So yesterday morning I leave my apartment in Bin Mahmoud and pop over to City Center to do my shopping.
Abut an hour latter I return and in that hour someones day got really bad. No it was not my apartment block on fire. But boy did I feel sorry for whoever was affected.
I couldn’t help thinking how in such a short time, someone had gone from waking up to a nice Friday morning, to having Civil Defense turn out to potentially save their lives, their property and the same for potentially everyone else in the block. How quickly things can change.
Fortunately I believe no one was hurt.
I don’t normally photograph anything on fire in Qatar anymore, ever since being chased away from another fire a few years back. It seemed to me that the authorities really didn’t want anyone photographing incidents, so I decided that it was too risky to even think about doing it any more. However this fire was so close to where I live, and the situation appeared to be under control, well the smoke had stopped pouring out of the rooftop vent anyway. So I thought I would get some nice library shots of the Civil Defense in action.
Once again I found myself confronted by an angry policeman. I only had my little Sony RX100 so it’s not like I was brandishing a DSLR with 200mm lens or anything. And I was in no way interfering with the work of anyone, in fact not obstructing anyone or anything anywhere. But as soon as it was noticed I had a camera, a very irritated policeman came marching towards me shouting something I couldn’t understand. In a second my camera was in my pocket, and I had turned around and walked away pretty promptly I can tell you. He was still shouting at me even though I was putting distance between him and me. I continued walking briskly away until I felt he had stopped pursuing me and he had started to return to the incident.
Well I can tell you now. I am never taking the risk of photographing any incident ever again. A pledge I made a while back, but yesterday really reinforced to me that the authorities don’t like images being taken at incidents. I’m not going to risk it again, and I recommend that you don’t either.