Trying to lift the veil on Qatar

tallg
By tallg

I found this article from BBC correspondant Katya Adler (which I think was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 today) very interesting; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7981478...

I think it highlights the way a lot of expats and visitors in Qatar feel - that none of us are able to get to really KNOW Qatar.

This was my first visit to Qatar and I admit I failed in one of my main missions, to get under the skin of the country.

On Qatar Airways, I met Filipino cabin crew.

The airport ground staff were Pakistani, the hotel receptionist, Sri Lankan, the barista who made my cappuccino on the way to the Arab Summit, Nepali.

I agree that the fact that foreigners outnumber the nationals so highly creates a strange feeling of not being in a specific country at all. The article also suggests that not knowing what really goes on in Qatar doesn't help either;

They laughed at my determined efforts to get to know Qatar.

"Not even Qataris really know what's happening here," they said.

though of course Qatar would never admit that, as Saud bin Ahmad Il Thani, a foreign ministry official, proves;

"Qataris are the realists of the Arab world," Saud told me with conviction.

"Ours is a transparent society. We're straightforward. Straight-talking."

This last part kind of sums it up well;

I told [my Indian tour guide] I was keen to understand Qatari culture. He suggested we go to the equestrian centre, Olympic sports complex, the main golf club, the biggest mall in the world oh, and the best bit, the Waqif market.

Two hundred years old but knocked down and recently rebuilt. Here you can buy so-called Qatari antiques from South Asian shopkeepers.

The article is somewhat brief and does contain a few dubious statements, and I'm sure we could all list other things to do that would give us an insight into the real Qatar, but I did find the piece stuck a cord with me, as I'm sure it will many others.

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By maria_fernandez• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
maria_fernandez

Penny, you are full of jealousy and caca. Sheikha Moza must be unattractive to you since she’s Qatari. I’m Latina and I know my people and the Arab people look similar so we are beautiful. Shakira’s part Lebanese and Columbian of Italian and Spanish decent. Salma Hayek is Mexican American of Lebanese and Spanish decent. Now tell me that these 3 women of Arab decent are not attractive. In fact, there are beautiful people of all races. Unfortunately for you, you are not one of those “beautiful” people. From the pic that you posted a few weeks back, you look like white trash to me. You’re a racist…maybe you are member of the KKK or Skinhead organization.

By BlueGrey• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
BlueGrey

I have never had any problems meeting and becoming friends with Qataris (male & female).

I am a female, and even when I am shopping I have Qatari girls coming to me to ask me questions or just to say hi, how are you, where are you from... All my Qatari friends are very genuine people, and are very respectful and interested in my culture, as well as I am in theirs.

I even visited my landlords house multiple times to have dinner with the family, during Ramadan & Eid. They always ask me to come by and meet their family.

I think it really has to do with attitude. Also I found that lots of people are simply scared to talk to Qataris, but for example, when I walk into an office/elevator/whatever I greet the person that is there and always end up having fun conversations.

In the desert I have met the most fun people, but you just have to be openminded and trusting!

By tallg• 9 years 10 months ago.
tallg

The point of posting the article was to point out that some of us find it hard to get to know Qatar and Qataris, compared to when we go to other countries.

By Nass• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Nass

i don't know what's the point of posting this article, but i have lots of expats friends from different nationalities and as they know i like to meet new ppl, no matters where they are from. The only problem i face is my English isn't that good, so it's hard sometimes to keep up with what they are saying. I faced a situation were expats laughed at the culture and that really was so rude of them.

You never judge a book from the cover and for tall Qataries are so friendly, but you have to break the ice first. :)

By dragonfly212• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
dragonfly212

actually never afraid to say hi first to these ladies in abaya if i like their eyes shadow, color of lipstic but mostly because their parfume (start up conversation), and they always shyly smile and give me response. and if they dont speak english they just say sorry no english and ask me if i speak arabic. qatari woman are actually very sweet, elegant and shyly friendly. indeed you just need to make first approach and the rest is up to them.

i never had problem with the male qatari they all friendly to me.

