Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Truthful Visitor on Doha Press

Do you ever visit QatarLiving.com? It’s one of those places where you can end up passing a lot of time, and it is also a place where there is both a lot of information and a lot of misinformation. There are some very good posts, and then there are some poseurs.

A recent Forum discussed the statement by Qatar Attorney General Dr Ali bin Futais Al Marri that “no one is above the law.” As forums often do, the threads segued into a discussion of freedom of the press in Qatar.

I almost split my sides, I was laughing so hard. I asked Truthful Visitor if I could print his post on this blog, and he gave me permission. I hope you enjoy it as I did. 🙂

Don’t you folks know that all the newspapers in Qatar are screened by the Ministry of Interior every evening before publication for the following day? Anything that doesn’t fit the required image is cut out.

Hence you always get the presence of evil (there’s always an Asian gang being deported for doing something dreadful like burglary or selling liquor) page 1, bottom of the page, that covers the Evil In Our Midst; then the sycophantic article about HH who has just made some pithy pronouncement on The Necessity For Mutual Understanding And Education Across The World, page 2; some phony figures about how much more the Pearl property or other investments have increased pages 3 – 5; some baloney about how safe the country is for investment, page 6; then the gushing op-ed about how the best societies in the world are so great because they have been enforcing Islamic values, pages 6 – 8; Qatar Airways wins award for best in-flight hot towels, page 9, and a new order for 500 Airbus aircraft (thanks to the strategic profitability of the airline! ha!) . And not to forget, Gulf Escapes Economic Downturn for the fourth week in a row, page 10 ad infinitum.

The Filipina maids found dead and decayed in the desert? The photos of the police when they turn the water cannons on the labour camps outside the Industrial Area? Oh no. Those photos were seized under duress. These things are just not family -friendly, now are they?

If it doesn’t fit the great narrative of Qatar, it’s not really news!

Thank you, Truthful Visitor. (truthfulvisitor/-a-t-/me.com)

November 10, 2009 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Free Speech, Living Conditions, News, Political Issues, Social Issues, Values

13 Comments »

  1. LOOL “Qatar Airways wins award for best in-flight hot towels” 🙂 Heheheh

    Well thank God blogs aren’t being screened by the Ministry of Interior 😉

    Comment by 1001Nights | November 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. LLOOLLL – are you so sure about that? 😉

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. My mom and dad took a road trip to Qatar and Bahrain last weekend and got back to Kuwait on Monday! They said Qatar CHANGED A LOT since the last time they were there! Too bad they forgot their camera 😦

    Comment by ansam518 | November 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. Qatar changes almost every day, Ansam! You need to grab a couple buddies and come for a visit, see for yourselves.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. Re: the maids and the labour camps…This is the stuff that hurts and scares me most. Deep down, I know that I’m just hired help. I may be paid more than the Fillipina maids, but I’m still just an imported worker, and I have no idea how to simply exist within that structure. To avoid the urge to critique it, change it, or flee it.

    Comment by AcadeMama | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  6. You nailed it, AcadeMama. From top to bottom, if we are not Qatteri, we are hired help. It’s an interesting experience. I’m learning a lot, seeing things in a whole new way . . .

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 12, 2009 | Reply

  7. And a lovely hired help at that 🙂

    Comment by daggero | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  8. […] Here, There and Everywhere, intlexpatr reprinted one man's comments on the typical newspaper formula in Qatar, saying […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Qatar: No one is above the law – really? | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  9. Oh Daggero, you always make me laugh 😀 Thank you.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 13, 2009 | Reply

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