Jet lagged and weary from our 14 hour flight, the 2015 cohort of Rice’s Public Diplomacy and Global Policymaking program arrived in Doha yesterday! Today is our first full day in the city and our schedule is super packed, like any Rice spring break program would be. After we arrived at our boutique hotel in the Souq Waqif, we enjoyed a relaxing dinner outside with live music and the most perfect hummus I’ve likely ever eaten. I love being back in an Islamic country where you wake up to the call to prayer outside your hotel windows.
This morning, we had the incredible chance to meet Dr. Sheikha Abdullah Al-Misnad, the president of Qatar University. Dr. Al-Misnad has such a vast knowledge on all things education and gender related in Qatar, so super relevant for our upcoming research project presentations. I’ve also found it really cool so far just driving around Doha in cabs and getting to see how the locals live and familiar chain restaurants in Arabic. This trip is going to be just amazing- tonight we’re getting to go sand duning, potentially ride camels, and have a campfire barbecue in the desert.
I’m the luckiest girl ever right now. The coolest thing is thinking that my future career in the Foreign Service basically involves what we’re doing on this trip- cultural exchange, travel, public policy. Someone will actually pay me to learn about other cultures and travel to insanely gorgeous cities!? It’s pretty surreal. More to come soon (if the jet lag doesn’t catch up with me first…)