In Doha … In London

January 4, 2010 at 2:21 am (Diary, Everyday life situations, Opinion, work)

In Doha

The first time I met my manager was not the first day at work, it was a month after I started working, or rather after I started going to a place to sit on a desk and sip tea the whole day. The first few days I was surprised that none of my colleagues bothered to say hi, or introduce me to the place. And by the last few days I started getting headaches from hearing them chatting, chatting and chatting the whole day. The first thing my manager told me was ‘Don’t expect anything, we all graduated from the US and came here with high hopes and expectation, but let me tell you something. They will all be shattered by the system. Of course, I don’t want to discourage you from working, but this is the reality here. Try your best, but don’t aim so high so that you don’t get disappointed. Anyways, welcome and I hope that you will be different’. I went back to my office after this, sat on my desk which was in the middle of a big room that accommodated 16 women who never bothered speak to me for the first few weeks. I was feeling confused as I was not sure what kind of work I am supposed to be doing because simply, yet after a month, I was not given anything to do!

In London

The first day I started work in London, the receptionist asked for one of my colleagues to come down and meet me. She took me to my desk and introduced me to everyone, showed me the place and got me some tea and cookies. Few minutes later, my supervisor came and had a chat with me, he said ‘we are thrilled to have you here, and we would like to know your thoughts about our work here. We are in the process of developing this department and your opinion is very much valuable. How are you coping in London so far? Are you settled? Please let us know if you need any help’. Few minutes later someone comes in from another department. My supervisor stands up and says ‘Lewis, this is our new intern, Mimi from Qatar, its her first day here’ … ‘ Hi Mimi very pleased to meet you’. After that, I was trying to write down few things my supervisor asked me to, but was interrupted because my colleagues would introduce me to everyone who would enter the room.

In Doha

It has been few months and I still have not done anything. Time passes by so slow, I come to work from 7:30 till 1:30. Its not much but it seems so long since I am not doing anything. I had enough from drinking tea. Why bother be punctual if I am not doing anything. Most people here come late and leave early, it seems that no one cares.

In London

Gosh, it is 5 already and I still have so much to do. Shall I leave or stay for few more minutes? No one is leaving; everyone seems to be so concentrated in what they are doing. I can’t believe that I have been working since 9 am. Time flew by so quickly, I didn’t even notice that my tea is cold.

In Doha

What is that smell? Is that eggs and keema? Oh yes it is, who would eat meet and hammous at 8 am! Why don’t they have breakfast at home? Or at least bring something not so smelly. Its 11 now and they have ordered pies and sandwiches. Oh there is a buffet in the other room because someone has given birth or got married and the girls are celebrating the colleagues return. But we leave in 2 hours, aren’t they going to have lunch at home. How much money they spend on this every day?

In London

‘Here is the menu, what would you like for lunch?’. Wow, this is a whole book! Wow, menus from every restaurant in London and I get to pick any meal I want and it’s all paid by the company. Talk about investing in human capital! Ok I should act cool and just order what I want. ‘What are you having guys?’.. ‘We will order from what ever restaurant you pick’.

While working at night:

‘I heard that there is a nice burger shop here’ .. ‘Yes, the Carnaby burger company’ … few minutes later ‘Here, this is a cheese burger from the shop you asked about, it doesn’t have any pork don’t worry’ .. ‘Wow you guys, I didn’t even ask for it, this is really kind of you, thank you so much’

In Doha

‘Hello, I will have to go home early because I am not feeling well’ ‘ what is wrong with you?’. ‘I have a headache and feel dizzy’ ‘is it so serious that you have to leave’ ‘ yes’ .. a long pause to think if my health is worth giving me permission to leave early .. ‘but we have some work to do’ .. ‘ but I have been doing nothing all morning, how come you are giving me work now?’

In London

I cough … my supervisor says in panic ‘Are you ok? Do you need to go home?’ .. ‘ No I am ok’ .. ‘Are you sure?’ .. ‘Yes’. My colleague asks ‘Shall I get you some herbal tea?’

