Canadian expats in Doha

It’s Victoria Day this month in Canada, so we caught up with expats from the country living in Doha to find out what they get up to Discuss this article

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Natalie Colleen

‘My family and I have lived in Doha for just over a year – we moved in 2009 on April 4. My husband had a great job opportunity, as he’s an engineer. I am a stay-at-home mum for the time being, and my youngest, Emilie (20 months), has just started daycare, so I will probably start looking for employment soon. My other girl, Ju, is almost four. As an expat for many years, I pretty much have done every “Girl Friday” job you can imagine, from teaching to being an office manager.

‘I am originally from Kamloops in British Columbia, but I also lived for a while in Montreal. There aren’t that many similiarities between Canada and Qatar, other than they are both very small communities and ironically enough Kamloops is classified as a semi desert.

‘Doha was nothing like what I expected. I thought it would be a big sand pit, with cement and the odd building. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. I was happy to see trees, not many, but enough, and in my first few weeks it rained, so that was nice too. Other than the obvious – family and friends – I miss grass, the smell after it has been cut or after a rainfall, the feel and the look.

‘I have not met as many Canadians here as I would have thought, but I have met a few. I was lucky to know a fellow Kamloopsian (of all places) that was living here. I have heard there are many out there, though.
‘If I miss home, I just go to the Rugby Club for a night out with friends. The atmosphere brings me right back. For food, I usually go to Johnny Rockets. As for hangouts to meet Canadians, most of the ones I have met have been through Doha Expat Mums and Kids, at coffee mornings or playgroups.

‘I love the souks in Qatar, and I wish we had something similar back home. I am not a huge fan of hiding in summer. I hate not being able to take the girls outdoors to play in the day. I am heavily involved with Doha Mums, and that takes up a lot of my time. I run a weekly playgroup and have helped out with special activities like Halloween and Christmas parties. We also have lots of mums’ nights out.

‘How long will we be here? Ah, that is the question. For now we’re here until the end of summer, but you never know. I try to get back home to Canada once a year. My husband is from France, so we have to split up our holidays between the two countries, which can be difficult sometimes.

‘I do get homesick on Victoria Day weekend, as back home everybody goes camping. It’s usually the first nice weekend of the year, where you can actually do something outside, plus we get the extra day off. Canada Day is a big day as well, but you can celebrate that wherever you are with the right people. Not everyone can appreciate Victoria Day. I will most likey be at home with my family, and have some friends over for a barbecue and a swim.’

By Time Out Doha staff
Time Out Doha,

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