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Expat wanderer

The Social Contract

Without accountability, does the social contract exist?

Wikipedia on the Social Contract:

Social contract describes a broad class of theories that try to explain the ways in which people form states and/or maintain social order. The notion of the social contract implies that the people give up some rights to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order through the rule of law. It can also be thought of as an agreement by the governed on a set of rules by which they are governed.

Social contract theory formed a central pillar in the historically important notion that legitimate state authority must be derived from the consent of the governed. The starting point for most of these theories is a heuristic examination of the human condition absent from any structured social order, usually termed the “state of nature”. In this condition, an individual’s actions are bound only by his or her personal power, constrained by conscience. From this common starting point, the various proponents of social contract theory attempt to explain, in different ways, why it is in an individual’s rational self-interest to voluntarily give up the freedom one has in the state of nature in order to obtain the benefits of political order.

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October 26, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Crime, Cultural, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Random Musings, Safety, Social Issues | 6 Comments

He’s on the Roads Again

This also from today’s Gulf Times. This 25 year old was convicted of killing an Asian driver, due to his reckless driving, and the court fined him the equivalent of $1370. He also had to pay the family of the man he killed about $41,000. Oh. Wait. He “and his insurance company” will pay the fine.

And they didn’t take his driver’s license away, they suspended it. Oh. His jail sentence is also suspended.

Do you think because his license is suspended, that he isn’t driving?

What do you think he has learned about the value of a human life?

What do you think he has learned about equality before the law?

What do you think he has learned about accountability?

Do you believe he will be a better driver now that he has learned the consequences of reckless driving?

You will note that I did not use the tags “Doha” or “Qatar” on this post. That is because these are not situations unique to Qatar, unique to the Gulf countries, unique to the Middle East . . . in every country, including my own, there are pockets where justice depends on who is on trial. I would venture a guess that no country is exempt, that it is always a question of degree. So the question for us, as parent,s is how do we raise children who respect the value of life? Who respect the law? Who see themselves as equal to every other person before God and before the law?

Jail term suspended

A Doha appeals court has suspended the three-month imprisonment given by a lower court to a local motorist for reckless driving that caused the death of an Asian driver on June 27, 2007.
According to sources, the fatal accident took place in Shahaniya soon after midnight, “when the accused swerved left suddenly, for unknown reasons, colliding with a pickup driven by the deceased in the opposite direction.”

According to the court papers, there was no median separating the two lanes that ran in the opposite directions and the pickup was damaged in the crash.

The Qatari motorist was 25 at the time of the incident.

The appeals court ordered him to pay, jointly with the insurance company, QR150,000 as blood money to the family of the Bangladeshi victim (32).

The Doha court of first instance ordered to cancel the driving licence of the convict, but the upper court suspended it. A fine of QR5000 was upheld.

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Crime, Cultural, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Social Issues | 3 Comments

Health Services Providers Closed in Doha

Also from today’s Gulf Times . . . . It would be nice if we knew what those institutions were, so we could avoid them in the future, and what the specific complaints were.

For example, it doesn’t bother me for men and women to be in the same waiting room, like when my husband was really sick and needed a procedure done, he really needed me by his side. It would have been agony to have to wait in separate rooms, and, in fact, I have never seen separate waiting rooms in the modern Doha facilities I have visited, except for the hospital where they process all the people trying to obtain residence visas.

But I really want to know who is carrying expired or adulterated medications in their pharmacies, and who is using unauthorized or unqualified medical personnel! Please! In the interest of public safety, name the names.

22 health institutions shut for flouting rules

The Medical Licensing department at the Supreme Council of Health closed down a total of 22 health institutions, which did not comply with the health standards and rules, between November 2008 and September 2009, the department’s report states.

According to the report, which was the first published by the department, the health institutions include private clinics, medical centres, herbs selling outlets, dental clinics and eye-glasses shops.

They were found violating the standards during surprise visits by medical licensing inspectors.
Among the violations listed against the institutions were employment of unlicensed general practitioners and persons banned from practising or blacklisted, shortage of medical staff, selling of drugs that contain internationally banned substances or drugs not registered with the government pharmacy department and improper collation of patients’ data.

While some centres were found operating without proper licences, some were said to be in possession of expired drugs.

The report added that a number of them failed to separate men and women in waiting rooms and that they lack proper hygiene.

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cultural, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Qatar | Leave a comment

Doha Tribeca Film Fest a Sellout!

From today’s Gulf Times comes word that the upcoming film fest is already totally sold out. They have some really good movies!


Film festival a sellout
By Peter Townson
The Doha Tribeca Film Festival (DTFF) box-office outlets have seen a lot of interest from filmgoers in Qatar, with many of the movies due to be screened over weekend already sold out.
Among the most popular films are Capitalism: a Love Story by Michael Moore, Team Qatar, No-one Knows About Persian Cats, the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man, and About Elly.

The festival’s ‘blue badge’ passes, which offer holders a discount and access to a number of the festival’s events, have been very popular, and almost all the tickets that have been sold so far have been bought by blue badge-holders.

However, with less than a week to go it seems that most films have more or less sold out, with only a few seats remaining for many of the screenings.

But for disappointed moviegoers unable to buy tickets for the shows they want to see, all is not lost. Organisers have told people to go to the venue of their preferred screenings around one hour before the scheduled time, and there is a chance that people will be admitted to the film depending on whether all the ticket-holders turn up.

One British resident, who managed to get tickets to the most of the films she wanted to see, said that she was particularly looking forward to watching A Serious Man and London River but said she was disappointed not to get the chance to attend either screening of No-one Knows About Persian Cats.

“It is fantastic to have the opportunity to see films like this here in Qatar,” she said, adding “I am really looking forward to seeing the types of films we don’t usually find at the cinemas here, including some of the Arab films as well.”

However, another filmgoer expressed her disappointment at not being able to get tickets for any of the films she wants to see.

“I was really excited about seeing some of these movies, but now I’m so disappointed as I couldn’t get any tickets I wanted,” said the Australian expatriate, adding “I just hope they have not all been given away to people who don’t even really want them.”

With some 3,000 guests expected to attend the screening of Mira Nair’s Amelia it would seem that the film-loving population has wholeheartedly embraced the opportunities the festival will bring to Qatar.

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Doha, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Qatar | Leave a comment