I cough again ‘Oh you should go home you are tired, let’s call you a taxi you shouldn’t walk home’

The next day I go to work with another team, and a girl from the team of the day before calls me during lunch hour and asks ‘Did they get you lunch yet? … I asked them to get you some lemon and honey for your throat, if you need anything call me’. She calls again when it started getting late and said ‘Let me know when you finish, I will call a cab to take you home’

In Doha

‘How can I write a response to this’.. ‘ Just see what it says and write’ .. ‘What do you mean? It’s a letter directed to another organization, and this is the first time you send me work, I don’t know what to do with it’ .. ‘Just see what it says and write what to do with it’ .. ‘you are not making any sense, can you teach me how to do whatever you are saying’ ..’You know what, just send it back we will do it’ .. ‘NO, I WANT TO DO IT, would you please just explain how I should do it’

In London

‘Ok, before you start I will explain to you how work is done and what you should do, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me at any time ok’

In Doha

Every day I hear my colleagues complaining about work, the same story every day, the same complaints every day .. I was complaining myself, I do complain a lot, but I got tired, there is no point of it. I complain because I am not working, and they are complaining because they are given work! for God’s sake, all they do is data entry, and for less than 5 hours a day. If they worked for 5 hours straight that would be a miracle. They pass by my desk and say ‘ You are so lucky you have nothing to do’ and when I say ‘But I want to be given something to do’ they reply very surprised ‘why?’

In London

Oh My God I am so tired, I have been working since 11 am and now its almost midnight! Don’t they get tired! They have a deadline tomorrow and they must finish this film tonight. I never heard anyone complain at all. How amazing! even though I can see they are tired but still they are very thorough in their work!


In Doha

I leave work in silence, no one notices if I am here or not


In London

Goodbye, take care, thank you for helping today.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmm and I wonder why young people are depressed, or take drugs, or waste time chasing after the opposite sex, or not punctual, or don’t care about the quality of their work or or or!! Whose fault is it? Would you blame me for hating work in Doha, or for being depressed and frustrated? I remember those days, and I remember the stupid things I have done out of boredom. How my energy and ideas were vanished, how a layer of mud accumulated around my brain until I lost the ability to think. I could talk about this forever, give you more examples, of how we are Muslims without Islam, and how westerners have Islam without Muslims. Why can’t we be faithful, punctual, giving, caring to our work and colleagues, why don’t we care about the value of a human being? Most obvious evidence is the way we treat cheap labour and the lack of laws protecting them. Wasn’t the way I was treated in London, Islamic, Human! How come I wasn’t treated like that in my own country, in a place I have worked for, for two years!  Those strangers I met in London made me feel more at home than I ever was in that place I worked in, in Doha. They treated me better than my own people. How would that make me feel!

The West understands that to achieve highest profit possible, companies and governments should invest in humans. That is why they give their employees free food, and taxi rides. This is why they care about their health and give them sick leave when they need it. And in return of these benefits, the employees would work and give, because they know they will be taken care of and paid for their hard work. I know that this is not the case everywhere, but this is the general rule, and I know that there are exceptions.

“The only justifiable purpose of political institutions is to ensure the unhindered development of the individual.”

Albert Einstein

26 Comments

  1. VEE6 said,

    I’m amazed that you get free food and taxis. Are you working for a legal firm or a bank or similar? Certainly the rules on engaging folk in London would be somewhat different to here in Doha but I’m afraid you paint a rosier picture than I could imagine.

  2. mimizwords said,

    Ok, I know I would get this kind of response, and before I get any more let me make two things clear

    1- This is my personal experience, I know its not all nice and rosy in London, but fortunately for me, I had a great experience and I met nice people. I did not work in Macdo or Starbucks, I worked in a Production company that spoils its employees. So, I am not making anything rosy or exaggerating, this is what really has been going on

    2- The point of this is not to mention the free stuff I got. Open your mind and see the message behind what I wrote. Which I did at the end! I am not saying that Doha is horrible and London is perfect, I am pointing out problems and mistakes that should be fixed and giving an example of how things should be

  3. Saleh said,

    nice.. it sounds exactly like my internship here in doha.. im talking abt ur london experience..

