something I do not find in my own city/country. I cannot find a single uncluttered haven like this in Chennai where I can get lost. I cannot find a single secluded spot in my long seacoast to just stand over, gaze, ponder and laze about…. For such an absolute solitude and stillness and harmony with nature, I have to leave my city limits and travel over 60 km in ECR (East Coast Road). The degeneration of India in general and Chennai in particular pains me immensely.
Here are some visuals from MIA Park I would like to share with: Can you believe this is entirely man-made in Reclaimed Land from the sea. Doha is far greener than my city Chennai, feast to our eyes. Patriotism must not be a mere rhetoric. Nationalism must reflect in the way we nurture our nation and embrace nature, adding values – aesthetics and otherwise. Past lies in the past. Future lies right ahead. Today’s present will be our future history.