Everybody is right everybody is wrong, it depend where you stand

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
anonymous

I was told by a Qatari lady (when asked how foreigners can get to know Qataris) that Qataris would find it very odd to be approached by a stranger just out of the blue, at the grocery store, or wherever.

Obviously it wasn't Diamond :-)

But yeah, I would find it strange in my home country too, if someone approached me like that. A smile and a nod is one thing, but it would be a weird way to try to "get to know" someone.

By Gypsy• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
Gypsy

I think it was a pretty accurate description of someone who knows nothing, has never been to, and is only in Doha for a short time.

Unless you've been here awhile it's really hard to recognize Qatari's and you most certainly won't get to meet many if you're here for a day or two!

By cynbob• 9 years 10 months ago.
cynbob

Speed you are so right!

I always smile and say hello. Most everyone (Qatari) smiles back or nods their head recognizing the friendly gesture.

By theresoon• 9 years 10 months ago.
theresoon

Penny dearest- go find yourself a corner anywhere in the world where there are no Indians/ Philipinos. Go on!

By SPEED• 9 years 10 months ago.
SPEED

but not all :-)

One has to understand others mentality ...

When I joined my Company, there was one Qatari Senior Manager... everyone incl. my Qatari boss and assistant told me he is tough guy and he has some attitude problem .. they warn me to keep myself away from him ... in the beginning I faced some problem with him but I never changed my positive attitude towards him.. after few months he became good to me and when he resigned from the Company he came specially to my office to say goodbye to me, today he is a GM for a Group of Companies.

My personal believe is that with your own attitude you can win anyone's heart ...

By SPEED• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
SPEED

no need to mention their names here...

I believe every person has good and bad sides... it's up to us which side we select :-D

Most important thing is 'Give respect take respect'

If you don't respect others so don't expect respect also...

By Mandilulur• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
Mandilulur

Yes, we must acknowlege that our very best people on QL are Qatari. Bleu, diamond, aisha, aisha-taweela, pitstop and of course, our very own "Qatari." Nehebkum! (If I have left anyone out, asfe!)

Mandi

By azilana7037• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
azilana7037

She's one Qatari lady worth knowing too...such kind and lovely heart :-)

By SPEED• 9 years 10 months ago.
SPEED

Qatari is my best friend ;-) my assistant who is also pure Qatari is like my brother ....

I have also attended their family marriages ... recently I met on Qatari guy thru one of my friend, soon we became good friend, later I found he is from a Royal family :-)

In one year I have met several Qataris and many are my friends now, I lived almost 30yrs in UAE I thought Emaritis are best in Middle East, I think Qataris are far better :-)

Last not least .... I have made one online Qatari Brother on QL :-D

By azilana7037• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
azilana7037

just read the article...so much for speed reading :-P

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
diamond

I'm not defending. I write what I believe. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Indians and Philipinos.

And don't ever include me in your 'we'. I don't ever want to be associated with your thoughts.

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By shreeya• 9 years 10 months ago.
shreeya

Thank you Diamond for writing 2 good words for my race and country too!!!

If you ever need a helping hand you’ll find one at the end of your arm.

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
anonymous

you can defend all you like, but they know and we know they are not up to the job.

END Off.

My thoughts are my own, but I doubt my Mum would agree with some of them.

By azilana7037• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
azilana7037

katya who?

By heero_yuy2• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
heero_yuy2

Now that...is Qatar experience. LOL

"Everything in this book may be wrong." Illusions: The Adventures of The Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

By azilana7037• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
azilana7037

saying hello to the qatari women...I could do that. But I don't think the menfolk would like that...hehehehe

They would think I'm nuts ;P

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
anonymous

You want a smile that carrys it all, however a smile does not get get the job done.

My thoughts are my own, but I doubt my Mum would agree with some of them.

