“I came to Doha on the 24th of May this year. For me, 24 has always been a lucky number: my son is born on the 24th of October, I found out that I was pregnant on the 24th of February, in Romania I lived on street number 24, I started my relationship with my husband in 2004, and I could go on for a while, but you get my point.

Anyway, the idea is that coming to Qatar on such a special day made me think that this experience was going to be a positive one for us as a family.

I needed some positivity, especially after my father passed away at the end of April, in the most shocking, tragic and unexpected way possible. Not that death is ever expected or non-tragic, but still…

Coming back to my arrival in Doha, this proved to be a great experience so far. It helped the fact that my husband was already here, working since July 2019 in the banking system. So, he knew the town, the places, pretty much everything.

So we moved into a great apartment near the beach, hoping both my ten year old son and I could enjoy the sea, but not the sun unfortunately. The sun in the summer is something that you must avoid by all means if you want to keep your skin on your body.

Anyway, we went out as much as we could, we found a school we both liked and we enrolled him into the 5th grade. All three of us were looking forward to the beginning of school and when he would start making friends. Since summer is hot in Doha, children don’t get out as much, so it’s very difficult to find new friends.

It was a little bit more difficult when I began working, and he remained home alone for 9 hours.

Doha seemed really nice to me, The Pearl, Souk Waqif, the malls, but somehow I felt that the healing process was not happening, and at that point I decided to look for a job. My first job in another country.

Luckily, not only did I find one, it was something that I liked and that perfectly suited my professional expectations. Unfortunately, until the 28th of August when my son’s school starts, he is going to be home alone. Well, his PS4 is his babysitter, but how much time can you play video games, especially when you can do it freely!?

For children, something is interesting only if it’s forbidden, so I guess that’s why he isn’t very attracted by his console anymore. Anyway, that was/ is still a challenge for us as an expat family: entertaining our child during the summer months, especially since we come from Europe, where the climate allows you to stay outdoor as much as you want, even during the hottest time of the year.

But, I will be patient and wait for winter. Wait for everybody back home to complain about the snow and the cold, and I, sitting on the beach, sipping a cocktail, will be telling them that yeah, I really understand how difficult winter is.”

-Claudia Cojocea (Romania, Europe)