Weekly Photo Challenge – Details


2013 Shot of one of the buildings under construction at a Zaha Hadid-designed project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Photo Story – 6 of 7


MB currently resides in Qatar. It is probably most famous at present for being selected to host the 2022 football (real football) World Cup. Doha is the capital city and already a huge amount of redevelopment and infrastructure is underway to ensure a timely completion ahead of the games. Although there are still seven years to go before the event takes place, the Qataris are taking the opportunity to rebuild their entire capital city and are also modernising much of their countries roads and transport system. The new Doha airport which opened last year, after a few years delay to the works, is as modern as exists anywhere in the world.

The award of the World Cup to Qatar has come in for much criticism, but MB wrote a recent post on  the Qatar 2022 tournament, which he fully supports: https://michealdebarra.com/2015/06/05/qatar-2022-the-case-for/

Property rents are extremely high throughout Qatar and in Doha especially, compared to most places in the Middle East region, or even beyond. For decent rented accommodation one can expect to pay in the region of Euro 1,250 per month for a single room in a shared apartment, or in the region of Euro 2,250 per month for a single bedroom apartment. Consequently recent years have seen a vast amount of residential developments completed. Many more are either under construction or at architectural design stage.

The below pic was taken by MB a few nights back in the new Doha ‘des res’ area called ‘West Bay’



The Scaffold Series – Volume 2

This post is a joint effort by Irish poet Seamus Heaney (deceased) and MB (not deceased).


by Seamus Heaney

Masons, when they start upon a building,

Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,

Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done

Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be

Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall

Confident that we have built our wall.



by MB

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The Scaffold Series – Volume 1

You can’t beat scaffolding. Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

This weeks challenge is looking for relics.

Saw this ‘about to be poured concrete slab’ support structure whilst traveling in Yemen 3 or 4 years back. This construction method disappeared tens of years ago in more more technically advanced countries where adjustable steel props/poles are now used exclusively for the purpose.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Riyadh construction project. Many layers.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

For most, the habit is the daily grind.