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

Er, troll alert. Ignore.

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By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

Azi, well, learning Arabic would be a good start. Becoming knowledgable about the culture. Making the first move and striking up a conversation.

We don't bite ;)

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By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
anonymous

A simple smile changes everything.

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
anonymous

You Indians and Pinoys can and do protest all you like.

However, even with your 'work ethic' you are seen as second class.

Just not over here but elsewhere.

If you want to be seen as a player, just be honest. What is wrong with saying, 'we are not Western, we try our best, it won't be as good but we will try and learn'.

My thoughts are my own, but I doubt my Mum would agree with some of them.

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
diamond

Vagas, why are you waiting for a Qatari to intiate a conversation with you? You are in his country so you ought to make the effort, no?

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By azilana7037• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
azilana7037

What would you suggest the expats and visitors do so they would be able to know the country (it's culture and it's people) better?

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
anonymous

Yeah, it was all about getting "under the skin" of Qatar. I also have lived several months in several Qatari houses with my family and with their families. Absolutely generous people. The "Arab" hospitality that I came here for, was there, all the time. And, my friends visited me in Germany, and I tried to give them what they've given to me. I searched for Faga with them (and found some), and I shared my booze with them. I went to the mosque with them on Friday and shared the lunch with all of them. I grew fourty trees in my garden and they kissed me for that. I don't know what kinds of problems you have.

By Vegas• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
Vegas

In fact the only Qatari I ever spoke to was the captain when I was getting my drivers permit. He treated me with way respect. Anyyway, I only near a qatari when were stuck in the elevator at city center...And it seems they want out of there as quick as I do...Heck they don't know where I am from...So I don't blame them...

If I was a qatari I would ask for half the ex pats to leave so the traffic easier...

If I have all these people in the states clogging my road

I would be flashing light too...

Oh wait I do but they are illegal...were legal here...LOL

Bless Qatar...Thx for the Paycheck...

You can't teach experience...

By azilana7037• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
azilana7037

let's keep it on track, shall we?

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

Penny, you must be a troll. I can't believe you could be so...errr...narrow-minded.

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By edifis• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
edifis

Penny, When you are alone at home you can do this: trace out the maps of India and Phillipines on a sheet of paper and take piss on it until they are wet and soggy! If you are really very angry you can poo on it too.

By azilana7037• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
azilana7037

Like the Egyptian women, the qatari ladies/women have the grace and aura that would make you look their way twice.

I'm a woman, but whenever I see someone in abaya and see their face or eyes, I do feel envy.

By edifis• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
edifis

Best of luck Penny!

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
anonymous

No they are not beautiful at all, but what has that got to do with it?

Indians and Pinoys moan about EVERYTHING over here but don't leave. So they are either taking the piss or they know for sure they are better off.

We Westerners KNOW and appreciate what we have got and are grateful.

However, the Indians and Pinoys moan and complain all the time. Why? They applied for these jobs, they took them on etc.

They lie about qualifications, they know that, so do we. We the Westerners can suss them out from day 1 and that is what they hate.

Just tell the truth as we do. You will be respected.

My thoughts are my own, but I doubt my Mum would agree with some of them.

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
anonymous

I meant Azi's "race", edifis. But you are right, it applies to diamonds' "race", too.

By edifis• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
edifis

True MD, They are extremely beautiful. It's a pity so much beauty going to waste behind the veil!

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
anonymous

Most of them are beautiful (as I see it).

By edifis• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
edifis

I guess only one unique personality may be able to mix with the Qataris and get under the skin of the society, to give a correct insight to the private lives of Qataris.

(The job demands a lot of time and loads of patience).

She is the legendary Jane...........

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

It's the truth Azi, Philipino/as have a lot to be proud of, not least their work ethic and the way they take care of their families, to name but two things.

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By azilana7037• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
azilana7037

at least the day ended with someone saying some GOOD things about my race.

