Posted on September 20, 2015

Sasol, the international integrated energy and chemical company, has co-sponsored and supported the “Discovering Qatar” book in a new and updated edition that unveils the hidden history and diverse wildlife that are found in Qatar. “Discovering Qatar” evolved from a series of natural history and archaeology features that the British author Frances Gillespie wrote in the 1990s for a national newspaper in Qatar. The book was initially printed in the year 2006, and reprinted in 2008 and 2014. The 2015 edition is filled with new information and vivid illustrations.

The book, a reference for historical information and nature in the country, has sold 12,000 copies and counting. A percentage of the profit from the book sales will be donated to the Friends of the Environment Centre to support environmental activities in Qatar. Gillespie covers many topics in her book, which range from the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Zubara to the purple shellfish and snail yield that can be found on Al Khor Island in the North. The work also includes information about the rare species of animals, historic artifacts, Islamic coastal settlements, traditional boat illustrations and mangrove forests found in Qatar.

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Jack Saba, General Manager of Public Affairs at Sasol Qatar said, “We are pleased to support “Discovering Qatar” as part of our commitment to highlighting the unique natural diversity in Qatar. This book follows our work with the Friends of the Environment Centre on the award-winning Qatar e-Nature application, which highlights plant, bird, insect, mammal , reptile and soon marine life in the country. We congratulate the author on this latest edition and hope that it further inspires interest in the history and natural surroundings of this country among citizens of all ages.”

Frances Gillespie, author of Discovering Qatar said, “Without the generous sponsorship of companies like Sasol it would not be possible for books such as Discovering Qatar to be published. I am deeply grateful for their support and hope that the new edition of the book will continue to help people to appreciate the rich culture, interesting history and diverse natural history of Qatar."

Gillespie set foot in Qatar in 1985 with her family. Ever since that time, she has been on a 30-year expedition, exploring Qatar’s vast nature. She joined the Natural History Group in Qatar and met several botanists, geologists from oil companies and other professionals, along the way, who shared their insights about the nature in Qatar. With the knowledge she derived from her features, expeditions and other professionals, “Discovering Qatar” came to life.