Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Barzan Towers in Qatar


Umm Slal Mohammed, close to the main road.

Al Barzan Tower Qatar


Barzan means high place, and it was said that pearl divers could see the Barzan Towers when they returned from their pearl trips.
They were built at the start of the 20th century by Sheik Mohammed Bin Jassim Al Thani. He may have had reason to be insecure – although he had soundly defeated the Ottomans in battle a few years before, their soldiers still lurked in Al Koot fort in Doha.
The buildings were essentially watch towers, probably built to protect an area where rain water collected and date trees could be green - greenery, a well and a brook can still be seen in Um Slal Mohammed today.

The Barzan Towers Today

Al Barzan Tower Qatar

The Barzan Towers have been completely rebuilt, and features such as modern air-conditioners do not add to the authenticity of the experience (although they may make it a lot more bearable in the summer months!) However, the towers, with their thick stone walls, still make an interesting trip.
The Barzan Towers also afford a good view of the surrounding area.
You can see from the walls the extreme gaps in wealth that exist in Qatar.
On one side of the towers huge modern and rather tasteless houses stand, on the other makeshift shacks exist.
We watched a man walk a mile from one of these shacks to collect water from a tap.

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