:-)

By azilana7037• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
azilana7037

My sponsor, his wife and lovely kids welcomed me to their home and were very good to me. It was a different experience as I don't speak/understand the language and their daily lifestyle is quite different from mine.

The respect for the elders, the children's respect for the parents, the way they behave when they went out...it was fascinating.

And though it's been years since I left their home, I am still welcomed in their home, invited to their family's gatherings, et al.

If I could have exerted more effort in learning the language (Arabic), I might be able to understand the culture better....

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

Penny, not everyone who is Qatari is from The royal Family lol.

I am proud to know people from India and the Philippines and count some of them as my friends. I love the mixture of cultures here and think it adds to the country.

We can all learn from each other.

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By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
anonymous

you all say you hate America but this is little America. Again, make up your mind.

My thoughts are my own, but I doubt my Mum would agree with some of them.

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
anonymous

the locals are hard to get to know. However, I don't think that is a bad thing.

After all who are they meeting, Indians and people from the Phillipines. I don't want to know them really so why should the Royal Family?

They don't want to know us either.

There are more Indians here than anybody else. What are you doing? You hate the fact UK colonised you but here you are colonising.

Sad.

My thoughts are my own, but I doubt my Mum would agree with some of them.

By tallg• 9 years 10 months ago.
tallg

diamond, as I said in my last comment, I agree with you that I'm not doing things right, and that doing it right would be against my nature and take me out of my comfort zone. I realise that is perhaps a weakness on my part.

But I still stand by my analysis of the article; that it's hard to get to know Qataris and Qatar.

adey - I actually have a thobe and gutra. I look damn good in them :D

By adey• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
adey

I suggest you try this method, I chuckle to think of you donning a thobe, visiting a coffee shop, speaking in Arabic and actually trying this: :P

"Deaths in the Bible. God - 2,270,365

not including the victims of Noah's flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, or the

many plagues, famines, fiery serpents, etc because no specific numbers

were given. Satan - 10."

By Eve• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
Eve

The article in my viewpoint was absolute rubbish, she doesn't take into account culture and how different Arab culture it. You don't get invited into Qatari families until they know you well and even then many prefer to keep their lives private. No doubt all the negative influences have something to do with that. In Souk Wagif their are many opportunities to talk with Qataris and ask questions. I feel she had a negative view and wanted to write such. In any new country that is modernizing its not easy to make a balance but I think Qatar goes out of their way to be hospitable far more than where I come from. She doesn't even take into acount its a different culture that is still trying to keep some of their traditions, I am thankful they have not let all their ways go like in other Arab countries.

By Eagley• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
Eagley

Erm.. Qatari culture is somewhat like Malay culture actually. Conservative. While I'm not Malay but my growing up environment was similar.

They are private people, sometimes shy if they are not confident of communicating in English. Many of my company guys are quiet too and keep to themselves.

As for "organize local event where expat can come and get to know more about qatari culture, without being judge as a rebel." - I thought the Qatar Guest Centre had that twice already in the past 2-3 months. I missed both because too busy working :0(

I think there are events around town, just not loudly advertised. Again, not in their nature to draw too much attention to themselves. They just quietly passed the word around. Not because they are elitists but because they are generally self effacing.

*****************************************

Don't want no drama,

No, no drama, no, no, no, no drama

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
diamond

Oh Tall! Don't be ridiculous. There are lots of ways to meet Qataris. You know that. It just may put you out of your comfort zone and perhaps you don't want to do that. Have you learned any Arabic as an ice-breaker? Have you actively made an effort to go to places other than your coffee shop idea?

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By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

And, Alexa, we're VERY selective about who we are friends with ;)

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By tallg• 9 years 10 months ago.
tallg

I guess you're right diamond. If the way to get to know a Qatari is to go out and force myself upon them when they're enjoying a coffee or something, then I'm never going to "get it right". That sort of approach is not in my nature.

