Doha, the most populated city in the Qatar, grew out of, and now contains the Al Bidda neighborhood in the east. Mentions of Al Bidda date back to the 17th century, but it rose to prominence in the 19th century. Doha was officially established in 1820. It became the capital city in 1971 when Qatar became independent.
It quickly became one of the main financial centers of the region. In 1996 the Al Jazeera satellite networks were established in Doha. A year later Education City was established by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development. With an area of 14 square kilometers, the area houses educational facilities the serve students from school age through graduate school. Virginia Commonwelth University was the first of 8-10 foreign universities to establish branch campuses in Education City. It also houses a number of Qatari schools and research institutions.
al-Asad, Mohammad. 2012. "Public Spaces: Rethinking the City". In Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East, 99-121. Gainesville: University Press of Florida
Beginning at the end of the first Gulf War, the Middle East entered a new era of architectural and urban development defined by increased levels of globalization and private sector investment. In the decade that followed, the region was home to a wealth of architectural projects that challenged conventional thinking about architecture and the Middle East itself. Mohammad al-Asad provides an in-depth examination of an abundance of these projects, from homes and schools to hotels and religious centers. Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East examines the economic, political, and cultural context in which the projects were created. The book’s photographs bring attention to previously unaddressed aspects of modern Arabic architecture, highlighting local talent emerging throughout the region.