From time immemorial, Qataris have always maintained a close-knit relationship with their environment.
They were brought up on the land that shaped their characteristics, and they explored and coexisted with nature, the colors of its soil and sea and its seasonal changes, to the extent that the environment has become part and parcel of their existence and a major source of influence in the building of their personality and identity.
The simplicity of Qatari life reflects that of their environment, and the placidness of the land is equally manifested in the moral rectitude of the people, their modesty, the smoothness of their language and the clarity of their expression, qualities which, in turn, reflect on their clothing style and architecture.
The intersection of sea and land is a distinctive feature of the Qatari environment, which makes their lives the quintessence of two blessings that enrich their livelihood with their bounties.
They went to sea in the summer season for diving and relocated to terra firma in the winter season.
They embraced the realms of the sea in search of pearls, empowered with wisdom and courage, believing that the meaning of life resides in interaction with others, which is why Qataris welcomed with open arms the ships coming to their shores from far and wide.
In the desert, Qataris found inspiration and acumen despite the difficulty of desert life as reflected in the scarcity of water and lack of grassland.
They were, nonetheless, able to tame the desert through patience, and the beauty of the meadows enhanced the beauty of their poetry and creativity.
Qataris roamed the land of which God has made them vicegerents; so, they contemplated it and took care of it, using stones and animal fur to build their homes, but without indulging in extravagance, because they appreciated the blessings of God upon them, and their expression of gratitude towards God was articulated in deed before words.
Qataris became attached and loyal to their environment, and their devotion to the land enhanced their sense of belonging and pride.
The environment assumed an important place in their lives and was celebrated in their songs and poems, as the following verses from the “Elegy” of the Sheikh, the founding father, illustrate:
Oh, how many caravans have passed by,
Leaving behind vestiges of the fluctuations of the times,
Abodes our sights are accustomed to as the seasons slip by,
Our meadows ornamented with herbs.