It's unfortunate because it means the only impression I will have of Qataris is then one formed from observing their behaviour when I'm out and about around Doha. Yet from the conversations with Qataris I've got to know through QL (specifically the ones with you) I realise they have so much more to offer than that.

By dragonfly212• 9 years 10 months ago.
dragonfly212

hi abu once you know why, please do share with us here. am dying to know why they are behaving like that.

Everybody is right everybody is wrong, it depend where you stand

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

Perhaps it's your personality AbuAmerican. They may just be not that into you ;)

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By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
diamond

Well, Tall, you are knocking Qatar in your own way.

If you want to know Qataris, you've got to do what it takes to get to know one.

Thousands of expats have Qatari friends, so I guess it's you who's not getting it quite right.

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By tallg• 9 years 10 months ago.
tallg

I hope people don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking Qatar or the Qatari people. They are perfectly entitled to behave however they want in their own country.

I am not someone who will just walk up to strangers in a coffee shop or a a mosque or whatever, regardless of what country I'm in. And there were certainly no Qataris at the clubs and societies I've frequented (though that's more of a refection on me).

So yes, I guess I will end up leaving Qatar having never got to know a Qatari and know Qatar properly as a country. I find that a bit sad, but as you correctly point out, if I was that bothered I'd have done something about it.

As an example, I went to Oman for 3 days last week, and felt I got to know the country and people there better than I have Qatar and Qataris in nearly 3 years, because you immediately find yourself in situations where you're talking to and interacting with Omanis.

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

Dragonfly, there are many events throughout the year that focus on local culture and custom.

And, it is up to you, as an expat, to make an effort to get to know the country you have chosen to come and live in.

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By dragonfly212• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
dragonfly212

agree with alexa, qatari need to be more friendly to the expat and reach out to us. They should organize local event where expat can come and get to know more about qatari culture, without being judge as a rebel.

every other countries do this, why not qatar???

Everybody is right everybody is wrong, it depend where you stand

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

Hey Bleu, maybe we should start a 'Get To Know The Natives' company, offering authentic Qatari experiences lol.

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By bleu• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
bleu

It's quite simple, the reporter expected to see us everywhere, and we weren't, and she was disappointed.

It does appear that she wants it to be just like visiting any other country where we're "rushing up to expatriates, grabbing them by the hand and saying 'come meet the natives, see the natives at play?', whilst sprinkling them with rosewater and offering a cup of kahwa"

By anonymous• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
anonymous

Get that Reporter on QL....

...maybe she doesn't know it exist....maybe she will get a very brief glance of Qatar....

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
diamond

Happy x 2, how've you been? I've been away from QL a lot, and I missed your intelligence and wit ;)

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By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
diamond

Sorry, but on her ONE visit to Qatar she expected a lot with minimal input from herself. Pffft. Are we supposed to be rushing up to expats, grabbing them by the hand and saying 'come meet the natives, see the natives at play?', whilst sprinkling them with rosewater and offering a cup of kahwa. Give me a break.

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By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
diamond

Well, Tall, I guess if you want to get to know Qataris enough then that's what you'll have to be willing to do. Though there are many other ways to get to know Qataris other than approaching them in coffee shops!...go to a club/society, visit a mosque at prayer time, etc. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and step out of your expat box though.

There are many Qataris who live completely in Qatari circles having only the most minimal interaction with expats. I guess they like it like that. On the other hand, there are Qataris who interact at all levels with expats. We're a mixed bunch ;)

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By PaulCowan• 9 years 10 months ago.
PaulCowan

Alexa, I bet you didn't "get under the skin" on a 24-hour flying visit with the objective of "getting under the skin" and then telling the world. I'll bet it took weeks from first meeting to talking about politics and family histories.

I'm really a bit confused about what that BBC woman was trying to achieve. Would anyone find out anything more if they jetted into London on a mission to find out what makes society tick? Isn't the concept really a little bit absurd?

