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My Life in Doha: Between Dream and Reality

My Life in Doha: Between Dream and Reality

Author(s): Rachel Hajar

Location(s): Qatar

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs

Era(s): early 2000s

My Life in Doha: Between Dream and Reality is Dr. Rachel Hajar’s memoir of her remarkable life in the heart of Arab-Islamic culture and society. Rachel never dreamed she would marry an Arab cardiologist or live in Qatar, a place she had never heard of before. When she left her homeland in the Philippines to pursue medical training in the United States, she fell in love with a young Qatari poet-physician who was also training to be a cardiologist in America. They married, had children, and after completing their studies, moved to Doha, Qatar. Raised a Catholic, Rachel left behind her Western ways, plunging into a new world of faith, manners and traditions unlike anything she had ever experienced. She describes her exposure to these customs and tells of her first encounter with the black veil and meeting her in-laws. She takes fascinating side trips into the history and literature surrounding incense, the Islamic call to prayer, the marketplace, and compares and contrasts Christian and Islamic festivals. With a physician’s eye for detail, she weaves a fascinating tale of how her love story transcended cultural and social habits in a traditionally patriarchal Arab Islamic culture. About the Author: Rachel Hajar, M.D., is a cardiologist and the Director of Non-Invasive Cardiology at Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Qatar. She is editor-in-chief of Heart Views and Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. She is married to a Qatari cardiologist, the former Minister of Health in Qatar.

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