    I want know if you believe in change or not.. would you want to come back work for the same ministry and implement change? or are we running away and criticizing the system?

    seen on dohanews twitter

    • mimizwords said,

      Dear Saleh

      Of course I believe in change, this is one of the reasons I have this Blog. and If I didn’t care about my country and my own people I wouldn’t have bothered at all, I wouldn’t have felt mad and frustrated. I am merely pointing at the problem here hoping that other will realize. I will definitely come back, maybe not to the same place I used to work in, but will implement change one way or another. But awareness is the first step towards change.

      you are a young Qatari man, what would you suggest?

  4. mayed10 said,

    I completely agree as if what I experienced here in middle school Teenagers Year by year semester by semester they begin to get more and more unpunctual and just leave away the meaning of school, for example we have more than two students who never ever came to school punctual all week days and without leaving before it ends, I hold a grudge against those and they come and ask me for help which also gets me to be furious anyway sorry I went out of the topic.
    and yeah islam is all about being disciplined.

  5. Saleh said,

    learn.. contextualize.. implement .. sounds easy but needs lots of faith to get it done..

  6. intlxpatr said,

    Mimi, I think you are going to have to start your own company and be your own boss. There ARE other Qatteris like you, who want to make a difference, and who can. It’s going to take courage – and a little risk. I believe you can do it.🙂

    • mimizwords said,

      Intlxpatr thank you for your encouraging words I appreciate it

  7. genesis said,

    I like to thank you for an insightful post, you have summarized what seemed to be the case in most government entities offices. Nowadays with managerial posts being substituted with young & enthusiastic leaders, change is unstoppable.
    Don’t let anyone discourage you. Don’t wait for anyone to spoon feed you. Learn , demand for an assigned task, & raise suggestions to your superiors. It will only be about time till you get noticed & picked up

    wish you all the luck & please keep posting🙂

    p.s:shall you allow me, i’d like to share your post in local public forum ‘Qatarshares’

    • mimizwords said,

      Thank you for your comment, and of course you can share my post

    • mimizwords said,

      Could you also add the link so I get more readers, thank you

  8. Hebah said,

    Hun I live in Bahrain and its the saaaaaaaaaaaaaame old story…Allah ewafgich sis wa e6abernah W’Allah!!!!!!!!

  9. Jassim said,

    I have few concerns in regard to your topic that I would like to share. You might be better at answering them from your experience. It is easy to avoid the responsibility of change, and that’s where I see most of us Qataris are doing, they like to talk, but they NEVER take action, unless supervised and giving permission by the centralized power. “When government accepts responsibility for people, then people no longer take responsibility for themselves.” Simply, self-respect and initiatives seize to exist among the individual members of our society. Herein, wouldn’t the Qatari individuals should be the ones held responsible for change, isn’t that what they want but they are not doing, what is stopping us from such a vital step and to have a god given right in building our own home country, and until when we are going to depend on foreign minds to tell us what is best for us, seriously!? We do not take responsibility of our actions, so we have no one to blame but ourselves for living those consequences you mentioned and more. Acting like victims of hierarchy, we like to complain, and compare ourselves to the west, however, no action is taken, nor followed to the end, I have many examples to share, one is Qatarization, Equal Employment Opportunities. The absurd thing is that we have much bigger better key strengths from the west and east to face a financial crisis, but it takes us 5 years to finish a road maintenance project, which is often restarted due to lack of quality!

    Why the Qataris are sleeping on their ears and acting like the three wise monkeys at work or in front of their superiors, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”, but in the majlis and between themselves they bring their heart out about change and how much and crucial for them to implement it, regardless of the motive. Today, we are at the risk of extension due to such behavior, the total population of the country is at 1.9 million and Qataris are only 14%?! More and more intellectual Qataris, professional successful ones aspire to implement positive change have abandoned their own homes to achieve their dreams abroad. Aren’t there many who want change and talk about it, but still, not even one stood up for his/her own believes and principles.

