A personal view of the exit visa system in Qatar

By ngourlay

I should have been reporting to you today from Beirut. Qatar Journal had been invited to send a delegation to the 2nd Arab Free Press Forum, and I had the amazing honour of being the only journalist from Qatar to be attending. In the past six months, Qatar Journal had become more popular and well known than I'd ever predicted, and I was looking forward to sitting down with some journalists who were trying to do the same job as me - publish interesting news without provoking a backlash. Anyway, I'm not in Beirut, and no journalists from Qatar will be at the Arab Free Press Forum. This morning, I was refused exit from Qatar.

Most residents are familiar with Qatar's exit visa system, but it's probably worthwhile explaining again. Basically, to leave the country you have to ask your boss for permission. If you're a low-paid worker, your boss might refuse to let you leave the country because he's worried about you not returning. Qatar has been under pressure to scrap the system; earlier this year, the Prime Minister said the system was being reviewed. "It is difficult to retain the exit permit system in its existing form. The system is being criticised. It is being likened to slavery," he said. This has raised concerns amongst the business community that, given the opportunity to leave, many of their employees will run as fast as they can.

Well, I never felt like a slave, because I'd never been refused exit, and I'd never had to apply for an exit visa. My wife runs a local company, and I've been free to travel through the airport on family sponsorship without any other paperwork. Until today. I don't know what's changed at the airport since I last travelled, and neither does the Immigration Service. Maybe the existing rules are being more strictly enforced, or maybe it's just a mistake by an immigration official. It doesn't really matter, the results are the same. I thought I could travel freely, and now I can't.

I've lost a few thousand riyals on my air ticket and my suitcase is somewhere on its way to the Lebanon. Now, these inconveniences obviously hurt for a while, but I'll get over them. Maybe I can convince Qatar Airways or the organizers of the conference to refund my airfare, and even if they don't, I have enough savings that it's not going to put me into debt. I trust that eventually my suitcase will be returned, and even if it isn't, I can replace the clothes fairly easily. I could even contact other journalists and ask them for transcripts of the forum sessions I've missed.

What will last for a longer time is the feeling of being trapped in Qatar. On the way home from the airport this morning, I decided to get my family out of the country at the earliest opportunity. By the time I had arrived home, I had calmed down, but still I feel uneasy about this place. I thought I understood the visa system, and I also thought that holding a UK passport and being under family sponsorship of a General Manager of a local company gave me more rights than a Nepali labourer. The question I will be asking myself tonight as I fall asleep is: "If the bombs start to fall on Tehran in the New Year, will I be able to take my son and flee the country?" Until this morning, I thought I knew the answer, but now I'm not sure.

Copy/pasted from Qatar Journal

Republished as a letter by Gulf Times on Sunday 9 November. They edited out the bit about bombs falling on Tehran, which is probably a wise decision. Four letters have been written to the newspaper in response. All have objected to my sentence "... I also thought that holding a UK passport and being under family sponsorship of a General Manager of a local company gave me more rights than a Nepali labourer". Here are the links: Jay Pereda's letter, AD, Pratap Sen, and Anonymous's letters.

Update, 11 December: It looks like I have annoyed several readers with one particular sentence. I'm sorry - that wasn't my intention, and in retrospect I certainly could have chosen my words more sensitively. I'd like to clarify that I am not in favour of racial discrimination. When I said I thought I had more rights, I didn't mean that I thought I should have more rights. I also thought that the first part of the article made clear my sympathy for people who were denied exit from the country by their employers. I can see how someone would be angry that a family member of a well-paid worker from the West would assume they had more rights than a low-paid worker from elsewhere. All I can say is that I wish everyone in Qatar was treated equally.

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

"Rights are protected not by laws, but by the social and moral conscience of society... and journalists shape the social and moral conscience of society."

so TRUE:)

Salam knox :)

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
knoxcollege

You have made my day

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

OBVIOUSLY when Malkovich used the phrase 'rather just shoot', he used it as a figure of speech.

and uff uff uff... the irony! in Robert Fisk you have just taken the name of a journalist who is one of the moral beacons for other journalists the world over!! and thats exactly where the journalist in question has failed.

And since you've asked, I think the sponsorship system should go because its a violation of immigrant rights. But that is a completely different issue all together.

Rights are protected not by laws, but by the social and moral conscience of society... and journalists shape the social and moral conscience of society.

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
knoxcollege

I hope you know Robert Fisk and john malkovich.

Just read the following

Taken from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Malkovich

"In the United Kingdom in 2002 at the Cambridge Union Society, Malkovich when asked whom he would most like to "fight to the death," he replied that he would "rather just shoot" journalist Robert Fisk and British MP George Galloway."

Good Luck in taking Malkovich to court. I am done reasoning with you.

Good Day. Just tell me in Yes or No, Do you believe that the current sponsorship system in Qatar should stay?

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

tallg and melissa, both of you are saying that expecting preferential treatment is okay if it is common. I would say that the repetition of an offence does not justify it.

Knox, you are saying it is not a crime to just think that you want to kill someone. I would say that having it printed in the daily press that you are thinking of killing someone is the dumbest thing you can do. THAT tallg CAN get you convicted.

Melissa, the sentence you have given is not the right example because the subject in no way attributes to the state of the object. That is, you have nothing to do with the state of the sidewalk. A better example would be, 'I thought I would be allowed to jump the queue, but I wasn't'.

Besides, racialism as a state of mind is wrong without you acting on it.

Tweety, I agree with you that it is the sense of entitlement that is the issue here...

By cyrus7476• 14 years 6 months ago.
cyrus7476

I guess what Qatar is..........full of surprises. According to me, different rules are made by the Ruler and they are edited as wished by these so called officials. Everything will be fine if Qatarization is kept aside.I can imagine how upset one can get, if you are all set for travelling and these excellent officials make mistakes about exits...

By TweetyBird• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
TweetyBird

You are SO right about the pigeon-holing in Qatar. My husband just said the other day that instead of being more culturally aware you are faced with more obvious racism. But with respect to what the kids have learned, it is still priceless. My children now have friends from several different countries (East and West). They have experienced aspects of Islam from their Muslim friends which is very cool. They have also seen the ugly side of racism here in Qatar and while I don't like it - it does give us as parents the opportunity to discuss it with them. Hopefully all of this - good and not so good - well make them better adults. Afterall - it is today's children who will make the world of tomorrow.

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

Yes, what you say makes perfect sense and it sums up nicely the difference between expecting something will occur and believing that something is right. And of course what I said was a very simplistic example.

I hope this doesn't sound patronising, but well done on recognising a problem and doing something about it. I think from an adult point of view Qatar probably isn't a good place to break down your barriers with other cultures, since different cultures/nationalities are so pigeon-holed here - these people do that job, those do that one, etc, etc. But for the children it is probably good.

