It is early here and I still can’t get my mind off last night’s bombing. What really blew my mind was the fact that I was just discussing the possibility of terrorist attacks in Doha the day before with my
friend Amal. She was telling me about the recent Qaeda statement warning of attacks in Doha and I just told her to brush it off. We’ve lived all of our life in the Middle East, I said … "We can’t live in fear all the time. Life has to go on." I was mistaken. Fear can actually reach you when you are so physically close to where an attack occurs.

I have to admit this has scared me. Life will not be the same here after what happened. We have to be vigilant all the time and will think twice before we leave the house. We were so excited about attending
next week’s Doha Cultural Festival — probably one of the most exciting things that happens here — but after what happened last night we decided not to go. A full theater could be a possible target. We
will pass.

To be frank, I was not surprised that this happened here. Terrorist attacks are happening in neighboring Saudi and Kuwait, why not here. In February of 2004, former Chechen president and rebel leader Salim Khan Yandarbiyev was blown up in Doha near a mosque by agents of the Russian government, says the Qatari prosecutor. Regardless of who, it made it clear, it could happen here.

The borders for GCC (Gulf Countries) members are open, any GCC resident can move freely. I hate to sound judgmental but the signs were here. Religious extremism is not a absent from Qatar. Only last week I was in a cab and the driver was listening to a speech encouraging people to go to Jihad across the globe. The preacher highlighted specific areas: Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya and Kashmir. The driver didn’t seem to be bothered by what he was hearing, he just sat quietly absorbing it all. The two of us listened to that speech in the cab from my house to work. It was still going when I got out.

The fact that an Egyptian national decided to blow himself up as a form of Jihad (since he’s killing mostly westerners) should not come as a surprise. Many here are likely being convinced by what extremists preach; brainwashing is possible, just sit in a cab all day listening to the sort of stuff I’m describing. I never felt this type of extremism in Jordan. People there are just more aware and
skeptical of whatever ideology comes their way. Things are, unfortunately, not the same here.

Stay tuned. An update is coming in the next few hours. I hope to have some pictures.