Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Be Careful What You Wear in Qatar, and about Sharing Your Faith says US Embassy

This is from yesterday’s Peninsula. What is equally interesting is the article placement – front page of the newspaper, above the fold.

Recently, several families received notice that their employment was no longer required – or possible – in Qatar. All were members of the same church. They had 30 days to leave. The embassy got involved, and shortly before the required departure, the families got a second letter, this one saying “never mind.”

This is a conservative country.

Be careful with what you wear in Qatar, US tells citizens
Web posted at: 7/13/2009 2:28:8
Source ::: The Peninsula/ BY SATISH KANADY

DOHA: The United States has advisedd its citizens living and visiting Qatar against wearing revealing and ‘provocative’ clothes. It advised US citizens not to go about on public beaches in bath towels. The Mission also discouraged sleeveless shirts and blouses, halter tops and shorts.

Western bathing attire must be worn only at hotel pools and private beaches, it said. US citizens must also avoid visiting labour or work camps, an updated and revised country specific information for Qatar posted on the embassy website said. The warden message that reminded US citizens that it was Islamic traditions that provide the foundation of Qatar’s customs, laws and practices said: “Foreign visitors are expected to remain sensitive to Islamic beliefs and practices and not dress up in a revealing or provocative manner including wearing of sleeveless shirts and blouses, halter tops and shorts. Western bathing attire is to be worn only at hotel pools and private beaches”.

The embassy also cautioned US nationals about discussing religious issues, or answering questions about a religion. The warden message has strictly warned against conversion. “Religion and religious practices are quite sensitive issues in Qatar. Therefore, discussing religious issues should be treated with care and sensitivity. Proselytizing is illegal in Qatar. Attempting to convert a member of one religion to another, “sharing one’s faith” with someone of a different faith, and similar practices can be deemed violations of Qatari law, with deportation or even prison the consequence,” the embassy warned.

The embassy also issued strict guidelines to US citizens involved in charitable activities. “Charitable activities, both religious and non-religious, must be approved in advance by Qatar Authority for Charitable Activities (QACA)

THE PENINSULA

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July 14, 2009 Posted by | Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, News, NonFiction, Qatar | 2 Comments

The Low Tech Solution

Two days ago, a cleaning crew came and cleared out the pigeon nest entirely and cleaned up the area. The parent pigeons are gone – I think they found a more congenial dwelling elsewhere. The adolescent pigeons still like to spend the night in our entry.

My husband thinks we need a board with longer nails. The maintenance crew suggested taking out the center light in the entry, the one they perch on, sleep on, and from which they poop-bomb our entry. It is a brilliant idea – the low tech solution. They said they have tried it in other houses in the compound and it works.

We don’t want to be mean to the pigeons, but we sure hate pigeon poop in our entry! I have a shower curtain rod that I bang against the center light, and I bought a squirt bottle (there doesn’t seem to be a water pistol in town; where is Toys R Us when you need them??) and squirted the persistent adolescent who wants to nest here, but . . . he LIKED it! Curses, foiled again! I am guessing taking out the central entry light will do the trick; that seems to be their favorite perch.

July 14, 2009 Posted by | Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Qatar | 2 Comments

Sandstorm Due in 72 Hours

I’m not surprised – my niece, Little Diamond, is coming for a visit. Her arrival seems to invite sandstorms! We are just praying for her safe arrival BEFORE the sandstorm hits. For my friends in Iraq – this must seem endless. For my friends in Kuwait – I hope you get to dodge the bullet this time!

Sandstorm in 72 hours: Met
Web posted at: 7/14/2009 2:57:38
Source ::: The Peninsula
DOHA: A sandstorm is likely to hit Qatar in the next 72 hours, the meteorological office at the Civil Aviation Authority has announced.

During the sandstorm, the expected visibility will be around 2 to 5km and one kilometre or less in certain areas. Sea waves are expected to rise upto between 5 and 8 feet and even upto 10 feet in some areas.

The expected sandstorm will be blowing in from Iraq, and will reach the northern, eastern and central parts of the Arabian Peninsula, up to Iran.

The Saudi Meteorology and Environment Department, meanwhile, said the sandstorm would bring winds of medium to high velocity carrying with them around 2 billion tonnes of dust.

The below-average rainfall and inadequate water in the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in Iraq have contributed to the raging sandstorm.

The storm is so strong that it has stranded Admiral Mike Mullen, the US military’s senior commander, in the restive city of Kirkuk, north of Baghdad, according to reports.

The weather department has advised people to exercise caution during the sandstorm, especially during the night and while driving. 

July 14, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatar, Weather | 3 Comments