Maybe she was just scheduled to fill a "slot" and couldn't think of anything else to write. I wonder if the foreign information people would find a Qatari family for a BBC reporter to live with for a week if they asked for that, instead of trying to find Qataris in Karwa cabs and among Qatar Airways cabin staff.

By Happy Happy• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
Happy Happy

Younger Qatari generation can sometimes click easily with expats. But there're sometimes worries, from their side, about their parents' acceptance of this mingling.

I'm speaking from my own experience, and can give examples.

Salam

By tallg• 9 years 10 months ago.
tallg

I agree the article does come across as weak in parts, but I think she was trying to get a point across, and one that rings familiar with some of us.

I guess I come from a background where you just get to know people in day to day life, without having to make an effort. But the way society segregates itself in Qatar means the only way I'd get to know a Qatari is if I walked up to them in a coffee shop or something and introduced myself. I would never do that even if I spoke fluent Arabic, and I wouldn't do that in my home country either.

It's not just about meeting people though. It's about feeling that you're experiencing a country.

By Happy Happy• 9 years 10 months ago.
Happy Happy

Last time we talked, was since Egypt won the African Cup!

God only knows I have no vested interest in my greeting you here, except checking on you..:)

Hope all is well with you.

Salam

By PaulCowan• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
PaulCowan

Qatari culture is about the family, the more you or I get involved with it, the weaker it becomes; and you can't just walk in, not knowing anything about Islam (or Arabic), and expect to "get under the skin" of it.

The government has had the wit to realise that foreigners come looking for a "real Arab experience", so they've built us a real imitation souq to play in, full of authentic Arab coffee shops (and they even put back the shops full of spices, pots and pans or jalabiyas that really were there originally).

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
diamond

The article is a bit pathetic and parts of it untrue. She didn't try very hard to meet locals. -------------------------------------

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
diamond

Tall, how hard have you tried to get to know a local (apart from myself, that is ;) Or do you indeed want to?

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By Happy Happy• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Happy Happy

It might be the case with some, but it's sometime about friendship.

I, for one, have very good Qatari friends (not co-workers),I've never asked for any favors, at all.

Salam

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
diamond

If you want to get to know local then you have to make some effort. Make yourself aware of a few local customs, learn some Arabic, etc. We are here for the asking ;)

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By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
diamond

That may be true of your own experiences Ummjake but in my case I have many expat friends, some of them lifelong who want nothing other than my friendship.

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By ummjake• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
ummjake

have the chance to get to know a local on a deeply personal level. You might work with some Qataris, or even get an invitation to one of their brother's or sister's weddings, but that's about it. They tend to keep to themselves and hold most foreigners at arm's length.

At most, we're acquaintances with one another, each valued and used by the other for our own selfish purposes (expats use Qataris for their wasta, for help in getting things done locally; Qataris use expats for their English language/internet/business expertise and/or access to alcohol).

"Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise."

-- Maya Angelou

By tallg• 9 years 10 months ago.
tallg

I don't think it's a question of "wanting" something from the locals brit. It's just an observation that we don't get to see the local life and culture, partly because of the reasons you mentioned.

By tallg• 9 years 10 months ago.
tallg

Yes, I think that's the point of the article diamond - that very few expats/visitors get to see the local life and customs, which I personally feel is a shame.

By britexpat• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
britexpat

I am always curious as to what "expats" want from locals.

The expats outnumber the locals greatly. Qataris, whilst conservative are finding themselves thrust into the 21st century. Their outlook, culture, family life is being impacted.

So, they don't run out and invite every one of into their homes whilst giving us a big hug. Having worked in Kuwait and Saudi, i find Qataris quite remarkable, highly educated and easy going.

I would rather they took their time and weren't made to rush into adopting customs, attitudes etc just because we want them to.

By diamond• 9 years 10 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
diamond

yes, for expats it is, but there are many parts of Qatar where local life and customs are alive and kicking. It's a curious mix really.

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