Personal Safety and Harassment
My wife and I have lived in the Gulf for 14 years, between Dubai and Doha.
We both originate from the UK and have our own social standards.
I recognise whilst we live in Doha, there is a different culture to the UK, Europe and the US and we both respect that. We go out of our way to respect the local culture.
There is one thing that I cannot tolerate and that is the harassment of my wife whilst she is walking, jogging, rollerblading or taking our dogs for a stroll.
Recently she was followed along several streets by a man in a car, in local dress who chose to take photographs of her. She felt intimidated and abused.
On getting home, she called the Police, she was passed from pillar to post, number after number. I eventually called a local friend of mine, "forget it, probably some youth trying to pass her his number". How would this local driver react if I chose to do the same to his sister or daughter?
I don't want this person arrested. If he has done similar things to others a simple explanation of what grief this is causing and a slap on the wrist would suffice. I would expect this to be done by officials, probably the Doha Police but how effective are they?
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Good thing they are aware of safety. Thats my number 1 priority now and Im happy that they are too. I also have a Pinnacle Security installed on my house for peace of mind. I hope every one can do this too. Its an investment that we really need.
Ladies & Gents,
I did not expect such a broad spectrum of responses, I thank you all.
In summary, dress respectfully, be safe, don't walk alone if possible, keep the car doors locked & beware of difficult situations.
If approached, yelling Haram may deter someone. Point your phone at the vehicle as if to take a photograph may deter them further. I deplore spitting, sorry, it's disgusting.
This is a terrific country, with a great deal of potential and great people.
I hope we all enjoy working and living here.
I'm off to walk my dogs, with my phone, hopefully in safe neighbourhood.
Ahlan Moh Salam ( I hope this is correct ), Regards, DF
Hope to have people be civilized here.
It would be interesting to know which areas people are finding this. My wife and her mother walk around Doha without getting too much attention. When my wife goes running, she says she gets odd looks (as do I when I go running- more of 'why are you running you strange people') rather than people leering.
This is in most areas we've been to, but particularly where we live (near the Airport) there is no problem and she is happy to walk around on her own.
Frankly, I cant blame them for harassing you. You look stunning in an abaya!
you are so right about it dutchess01, you are so right...it is their human nature, and its the culture, and the rest that shapes and molds that nature that they have
Thanks kakashi28 for the sympathy,
,,perverts do their thing regardless of what you wear or what you do. Its their imagination ...it doesnt have to have a stimuli os something to stimulate them to do such.....
so no matter what precautions we do..once a pervert is there ,,,expect the worst,,,,,
Covering doesn't help much. So may I suggest for such "men" to have their mind in their head finally. You shouldn't carry it in your trousers.
what salax is suggesting could be effective. Specially if you cover your face. But again, if you dont, some people distinguish nationality (and therefore further stereotyping again) thru the face and color of the skin. So even when you wear that conservative dress, it is still being superceded or overpowered by the fact that they know you are asian or etc. And thus they will still do s**t on you and slap your a**.
I also thought of that by having my wife wearing at least that thing you put on your hair. BUt the problem is, people see I'm with her, and it may even cause more trouble than benefit. coz #1. I'm south east asian in which big chance I'm not muslim, #2, my wife is dressing up like a muslim but shes not, and #3. If ever she is distinguished as a muslim, and I am not distinguished as one, it is much more trouble. So I scrapped the idea (unless of course I also wear disdasha and have bearded face).
why is the onus on women to change what they are wearing, pervets will harrass any woman because they are pervs and their attitude towards women should change..it has nothing to do with what clothes you wear. I wear hijab and i cant even walk down the street with my children in a pram because of guys starring and if you make the mistake of catching their eyes, they think its a come on....the pervs here need a good kick up the a****.....
I am living here since 3 years, and I can say that it happened to me to be approached by local guys, but when I replied to them that I am not interested they left me alone. Thing which I cannot say about other nationalities from here, as Sudanese, Indians, Sri Lankans, in general labours. With these guys, I had to reply in a very aggresive way to get read of them...they are the dangerous people in this country! :(
hi dutchess01, I'm sad to hear what happened to you. sad but true, and it is really funny where these people get their appetite. I bet you are asian? or filipina?
