Umm Slal Mohammed
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Forts, Trees and Water
Umm Slal Mohammed is primarily known (insofar as it known at all!) for the Barzan Towers, which stand on the outskirts of this small town. However, Umm Slal Mohammed has more to offer than this.
Drive round Umm Slal Mohammed's narrow streets and you will see examples of old Qatari architecture and ornate Arabic doors, now covered in rust. The town also has two other forts though given their size fortified houses might be a better name for them.
They are located closer to the centre of town then the Barzan Towers, one by the mosque and the other opposite within a larger complex of houses.
Neither of them allow visitors to enter: the first is falling apart while the second appears, from the satellite dishes that sprout from it, to appear to be still in use.
The area around these forts is fascinating. On one side there used to be a plantation of palm trees. The trees are now mostly dead, and the resulting area looks like something out of a war-zone. Climb down into them, and you will still see the way the earth has been built up around them to trap any available water.
Water was (and is) available a massive well (be careful if you are with children it's not fenced off) is present, with murky water at the bottom and an ancient Huddersfield pump still present at the top.
Directly behind one of the forts is one of the greenest areas I have seen in Qatar. Not only does it have grass, there is a tiny little brook flowing through it, and it's truly refreshing to hear the sound of running water in dry Qatar! With this unusual water and greenery, there are also a lot of birds and bird song to be heard. Perfect for a visit when you are getting tired of the desert!