Christmas pearls

I was very happy when the Qatar National Library published my short story “The Pearl of Catara” on their blog yesterday!

For Qatar National Day, the Library had asked people to write stories celebrating Qatar’s milestones, and this story was inspired by the appearance of Qatar in maps.

In the Library’s specialist Heritage Library is a map from 1478, engraved by Conrad Swenheym. It is the first printed map to mention Qatar. But more than this, it is a one of a group of maps based on the Geographia of Ptolemy of Alexandria, from the 2nd century CE. I love the idea that nearly two thousand years ago, a scholar in the Library of Alexandria wrote about Qatar, and that the map inspired by him is now in another lovely library…

For more information about the map, go to

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