I grew up in the south-west of England where it is definitely not very multi-cultural, but going to university in one of the big cities (Birmingham) and then living in London for a few years certainly broadened my cultural awareness, as has coming to Qatar to a certain extent.

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By TweetyBird• 14 years 6 months ago.
TweetyBird

Yes exactly - subconscious racism. I hate to admit it but I fall victim to that. By no means do I belong to the KKK and I do believe to the bottom of my toes that we all deserve the same opportunites and we deserve to be treated with equal amount of respect regardless of race or religion - but I still approach people of other cultures with some what of a hesitancy. I recognize this as a fault of mine - mostly acquired through upbringing in a small town in the USA where diversity is slim to none. This is part of the reason my husband and I moved here - to work on changing that in ourselves but more importantly exposing our children to different cultures. I think we as a generation should recognize our faults and improve upon them through our children in the next generation - it is the best that I can do at least.

So with that said - no expecting to see non-westerners on a building project is not racist but believing that westerners are too good to be working in those positions would be racist. Does that make sense? Of course what Nigel wrote was not as obviously blatant but it just occured to me that maybe it was an unconsious sense of entitlement.

I am in no way looking to argue with you but I would love to hear your response. Thanks

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

I think I see where you're coming from TweetyBird - a kind of subconscious racism you mean?

But does that mean I'm being subconsciously racist when I look out at the numerous building sites in West Bay and expect to see non-western expats working there. It's not that I think they should be doing the work instead of westerners, but that's what I'm used to seeing every day.

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By TweetyBird• 14 years 6 months ago.
TweetyBird

I've been following this thread for a couple of days and I finally have something to say:

I don't know Nigel other than through what he posts but I do enjoy his posts and he comes across as intelligent and as a decent human being. With respect to whether he is a racist or not - well of course he would deny it - we all do because it is not PC (politically correct) but that doesn't mean that deep down we don't have tendencies that we work hard to squelch. I don't think Nigel meant to be insensitive or insulting to any race but the fact that he did not realize that writing that comment was a major faux pas says more than anything he or anyone else has said or done in this thread. His action of voicing his feelings in such a way shows a sense of entitlement that he feels is his due. Do you see what I am saying - the fact that he felt he could write that comment says way more than the comment itself. And as Excellfriend said - this is merely my opinion and I respect the fact that not everyone will agree with it.

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

Good luck trying to convict someone in court for thinking about killing a person!!!

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By Melissa• 14 years 6 months ago.
Melissa

I EXPECTED, before I set foot outside my apartment building this morning, that the sidewalk would be a torn-up jumble of bricks. Sure enough, just as I THOUGHT, the sidewalk was indeed a torn-up jumble of bricks.

Now that I've posted this, I'll sit back and wait for all the insults to pour in from people demanding that I apologize for the condition of the sidewalk.

www.melissatheloud.com

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
knoxcollege

Did he kill? Did he plan to kill? Did he make arrangements to get him killed? Did he buy the gun? Did he buy the poison? Did he hire a hitman?

OR Did he only thought that he (the opponent) should be killed.

Lets see how good are you in this game.

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

lol - I can't believe we've got down to analysing individual words in the sentence!

I can see how people may have taken exception if they read it as 'expected to be treated differently', though even this isn't necessarily racist. If someone is treated differently because of their nationality on a regular basis (as Nigel was all the previous times he left the country, and as we all often are in Qatar) then it is perfectly normal to EXPECT to receive the same treatment the next time. It doesn't mean it is right or that you agree with it, it just means that you got used to something happening and THOUGHT it would continue happen.

The fact that nationalities are treated differently here is racist on the part of the country and authorities. But thinking that you will be treated the same way you were last time is not racist, regardless of whether that treatment itself is racist or not.

I think we've now successfully shown that the sentence can be interpreted in different ways!

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

Let us analyze closely the infamous sentence in question,"and I also THOUGHT that etc. etc. ", words that by are by now etched in many of our heads.

I would like to draw your attention to the word used... 'THOUGHT'. One of the definitions of the word THOUGHT in its form as a verb as per the Merrian-Webster dictionary is 'to have as an expectation'.

That is that the person in question may have inadvertently conveyed to many the meaning that he 'expected' to be treated differently. And this is what people took exception to.

Now if someone else can point out a different meaning to that word in this context, which many people suggest is the actual case, then we can give the benefit of the doubt to our friend...

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
knoxcollege

Quoting Melissa

"I was wrong to say that the authorities in Qatar usually treat rich westerners better than they treat Nepali labourers. This was insulting to Qataris, implying that they are racist, so I sincerely apologize for my error. In fact, now that I have had time to survey a large number of both rich westerners and Nepali labourers, I can report that the Qatari authorities treat them both equally, or in fact give preferential treatment to the Nepalis. In all my future news articles, I will always point out that there is no racism in Qatar, and the government always treats everyone equally. In fact, I will refuse to write any articles about poor labourers who claim they have been discriminated against, since such stories are obviously lies."

You should write more. You do have a good sense of humor. Lolz at survey results.

By Melissa• 14 years 6 months ago.
Melissa

Frog, I thought you were against racism, but now I hear this from you:

"What was wrong with Nigel's statement is that he named a specefic nationality, which is very insulting"

Are you saying that it's an insult to call someone Nepali? :)

www.melissatheloud.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

lol talg,

yeah I think he wishes he had done this :D

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

Hi frog, I can see where your coming from and that is probably what Nigel is apologising for. Though as you said it is insulting rather than racist.

However the alternative would be to say non-western expats or something similar, which is probably equally insulting but to far more people.

(Actually the alternative was to leave the statement out altogether as it wasn't really relevant to the story, something which Nigel probably wishes he had done).

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
anonymous

Thank you excellentfriend for your valuable comment. That was accurate ,brief and to the point.

talg salam,

What was wrong with Nigel's statement is that he named a specefic nationality, which is very insulting ( maybe not intentionally racist). Just imagine yourself a Nepalese member on this forum... how would you feel ?

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

hi hashin - I'm defending him against people who say he is racist.

When he realised that he had upset people with that sentence he apologised accordingly. However, he didn't admit to or apologise for being racist, because he didn't have to. Indeed, in his apology he tries to clarify what the words he wrote mean, and how they aren't racist.

To be honest, I'm not even that bothered about defending him. I'm more interested in trying to point out to people that what he said isn't racist. It's proving quite hard though so I'm going to give up.

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

I am pretty stumped at how people are still trying to defend Nigel even after he himself admitted that he has made a mistake. Excellfriend has very eloquently summed up my views on this topic.

