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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Qataris: Good or Bad?

I've met a bunch of Qataris recently and they couldn't have been nicer - pleasant, friendly, polite and welcoming.

Which brought to my mind the many complaints I have seen and heard about Qataris and Qatar.

I think many (and I know some) are justified. I know there have been people who have been cheated in business, badly treated and even beaten (see our story on maids in Qatar.)

At the same time, if you read some people's contributions on forums and blogs, Qatar couldn't be more perfect.

So which is correct? Is Qatar a magic land of warmth and hospitality, or is every Qatari out to exploit foreigners?

Where's your focus?

If you look for bad things you will find them, and if you look for good things you'll find them too.

Qatar, like every other country I have even been or lived in, is a mixture of both.

Not every country and people is the same, of course. Culture and religion affects people values, the way they behave, and the way they react to situations.

(Many British people, for example, react to wherever they are by moaning and complaining, as if they were in the worst place in the world. This can offend residents, who often don't realise that the same people are exactly the same back home. Or indeed in any other country in the world.)

Cultural differences, vast though they may be, doesn't change the fact that some people are bad and some people are good.

So if you are coming to Qatar expecting only good, you will be disappointed. But if you come with an open mind, are tolerant of differences and are not too bogged down by your own culture, you will find a lot of good things and good people here!

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