Early School Days

Public Education in Qatar 1950-1970
April 19, 2018
Gulf War II
April 12, 2017

Early School Days

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Khalid: Assalam Alaykum Wa Rahmat Allah Wa Barakatuh. I’m Khalid Mohammed AL-Qattan. With me is my father, Mohammed Abdulla AL-Qattan (May god prolong his life). We are going to do a simple interview with him. We will ask him about his past, as well as Qatar’s past.

I’ll start off with school. How different was school life compared to now? How was your daily school routine?

Mohammed: Our routine was normal, We’d go in the morning and be done by the Afternoon. There weren’t many cars back then, most students would use the bus. That is, if the bus did come. That is, if the bus did come. Even if the bus didn’t come for any number of reasons, the school wasn’t very far and we would walk to it. We were in the “old” School of Qatar, which was in the old AL-Ghanim area.

K: Which was the first school in Qatar.

M: The first primary school in Qatar, yes.

K: Considering you were in the first primary school founded in Qatar, was there anything different about it compared to the schools which were founded later?

M: No, not much. The building was different. After this school, we were moved to a different one when we were in the 3rd grade. We went from the old School of Qatar, to The Model School of Qatar, near the Al-Jaidah bridge. The new school was the first to be built with the modern building style.

Slowly, more schools were being built. In parts of Qatar such as Doha and Al Khor. The number of students was increasing, and so they needed to build more schools. One school just wasn’t enough anymore.

K: Do you still remember your friends from school? Do you know where they are now?

M: Well, there were a lot… (The names were excluded as to not violate those people’s rights of privacy) …and lots of others as well.

Because this was the only school in Qatar, and everyone had to go somewhere to study and continue their education.

K: What were the study subjects back then?

M: The subjects were rather simple. There was Arabic, Islamic Studies, Science, Mathematics.

K: Only science, there weren’t any physics or chemistry or things like that?

M: No. (nods head)

K: How hard or easy was studying back then, for you?

M: There wasn’t anything particularly hard. The curriculums were simple and the teachers were good, and of course, we were also studying.

K: How long did you study each day?

M: For around an hour or two.

K: We’ll move on to the next subject, which is pets. But before we begin, I wanted to ask you about the pets you previously owned.

M: I had some pigeons that I raised as a hobby. I also had the hobby of bird hunting. The ones that would migrate here during winter. They had names, such as AL-Diggi, AL-Ashrad, AL-Aswad. We would hunt them using traps, not by shooting them. Another hobby I had was Hadag (fishing).

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