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

But Nigel did not say that he "thinks that he should be treated differently because of his nationality or passport or colour of his skin", he said that he THOUGHT he was. There is a crucial difference. The first is a racist statement, the second is a statement about the situation in Qatar.

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By excellfriend• 14 years 6 months ago.
excellfriend

hi

i do fully understand and appreciate that each one of us have different views and we are all entitled to it. but i would like to make one point clear. with this i am ending it as i am also not keen in arguments. that will take us nowhere.

the very fact that one man thinks that he should be treated differently because of his nationality or passport or colour of his skin indicates what he thinks of himself. there can be no second opinion on that. be it just a slip or otherwise (i am not saying that his comments are very intentional and i do really understand that it was a mere statement). but it does reflect what he had or has in his mind.

while each one of us honestly want oneself to be treated better than the other is quite natural. but not based on nationality. a human being is a human being, be it a british, or an american or anyone . that needs to be basically respected. by god's grace one tends to get better education and profile so that he is better off than the other in terms of position, power or money. but the basic human being is a basic human being. there cannnot be any differentiation on that. yes it may be true that the westerners are being treated favourably as compared to the eastereners even in Qatar. but as an individual i cannot expect that to happen. that is wrong.

commiting a mistake is not a crime per se. but even after knowing fully well that i have committed a mistake and not owning up morally is difenitely a crime. again it is my opinion and i know fully well that opinions can differ.

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

Frog - surely you can see that just saying "the nepalese get a worse deal than me" doesn't constitute racism?

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

excelfriend - firstly it is not a racist comment. I'm sick and tired of people shouting "RACISM!" all the time (not just in this thread).

He did not say that he should be treated better than a Nepalese labourer. He said that in this country he normally is. It was merely a statement about the situation in this country - i.e. that westerners are treated better then non-western expats. Whether we like it or not, that's a fact and there's nothing wrong with someone putting that fact down in writing.

I'm not going to get into an argument about what does and does not constitute racism, the above is all I have to say. If you disagree then you have obviously read different definitions of racism to me.

So he does not need to apologise for being racist. If you read the post update you will see that he does apologise if his comment upset anyone, and says he wishes he had chosen his words more carefully. I think this is more than adequate.

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

Melissa lol

hahahaha Even if I don't agree with what you're trying to say between the lines, but the way you put it is really funny :)

Well, I guess Nigel's comment was a terrible slippery of tongue, but it was highly significant. Lots of people do think the same and when making comparison, they would always pick a poor nepalese to show how good or bad their situation is. Quite sad how we may turn racist within few days spent in Doha.

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By Melissa• 14 years 6 months ago.
Melissa

I wasn't going to respond, but you did say "Correct me if i am wrong."

You say you want ngourlay "simply accepting that what he said is wrong and that he apologies for that." Maybe his apology should go like this:

"I was wrong to say that the authorities in Qatar usually treat rich westerners better than they treat Nepali labourers. This was insulting to Qataris, implying that they are racist, so I sincerely apologize for my error. In fact, now that I have had time to survey a large number of both rich westerners and Nepali labourers, I can report that the Qatari authorities treat them both equally, or in fact give preferential treatment to the Nepalis. In all my future news articles, I will always point out that there is no racism in Qatar, and the government always treats everyone equally. In fact, I will refuse to write any articles about poor labourers who claim they have been discriminated against, since such stories are obviously lies."

There. Feel better now? All ngourlay has to do is sign it.

www.melissatheloud.com

By excellfriend• 14 years 6 months ago.
excellfriend

I read and reread this post. There are two things. one is all about the exit system and the other about certain comments made by the author of the post.

Let me talk about the second thing first. Inspite of me reading it well, i still do not find a word of apology from him. I mean in straight terms without beating around the bush and simply accepting that what he said is wrong and that he apologies for that. Period.

It is a blatant racial comment and just not acceptable. I do not want to say anything more thereby me also becoming racial.

Has anyone else found anywhere in the post something to this context. pl let me know.

Reg. Exit permit system, i think time has come for Qatar to scrap this. Which other country in the region has such a system? I know of atleast two cases, one of friend who could not leave in time to attend his father's funeral and the other who could not be present at the time of his wife's delivery, where people could not leave due to this stupid system. Whatever the apprehensions the authorities have, be it govt. or the banks or the employers or anyone for that matter, could be addressed and some workable solutions could be found out.

This exit permit really puts off many talented people to come to Qatar. Becos at the end of the day the feeling that I cannot leave the country in an emergency (like attending father's funeral) leaves a big scar.

By Melissa• 14 years 6 months ago.
Melissa

This whole thing is reminding me of the classic technique that ruling classes use to control the lower classes, in many different countries and eras. They set the various lower classes against each other, so, for example, the Westerners and Nepalis keep squabbling over who has more rights, so they're too distracted to look up and see what the real problem is.

This tangent has distracted people from the real topic. I asked a question about it above, but no one answered it, so here it is again:

Other countries don't need this exit visa system to keep their workers. What is so special about Qatar that they fear that their workers will run away if given a chance?

www.melissatheloud.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

I apprecieted Niggel's apology, but that was stated in a way like " ok., sorry. Now leave me in peace " lol

Dear Niggel,

You're a journalist and you certainly know that mistakes like the one you did has some consequences. So, Assume :)

Sans rancune :)

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
knoxcollege

when it comes to immigration and visa etc. How could he have known that he will not be allowed to leave when for some time back he had been allowed to leave without an exit permit.

The best thing in Qatar is that it all depends upon the person of authority. You cannot challenge his decision or authority.

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

Nepalis - there are another 33 who need food and clothing any donations will be accepted with open arms.

Sorry to put that here.

By jauntie• 14 years 6 months ago.
jauntie

and I believe it wasn't so very long ago that a certain Sri Lankan got taken apart by QLers when he made a remark about it being beneath him to respond to a tea-boy.

NG simply said what it appears everyone who works in Doha knows .... i.e. there is discrimination against the poorer ones working here when it comes to fair treatment.

The fact that some QLers chose to leap on him for that 'line' shows how hyper sensitive some are for no REAL reason and chose to take his comment in a way so as to screw it around to call him a racist.

To be honest, from what I've read here I'm very glad I'm NOT treated like Nepali worker and that I AM in a position where I seem to be able to come and go as I choose.

BUT, like NG, I also wish things were different. Ask the people who employ the Nepalis why it isn't. I bet they aren't Qataris.

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

Hmm interesting point, however, luckily enough I don't have these worries if I ask for something I get it.

To his article - he was upset and heated at the time he wrote it so he wasn't thinking clearly, he lost his chance to go and report in Lebanon and hell I would have been mad too - however, it is always good to check what you need to get outof the country. In fact I was of the opinion that everyone needed it - and I was surprised that even members of the royal family have to have all the proper entry visas etc. when travelling, even only very special members have diplomatic passes so you see we are all applicable to the rules of the country.

