Monday, January 19, 2009

Pre-Conference Reading

The trip to Doha is going to be a long one.

I was lucky enough to get a direct flight (there and back) which saved me from potentially going insane from the sleep depriving jet-lag/stop-over combo, but no matter how fast that plane goes, Qatar is still pretty far from JFK airport. Due to the fact that I have 30 hours of flying to do in the next week, I have been spending an inordinate amount of time planning my in-flight reading selections.

I have been debating whether or not to go the immersion route, i.e. books about technology and global themes, or the escape route, i.e. anything that doesn't fit one of those categories.

Thanks to Allegra Stratton's book "Mujahababes" the decision was easy. Mujahababes is about modern youth culture in the Middle East and if the first two chapters are any indicator, I made a good choice. She never specifically writes about Qatar, but she did visit Kuwait, which should be comparable. My goal is to learn enough to be able to ask intelligent questions once I touchdown in the gulf.

Now I just have to pack everything else!


  1. Hi, this is christopher. The blog looks good. When are you leaving for qatar and why is ther a cell video.

  2. hi my question is what is it like at Qatar?
    also hi hope you have a good time see you in a few weeks or so what ever time it is.

    p.s. write back please!!!!!!!!

  3. I think this blog is awesome!! So where is Qatar located on a world map?

    - Taylor

  4. On the trip are you going by yourself or with friends? How about family?

    Danielle Ferrandino-Schwartz Grade 4

  5. Hi everyone

    Chris- leaving on Thursday. "Cell Video" is about connecting with people.

    Jessie- I'll be writing about my experiences all weekend- check back in!

    Taylor- Thanks! Can you find out where Qatar is and let everyone else know?

    Danielle- I am going alone, but hopefully I can make some new friends!

  6. First of all, 30 hours is a really, super long time, the longest amount I've been on an air plane for is 6 hours and I have some coins from Kuwait. Also you are lucky the conference s in such a neat place! Are you excited? how long will you be there? Will you get time to shop for souvenirs and explore? Please write back!!!

    P.S. Very interesting Blog.

    *Harriet :)

  7. Dear Mr. Haines,
    I have done some research on Qatar. It is very interesting. Here is most of what I have learned so far, 1)Qatar is a oil rich nation. 2)As of October 2008 the population of Qatar is 1,541,130 people. 3)The currency is riyal. 4)The ancient history is very unique. 5)Qatar might hold the 2016 olympics. 6)(my favorite) great sport teams 7) has a knowledge economy which is excellent money wise 8)free education from kndergarden through high school. I learned a lot but still want to learn more. My question to you is can you tell me about the wonderful people and aspects there? I am interested in learning.

    Michael D. Gr.5

    P.S. I hope you have fun!

  8. Hi Mike!
    Great job on the research!
    I will be posting throughout the weekend and adding pictures and video so you can see what I see while I am there. I am so glad you are interested in learning more.

  9. Have a safe trip Mr. Haines!!!
    Be careful, have fun, and learn a lot!!

  10. Hi! Qatar seems really interesting. Do you know where I can get more information about it? I hope you do well on your trip! I can't wait to see you again!

    Megan Ferguson 4th Grade

  11. Mr. Haines,
    What exactly is this confrence you are going to about? My cousin is a educational consultant in Dubai. Maybe he will be attend to the same confrence as you. His name is Vincent... Vincent Ferrandino.
    Danielle Ferrandino-Schwartz Grade 4

  12. Hey. hows it going in gatar? whats it like up there? Well bye see you soon!

    P.S please write back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Hi Abernathy!
    To learn more about the conference check out this link:
    To learn more about Qatar, check this out:

    or google it!

    Hey Emily-
    Still in the airport. I land in Qatar at 11:10am New York time on Friday.
    Check back in this weekend, I'll have more info for you!

  14. Good luck on the trip. We are rooting for you.

  15. Dear Mr Haines
    my reseach on QaTaR dont show no AIRIPOT! hopping you land safelier! Do you have to wear a "Laurnece of Arabier" costum when you go out, or do they have IPODS?

    I herd they are METS fans theyre.
    PS sory for the speling cheker not good.

  16. Hey Mr.Haines! How was the flight? What time did you land? What is the time difference in Qatar? I hope you have a great time!

    Danielle F. 6th grade

  17. Hey Mr. Haines!
    Did you fly to Qatar alone or by yourself? I hope you have a great time in Qatar!

    ☺ Mary ☻

  18. Dear Mr.Haines,
    I hope your having a great time in Qatar. Hows the weather up there? Whats the most
    interesting thing you saw there? My final question is hows the food.

    From,Thomas Agoglia

  19. I'm glad that you are there Mr. Haines. Please let us all know the things that you are learning and seeing...and all of the interesting people you are meeting! -Karleen :)

  20. Danielle-
    I will post the video of the flight tonight. There is an 8 hour difference- check out the clocks on the right.

    I flew here alone, but the plan was to make friends. If you check out my newer posts, you'll see it is working!

    The weather is a terrific. Like a beautiful spring day. It gets "crazy hot" here during the summer, but we are in a cooler season now- thank God!
    The most interesting thing I saw so far was the Qatar Museum of Islamic Art. I took a bunch of pictures that I will post later.

    Food? So far so good!

    karlygirl- will do!

  21. Dear Mr. Haines

    Grandpa again.

    more reseach. QaTaR is NOT in Gulf of Mex, Persin Gulf, Amazn river, ELSE,too many PLUMBING problems! Must be in Himalyas.

    In Rusatian laguage, "Sixthomani" meens "Large Man looking for Amercan-style breakfast".

    I see by the bildings and the close peeple are wearing that "doha" in American laguage is "NYC".

    spel cheker status: broke.
    bye for now.

  22. Grandpa-
    I hope your grandson is a better speller than you!
    I think you may need to go to and practice your words for Friday's quiz.

  23. Dear Mr. Haines,
    I hope your having a good time in Qatar. What is the landskape like, for example is it a lot of woods and rainforests or is it a city.
    Maddy Gr.6

  24. Dear Mr.Haines,
    I did reserch on Qatar.It is a very interesting place to learn about. Here are some things I learned about. Qatar is a rich oil nation,October of 2008 the population was 1,541,130, people.

    -lauren McParlin 4th grade.

  25. Dear Mr Haines

    Grandpa returns. Spel Cheker still bonked.

    Am trying to rite "World is Flat" on a round suface of "basketball" to get vots, but not having suces.
    I no you sed to go to spellingcity, but is it where it is?

    I think we has a Souk in Masapequas somewear.

    Good lukc with "Haggling".

  26. Dear Mr.Haines,

    Thomas Agoglia's mom here. I just learned about your exciting trip.I enjoyed the information you shared about Qatar. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
    From Paulette Agoglia

  27. Hey Mr. Haines!

    Hope you're fine. Good luck with your trip. I hope you get there safely.


  28. Mr. Haines,
    Cool pictures and videos!! How is Qatar? Do you like it there? I hope you had a safe trip there and a safe trip back.
    ~Mary Elizabeth Grade 7
    Answer back!!!!

  29. Hi Mr. Haines!
    How is Qatar. A question I have is do you what the population is there? Another question I have is how is the food there? Is it alot different then from here? Well I hope you have a good trip and a safe time back.

    -Jameson Hensen Grade 5