My Dune Bashing Experience (Memory and Media)

Parked in the desert

A colleague of mine from the Foundation Program English Department invited me yesterday to accompany him and a friend of his to go dune bashing in the desert near the southeast coast of Qatar. Dune bashing is a pretty big activity amongst the men in Qatar; however, my colleague said that the scene in the UAE is even bigger. Dune bashing amongst the Qataris is relatively recent; 6-8 years ago only the expats would be in the desert doing this.

We drove about an hour out of the city, and when we got to the end of the road, the guys had to let air out of the tires to get better traction in the sand. While this was being done, I could have gotten a camel ride for about 10 riyals, but I chose not to. As the weather gets cooler, more and more Qataris will go bush camping in the desert. Basically, they bring their tents and living amenities with them and rough it in the desert. My students say that it gets really cold in the desert at night. “Teacher, you will freeze your bones. You will need two blankets.” I just laugh when they try to scare me with talk of cold, similar to how people would laugh when I would ask about the heat of the summers in Qatar. In addition to dune bashing and bush camping, beachside resorts are springing up more and more along the coast of Qatar.

In the future, I would love to spend time bush camping or swimming in the sea at the various beaches of Qatar. However, my first foray into the desert was a lot of fun. I would have liked to have taken more pictures of desert, but when I hopped out of the vehicles, my colleague wanted me to record him performing his driving feats, and I felt obliged to do this for him because he was kind enough to let me tag along. Nonetheless, I was able to generate a lot of media of my own between my cellphone and camera.

Lastly, one of the purposes of my blog is to force me to compose multimedia texts. What this means is that not only do I have to think about writing, I have to also consider the integration of photos, video, and other forms of media into my blog posts. As someone who teaches composition from time to time, this is apt practice for myself, putting me in the position of learner so that I will be a better teacher in the future. With the rest of this post, I will be experimenting with different ways of incorporating media from my dune bashing excursion to see what works and doesn’t work.

As my British colleagues say, “Cheers!”

Panoramics Taken with My Camera
Deflating tires at the edge of the desert
Waiting for a turn to drive the death loop
Parked at the edge of the sea

Pictures Taken with My Phone

Gassing up at the start of the trip
Interior of the Jeep
Camel rides for tourists
Pretty secure rig for dune bashing gear
Cooling off the engine
Arabian Sea
Driving home at the end of the day

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