Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Ritz Carlton Doha Christmas Tree Disappearing Act

I love the Ritz at Christmas time. They decorate so beautifully, and I especially love the huge, tall Christmas tree in the main lobby as you enter – it’s always a great spot for photos with friends and family, before brunch or after afternoon tea.

But when we went to the Ritz for brunch on Friday, Qatar National Day, the tree had disappeared! I guess it was too incongruous to have a huge, gorgeous Christmas tree inserted in all the special activities of Qatar National Day.

Here is what the tree looked like, LLLOOOOLLLLL!

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Doha, Entertainment, Events, ExPat Life, Humor, Living Conditions, Qatar | 11 Comments

Fewer Women Marrying in Qatar

This is not a phenomenon unique to Qatar. I remember reading almost the same exact story about black women in America, where black women get educated and black men go to jail. For the guys, being smart in school is a source of ridicule, rather than admiration.

There are similar stories coming out of many countries in the world.

So how do we encourage young men to strive for higher education?

There was a related story in the Peninsula Men, Not Religion, Block Saudi Women on Friday.

Fewer women getting married: Expert
Web posted at: 12/19/2009 2:32:58

DOHA: Latest studies suggest that some 30 percent of young Qatari women remain unmarried and divorce in the local community is on an alarming rise, says a prominent Qatari psychologist.

The number of unmarried women is increasing basically due to the fact that more and more females want to pursue higher education and achieve financial independence, said Dr Mozah Al Malki (pictured).

There is a huge gap between Qatari men and women in terms of education. While most women pursue university education, men generally prefer to look for government jobs right after early or secondary education.

And the fact that women are increasingly becoming financially independent due to being highly educated also explains why the incidence of divorce in the community is high.

The other major factor that might be pushing the rate of divorce up is that earlier it was not easy for women in this region to seek divorce from their husbands although the law has always been there in keeping with the basic tenets of Islam which permits a woman to seek ‘khola’ (divorce) on genuine grounds.

“But now the law makes it easier for women to seek divorce,” Al Malki said in remarks to this newspaper yesterday.

Statistics suggest that the rate of divorce in the Qatari community is somewhere around 40 percent — a very high rate indeed, lamented the psychologist who made history when she filed nomination for Central Municipal Council (CMC) elections in March 1999.

Although she lost the poll, she became the first Qatari woman to enter politics which was until then an unchallenged domain of men in this part of the world.

Women remain busy pursuing education and then they land jobs. It, therefore, becomes difficult to get the right match, so most women remain unmarried, she said.

Obviously, a woman who has a PhD would not like to marry an undergraduate or even a simple graduate. This explains why as many as 30 percent young women are unmarried and their number could even go up.

Asked whether marrying educated Muslim expatriates could be an effective solution to this problem, she said: “But such marriages require permission from the interior ministry and it takes time.”

About the increasing rate of divorce, she said many factors were at play. Men picking more than one wife and not treating their wives equally could be one of the factors.

“Men tend to marry more than once simply for pleasure,” she said. Polygamous men do not take marriage and family seriously.

A kind of monotony sets in marriages that are 10 to 15 years old. Couples should think of innovative ways to break this monotony and make a fresh start in life.

“They should, for example, visit the same hotel they were in for honeymoon,” she said. “Such things prove effective in saving troubled marriages, and I have written extensively about it,” Al Malki said.

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Africa, Cultural, Doha, Education, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior, Middle East, Qatar, Relationships, Saudi Arabia, Social Issues, Values, Women's Issues, Work Related Issues | 10 Comments