By Oryx• 14 years 6 months ago.
Oryx

hello of course u r right... but when has there ever been any logic to immigration procedures and their visa charges anywhere?

but if we get into a debate on immigration procedures and anecdotes...wow we will fill the website.... all races/nationalities can claim descrimination at immigration .....

The author apologised what more can he do... ????

The point has been made, just accept it gracefully and move on.

If you keep banging on and on after an apology has been given then....

you have the chip on your shoulder

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

Everyone is right when they say rules should apply to everyone equally, regardless of colour/race. But the fact is that in Qatar that isn't the case. Using this thread as an example, Nigel used to be able to leave the country without an exit visa because the rules were bent for UK nationals. Then one time the rules weren't bent for him and that's what started this whole thing.

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

I see you are back at your old games lol.

On point is valid here what is good for the goose is good for the gander now doubt about it.

Colour, race nor creed should ever play a role in exit permits I totally agree with that statement.

By haddoc• 14 years 6 months ago.
haddoc

Nigel is getting back for what he wrote by 'mistake' about "western" supremacy or "racial" superiority. By the way a journalist should be more careful about mentioning nationalities, that too when he/she is claiming sympathy for being victim to a system that is common place here in Qatar for ages.This exit permit system applies to all and there would have been countless Asians who would have been affected like Nigel. Many would have complained too but none of them would have elicited a response like what NG's letter received.I guess all know the reason why.

A few months back an Asian (probably Indian)lost his baggage at the airport and wanted to report it to the desk. The security officer (maybe he was not in charge of that section)there shooed him away and asked him to wait. In another minute or so a westerner came there wanting to lodge a complaint about his lost baggage and the same security fellow was all over him trying to help him.After having done with the westerner he turned his attention to the Asian with little interest in what he was doing. Goes to show how a white skin appeals to people here little realising how people from the arab world are treated in the western world.

2 months back I travelled to US and had an easy time getting out of the immigration (I am Asian/colored), but an arab who accompanied my friend ( same nationality as mine) was grilled for 2 hours by 2 sections though he was such a lovable guy.In fact the interrogating authorities went to the extent asking my friend why did he want to accompany that Arab guy and could have avoided waiting for him for 2 hours.

Rules are rules irrespective of color/race.I hope people understand that and avoid having delusions that being western or white gives them all the freedom they want.

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
knoxcollege

You dont need to be intimidated. This is the virtual world. Feel free to express your opinions.

Though hashin have been very careful and respectful in his posts and is doing a good job in inciting people against Nigel. I would have been pretty content with hashin had he said something about the sponsorship system. But it looks as if he can only criticize people's thoughts but cannot say anything about actions that are causing misery to millions.

By Oryx• 14 years 6 months ago.
Oryx

Any body got a spare bag of cement????????

Looks like the chip on Hashin's shoulder needs filling in!

By Happy Happy• 14 years 6 months ago.
Happy Happy

My words meant exactly what you have read. No second meaning implied. So don't even think of starting any argument of any kind in this area. Not acceptable by me, a person who believes in humanity over and above any other identifier.

Your comment was not appreciated. And this is my last writing to ngourlay's topic.

Salam

By ChupaRustom• 14 years 6 months ago.
ChupaRustom

Why bring religion in this issue?

By Happy Happy• 14 years 6 months ago.
Happy Happy

I know ngourlay’s words will resound and their impact will last long enough to make him pay for his statement, specially because of his critical profession and that his article reflects a whole belief of unequal rights and superiority of certain nationalities.

But the man publicly apologized and admitted it was a mistake, right? do you expect him to throw himself in front of car to end his life??

What action do you want him to take? I personally would advocate another independent article in GT to correct his stance, and as suggested above, to write an official apology to the nationality and profession he originally offended. He may also clarify it was triggered by the racial system applied in a “religious” country.

May I say he’ll be fired right after that article..!:))

Salam

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
tallg

That letter from AD is shocking. Nigel is not trying to say he SHOULD have more rights than the Nepali labourers but is pointing out that here in Qatar, rightly or wrongly, that is normally the case.

I hope Nigel replies to these letters to point out that they have mis-interpreted "that sentence".

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http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
anonymous

I am not the author of this piece, this is a cut/paste from Gulf Times.

Dear Sir,

This has reference to the letter published in Gulf Times of December 9 under the heading ‘Journalist refused exit’. ’Mr Nigel Gourlay seems to be suffering from an exaggerated sense of self-importance and pompousness.

While one can understand his angst at being refused exit, he must understand that the law of the land applies equally to all expatriates whether it is a Nepali labourer or a British passport holder. If Mr Gourlay feels so strongly about the issue, he should move himself and his family to greener pastures. His letter smacks typically of the superiority complex of some Western expatriates working in the Gulf.

Pratap Sen

PO Box 470

Doha

Dear Sir,

I refer to the letter ‘Journalist refused exit’ in your newspaper. I do believe the writer’s concerns are valid. However, while the entire letter was well written, I believe he should have restrained himself rather than making the comment “I also thought that holding a UK passport and being under family sponsorship of a general manager of a local company gave me more rights than a Nepali labourer.”

(Name and address supplied)

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

I am not the author of this piece, this is a cut/paste from Gulf Times.

No racism please, we all are equal

Dear Sir,

This is in reference to Mr Nigel Gourlay’s letter (‘Journalist refused exit’, December 9). While many of us sympathise with Mr Gourlay and can understand his concern, he should have limited his story to the actual issue rather than expanding it to convey his racism-loaded superiority complex to the readers.

Readers’ time and precious space in this column could have been saved, had he restrained from explaining how a few thousand riyals and losing clothes do not matter to him, as he can afford to replace the loss without causing a dent in his savings. He probably is not the first person, and definitely not going to be the last, to go through such a situation.

It was extremely shocking to read his statement “I also thought that holding a UK passport and being under family sponsorship of a general manager of a local company gave me more rights than a Nepali labourer”.

I am not sure why Mr Gourlay thinks he should be more privileged for being a UK national and on the other hand why someone else should not be, just because he or she is from some other nationality. I am extremely disappointed that such outspokenly racist people exist and are tolerated in the society, and are employed as journalists by reputed organisations.

In general, the common people look upon the journalists to report unbiased, truthful, free from cast and colour facts to the world, whereas, here we have a journalist, who is openly spreading the message of difference in treatment based on his origin.

Coming from a developed nation, where rights are common for everyone and are not differentiated based on the person’s origin, I am saddened to know that the so-called developed countries still have such citizens who think so lowly about other human beings. Statement(s) made by Mr Gourlay is a good example of the reasons because of which Western nationals like us and our countries are not liked by our friends from the rest of the world. He and other such people should not only refrain from making such comments, but should also undergo some counselling sessions to treat this “mental illness”.

