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Posted by James Dunworth at 4:48 PM
Marjorie in Qatar is running a month long photo taking project throughout September. For details check out Marjories blog post on the subject:
September I'll Remember: Start your engines
Hopefully there should be some good images of Ramadan to check out!
Posted by James Dunworth at 9:45 AM
This is our comprehensive list of reasons to move to Qatar. We'll probably be criticised for being too pro-Qatar, but we plan to follow this up with a counter-balancing list of reasons not to move to Qatar, when, no doubt, we will be criticised for being too anti-Qatar.
1. Money. Well, let's be honest, the reason most of us come here is not to experience a new culture but to make ends meet. Despite inflation in Qatar, working in Qatar is a simple decision simple because we earn better wages and because there is:
2. No income tax. Hooray! And you still get a:
3. Health service - not quite free, but almost. Then there is:
4. The price of petrol. Coming from the UK this always seems miraculous to me. Twenty pounds in the UK got me fifteen litres when I arrived back home - the same sum can get me 200 litres in Qatar. Of course, the price of petrol in the UK is a better reflection of the economic cost and the world's diminishing supplies, while the price in Qatar encourages overuse of a scarce resource - but as a personal, selfish decision - hooray.
5. Eating out - despite rising food costs, the cost of eating out is still very reasonable. We can still eat at our local Thai restaurant, Thai snack, for less than ten UK pounds for the whole family. Mmmm!
6. Crime and safety. Kids shot down in the streets of London, rising knife crime, gang warfare, Mr Bigs running a 40 billion crime economy - Qatar may have experienced an increase in pickpocketing and burglary, but it is still far safer than the countries such as the UK and the US.
7. Bringing up children - we are not claiming there are no drugs in Qatar, but it is a lot easier to keep your kids on the straight and narrow - forget all those street corners and parks where kids can hang out, drink and enjoy drugs. There is no local off-licence they can sneak off to for a bottle of cheap cider either - the only place to buy alcohol is either from the single Qatar Airways Qatar Distribution Company, alcohol permit with picture required, or at a club or hotel bar.
8. Child friendly - it is also a county where people adore children, and are tolerant of them. So no more wincing in restaurants every time your child makes some noise.
8. No hoodies - (too hot!)
9. No hug-a-hoody politicians either - anyone messing around gets chucked out of the country asap (unless they are Qatari, of course!)
10. Liberal (ish). This may not be hug-a-hoody land, but it is not a stone-an-infidel land either. While there are both conservative and fanatic elements in Qatar society (with a lot more of the former than the latter) the country is currently run by a fairly moderate and liberal elite. There are no stonings, no executions and freedom of worship is allowed - see The Cross Shall not be Raised in Qatar.
11. Sun, sun, sun. I am writing this in the UK at the moment, and, though it is the middle of August, it is pouring with rain. Qatar has almost continuous sunshine throughout the year. Against that, it is too hot to go outside before dark for several months of that year!
12. Culture - If you are from the West, you are coming to a country where people, in many ways, are completely different from you. You may not want to adopt the culture as your own, but it is fascinating to experience a country where people are so different, from the way they dress to the way they think.
Well, that's it for now. If you can think of any more reasons to move to Qatar, please add them, and we will incorporate them into our list. And if you can think of any reasons not to move to Qatar, add them too.
Due to our excessively long holidays we were a bit late checking our email and this press release from the British Embassy arrived a couple of days ago - you have probably already seen the information elsewhere. However, we have published just in case you haven't and it is of use.
Note - for contact details of embassies in Qatar (along with links to websites where available) see our web page Foreign Embassies in Qatar.
British Embassy launches new web-site with Arabic language content
The British Embassy is delighted to launch its stylish new web-site “UK in Qatar” that contains a raft of new information about the services offered by the Embassy, living and working in the United Kingdom, and offers key contact details and background to the Embassy in Arabic.
Visitors to the new site can also access the Embassy’s image library held on its ‘flickr’ site, which contains a display of historic Embassy photos as well as images of the Embassy’s activities in recent months.
The Embassy plans to translate more and more of the site into the Arabic language this year to complement the existing UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office Arabic site. The Embassy’s Visa Application Centre already boasts an Arabic web-site.
New Ambassador John Hawkins said: “We have a modern and impressive Embassy and now we have a web-site to match. We hope all our customers will find it clear and accessible.”
The address for the Embassy’s new web-site is ukinqatar.fco.gov.uk, though the current britishembassy.gov.uk/qatar will continue to take users to the new site.
British Embassy, Doha
16 August 2008
Update (Sept 9th 2008): the article on Al Jaber has now been tided up - and you can also read our article on the subject: Al Jaber : Scourge of the Pirate Coast.
Scanning through the internet for links for our Qatar knol, I was suprised to see Wikipedia's page on Jasim bin Jabir was both sparse and factually incorrect.
"Jasim had his base at Udaid, and attacked British ships in the Persian Gulf."
In fact this fascinating man, who carried on a long grudge war against his many enemies (who included the Khalifas) was far too astute to attack the British. This did not stop the British from considering an attack on Jasim, who certainly disrupted the peaceful seas the British craved. However, after considering the difficulties that would entail attacking Jasim's well defended base they decided against it.
Jamim maintained relations with the British during his long life time, attracting admiration from some and revulsion from others for his ferocity. Both his appearance and death was related by a British writer who had met him in the Pirate's own book. His death took place during a sea battle, when he was battling his long-time enemies the Khalifas:
...when at last, Rahmah, being informed (for he had been long blind) that his men were falling fast around him, mustered the remainder of the crew, and issued orders to close and grapple with his opponent. When this was effected, and after embracing his son, he was led with a lighted torch to the magazine, which instantly exploded, blowing his own boat to atoms and setting fire to the Sheikh's, which immediately afterwards shared the same fate. Sheikh Ahmed and a few of his followers escaped to the other boats; but only one of Rahmah's brave crew was saved; and it is supposed that upwards of three hundred men were killed in this heroic contest.
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