Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Doha Debates and Where Are You From?

The Baked Salmon Dijon for last night’s dinner took a little longer to cook because Joe Patti’s cuts the salmon steaks so thick (we cook two, split one and freeze the other for another night), so while I was waiting, I flipped around and found WSRE’s Doha Debate coverage.

Who knew?

I didn’t know I could still watch the debates in Pensacola! This one was about whether or not Egypt should postpone elections in the interest of forming a more representative democracy. The vote was 84% in favor; the two young supporters carried the house. 🙂 This was the March debate and you can hear the entire 48 minutes by clicking here.

The winning female debater used a slogan I had not heard, but I love, because it is graphic and memorable – “we do not want a fast-food democracy that brings only indigestion.” The younger debaters want to scrap the entire constitution and re-write it, claiming the current structure needs to be thoroughly revised in order for democracy to have a chance of success.

I love it that these issues have a forum for debate in Doha.

Following the debate was a cringe-worthy video about asking people where they are from. His point was that when he is asked where he is from, and he answers ‘The Bronx,’ people say “No, where are you REALLY from?’ and the implication is racist. He says it is the same as saying that his color is darker, therefore he is not like us, so he must not be from around here.

I’ve asked that question. Never meant it to be insulting, but I will stop now. Or I will only ask those with a slight accent, maybe. Wherever we have lived, we have been asked that question – but then, in Kuwait and Qatar, most of the work force is not Qattari or Kuwaiti. Even in Germany, however, where we might look a lot like them, we are asked where we are from. It used to be a courteous way of showing interest, or initiating a conversation.

One time in Doha, a local man asked me about my breeding, LOL. I told him I was a product of the American melting pot, and from the earliest settlers to the latest, my family includes just about a little of everything. We were at the veterinarian’s office, and I knew the purity of his dog’s blood lines mattered, and probably his own, but I also felt a little insulted, and I haven’t forgotten it. Doesn’t science teach us that diversity in blood lines is a good thing?

We are in the middle of a heat spell in Pensacola, early this year, and because we haven’t gotten anywhere near the normal rainfall, there are also wildfires. The firefighters are struggling to put out the fires, and also fighting heat exhaustion. AdventureMan is out watering all our new plantings, and our tomatoes, every morning, God bless him, because when the temperatures go high, I just want to stay inside.

June 16, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Civility, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Florida, Gardens, Interconnected, Leadership, Pensacola, Political Issues, Random Musings | | Leave a comment