    “The only society that works today is also one founded on mutual respect, on a recognition that we have a responsibility collectively and individually, to help each other on the basis of each other’s equal worth. A selfish society is a contradiction in terms. ” Tony Blair

    I like your topic very much, and the subject you have presented is of big importance to me, as an individual, and to us, as citizens of Qatar. Thank you for your contribution and I’m certain that your home country is proud to have someone as brave and as wise.

    Regards,
    The self-victimized citizen

  10. Ashlee said,

    Whoa! I bet you can find at least 1 negative feature thing about every single thing in life! I have to admit that I am very sorry for what you have experienced in Doha. However, I do not think that you are making a fair comparison for the following reason: You are comparing a ministry to a production firm. Needless to say that one is a government sector and the other is a commercial enterprise.
    Mimi, enjoy your positive experience there and when you come back please be the change you like to see in others. And speaking of positivity, do you think that those people, whom you had the most amazing experience with, would dedicate an entire blog to trash/bad mouth/ negatively criticize their home country and “own people” in every way imaginable or do they have more important stuff to do? Perhaps like focusing on the quality of their work?

    • Ashlee said,

      I know that many will purposefully misunderstand my post, hence I am adding this comment: Was not there anything positive in the place you were working at in Doha? Or the positives are not worth mentioning?

    • mimizwords said,

      I see what you mean. There was one positive thing from working in Doha, I finished reading hundreds of books during work and learned how to deal with some people and plus I created this blog at work. The comparison was not just about the work place, it was mostly about the people and I dont think it should matter where these people work.

      This blog is not to trash or bad mouth my country, there is a difference between bad mouthing it and criticizing it. I am simply expressing my thoughts and feelings towards certain topics, everyone talks about it, they discuss it between each other, the difference is that I wrote it down. Are you telling me that people never criticize their own country in any aspect! Since Qatar claim to be a democracy, I am practicing my right as a citizen here. I don’t want to praise and defend and be a hypocrite while there are many wrong things going on here! yes there are many lovely things about Qatar, but I choose to write more about what bothers me more than what I like about it (read my the whole blog and you will find some topics defending Qatar in certain aspects)

      and you last comment was kinda insulting ‘have more important stuff to do … focusing on the quality of work’ … if you don’t think this is important, fine, its up to you. But don’t decide what is important and not important for others to do. Why did you bother to read and reply at the first place if you think this is not important.

      • Ashlee said,

        I apologize if I had offended you Mimi. That wasn’t my intention!

  11. mimizwords said,

    Jassim Thank you for you intellectual comment. I agree with you. This is a big problem here in Qatar. People are not taking initiative. However, I think we cannot say it’s the government’s fault, nor the people’s. The way both Qatari government and population developed has led to such results. It would be reductionist to say that individuals should take responsibility and stop acting like victims, (or that its government’s fault) yes they should take responsibility, but reality puts limitations on how far they can go. A single individual cannot stand in the face of society and government regulations, so why blame him/her especially that at the end this person will be criticized for being unappreciative. How can individuals develop and take responsibility while bureaucracy in Qatar is 5 times more than the most bureaucratic country in Europe which is France, monopoly is legal, freedom of speech doesn’t really exist and there is no equal distribution of wealth. On top of that, professional foreigners are preferred by public and private sectors and are given higher salaries plus benefits more than Qataris. Even education and scholarship regulations are becoming more and more difficult even though every Qatari citizen has the right to a scholarship. There are many constrains on the individual from both government and society.
    Let’s say a talented male artist became a fashion designer, or was a good chef, society would accuse him of being gay and shut him down. Or a female who is doing an unorthodox female job. These individuals might continue to develop themselves and not be so concerned with what others might say, however, they will be affected one way or another. Most common thing that will happen is that their reputation will be affected which is more precious that gold in a small conservative society. Most people here are living in fear of other’s judgment.