It is pure stereotype. Normally they do this to asians, or filipinas. It happens to westerners as well but only in small quantities. Why? Because they know asians, cant do anything about it, even if they call the police, nobody will listen, not even their own embassies ought to help. Asians does not fight and are most of the time feeling subdue or being too humble or shy. And also sometimes, we asians tend to easily forgive or forget the experience for the sake of your purpose.
While westerners, the arabs are afraid of them, if not, they pay so much respect to them. And physically they are also able to defend themselves, and they know their embassies/govt can make a difference. If they call the police, the officeers know that its gonna be so much trouble if they dont respond...... stuff like that.
Sad but true. But if we dig deeply on the reasons why, even a Grade 1 can tell you why there are lots of perverts in this region, particularly arabs.
I will not get into details coz I might hurt people's feelings again because of blunt truth. But pls do a table of comparison, and lay down all the criterias. And you will easily see why.
Here's a stone throw in the air to whoever is worthy for this statement. If you are hurt, it only means you are what I say. "Respect is due for those who also knows respect". "Dont do unto others what you dont want others to do unto you".
P.S. Before someone gets ballistic and violently reacts, pls do a little thinking first. That will help. Also a quick look at the mirror of oneself will be beneficial.
had the same experience 3 weeks ago... i had to take the cab because my driver cant make it in time. im wearing a formal dress as in slacks and coat that doesnt fit... believe it or not...two teen agers on a bike just grabbed my ass. I shouted at them and guess what,,,this teen agers even gave me an "F" finger. and when i tried to call the police they were asking for the plate number...i told them they are teen agers on a bike...and the police said sorry we cant help and dropped the phone. The teen agers just laugh . Such a disgrace. At a very young age,,they knew that they can simply get away harassing women.
I agree,,,,perverts are everywhere,,,,but here its seems too many.
dotdot and the remarks made.. but figured I would keep a still tongue in my head so as not to entise the "personal attack" bashers...
But way to go herne.....
way to go herne!
Maybe you are on of the perverts, too? :)
Surely there are perverts everywhere, but as kakashi said it's the frequency. In other places we maybe met with some idiot once per half year, while here twice a minute if you dare to walk outside. And it shouldn't be a big something to go to the grocery or laundry 1-200m away. And still it is.
And police? They are just for decoration here. :)
oh i think somebody is hurt .... ;)
too bad, the truth always hurts ;).
"perverts exist in every single part of the world" - i said that in my previous post did i?, again, its the frequency. from wer I came from, you can get rid of these easily by simply dressing up well and look respectable, get rid of back-alleys or at least u know which a dangerous spots are. Don't walk at night alone blah blah blah all those things u see in the book. Dont go out with strangers, be careful. And then you can get rid of these.
But here? in this region? ANYWHERE, even in BROAD DAYLIGHT. Even in the grocery, even during Ramadan. Cmon! give me a break, and better use brains and logic first before getting so berserk and posting.
Police eh? hahahaha............ Good luck with that. ;).
well well if you had the belt why didnt you lash that jerk
get a life ... "i've been followed by couple of guys.... boo boo .... he was chasing me...boo boo. asked me n my mum our mobile number ...... he was hitting on me eventhough im a straight guy ... boo boo " ... perverts exist in every single part of the world, if u face any kind of Harassment u better report his ass to police instead of b!tching about Arabs and others in here.
P.S : quit wearing skirts thats double as belt and stilettos that drill holes in concrete floors.. just a suggestion.
indeed dweller as in life there is good and bad but we seem to notice more of the other.......
life's too short so make the most of it, you only live but once.......
It's nice to hear of the good points. Too often only the bad points are highlighted.
spicemon, yes it does not matter anymore. Desperate times calls for Desperate moves. These people are deprived. Their palm/hands are not enough for them to get rid of that ITCH that they feel.
I would suggest for them to simply drill a hole in a wall, put some lubrications and cushions inside it and do their stuff there! If my pencil sharpener wore skirts, I would definitely hide it from these arab pervs. It's its terribly insane.
i suppose it is i have no idea. prollyif no male female interaction is allowed unless they are married so maybe men and men is allowed huh??i may be wrong...........
life's too short so make the most of it, you only live but once.......