Based on one isolated incident, the writer has already started thinking of how he would leave the country in case of emergency, but has shown no concern on how the same labourer (irrespective of his origin), who might have built the house he is living in, who might be working in his office, cleaning his house/car, would leave in case of emergency. On the contrary, the writer is wondering what would give him “more rights” just because he is a UK national...

When the majority of the world people are working towards eliminating racism, and journalists are expected to play a big role in it by educating people through their writing and reports, here we also have a journalist who thinks “differently”.

AD

(Name and address supplied)

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
knoxcollege

if the concerned authorities apologize first, as they were ones in the beginning who caused all this suffering.

Otherwise I might be able to change my opinion of you.

Regards

KC

By ChupaRustom• 14 years 6 months ago.
ChupaRustom

It would be more nice if you reply back in GT and apologize to all the Napeli labors that have been hurt by your words

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
anonymous

I have a British Passport too but I still have to get an exit permit.

Although I do understand your comments and that they were written in the heat of the moment and it is difficult to see clearly - it is a system that although many feel trapped - the system functions for Qatar, I have always received an exit permit on demand it is just a little paperwork nothing else.

Anyone who comes to Qatar knows that this is a condition when working here so why complain.

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
tallg

Nigel, I think the majority of people can see that when you wrote "that sentence" you weren't being racist, but were making a comment on the way things work in Qatar (where nationality certainly does come into play in many situations). As you have already acknowledged you could perhaps have worded it in a less inflammatory way.

As I'm sure you're aware people are all to keen to scream "RACIST!" when someone suggests that one nationality is treated differently to another. More often than not these people don't actually understand the meaning of the terms racist and racism.

--------------------------------------------

http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
knoxcollege

To think and To Act

There is a wide difference between thinking and demanding.

Looks as is people dont have freakin guts to talk about the real problem, rather they can just criticize Nigel for his thoughts.

Can we be more reasonable and sane enough to criticize the actions (what happened with him) rather than his thoughts. Has his thoughts or more of you wanna say superior thinking caused us, me or you any bloody problem to anyone ever?

Guess we always side with the powerful ones and we will always criticize the weak ones coz thats the only thing we can do.

How many of us have been troubled by the exit permit system and how many of us had taken the step to write about our own plight in the newspaper.

"One should examine one self for a long time before criticizng others"

By Niko• 14 years 6 months ago.
Niko

Nigel,

I might be a bit late with comment, but I failed to see why UK passport makes you special, are you 'sacred cow' or...!? British colonial times are long gone mate, you better wake up. God help us with journalists of your kind.

By Happy Happy• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
Happy Happy

Having admitted that you’re “totally against racial discrimination”, would put things to ease. I'm certainly proud of your response, and hoping you'd never fall into this trap again.

Your steamy anger, in my opinion, was not because you wanted a "Royal" treatment; it is due to the abrupt shocking system’s inconsistency. You're being used to following the same procedures for traveling outside the country. Had you known the system had changed, in your case, you would've avoided all that by simply having a multiple exit letter!

Again, your public apology is appreciated. No one is infallible.

Salam

By SPEED• 14 years 6 months ago.
SPEED

Although you have not written intentionally, but remember the words speak ..

so in furture you have to take extra precautions specially when it comes to nationality/ religion/ race !!

[img_assist|nid=53652|title=|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=|height=0]

By Melissa• 14 years 6 months ago.
Melissa

There certainly is racism here, but if you read ngourlay's letter, it's clear that he's just observing the systemic racism we all know already exists. He's not promoting it.

To everyone claiming that the law is enforced equally here, could you please find me one Nepali man who is here sponsored by his working Nepali wife?

www.melissatheloud.com

By ngourlay• 14 years 6 months ago.
ngourlay

Look. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have used that sentence. All I can say is that I am definitely not in favour of racial discrimination. I'm getting a kicking for my hasty choice of words, both here and in the Gulf Times. In future, I think I should restrict myself to writing about other people's problems, or at least take a few deep breaths before I click the submit button.

--nigel

http://qatarjournal.com/

By butterfly• 14 years 6 months ago.
butterfly

I think that reflects the feeling of most westerns in Qatar: that we are somewhat superior to the lower working class of expatriates snd therefore should be treated more fairly. Sadly, that is almost always the case.

By butterfly• 14 years 6 months ago.
butterfly

I was rather disappointed when noticed that someone who is used to writing made such un politically correct faux pas and attributed to the frustration you must have felt.

By deckard• 14 years 6 months ago.
deckard

"I also thought that holding a UK passport and being under family sponsorship of a General Manager of a local company gave me more rights than a Nepali labourer"

Congrat to this sentence. This is just a bit racist, and very characteristic to a lots of Westerners here. I see it every day here. Bravo once again.

By tallg• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
tallg

hashin - for your information, your statement that "A lady in a senior position can sponsor her spouse if she choses to do so in Qatar irrespective of her nationality" is not true.

The government keep changing their position on this, and it is regularly debated. Originally they took it on a case by case basis, usually allowing teachers and nurses to sponsor their husbands. Then they stopped letting any women sponsor their husband irrespective of their job. I think they're back to a case by case basis now. I can not say whether nationality comes into play when they decide who can and can't. All I know is it took us 3 attempts and a lot of begging until they said ok.

People regularly call for them to let women have the same rights to sponsor their husbands as husbands do their wives, as it is having a detrimental effect on getting women to come and work here.

Sorry for the aside - you can get back to the original topic now!

--------------------------------------------

http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

I ponder, if wonder boy reporter thinks he is UPI, Reuters, BBC OR CNN?

So much for knowing all the answers.

I think the answer to his ordeal is his expired reporter ID badges...

The Red Pope of Qatar Living

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

Speed, go to the link Qatar Journal and you'll see it written there that this article was posted by ngourlay. In fact there too people have taken exception to the comment and ngourlay has tried to justify it. I leave it to the readers to form their judgements.

Knoxcollege, why should Jay adopt anonymity when he/she has nothing to hide? Also Knoxcollege, could you please elaborate on whatever it is that you are trying to say in your last comment, I am interested to know...

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
knoxcollege

People are making a big fuss of the Nigel's double standards as if they dont apply in Qatar. Wake up, tell me an establishment where double standards aren't applied in Qatar.

Nigel has infact severely criticised your system if only you people could understand.

By knoxcollege• 14 years 6 months ago.
knoxcollege

to get their names printed.

By SPEED• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
SPEED

in the end of the letter it is cleary mentioned COPY/PASTED from QATAR JOURNAL !!!

also Frog has found the last part of this letter as mentioned below:-

(copy/pasted from above post of Frog)

xxxxxxxxxx

Frog__ said Letters to the Editor ( ...

