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Suq al Waqif Coffee Shops closed

You gotta read the small items in the newspapers – that’s where a lot of the real news is. Today, in the Gulf Times is this tiny little article about shops being closed in the Souq al Waqif for serving shisha to underage people. Who knew? There is a legal age for smoking shisha?

Coffee shops closed

A number of coffee shops at the Souq Waqif were closed by the Doha Municipality for not complying with the health regulations, according to a report in a local Arabic newspaper.

The report said closure notices were put up by the municipality inspectors on the doors of the non-complying coffee shops.

Among the recently detected violations was the offering of Shish to teens under 18, which the report said, was in breach of the contracts signed by the Old Souq department and tenants of the coffee shops.

However, coffee shop managers at the Souq pointed out that asking customers their age could cause anger, particularly with female customers, who just opt to move to another outlet.

October 7, 2009 Posted by | Communication, Community, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Qatar | Leave a comment

Mediterranean Diet Can Help Fight the Blues

From BBC Health News comes a study that says not only is the Mediterranean diet good for your heart healt – it is also good for your mental health. If you are fighting the seasonal blues, fight back with olives, olive oil and a diet high in veggies and legumes.

The Mediterranean diet, already thought to protect against heart disease and cancer, may also help to prevent depression, Spanish researchers say.

They found depression was more than 30% less likely to develop in people who followed a diet high in vegetables, fruit and cereals, and low in red meat.

They studied 10,094 healthy adults over four years, the Journal of the American Medical Association reports.
However, the team stressed additional, larger-scale studies were required.

Researchers at the Universities of Las Palmas and Navarra recruited university graduates to take part.
Dietary patterns

They completed questionnaires and the researchers calculated their adherence to the Mediterranean dietary pattern (MDP) for an average of four-and-a-half years.

• A high intake of monounsaturated fatty acids like olive oil
• A moderate intake of alcohol and dairy products
• A low intake of meat
• A high intake of legumes, fruit and nuts, cereals, vegetables and fish

Participants who had a strong adherence to the MDP tended to be male, ex-smokers, married and older individuals.

They were more active physically and showed a higher total energy intake.

The researchers identified 480 new cases of depression during the follow-up period – 156 in men and 324 in women.

They found that those with the highest adherence to the MDP were more than 30% less likely to develop depression.

They took into account marital status, the number of children and factors associated with a healthy lifestyle and found the relationship did not change.

Even taking account of personality traits, such as competitiveness and anxiety, had no effect on the results.
‘More research needed’

Professor Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, of the University of Navarra, said the results would have to be confirmed in longer trials with more participants but they had found a strong inverse association between the Mediterranean diet and depression.

“Thirty per cent is a large reduction in the risk and this could be very important considering the large burden of disease represented by depression.

“We know how important the Mediterranean diet is in reducing cardiovascular risk factors and the same inflammatory proteins are also raised in patients with depression.”

He said it was likely that the overall dietary pattern was more important than the effect of single components and “may exert a fair degree of protection against depression”.

Dr Cecilia D’Felice, a clinical psychologist, said there was mounting evidence for the importance of diet in treating depression.

She said: “What we do know is that a diet high in olive oil will enhance the amount of serotonin or brain transmitter available to you.

“Most anti-depression drugs work to keep more serotonin available in the brain.”

October 7, 2009 Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, Food, Health Issues | | Leave a comment

Jaidah Flyover roadworks finish in five days

From today’s Gulf Times comes news that one of the worst current traffic snarls in town will be history in five days.

Do you believe it?

And now – how is the work on D-ring going? Any news on how soon it will be completed?

By Sarmad Qazi

The road works under the Jaidah flyover are expected to be completed in five days, an official said yesterday.
The busy junction leading to the Corniche and the densely-populated Musheireb area in one direction and to Ramada junction and the Salwa highway on the other was dug up towards the end of September for expansion work.

Read the whole article HERE

October 7, 2009 Posted by | Building, Bureaucracy, Community, Doha, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Qatar, Safety | 2 Comments

FBI Press Release Re: FaceBook, Social Networking Sites

Read the message for yourself on the FBI Press Release Page

No, Your Social Networking “Friend” Isn’t Really in Trouble Overseas

According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), there has been an increase in the number of hijacked social networking accounts reported to

One of the more popular scams involves online criminals planting malicious software and code onto to victim computers. It starts by someone opening a spam e-mail, sometimes from another hijacked friend’s account.

When opened, the spam allows the cyber intruders to steal passwords for any account on the computer, including social networking sites. The thieves then change the user’s passwords and eventually send out distress messages claiming they are in some sort of legal or medical peril and requesting money from their social networking contacts.

So far, nearly 3,200 cases of account hijackings have been reported to the IC3 since 2006.

Cyber thieves are also using spam to promote phishing sites, claiming a violation of the terms of service agreement or creating some other issue which needs to be resolved. Other spam entices users to download an application or view a video. Some of these messages appear to be sent from friends, giving the perception of legitimacy. Once the user responds to a phishing site, downloads an application, or clicks on a video link, the electronic device they’re using becomes infected.

Some applications advertised on social networking sites appear legitimate but install malicious code or rogue anti-virus software. These empty applications can give cyber criminals access to your profile and personal information. These programs will automatically send messages to your contacts, instructing them to download the new application too.

Infected users are often unknowingly spreading malware by having links to infected websites posted on their webpage without the user’s knowledge. Since the e-mail or video link appear to be endorsed by a friend, social networking contacts are more likely to click on these links.

Although social networking sites are generally a safe place to interact with friends and acquaintances, keep in mind these suggestions to protect yourself while navigating the Internet:

• Adjust website privacy settings. Some networking sites have provided useful options to assist in adjusting settings to help protect your identity.

• Be selective when adding friends. Once added, contacts can access any information marked as viewable by all friends.

• Limit access to your profile to only those contacts you trust with your personal information.
Disable options, such as photo sharing, that you might not regularly use. You can always enable these options later.

• Be careful what you click on. Just because someone posts a link or video to their wall does not mean it is safe.

• Familiarize yourself with the security and privacy settings and learn how to report a compromised account.
Each social networking site may have different procedures on how to handle a hijacked or infected account; therefore, you may want to reference their help or FAQ page for instructions.

If your account has been hijacked or infected, report it to by visiting or

The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a partnership between the FBI and National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

October 7, 2009 Posted by | Crime, Interconnected, Law and Order, Social Issues | Leave a comment