That's crazy! Somebody sad here on QL that Doha is the bigest gay town in the world, guess he was right! :)
my teenage son (16 yrs of age) has been followed a few times when in the shopping malls. he is rather athletic, tall for his age and not a bad looking lad. he would be asked for his mobile # (which he says he dont have one as he is fr out of town or take down the bloke's mobile #, then he would be asked where he is staying. my son would cook up a story that he is just in town visiting for a few days and that he is putting at one of the hotels in town . all of the times that this has happened to him would be fr those men wearing the white traditional outfit and holding the prayer beads(cant say for sure wat national they are as they could even be ppl just wearing that outfit but not fr that country)so i guess being male or female just dont matter anymore huh??
life's too short so make the most of it, you only live but once.......
Now I'm suprised, I thought that it's happening to women only, (or mostly, because I read in the newspapers sometimes against young boys being raped), but I was wrong.
have had experiences like this too.. .but in the last month, I have been followed home by 3 locals.... now thats something new... locals have always been respectful, so don't know what changing....
"if you don't like the heat... get out of the kitchen... but stop trying to fan the flames before you leave... it will burn you on the a** as you go through the doorway...." ME
Zak is as usual one of those people who will naturally defend their own keep, but unfortunately, it seems unreasonable and illogical. I have tried to digest his statement many times to no avail, I even wanted to consult an expert, but no, I really didnt see any point.
Again. It happens everywhere, and each and every country has their own share of problems, and this is one of those, but we what Zak does not understand is that we only claim what we experienced ourselves. This is not heresay.
Let me tell you one story. I am male, I grew up outside the middle east of course, and never in my life did I experience men asking me to offer my a***ole to them for them to lambaster. I've been to many countries, and no i never experienced that except in the middle east.
I asked myself, did i look gay? I was wearing casual clothes, a pair of Jeans, a pair of leather sandals, a dark shirt, short and spiked hair, I even have handlebar mustache. And guess what??? It happened to me during the month of Ramadan! Arent they supposed to give it a break at least during this time?
PERVERT. Thats all I can say. Insanely PERVERT.
"Not even when I was younger, sexier and did wear skimpy outfits." I am always too late :)
Open your eyes first before you write such nonsense comment!
I don't think any of the women being harassed here in Doha claims that it does not happen in our home countries. I have personally lived in 4 countries and visited numerous more but I have NEVER been hounded the way I have here in Doha. Not even when I was younger, sexier and did wear skimpy outfits. I have had girlfriends being raped in my "safe" home country, but I am not going to get into what culture the men came from as they varied from locals to immigrants. At the end the perpetrators all got what they deserved though!Yes, other countries may have a greater number of rapes etc REPORTED but there are sadly many places on this planet where this type of abuse goes unreported for various reasons. Sexual harassment of women is a universal problem stemming from the disrespect men have of women. Perhaps you should take a good look of your own culture. There was an article in the paper not that long ago regarding the female university students in Qatar and how many had been sexually harassed/molested. Sadly I can't remember the exact number but it was staggering! In Egypt the problem has become so bad that even ladies covering up are harassed. Yes, I can go home and look forward to be able to wear what I want and not cop sh*t from men every time I go out and if they do I have a legal system behind me that PROTECTS me. The change has to come from the men. All ladies are some ones mother, daughter, wife, sister etc. They men need to ask themselves if this behavior would be ok if another man treated their female relatives in the same bad way. But then daughters/wives/sisters are often not even safe in their own homes...
As you said in the beginning of your article, you want to respect the culture of this country, will please DO, else, if you want your LADIES to go out indecently then don’t complain on any consequence.There is an Arabic saying “if the camel saw his hump he would full and break his neck". the meaning is that you guys (Non Arabs or Non Muslims) are not willing to believe that what happens in Europe where you come from and call it as liberal and free countries have the rate of crime and especially the rape and harassment to be at least 10 times more than any other country in the middle east or gulf, not to mention assault and thift plus many other much worse crimes that does not even exist in the Arab world. So why don't you just turn around and look at your own countries and what sort of life and problems you have and then compare it with here and you will see that here it is heaven compared to Europe and US, and stop bluffing your selves. Most important, if you don't like it and it is NOT SAFE to live here as you claim, you can always go back to your freedom and liberal countries any time you like nobody is restraining you from doing so.