Letters to the Editor ( Gulf Times)

Published: Monday, 10 December, 2007, 02:34 AM Doha Time

Nothing wrong with exit system

Dear Sir,

No offence, Mr Gourlay, but I found the last part of your letter (Journalist refused exit, December 9) a good example of taking-for-granted sense.

If I had a penny for every time I heard a complaint about the system, I would take early retirement tomorrow. But the fact of the matter is that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the exit visa system. What would happen if the Ministry of Interior lifted the control on exiting residents and put a turnstile at the airport instead of an immigration guard?

What would happen to your spouse’s company if one morning one of her workers decided to leave the country with the next month’s payroll? There is no easy way to prevent certain people from absconding. An unchecked system is not desirable for any country that depends heavily on the residents.

Back to your letter, I couldn’t disagree with you more when you assumed that the colour of your passport and your dependant status should open all the doors for you, in fact, giving you “more rights than a Nepali labourer”. As a person who could care less about the colour of your passport, your office furniture or your skin, I’ve been trying to fathom how a provoking statement as such could come out without getting yourself sued by the aforementioned community back to the fold. Most certainly, you wouldn’t be allowed to exit if someone found you accountable for your actions.

Jay Pereda, P O Box 4219, Doha

[img_assist|nid=53652|title=|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=|height=0]

By Happy Happy• 14 years 6 months ago.
Happy Happy

The part about(....)laborer, at the end of the original topic, was a slap to me too. It showed me how many of us feel under their skin, maybe without recognizing it. It was a turn off and I chose not to respond, given the circumstance of his horrible shock towards the system’s inconsistencies.

I heartily understand ngourlay's anger and painful experience. I think I would've cursed my own birth into this world, had I been in his position.

No one should go through that.

Let’s take it easy.

Salam

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

All nationalities (German, French, British) in my company needs exit permit, now we are busy applying for Eid Hols. Now I am lil worried how do i arrange exit for my kids who are under my sponsorship.

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
anonymous

Melissa, I am not sure what point you are trying to make.

The law that one has to make QAR 4800 to bring one's spouse in to the country is one that is applied equally irrespective of nationality.

The fact that ngourlay's wife is able to sponsor him at all is not an example of the preferential treatment that he receives as you suggest. A lady in a senior position can sponsor her spouse if she choses to do so in Qatar irrespective of her nationality.

The fact that labourers of any nationality are unable to bring their families here due to lower wages is an economic issue, not a legal one. Economic inequality is a fact of life, but inequality in the enforcement of a law is a crime against humanity.

It is clear to anyone who reads the article that ngourlay expects preferential treatment based on his social class, that is plain wrong.

By Melissa• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
Melissa

The impression I get, from this and various other things, is that there isn't one set of consistent laws here. There are instead a whole bunch of sometimes contradictory policies, which are enforced or not according to the whim of whoever happens to be behind the desk at the moment.

ngourlay's comment that he expects to be treated better than a Nepali labourer should not be interpreted as racism in this context, or not ngourlay's racism anyway. He was just acknowledging what we all know already, that he usually is treated better than a Nepali labourer. Not that he should be, he just is. Consider, for example, that you have to be making QR 4,800 to be allowed to sponsor your spouse to come here at all. How many of those low-paid Nepali workers are making that much? The fact that ngourlay's wife was able to sponsor him at all is an example of the preferential treatment that ngourlay already receives.

I'm not proposing that, in the interest of "fairness" everyone be treated like a low-paid worker and denied the company of their families while working here, or denied the freedom to travel. I'd rather have everyone treated well, and the way to ensure that is to enable people to leave when they are treated poorly. If an employer can't offer an employee enough benefits to entice them to stay, then that employee should be allowed to leave. If enough employees leave to inconvenience the employer, then that employer will learn that he has to do something to improve employee benefits. Preventing people from leaving a job where they're being mistreated is simply slavery.

Other countries don't need this exit visa system this to keep their workers. What is so special about Qatar that they fear that their workers will run away if given a chance?

www.melissatheloud.com

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
anonymous

"I also thought that holding a UK passport and being under family sponsorship of a General Manager of a local company gave me more rights than a Nepali labourer."

Is the 'Qatar Journal Editor' implying that by virtue of the fact that he has a UK passport or that he is the husband of a General Manager, the same rules that apply to other nationalities or people of other occupations do not apply to his esteemed self?

Maybe the exit permit system is good, maybe its not. But a law should be applied to every expatriate equally irrespective of nationality, race or occupation.

While venting his frustration for not being allowed to travel, the editor/jouralist has rather daftly exposed his racial bias.

Maybe justice would be served if the editor/journalist is denied an exit permit until a public apology is made to the offended community for this glaring faux pas.

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

yep. and they're treated as fugitives when leaving for vacation lol. Their pics ( mine also probably who knows ?) is published on a local newspaper. Wallahi harram .

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By SPEED• 14 years 6 months ago.
SPEED

Salaam Brother !

Well I don't see any reason for that ... this only impact on the poor people who are in control of their sponsors ... I am sure thousands of them must be under their feets cleaing cars/offices/building up high rise building .. they cannot leave the country yes they can go to jail for not obeying ?

[img_assist|nid=53652|title=|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=|height=0]

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
anonymous

SPEED it's tempting :D j/k but sure the system sucks and instead of researching another more effective one that would not make people feel like slaves, they're giving excuses for keeping that one.

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By SPEED• 14 years 6 months ago.
SPEED

Hey Frog... you are good in digging ;-)

[img_assist|nid=53652|title=|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=|height=0]

By SPEED• 14 years 6 months ago.
SPEED

This system sucks ... I recently was offered QR 300,000/- from a bank as personal loan with Master and Visa card limit of QR 20,000/- each ??

I got exit permit and travelling to my country during EID holidays !!

What if i don't return ???

[img_assist|nid=53652|title=|desc=|link=none|align=center|width=|height=0]

By anonymous• 14 years 6 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
anonymous

Letters to the Editor ( Gulf Times)

Published: Monday, 10 December, 2007, 02:34 AM Doha Time

Nothing wrong with exit system

Dear Sir,

No offence, Mr Gourlay, but I found the last part of your letter (Journalist refused exit, December 9) a good example of taking-for-granted sense.

If I had a penny for every time I heard a complaint about the system, I would take early retirement tomorrow. But the fact of the matter is that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the exit visa system. What would happen if the Ministry of Interior lifted the control on exiting residents and put a turnstile at the airport instead of an immigration guard?

What would happen to your spouse’s company if one morning one of her workers decided to leave the country with the next month’s payroll? There is no easy way to prevent certain people from absconding. An unchecked system is not desirable for any country that depends heavily on the residents.

