Let me preface this post by saying that Qatar has an almost non-existent history of terrorism. A couple Russians killed a former Chechan president there last year, but that involved neither Qatari/western targets nor Arabic attackers.
Yesterday, there was a car bombing in Doha of a theater frequented by westerners. You can read the articles for more information.
This is not changing my opinion of Qatar, of the safety of Qatar, or my desire to TA there next semester. In fact, I feel more obliged to go now and hopefully do my part in Middle East relations by helping show that Americans aren't all bad and help educate the future leaders of the Middle East.
The blast occured near the home of one of my CMU-Qatar friends. She's alright, all the CMU-Q students are alright, and all of the CMU-Q faculty and staff are alright.
Suddenly, all the security around Education City makes sense. Attackers are trying to show their dislike of Western presence and connection in Qatar. What is more noticable than a 4 square mile plot of land intended to house Western universities (Carnegie Mellon, Texas A&M, Weill Cornell Med School, Virginia Commonwealth), Western companies (including Microsoft), and all of that faculty and staff. On the other hand, the majority of people at the target tonight were westerners and Education City is meant for westerners to educate and enterprise with Arabs, so it wouldn't be such a pure target.
I hope my parents spend a couple days not reading newspapers though. They've already said OK to me going. (I still have to apply and be accepted of course)
Sobering. Absolutely sobering.
My CMU-Q friends will be arriving next weekend :)