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Expat wanderer

Local Man Acquitted of Abusing American Woman

Man cleared of abusing expat woman
By Nour Abuzant
From The Gulf Times Court RoundUp

A Doha court acquitted a man, for lack of evidence, of the charge of abusing an American woman on July 15, 2008.

According to the chargesheet, the 36-year-old accused entered the woman’s bedroom at night and “fondled” her while she was sleeping next to her husband.

The woman, 34, told interrogators that the accused local was a family friend and he had unsuccessfully tried to start a relationship with her.

The judges were told that the husband confronted the intruder, “who injured himself while fleeing the scene.”

The Nepali security guard at the compound where the alleged incident took place said that he saw a man trying to enter the compound and he tried to prevent him from entering the building.

However, the guard failed to identify the man at a police parade stating “it was too dark to recognise anybody.”

The defendant’s lawyer said his client had tried to call the woman on July 14 as he was a close friend of the family.

Explaining the “non guilty” verdict, the court of first instance said neither the American couple nor the security guard could recognise, beyond any reasonable doubt, the intruder. “Also no fingerprints were taken from the scene.”

The court said that the circumstantial evidence was insufficient to convict the accused.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cultural, Doha, Law and Order, Living Conditions, News, NonFiction, Qatar, Safety, Values, Women's Issues | 7 Comments

Arab Gulf? Persian Gulf? Games Cancelled

Islamic Solidarity Games cancelled over Gulf dispute
From BBC News

The first Islamic Solidarity Games were held in Jeddah in 2005
The Islamic Solidarity Games, due to be held in Iran in April, have been called off because of a dispute with Arab countries over what to call the Gulf.

The games federation in Saudi Arabia said the Iranian organisers had failed to address its concerns, particularly about the planned logo and medals.

These bear the words “Persian Gulf”, but Arab countries, who call it the Arabian Gulf, reject the term.

The games had been postponed in October in the hope of striking a deal.

The Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF) in Riyadh said, after an emergency board meeting, Iran’s local organising committee “unilaterally took some decisions without asking the federation by writing some slogans on the medals and pamphlets of the games”.

Iran “did not abide by the rules of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation” and “did not follow the decisions taken by the general assembly of the federation at a previous meeting in Riyadh”, it said in a statement.

But Iran’s committee for the games disputed the decision.

“In spite of convincing arguments made to the ISSF executive committee, regrettably and without presenting any logical reasons, the ISSF committee decided not to hold the games with Iran as the host,” it said.

The games – which are meant to strengthen ties among Islamic countries – were first held in the Saudi city of Jeddah in 2005.

Iran has campaigned to ensure the body of water between Iran and the Arabian peninsula is known as the Persian, not the Arabian, Gulf.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Geography / Maps, Iran, Middle East, News, Technical Issue, Values, Words | 10 Comments

‘Glimmer of Hope’ in Doha Abduction Case

‘Glimmer of hope’ in custody battle
From the Qatar Gulf Times

British mother Rebecca Jones has described the decision by a Qatari judge to bring her son to court as a “glimmer of hope” in her ongoing battle to regain custody of Adam, saying that the judge’s decision that the boy’s attendance is necessary feels like her first victory in the case.

“I’m thrilled that Adam will be given the opportunity to tell the court how he wants to come home to his Mummy, Daddy and little sister, and that the court will have the chance to see how he is suffering,” she told Gulf Times yesterday.

Jones, who claimed that her son was kidnapped when she was “tricked” into visiting the country in October last year, is particularly worried about the mental and physical state of her son, saying that he had been ill in recent weeks because of the stress surrounding the current situation.

However, the most recent ruling in the case has given her some hope that she may be reunited with him on a permanent basis in the not too distant future.
Earlier this week a judge ruled that Jones’ appeal will be held on February 11, and that both Adam and his 77-year-old grandmother who was originally awarded custody of him, should attend the court hearing.

Jones is also fighting a court case to increase her visitation rights with her son, something that will be decided on February 3.

She is hoping to be awarded more time with Adam, as well as the ability to spend time with him outside of the house in which he is currently living.

“He seems to be ill because of stress and has been physically sick recently,” she claimed, adding “he is very upset and very nervous on each visit – the second I walk through the door he asks me when he can come home.”

Another major concern for Jones is the educational aspect of her son’s life as it will shortly be the fifth month that he has gone without attending school.

But for now, Jones is just looking forward to the court hearing in which her son will finally be given a voice. “I truly believe that the court will do the right thing,” she added.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Aging, Bureaucracy, Community, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Generational, Health Issues, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Marriage, News, Qatar, Women's Issues | Leave a comment

Ladies Bible Study in Doha

“Tell me the story of Noah” our priest said, and we all chimed in. Everybody knows the story of Noah, how God told him to build an ark, and how he did it. How everyone laughed at him, but he faithfully built. How he filled the ark with animals, and then it started raining and rained for forty days.

“OK, stop there” the priest said. “Is that what the bible says?”

Well, of course that’s what the bible says! We all know the story!

“Wrong!” he exclaimed!

“We have many stories with facts not in the bible, information gathered from another source – the Qur’an.”

We sat there, our eyes wide.

“No where in the bible will you find that Noah was living in a dry and arid place, or that his neighbors laughed at him – that’s in the Qur’an.”

The Episcopal lectionary is in Genesis right now, and so I have had a chance to read – and re-read – the story of Noah. The priest is right. There are details we all take for granted, not there.

One of the other details was that until Noah, the first instructions to Adam and Eve were that they could eat from every tree – no mention of meat. After the flood is the first mention of meat – but NO blood.

Genesis 9:1-17

9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you shall rest on every animal of the earth, and on every bird of the air, on everything that creeps on the ground, and on all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and just as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 Only, you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 For your own lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning: from every animal I will require it and from human beings, each one for the blood of another, I will require a reckoning for human life.

6 Whoever sheds the blood of a human,
by a human shall that person’s blood be shed;
for in his own image
God made humankind.
7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, abound on the earth and multiply in it.’

8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.* 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12 God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ 17 God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’

Now I have to go find a Qur’an and read what it has to say about Noah and the ark. I like it that our traditions don’t have to be at war with one another, but can illuminate and enrich one another.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Community, Cultural, Doha, Education, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Qatar, Spiritual | 2 Comments