Back to your letter, I couldn’t disagree with you more when you assumed that the colour of your passport and your dependant status should open all the doors for you, in fact, giving you “more rights than a Nepali labourer”. As a person who could care less about the colour of your passport, your office furniture or your skin, I’ve been trying to fathom how a provoking statement as such could come out without getting yourself sued by the aforementioned community back to the fold. Most certainly, you wouldn’t be allowed to exit if someone found you accountable for your actions.

Jay Pereda, P O Box 4219, Doha

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By anonymous• 14 years 7 months ago.
anonymous

I am sorry to hear about you lost chance, however , although you are upset just now you will be able to recover the ticket money, however, I was under the impression we all had to get exit permits as I was told this from the very beginning when I came to Qatar I can't just leave when I want. I am also a British citizen, however, the time is lost for today perhaps you can organise it and still get on a flight to visit the conference.

By knoxcollege• 14 years 7 months ago.
knoxcollege

Lets use the pre-paid system as it is free of hassles.

"The banks will cease to exist if they dont give loans on high interest rates and if people stopped depositing their savings in banks"

The people can survive without banks but the banks cannot survive without people's money.

By TweetyBird• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
TweetyBird

Thanks for the "heads-up"! I am the sponsor of my husband here in Qatar and after reading this thread I guess I had better head over to the immigration office at the airport to get him an exit permit so he can leave with our family at Christmas. That would totally stink if they prevented him from leaving with us!! It also sounds like I should buy him a multiple exit permit that is good for a year for convenience sake.

Great advice! This is why I came to QL when I first started my quest to learn about living in Qatar. Thanks.

By knoxcollege• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
knoxcollege

The debt or whatever you owe to the bank ceases to exist after seven years of declaring bankruptcy. Though during those seven years your credit rating is normally very bad.

The utilities/telephone/electricity providers do look at your credit rating when providing services. But under no circumstances they can force you to stay at home. You are free to cross the border to Mexico or to Canada even if you have a huge debt and as long as you have not been convicted of killing someone.

I know many people who spent years building their credit rating and then they took a massive loan and left the country with the money. I am not saying that it is right, but they did flee and the Government hasnt yet contacted the Interpol and from the looks the Government has no intention of putting their name in the red alert list.

Let leave the control of the (ECL) exit control list to the Government and the courts.

By knoxcollege• 14 years 7 months ago.
knoxcollege

Lets not allow banks to control our movements under any circumstances and lets learn from other international banks in all over the world

By knoxcollege• 14 years 7 months ago.
knoxcollege

It is related when one person said people misuse the banking system in Qatar and thats why they have exit permit system.

And thats why people are send to Gunatanmo, even though they arent a terrorist but they can become one, some day.

I dont have a bank account, neither do I have a credit card and specially no credit rating and I have never killed, or raped anyone, So can I be allowed to leave Qatar as I please without seeking permission from my master sponsor who is always out of Qatar.

By knoxcollege• 14 years 7 months ago.
knoxcollege

Judge: Is he a terrorist, has he ever been involved in any terrorism?

Prosecutor: My Lord he is a terror threat and if released he can resort to terrorism.

Judge: Can you prove it?

Prosecutor: He has studied in a mudrassa so he is bound to have a warm heart for terrorism.

Judge: Is there any proof that he is a terrorist.

Prosecutor. No Sir but he is a danger to the society.

Judge: Okay send him to Gunatanmo , keep him there until he is proven terrorist.

(Background: After reading amnesia and PM's post)

By Stork• 14 years 7 months ago.
Stork

I'm a rare breed, a male under the sponsorship of my wife.

I have a multiple exit permit - we went to the office by the airport to arrange it. The ususual sight of eyebrows hitting the ceiling was soon overcome and I have my freedom to come and go as I please.

Gotta say I'll now be a bit nervous next time I decide to take a hike for the sake of my sanity!

Stork.

By knoxcollege• 14 years 7 months ago.
knoxcollege

slavery system. You come here with your will but you leave at their's

By amnesia• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
amnesia

you have the people who come here and abuse the system to thank.

We have the exit visa system for expats who come to Qatar, take the benefits that are given in the first month or even decide they don't want to work anymore after accepting a job and trying to run away.

__________________________

By anonymous• 14 years 7 months ago.
anonymous

Wouldn't be better if such a restriction is cancelled once for all. I mean ....one word comes to my mind and it's "slavery". I think Qatar can handle things without such laws. I personally prefer to get my credit application refuted rather than being sent back home from Airport .

Niggel,

Sorry mate, but your comparison to "nepalese worker" was of a bad taste.

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By tallg• 14 years 7 months ago.
tallg

What stealth says appears to be the case, though it seems that in the past this was overlooked in some cases (for certain nationalities perhaps). Unfortunately for nigel it seems that they decided to enforce the letter of law when he tried to leave this time.

--------------------------------------------

http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By stealth• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
stealth

Generally speaking all males above the age of 18 require an exit visa if he wants to go out of the country.

By Squarepeg• 14 years 7 months ago.
Squarepeg

Frog, how is my suggestion far-fetched? Look what it says in Marhaba, "All residents, except wives and dependent children under the sponsorship of their husband or father, require an exit visa from their sponsor to leave the country."

Would it not be better expressed as, "All residents, except spouses and dependent children under the sponsorship of their partner or parent, require an exit visa from their sponsor to leave the country."?

If the jobsworth in immigration is sticking rigidly to the first statement, then of course Nigel and others like him are going to have problems. I'm not trying to make Nigel more angry; he has my sympathy and in his position, I'd want to get out and stay out too.

By tallg• 14 years 7 months ago.
tallg

Frog - what Squarepeg alluded to is common. I know from experience that some people are completely unable to grasp the concept of a husband being under his wife's sponsorship.

--------------------------------------------

http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By anonymous• 14 years 7 months ago.
anonymous

"perhaps you encountered an official who couldn't cope with the idea of a man being under his wife's sponsorship"

Square ,

What a far-fetched reason you're giving niggel now ???

The guy is furious enough to the extent that he thought about leaving the country with his family, and you are like pourring oil on fire by imagining such a strange idea??

Niggel,

I guess that was a terrible official mistake, and I'm sure you'll travel freely afterwards. Inchallah.

Some are Wise ... Some are ...Otherwise

By KellysHeroes• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
KellysHeroes

my last 2 pennies:

1. since you are sponsored by wife (that's what I understood) then she can get you an exit permit on the spot. Provided she is around and can reach the airport immediately,

2. The Ministry of Interior is keen about service important and what you have been into is a serious issue. So, I would advise that you contact them by email to explain the situation and what you have been into. Am sure you will get a proper reply. Also, a corrective action will be taken to avoid such misunderstandings in the future.

