The story of expat’s life in Qatar soon to be published

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LisaKirchner
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When I moved to Doha in 2004, cranes and scaffolding dotted the landscape, more an impression of what was to come than an actual skyline. As someone who'd lived in the Muslim world as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tunisia, I had a lot of expectations about what life in an Islamic country would be like, but I took a job there anyway. I had many reasons. First and foremost, my journalist husband wanted to start a career as a freelance foreign correspondent. It also seemed like a prime opportunity to "set an example" for my Muslim sisters. I planned to chronicle the sea change the country was undergoing as it transformed from sleepy country to major player on the world stage.

Meanwhile, before moving there I couldn't even say Qatar properly.

As it turned out, getting to know Qataris, particularly Qatari women, was challenging. My job took up more of my life than I expected. Living on a compound with my colleagues made the hours between home and office blur. But after a health crisis, a suicide bombing and then the loss of my beloved dogs, I decided things had to change. I began to practice yoga. I started doing acupuncture. I took supplements. As I began to feel human again, my other half decided to end our marriage over the phone. From the U.S.

I was flattened. So much so that, despite having moved almost once a year my entire life, I realized I had to stay in Qatar. Try and figure out where I’d gone wrong. If I could sort my way out of this mess in one of the world's most patriarchal countries, I’d be set for life.

I was right and wrong. I believed Qatar, in its effervescent frenzy to become something it was not, was the exact opposite of Zen. But finally, through the ridiculous situations I kept finding myself in, I realized that Qatar was more like Zen boot camp.

I look forward to getting this story out there. So much of what’s portrayed about the Persian Gulf in the media is doom and gloom and fear mongering. This is the story of the experiences I had with locals, exapts, and while traveling. I learned so much, about myself and about dealing with other cultures, that I wanted to share it. Not because it's my story, but because it's OUR story. Everything that happened to me in Qatar showed me how we share a common heritage, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. It took losing everything to see how true this is, to see my own hypocrisies, and to not be prey to them. But fear not!

This is not some didactic tome. It's a whole whack of stories that maybe, just maybe will help someone else see their own foibles and not react based on outmoded thinking. And if not I hope you get a good laugh and learn something about what I believe is one of the most bizarre places on earth (and I've lived in A LOT of places).

Safety first!

Thanks to my publisher, the amazing Greenpoint Press, the books is coming out next spring. But they’re a small press. There is no advance, no marketing department, no publicity team. And this is where you come in.

EVERYONE trying to get books out there is scrambling. If you think this is the kind of story worth sharing, help me share it. A book is no longer the means by which the author gets known, publishers want known quantities turning out books. What that means for individuals like me is that I’m going to need to hire a publicist and develop an audience. And this is why I’m seeking your support.

There are five days left for you to contribute to this effort -- http://kck.st/19q76m5 -- at my Kickstarter page. Your donation, even a small one, makes a big difference. Sharing your support with your friends will make this work and help bring this story to life. Please help me put the crowd in crowdfunding by supporting and sharing this campaign and launching this book in the style this story deserves. Thanks.

HELLO, AMERICAN LADY CREATURE: What I Learned as a Woman in Qatar[
By Lisa L. Kirchner