I experienced similar incident before. My husband told me that in case it happens again, I should say "Haram" - meaning forbidden - which is in fact, effective.
It happened to me now and then too, even if I walked with my 2 kids. I remember once there is a guy who stopped the car next to me (my kids are still with me) and asked me my phone number. I took out my phone and taking down the photo of his plate numbers and his photo and then pretending to talk to someone on the phone. He saw what I'm doing and just went off. The other time, there's a pick up slowly driving next to me, and making some remarks, I started to yelled and they must be scared because they left immediately..
Très loin de gratin dauphinoise et nasi lemak..uhuhuhuhu
when my Mum was here, we went to one of the Mall's. We were just waiting outside with our shopping, and a very kind lady in local dress, asked if her driver could take us home. Unfortunately we had to decline as we had already booked our taxi.
I've got to say, its the same situation everywhere in the gulf, even in the prestigious location of Dubai. And yes, everywhere in the world, that kind of perverted acts exists. It is just a matter of how frequent and how rampant it is.
And I'm sorry to tell you all (I hope the arabs pardon me), that in the Middle East, it is most rampant! I've been to many countries already, but I'd say it is only here that the most number occurs.
And as I always say, what would cause this number is mainly the differences, and that main difference is that the West is open, free and liberal, here it is not. And just like a bird we are, the more you restrain it, the more it will go berserk! The more you deprive it, the more it will go insane.
I'm sure you guys know what I'm talking about and I dont wanna go into specific details. Best thing to do is to avoid, learn how to defend one self (if things go rough). I'd say this comes first before calling the Police.
Parked by the restaurants near the tennis courts, my wife was in the car while I collected the take-away. A guy in local dress tried to get into the car with her, but luckily she'd locked the doors.
ladies and gents, (gents bec they also harrass not only women)
justst stare back and spit. they'l be ashame.
no its manily the desperate arabs...stuff like this doesnt happen in the usa, uk or atleast not as nearly as often in even India
It is like that over the world, women are followed by men. thannks God ladies that you are not in country like Saudi arabia where you have to keep wearing black loose cover wherever you go. moreover, the good thing that if they are staring at ladies, it means that this is the maximum they can do, but they can not across the limit by touching or even goes down thier cars. however, Qatar is very peacful country when you compare it with Holland or Germany or even USA where you can go down at anytime and no one will try to take your money or stop you while driving your car. My uncle died in USA in attempping to run away from some people who tried to stop his on subway after midnight and when he refused to stop, easly they shooted him with gunmachien till he stopped died.
By the way, i'm egyptian living in Qatar for more than three years and before i was in saudi Arabia for two years where they were the worst years in my live.
it is the worl with all the bad and good things and we have to adjust ourselves to live with it.
No excuse for bad behavior and to make other people feel unsafe!
Here most of the Men are Desparados.
The same thing happens to me all the time as well. Does not matter what I wear, if I am taking the dog for a walk or carrying my husbands shirts down to the ironing man. I ignore the phone numbers being called out, all the guys stopping to give me a lift (as if!) and all the beeping horns. I do find it hard to ignore obscene gestures (usually done with the tongue) and is very tempted to gesture back, but I am sure this is illegal if coming from a female. It is not just local men, sadly this bad behavior is universal but I have never had it happen to me with such frequency as here in Doha. The poor dog does not get any walks any more and I have started taking the car the 100m to the ironing man! It is sad having to feel so restricted in this so called "safe" city.
The world is suffering from this stupid behavior from some of sick people not in qatar only .
As we are Muslims our religion actuate to respect human whenever he is from . Specially women who are our sisters . Our prophit said Womens are sisters of men and we have to respect thim.
Also it asked from women to wear Hijab and to cover them selves when they go out thier home . This is to diffusion the respect and love between people.
