I Really Love Qatar .. But ..

May 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm (education, Opinion, Qatari culture, Society) ()

What do you think of this?

Since the new government took over in 1995, many policies have been changed in Qatar. A claim to democratization, development and change. A vision for an economy driven by knowledge and increase investment in human capital. Qatar have achieved a lot in such short time thanks to its investment in natural resources. Such fast development lead to its economy to be one of the fastest growing in the world. Moreover, citizens of Qatar enjoy one of the highest GDP per capita(? really?). The Human Development Index show speedy improvement in human development … etc

Catchy ha?

This is what we always hear about Qatar. Of course some of it is true, there has been great development and change. But we are still underdevelopment in so many other aspects. Sometimes I feel that the change that happened in Qatar is superficial. If we take a deep look at established institutions we will come to realize that hardly any is maturely developed.

My point is, when I saw the ad for bidding Qatar 2022 I felt dissapointed. Yes its great to have all of this, but is this what we really need now? How many billions is going to be spent on that? I think we should concentrate on things other than sport. Aspire Zone and the Asian games are kinda enough for the time being. Too many construction is going on, a lot of ugly buildings are being erected. I feel like all of this gives a false image of how Qatar is developing.

I would really love to see some investment in the environment. Isn’t that more important than sport?  Qatar has one of the worst air quality in the world because of the oil and gas industry. and yet there is nothing being done about it. According to 2007 UNDP Human Development Report revealed Qatar’s per capita CO2 emissions to be the highest in the world at 79.3 tones/capita, despite its small size; it is well above the 9th ranked United States. shouldn’t’ this be a priority since it obviously affect people’s health? Why not spend money on planting trees and creating parks in every neighborhood. And please use trees that grow here, no need to import special trees from Australia that will die in few months just to show off!

It is nice to see some green, calms people down a bit and will reduce the temperature. We have the ability to make Doha green since there are many trees and plants that could survive in a desert climate. I wish the minister of environment takes this issue seriously. And, seriously what is he doing anyway? I have not heard or seen any serious or new projects done by that ministry beside protecting wild animals. If I was the minister, I would plant a huge circle of trees surrounding Doha to protect it from sand storms and help purify the air and reduce the temperature. Then I will create beautiful parks and small gardens in every corner of the city. Is there any excuse for not doing this?

Another project that the government should invest in is recycling. No matter how much it will cost, it will be nothing compared to the cost of the new stadiums for 2022.  It is not just visible things that we should invest in. We should also put more effort into improving health care services for example. Or create awareness programs in schools or even creative advertisement on TV about living a healthy life since we have one of the highest percentage of people who suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure. People need to be educated about that. Education is not about building huge buildings and having  Academic degrees.

aren’t these things more important than sport? I would like to see real investment in people, real development. Who cares about big shiny buildings? This is a fake image of development.

25 Comments

  1. davidbroberts said,

    Interesting stuff. I suppose the question is how many Qataris agree with you?

    • Tamimi said,

      @davidbroberts

      I would say most Qataris, espcially those that are +25 would agree with her; they may slightly disagree on what the money should be spent on (roads, health care, social development, etc) but most Qataris I know feel that we are spending way too much money on sport.😦

      • CamelToe said,

        This makes me happy, to hear that you think most Qataris think too much is being spent on sports. I always thought it rather strange that in a country with such a small national population, sports was what they chose to support, to carve out their niche on the international stage.

        Seems to me that when you consider the recent student assessment results from the SEC (just one example) that there are far more important things that Qatar should be worrying about instead of building more football stadiums that few people use.

  2. UmmON said,

    environment is not going to get ronaldino and messi here🙂 environment needs a popstar ambassador. :)!

  3. genesis said,

    Although i do agree with you somehow that sports is getting a lot of spotlight. Yet, it doesn’t mean that other sectors are neglected.

    Going Green is not really feasible in the long run, taking in consideration our very limited water resources & how high the desalination costs.

    As for recycling, there is a huge solid waste management plant is being built at the moment in Messaid area which is managed by the ministry of Municipality in cooperation with QP.

    In addition, there are many projects raised by the ministry of Environment in thier upcoming business plan( i assume you do know that this ministry was just recently established)

    There is a budget allocated to each government entity and it’s in their responsibility to utilize it as per their business plans

    Frankly speaking, the problem lays here. What does each & every department in those government entities raise in their business plans?

    Unfortunately, the old generation ministry thinking still overhangs those government offcies

    Who to blame when the concerned government office isn’t keen to modernize its system

    Here comes the role of internal audits(Which btw was just recently recommended by the Council of Ministers General Secretariat as most ministries till date doesn’t conduct any internal audits nor there was a dedicated internal audit unit)

    Let’s be honest here, the people are to be blamed .

    Their resistance to change

    Their mere rejection to improve

    Just look how many people criticizing the great education potentials within EDC or the recent improvement at QU with some excuses just because their offspring fail to be admitted to those colleges

    I see huge potential in QF for human development , i just hope that many Qataris benefit from this great opportunity

    • mimizwords said,

      @ Genesis
      The environment was just an example of other areas that need to be concentrated on. Being scarce in water shouldnt be an excuse since we can afford it, And I thought they taught us in school that the whole area of Qatar has underground water in two main reserves, one was salty and the other wasnt. this could be used as well I guess. I am no expert in the subject but this is one of the things I would like to see.

      so what I am proposing here is to know what Qataris would like to see, what kind of change they hope for. So what concerns you?

