In the winter of 2018, a group of my stepmom's friends got together to visit the biggest mosque in Qatar. It struck me how funny it was to watch the group - a lot of whom had been living in Doha for almost a decade-, and how we all felt like a bunch of tourists awkwardly abiding by the dress code and gawking at all the brass and marble. Nine months after our mosque visit, my family — who lived in Qatar for almost 12 years — left for good, and I doubt I'll ever set foot there again.

Twelve years is a non-negligible chunk of a lifetime to be bound to a place -- babies are born and grow up and suddenly have opinions. It's enough time to grow and prune respectably sized bougainvillea bushes, several times over, and also to grow and erode a few close friendships. There, it was certainly enough time to see an entire city -- or at least, for us, the facsimile of one -- sprout from the ground like weeds in the spring time.

It seems appropriate that such a place would disappear from our lives and reside in our memories as a kind of strange dream. The global bourgeoisie that largely inhabits it holds on to memories of it in the same way one might hold on to memories of an airport — over time, they blend with memories of other airports, with their contrived sameness and sanitized particularity. This series is a reflection on what kind of life is possible under the tight subjugation — by the subject and the landscape — to the will of capital.
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