This behavior happend because some people thinks that froriegn women like that and they are free . This influence of movie and education...
I asked Allah to keep my country safe and peace
The same thing happened to my wife when she arrived here. She wanted to check out a local internet shop a block and half away from our flat when 3 men in a car started slowing down and stared at her as if waiting for a hint or something. It was just good that she saw a familiar face we met at church who accompanied her to the internet shop.
I was at work when this happened so she just told me afterwards. Since then, my wife wouldn't go out on walks until and unless she's with me.
I think that most of these men here (locals and those non-locals that have migrated here) are going thru a sort of "culture shock" to see that there are women in pants, jeans, jogging attire, etc that are walking, jogging, about nowadays as compared to when they would see "local" women in Abayas and covered with loose black clothing.
Not to be insensitive of the culture, but this is a result of (or a backlash on) them "getting" used to see women in Abayas and finally now that they see them openly with clothes other than loose black ones, automatically give them the impression that these are women of "pleasure" - it doesn't help that they see western movies on tv giving the impression that women from there are "easy" to get along with.
I don't know.. I think this kind of "practice" will stick around a bit more given that they are still getting used to it... I'm just afraid that some women will really be harassed...
Have you guys heard this rumor that has been going around lately about 5 lady employees of Applebees got raped and only one survived? Is this true?
In any case, just be careful ladies... please be very careful... call 999 immediately...
Best of luck...
in Doha. It happened with me many times, last time 2 hours ago, asking my @how much? (I don't think I look like i'm offering my services in sport clothes, coat and walking my dog), and so many times I saw guys from cars staring at women, so I guess it's normal for them, but irritating for us. This is the thing what I really hate about Qatar. Sometimes I used to imitate when similar cases happened to imitate like I'm writing their car number, it worked.
same experience i had been. What you will expect on those kind of people i so called " mentally ill".So next time just be careful & when things happened again take his plate number & call the police station.
But still hope it won't happen again to anyone.
It's terrible! People here are not used to see alot of ladies walking, especially in leggings or trousers or any tight fitting clothes. And in addition, if you are Europeans and Americans. They just thought that because people in the west are not conservative as here, these psychotics think that it's just ok with you to be taken some photo and follow you or even invite you just like that.
That's terrible, I hope that you and your Mum are OK.
As a result, to have your safety restricted to public areas like the Corniche should be of concern to the authorities. If they want respect, they should teach it here from a very early age.
We frequently use the Aspire Academy track but only in daylight & not for the dogs. It's a tremendous facility but surrounded by trees and car park which someone could use to their advantage. It's a great facility, used by a great many people but additional lighting would make people feel more secure when exercising.
When my Mum came here for a holiday, we decided to go for a work around where we live. As per local custom, we covered our arms and had long trouser on. We had workmen looking at us, as if we had just dropped down from mars, men sounding their car horn. But the worse was a car that passed us a couple of times before he stopped to ask if we wanted to get in his car. I can tell you we were pretty scared. Was I glad when we got home. I think the only place we now go if we want a walk is the Corniche.
In the past if anything happened (our daughter was hassled at one time) I called a Qatari friend with relatives in the army and police.
They had a quiet word and the problem was solved.
If you have a Qatari friend it may be worth while talking to him and asking his advice.
I agree with your comment about ambulance chasers in Doha. Some things never change.
Fire engines used to collect an even larger pack of followers.
Hope you get it sorted out.
We have the make and plate number of the vehicle. Quite surprised that my wife knows what a Honda Accord is!
I'm concerned about what his reaction might be to her taking a photo just in case they do something even more stupid.
Begs the question about what then, Police or MOI if they can be bothered, court case, time, expense, effects?
I remember in Dubai there was a name and shame section in the freebee paper. Motorists on the hard shoulder or emergency lane in particular. might have to add extra sections for the "perves".
Would need 2 pages for photo's of ambulance chasers here in Qatar.
that in the event of it happening again, she record the number plate of the vehicle and possibly take a photograph of the car/individual if she has a camera phone.
That should deter the guy.
It didn't used to be a big problem in Qatar but it sounds as though it may be on the increase as the place develops.