    I will tell you what happened to my friends when they graduated. Some tried to change things and some were just complaining, I saw that those who were fighting and wanting change developed their position for a while but then they got stuck and couldn’t go further. Not necessarily because of the system but because of certain individuals in high positions. Another friend of mine was denied a scholarship for his Phd even though he fulfils all legal conditions because a certain high official carries a personal grudge towards him. The government might help the people and facilitate things for them, but there are these people in the middle who are holding on into their positions and making it difficult for those young ones to go further. Young people end up being frustrated especially if they saw that they can get what they want in another country. I am not giving excuses for them, I am just telling you stories that happened to many of my friends.
    I guess what I am trying to say is that we cannot reduce the cause to one thing, neither the solution. There is a need for collaboration between different sectors and more awareness to achieve desired results.

  12. Saad said,

    Mimiz🙂

    Thanks for this interesting post. This kind of comparison is not new in the Arab world, it started with the interaction between Arabs and Modern Europe in the 19th century and it remain till today. It all can be summarized in once question: why they are more developed? many tried to answer this fundamental question through relating it to the colonizers, problems in the society, in the political system, or in the people themselves.
    in my opinion, the situation is more complicated than what it seems. There are many factors that led to this situation some of them are what I mentioned above. And for us to be better we need to recognize values that we are missing a lot today; one of which you mentioned is the notion of human capital. We are not giving the human beings the respect he deserves. This human might be brother or sister, fellow co-worker, a labour worker, or maybe a round guy in the street. It all shows in our behaviors and our interaction together. And I remember reading or hearing somewhere that you can understand any society’s value system from how the policeman deal with citizen or how the lowest paid guy is treated by others. Let’s observe ourselves and see if this is a good measure and let’s be honest with ourselves🙂
    So, what can we do now? I believe that solving any problem starts with realizing its existence. Being aware of it will help us recognize its elements, which in turn will help us in creating solutions.
    I like what Jassim said about responsibility and i think its individual responsibility to try to change his/her situation and to make better of it. You did good by not surrendering to the system and spend the day chatting like your colleagues, you read books and tried to improve your self. This the best you can do in the individual level. Next, is what you did now by telling your experience and initiating healthy discussion. Then, it will be what i’m doing now expressing my opinion and present my point. After a while, we see that we are not alone who feel this and together we can help in making our world better.
    Thanks again Mimi… You made me think deeply tonight🙂

  13. From Europe said,

    Hi you all!

    If you allow me, I’d like to add my impressions as a foreigner…
    All Mimi said about her former work environment is what Western workers criticize in the Qatar working society, how often I heard: “Qataris get jobs they are not interested in or not educated for, Westerns are jugded/fired for their actions while Qataris are “safe”…” So why should anyone bother to work his a.. off if nobody cares and someone else will have the responsability of the failure? If this is true and that most responsability are “fake” and jobs just given away so that Qataris are keeping active, then it could explain that nothing will change, until Qataris are soooo bored that they insurge agains this way of living/working (like Mimi for instance) and things will eventually change slowly…
    But perhaps it’s just human nature, or a part of human nature, to take the opportunity of doing nothing… I remember putting all my energy trying to changes things that didn’t work and all my non-Qatari co-workers would say “why do you even bother? Just enjoy you’re time, it’s working this way, why do you absolutely want to make it different?”. I spent so much energy showing them that it was NOT working, but in the admnistration, nobody will accept changes unless they are forced to by economical reasons… when this soon arrived, everyone agreed that my changes were good… 6 months of fighting every day for a small victory, and I didn’t feel good about it, I felt that I could have done so much more if everyone had been part of it, or had been WILLING to be part of it.
    Being back in Europe, I can only aknowledge Ashlee had a point in stressing the difference between “ministry” and a “film production company”. It makes a difference, anywhere. I don’t deny that cultural differences also influence the behaviour of certain people, but you will find similarities in ministries and administration all over the world, and it takes all the energy of some individuals (until they’re burnt out sometimes, and finally give up) to change the way things are. It does work but it’s sometimes useless, and not everyone can sacrifice family, social contacts, etc. for one small victory at work. I think that the Qatari way in some jobs of “doing as less as possible” (of course it’s not everywhere like this, otherwise the state would have collapsed long ago) must have some good sides… more time for leisure, for family, to self actualize outside of your job (which almost seems impossible in the Western society)… it’s not economically competitive but it’s perhaps a more philosophical way of leaving. The balance between “not loosing your energy doing nothing” and “not loosing your energy giving everything for your job and for success”, that’s what is missing, both on the “West” and “East” side of the World… remember the “gross national happiness” is the lowest in… Japan?

