War Graffiti

These images were taken in October 2005 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar in an attempt to document what is likely one of the largest concentration of graffiti by U.S. & Coalition military members in recent years. This graffiti appeared in a semi-permanent structure that serves as a holding area for individuals flying into and out of Southwest Asia. Most passengers are transiting to the U.S. military base called Camp As Sayliyah, located in Doha, Qatar. It serves as a makeshift R&R site for U.S. personnel serving in Southwest & Central Asia.

Photography is essentially frowned upon by the U.S. military and is actually forbidden on most bases overseas. Interestingly enough, writing graffiti is also against regulation, as it is considered vandalism and defacement of government property.

While I waited for a flight in this makeshift holding area, no one added to the graffiti, but based on the amount of writing, thousands of people had done just that. Perhaps each a small form of protest or merely an expression of defiance and futility that often permeates a war zone.

bill gau