The almost nomadic life of a woman from Cordoba who travels with her family through the world of oil and celebrates one year in Qatar

The family on a typical outing through the desert

Soledad Heredia, from Cordoba, who has lived in Qatar for a year with her geologist husband, is used to travel, big moves and cultural contrasts, so much so that she needs them. Her three children were born far from Argentina: Francisco (14) and Santiago (7) are French and Lourdes, Bruneian (10).

November 16 marked the first year that we have lived here in Doha. My husband, Federico, who works in the oil sector, arrived two months before us and because of visa and paper issues he went to look for us in Argentina and we all went in together,” says the woman who is a veterinarian, although she hasn’t been there for a long time. exercises.

“We first lived in the south of France, in Pau. That’s where our eldest son was born. Later, we went to Libya, we stayed for two and a half years and we left a month before the war broke out. From there we settled in Brunei, where we lived for three and a half years and where Lourdes was born. There we went to Paris, where we lived for 11 months and Santi was born. And in July 2015 we returned to Argentina ”, sums up the woman about that great journey in which her family grew.

Francisco, Lourdes and Santiago, the children of the couple with the impressive West Bay of Doha, in the background
Francisco, Lourdes and Santiago, the children of the couple with the impressive West Bay of Doha, in the background

The couple planned to stay in Argentina. They had the idea of ​​settling down again. They were six years of being at home. But in July 2021 a new job opportunity arose for a geologist. This time in Qatar and they did not hesitate for long. “It was a bit of life. And above all I liked this thing about making changes. We came from a pandemic year and a half. And I said: yes, let’s go now!

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During the long road traveled, Soledad understood that in addition to being surprised by cultural contrasts, the fundamental thing is that there is mutual respect. She had the experience of having lived in Muslim countries like Libya and Brunei, she knew the prayer times and had already lived with “covered women”. And she noticed some differences: “In Brunei, women’s clothing was not black, but rather colorful, but they were covered the same. In Libya and here they do wear black ”, she compares.

Soledad with her group of Spanish-speaking friends in Doha with whom she developed a very strong friendship
Soledad with her group of Spanish-speaking friends in Doha with whom she developed a very strong friendship

Although she has a lot of experience living abroad, she never ceases to be surprised at how multicultural the country is, with only 20% having Qatari nationality. “In the boys’ school, for example, there are 76 different nationalities. It’s impressive,” she exclaims. Soledad made friends with South American and Spanish women. “I have a very nice group of women who arose from doing physical activity. We live in a kind of gated community, but where the houses are all the same as usual. It has a house with common facilities for gymnastics, a swimming pool, projection rooms, a bar and a mini supermarket. We do a lot of sports, so that makes you interact with people outside of school as well”.

But she still doesn’t have any Qatari friends, despite the fact that her youngest son shares a classroom with several of them. “I still haven’t been able to find any mother at the school exit to invite her friends. I see drivers, nannies going to look for them. It was like we were never able to bond with the families. My son wants to invite them home, but there is a barrier”, emphasizes the woman.

The family is not in Venice, but in a replica at a place called The Pearl
The family is not in Venice, but in a replica at a place called The Pearl

Something that she is passionate about doing, which has nothing to do with her profession as a veterinarian, is cooking. “I dedicated myself to my profession for a year in France and then Francisco was born and we moved on and I left. My ground wire revolves around the kitchen. I have a Lebanese Colombian teacher who speaks Spanish and Arabic and we started a course. We are seven women and we have our therapy Tuesday. We had a great time and as a result of that we have begun to relate to families. Social life is quite intense since here there is not much to do outside”. She says that it is usual to gather to eat at homes where they can consume alcohol without problems since the sale is prohibited throughout the country, except for some places.

“Many barbecues are organized at family homes or birthday parties. We get together for a beer for this or for that. The activity in these places is like that, especially in the Muslim culture that touched me both in Brunei and in Libya. The social life that one has intensifies and creates much stronger relationships”, he expresses.

In one of his favorite places, the Sealine Beach
In one of his favorite places, the Sealine Beach

To go out for a drink of alcohol away from home, you have to go to the restaurants of the international chain hotels and it is usually quite expensive. Although now because of the world championship this has been expanded and can be taken in the Fan Zone. Soledad tells that they have a card called liquor permits. “There is a place where people who are not Muslims have to present a letter that the company that brings you has to give you and with that you get the liquor card that allows you to buy it monthly. You have an aliquot, depending on your salary. A maximum of alcohol, which is not cheap, but it is more accessible than drinking in a restaurant, ”she explains.

In these times, what the Cordoba woman enjoys the most is time with her family and friends, with whom she goes to the beach. “It gets a bit complicated in the summer months, which would be from the end of June to October, which is quite hot, rather oppressive. The temperature can reach 50 and 51 degrees with 70-80% humidity. So you can’t do anything at all. But now the beautiful weather started and one begins to go to the desert and to the beaches that are beautiful

What he likes the most is bathing in the desert sea. Something that seems amazing to her and that she did not expect. She imagined a landscape of dunes and not the mouth of the sea that opened before her eyes the first time she went. So he had to keep the water drums that he had brought to be able to make sandcastles with the boys. This is how the anecdote of his recent arrival remained.

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The almost nomadic life of a woman from Cordoba who travels with her family through the world of oil and celebrates one year in Qatar