    Saad, I think you can say that interaction between the Arab world and the modern Europe started way sooner, The Great Soleiman and Charles V were the initiators of this fragile balance between 2 empires… and back then the Western Empire was more inclined to see the Eastern one as the better one… the colonization attitude and the global believes that are nowadays carried on by both the Westerners and the Easterners are, in my opinion, more a creation of the medias in the late 20th century than a reality from the 19th. The term of “developped” that you use is very wicked… do you think Europe is more developped than Qatar? On which level, which criteria do you use to settle your judgement, the European one or the Arab one? I don’t want to be misunderstood and make the apology of the extremists of course but I think, the comparison should be more exhaustive. What makes the West more modern, what makes the West obsolete (I think especially about the fear of the other and of the changes that is spread all over Europe, the rate of suicides quite high in France, Russia and Asia).
    In short all countries are confrontated to their own problems, and it’s good that you point out, and think about it, but I would not take the Western life as a modell to follow… Qataris I met (perhaps I was lucky and I met only the good one but I don’t think so) are openminded but strongly believe in values that should not be forgotten… Mimi, being a foreigner gives you an insight into a society that you don’t have when you are from the country and I can tell you that Qataris I’ve met always were very respectful to me and of my way of living, very careful, would offer to help me without me asking for it, would send me gifts, offer me food and beverages, invite me to weddings… They were always caring with their children, with their parents, and sometimes I thought I was in the ideal society… but I haven’t worked with them😉
    Hope more Qataris and Non-Qataris will post cause this issue is really thrilling… it’s really interesting to see how each of us “capture” the soul of a country, based on our different experiences, on what we’ve seen and what remained hidden to us, what we’ve read, what people told us about… Qatar is a country where Qataris are a minority, that changed so much in the last 15 years and where a good third of the population I would say has been abroad for more than 3 years and comes back with new expectations, ideas and dissapointments… some kind of “in vitro” place and there are two options “watching how it evolves” or “interfering to create what you want it to be” (given there are not other people who are interfering to create something else)…

  14. Sarah said,

    I enjoyed the depiction of the work flow between the two cities. May God Always bless you Mariam. Sometimes you learn the greatest lessons from the most miserable moments!

  15. dreamer qatar said,

    Nice One Mariam!
    I ve lived the same exact situation with “only” the differences in time and places. I ve worked in both cities. to be honest, i was thinking that i am the only one who felt this way but yet i saw your blog and heard alot from qataries. I learned alot from my experiences in both job and now i am fighting for change !!

  16. anonymous said,

    Hi Mimi, although you’re opinions are appreciated in that they give you’re perspective of the situation and you claim them to be completely true, I must side with Ashlee on this.

    The reason that I am actually able to question your love for this country is because of the food comment you left. You criticized what people were having for breakfast in Qatar and found it to be incredibly strange that they would eat meat in the morning. The thing is, in terms of this, its a matter of taste, the japanese enjoy having fish for breakfast and even some europeans, as I am sure if you were to ever go to a breakfast buffet in England or France or Turkey they also serve salmon.

    Additionally, I have plenty of british friends who love having pork (meat) for breakfast. So in ‘criticizing’ the country, you painted a wonderful picture of another, completely disregarded any similarities between the two especially considering some of the similarities is what you hate in your own country.