Their email address is info@moi.gov.qa

By Squarepeg• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
Squarepeg

According to Marhaba: "All residents, except wives and dependent children under the sponsorship of their husbands and fathers, require an exit visa from their sponsor to leave the country."

My husband has a multiple exit visa and we both have UK passports. I've made three trips back to the UK since moving here. My passport has just been stamped at Passport Control. I've never had to get an exit visa ahead of my journey, and I'm sure my friends from other EU countries don't get visas ahead of the journey either

ngourlay, perhaps you encountered an official who couldn't cope with the idea of a man being under his wife's sponsorship. However, you've got me just worried enough to do some more research, I don't want to miss Christmas with my family.

By KellysHeroes• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
KellysHeroes

The law here is that adult females on family visa do not need exit permit, where as male adults do need. For this reason I often get exit permit for my son only.

Last week my daughter travelled and nobody asked for exit permit. She is over 18.

By missmoneypenny• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
missmoneypenny

After my time of living here I've had to develop a few survival techniques to deal with the system...

First of all, never believe what you hear...second of all, always double-check everything...and then last of all, cross your fingers and hope for the best because there's a fair chance the first & second people u spoke to were clueless, lazy or incompetent. ie) Don't expect, and you won't be disappointed.

Applies to most practical aspects of life here (work contract, car, bank, phone, internet, tv, airports..)

By ngourlay• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
ngourlay

The British Embassy official this morning told me he didn't think there were multiple exit permits for UK passport holders on family visas. He suggested that if I needed the ability to leave the country at will, I should use the tourist visa system, with visa hops to Dubai or Bahrain.

Of course, he's not an immigration official, and what I've learned today is that you shouldn't trust what people tell you about the exit visa system.

--nigel

http://qatarjournal.com/

By tallg• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
tallg

It will be interesting to see if anyone else runs into the same problem - there must be other spouses travelling who don't usually need an exit visa.

Unless of course you were picked on for a particular reason - your website, your reason for travel, the fact you weren't with your wife.

--------------------------------------------

http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By ngourlay• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
ngourlay

Are you sure your wife doesn't need an exit permit. The immigration official told me that anyone over the age of 18 on a family visa needed an exit permit. Now this disagrees with what my wife was told last week, and I've happily travelled out of the country in the past, but that's what was enforced this morning.

Just to be clear. I was told that anyone who is over 18 and on a family visa needs an exit permit. I didn't have one, so I couldn't leave the country.

Of course, after I was escorted out of Passport Control by a security guard, I ran across the road to the immigration office by the Airport mosque, but they couldn't help without the necessary forms being completed.

--nigel

http://qatarjournal.com/

By tallg• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
tallg

I think everyone should learn a lesson from Nigel's experience and make sure they obtain exit visas for their spouses and children prior to departure. It's not worth risking the disappointment of getting to the airport to go home/on holiday/where ever only to be told that you can't leave.

--------------------------------------------

http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By KellysHeroes• 14 years 7 months ago.
KellysHeroes

.....

By KellysHeroes• 14 years 7 months ago.
KellysHeroes

about their rights. Now how about this issue and experience of ngourlay?

It seems that females have advantage over males in this regard. My wife and daughters do not need exit permit, while my son should get exit permit.

ngourlay. Did you check with the senior officer at the airport regarding what happened to you? sometimes, junior officials are not much aware of the laws and rules.

By ngourlay• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
ngourlay

My wife has a multiple exit visa, and I'm not on a plane to Beirut. What I've learned today is that, although you may have travelled freely in and out of the country in the past, the next time you travel, they can refuse to carry you.

--nigel

http://qatarjournal.com/

By tallg• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
tallg

Sounds like you've been a victim of something going on behind the scenes that led to the apparent bending of the rules for some nationalities being quashed. Maybe there's a new guy in charge, or perhaps someone p*ssed someone else off and this is the revenge.

Glad to hear your seeing this as a lesson learned rather than leaving here for good.

--------------------------------------------

http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By ngourlay• 14 years 7 months ago.
ngourlay

there are no multiple exit visas for family members

--nigel

http://qatarjournal.com/

By tallg• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
tallg

xena - I didn't realise you don't need an exit visa if you're on your spouses sponsorship. I've always got an exit visa before leaving. Better safe than sorry I guess!

--------------------------------------------

http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By ngourlay• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 2/5
ngourlay

Here's what I'm managed to get out of the British Embassy official I just spoke with. Yes, in the past, UK passport holders on family visas have been fairly free to travel in and out of the country. It seems that now, either the authorities have clamped down on family members or one official has chosen to enforce the rules strictly. When we checked with immigration this week, we were told that an exit permit wasn't required.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a lesson learned. As usual, the rules are dependent on who you ask, and who is enforcing them.

--nigel

http://qatarjournal.com/

By missmoneypenny• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 5/5
missmoneypenny

I wonder if getting rid of the Exit Permit system will cause more bureaucracy & restrictions in other areas.

Eg) Will it be more difficult to get a credit card...loan...phone contract even...?

By Xena• 14 years 7 months ago.
Xena

if you are on your husband/wifes sponsorship.. you can pretty much come and go as you please.... you don't need an exit visa...

sorry about that ngourlay...:-(

By algren• 14 years 7 months ago.
algren

I'm surpised..The immigration authorities did'nt tell u the reason for not letting u travel? U mean to say they refursed for no reason?

Did u have a valid exit permit? I wonder whether u are telling the truth.

By anonymous• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 3/5
anonymous

Bahrain 25--Qatar 0

Told you all before to get the hell out of Dodge !.... But did you listen,....NO ! And now you are all destined to become slaves to the state !!!

*Sitting here with smug smile*

[img_assist|nid=47010|title=Captain Smiley is here to save the world !!|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=|height=0]

By tallg• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
tallg

Hi Nigel

Sorry to hear about this. It sounds like you not only missed out on an amazing opportunity and experience, but also found out what lots of other people who wish to leave Qatar but can't must feel - trapped.

I am a bit confused though - I thought anyone wanting to leave the country had to obtain an exit visa, yet you say you're normally free to travel through the airport on your family sponsorship. I'm on family sponsorship and always get an exit visa before I travel.

I can kinda see why Qatar introduced the exit visa system, but the way it removes peoples freedom of movement completely sucks.

--------------------------------------------

http://tall-and-ginger.blogspot.com

By DaRuDe• 14 years 7 months ago.
Rating: 4/5
DaRuDe

Ah man thats really bad. atleast should have asked the authorities at airport for refusing. was ur exit permit valid too.

The Govt. sure will come up with the new system as you might have noticed that new id cards are being with a chip set in it beside the pic.

[img_assist|nid=21285|title=.|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=|height=0]

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