    You’re criticism of Qatar was partly directed at the culture. The problem with that is, it seems as though you have failed to notice that every country has its own culture, the west lives a specific way, Eastern Asia is different, middle east and also africa has its own cultures. That is the beauty in the world, it should not be one homogenous zone.

    Also in painting such a beautiful picture of London, you fail to mention aspects of the majority of the peoples lives here. I have been on tubes several times, only to see zombie faces from the exhaustion of work, they have their meals on trains. In one of your blogs, you mentioned how important breakfast is, so I assume that you don’t consider McDonald’s meal is not an ideal breakfast.

    You have not made a fair comparison in this blog, you compared, as Ashlee has already mentioned a very beautiful job, with a governmental job in Qatar. You have made it seem that all the jobs in Qatar are like that and all the jobs in London are like that, I am not saying this was your intention, but as a writer you must know that you have a voice and a tone that is how it came across in this piece.

    If you were to make a more non-biased comparison, in the sense of the same job position, same time of companies etc… perhaps there would less to compare about. Even in the UK if you were to go to a public school and a private school, there would be an immense difference in the two.

    P.S. none of what I have said is meant to be offensive in any way.

  17. acdc said,

    you know…as I go on further and further into reading your posts, i learn something new..unaswered questions seem to have been given light…

    now i know..about qataris seeping tea endlessly while at work…=P this,according to a friend,…as i am not working yet here in qatar..

    i worked in the UK for over a year and i admit that when i came back to my home country, there were hundreds of things i can compare about esp. towards work attitudes..

    change is something that cannot be done overnight…it is a process..however with locals like u , there is hope.. we just have to keep on fighting for what we believe in..

    cheers!

  18. acdc said,

    i may add…i didn’t have free meals in my workplace…nor any other perks like cabs at that…in fact, there wasn’t anything free…even lunchbreaks were deducted from the total time worked…there were a few b*tch#s at work…who don’t recognize what we learned from they so called our “third-world” country…it is not right..but it’s ok…i can live with it…so long as i earn money decently…i cant be bothered with people like that…after all they’re not the one working their arse off just to put food on my familys table..

    cheers!

  19. Anonymous said,

    Dear mimi,

    I just came across your blog when i was browsing through ilq.net and i have to say i absolutely love your posts. Especially this one, its like you spoke my mind. I too was raised here since i was 2yrs old. I am a foreigner, A bangladeshi.. who lived abroad in my middle school days, Canada to be exact. As i returned back to qatar for my highschool days, i felt so out of place and soon when i was of age to work, i felt even worse. People treated me with no respect only because of my nationality. Most people till now never believe me when i say i am Bangladeshi. Most expect me to be illiterate or be of very poor class. But alas, always leave them disappointed and surprised. I feel good though to make people aware that just because i am from that part of the world does not mean i come with all the stereotypical baggage.

    Its very hard to live here and be yourself. just yourself, not being asscociated with your passport or who you know, or how much wealth you have. My dad worked for 25years and yet sometimes some people still treat him like he is disposable. But he is still grateful to have had the oppurtunities he got here.

    Dont get me wrong, i love living in Qatar with my 2 kids and hubby. It is a great place to have a family life with the low crime rate. But i wish to see change and i too want to be part of the change and not just talk about it. As a foreigner i cant do much, believe me i tried when i was working to make small differences at my work place, i was either told to shut up or reminded of my nationality. I wish to see more people like you come together to form better communities and create change in this country for the future. You dont know how happy i am to read such nice open minded posts, makes me feel like there is hope.

    Anyway, Keep up the good work, i will be a regular to your blog now. you have won me over with this one.

    Its been my hidden urge for years to start writting a blog of my own but i have always worried that if in any case i get too opinionated and say something that offends the country, i might have to fly back home. (although the funny thing is i dont know any place called home other than Qatar, My own country Bangladesh is like a foreign country to me as i am accustomed to life here.) Maybe Insha Allah one day in the future i shall write a blog of my own.

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