  4. Alberuni said,

    The biggest asset of any nation is its people. People should comes first. Cant agree more with Mimi. But Qatar is still in early stages in finding out how best to invest in its people. Hope your views reach the people in charge.

  5. Mariam said,

    U said it all Mimi, and one of the other things that i think worth the money more than sports is building a public library, big social library, we really really need something like that here , i mean seriously, some people do read in this country, we want some place where we can read for fun, make our research & home-works etc. , not having to go to book stores like Jarer or virgin ( which mostly sell novels, not science history etc. stuff)

  6. Intlxpatr said,

    Love this post, Mimi.

    The problem is that a lot of money goes into appearances, and too little into programs of substance. I had some visitors from Germany, while I was living in Doha, and they attended several soccer/football games and said the attendance was poor, and . . . nobody was yelling (!) LLOOLL, in Germany, we could hear the roars of the crowd from ten miles away! My point being, do most Qatteris even care that much about sports?

    I do love that young Qatteris are being taught fencing and shooting and a lot about sports; I like sports training, it’s the unused huge monstrous that bother me.

    Parks! Yes! More beach development! Some snorkeling trips!

    I do love that Qatar makes so many events accessible to everyone.

  7. Amna said,

    Hi mimi,
    I’m a new reader and I really liked your blog.. I enjoyed reading your interesting opinions on a lot of things in Qatar.

    I think that you are confusing two things together here..
    you are saying that the country is spending too much money on sports at the expense of other fields like the environment. I don’t see the relation though. If you think that the environment and recycling need more attention you should address the ministry of environment and not the Qatar 2022 bid committee.

    In a rich country like Qatar, spending too much on one sector does not mean cutting costs on other sectors. This correlation does not exist here. There is enough money to make everything better. I think that it is a matter of management and leadership. The reason why the sports sector is blooming is because it’s been run by good leaders. The reason why the education sector is developing so rapidly is because, again, it’s run by good leaders. On other hand, look at the underdeveloped sectors and see who runs those! As you mentioned, what did the minister of environment do to make things better? those are the type of questions we should ask and not simply blaming it on sports.

    Let me tell you this, I have been following the 2022 Bid Committee’s activities and news and they are doing an amazing job! This event can do a lot to this small country.. it’s not about football when it comes to hosting the world cup, it’s much more than that.. It’s about bringing life and color to Qatar… It’s about bringing people together and having fun.. I honestly can’t wait.. I’m excited and I support the bid.. I think we all should support the bid.

    – Amna K.

    • mimizwords said,

      Hi there .. sorry for my late reply .. it always makes me happy to have a new reader

      Actually I am not saying that the country is spending something at the expense of something else. I know we have endless money, but I was talking about more efficient allocation of resources which is a big problem in Qatar on many sectoral levels. If the government was spending on required reform for development, then sure, why not spend more on sports. But they are ignoring more important sectors that need to be developed. you said it ‘there is enough money to make everything better’ .. and to be honest, nothing will be better unless someone from the ruling family took it under its wing. and as you said, education and sports have developed because they were under direct attention of the leaders. But how are we going to develop if they have to do everything by themselves? Here we question the roles of Ministers.

      I was not addressing the bidding Qatar committee here at all, it was just an example of something that will not bring higher returns than what was spent on it. HARRODS is the biggest example now, which is something I will write about as soon as I am done with what is keeping me busy at the moment.

      I know bidding Qatar will bring some benefits and open Qatar more to the world, it is exciting and a good thing to have. I am not against it, but against the idea of ignoring more important aspects of development.

      Best,

  8. aBa meet’s world said,

    oh my goodness , it’s all football ! , an ugly disgusting disturbing immature game !
    i can’t believe this , i mean 4 more stadiums , don’t we have enough ?
    who’s running this ?
    omg this is so fake & lame , i really can’t allow this .
    i mean what a waste of money & time & material . !!!
    we can make a space station with that money !
    i really suggest using those couple of Billion Rials that are still under ground for technology & like you suggested “ greening up Qatar “ .
    ahhhhg this is so immature , it’s a game , what will we benefit from this ?
    money ? fame ? .
    i mean it’s just so heartbreaking , you know we’’re running out of natural gas , soon we’ll depend on education & technology for maintaining a stable environment ! .
    what’s this an effort to make qatar a top tourist destination ? .
    can’t we do something to like stop this ? , i’m really Furious , changes will be made soon enough .

  9. Mariam said,

    @aBa meet’s world

    exactly! .. u said it all..

  10. B. said,

    Count me in on that ever increasing bandwagon of disgruntled Qataris who would like to see our resources and money being spent more wisely! 5 stadiums? seriously?! It is just absurd and completely uncalled for! I get that there is a concerted effort to elevate Qatar’s reputation to international status, but I have to wonder who’s the main beneficiary from these multi-billion/trillion/gazillion dollar projects of monolithic proportions? Certainly not the Qatari’s! not now, not within the next decade, and not the decade after that! I mean, I’m all for being supportive of initiatives that help propel Qatar into the world stage, and I’m trying to look at it from a logical point of view, but hard as I’m trying, it just doesn’t make sense! at the top of my head, i can think of a variety of other ways the money would be better invested in, things that actually contribute towards the development of Qatar and, most importantly, towards Qatari’s, who should have a stake in how the money is being spent! If the financial resources and willpower are readily available to build these unnecessary stadiums, then why not apply that in other, more beneficial venues? it’s mind boggling how they can build projects like these in record breaking speed but take years upon years to complete seemingly simple tasks such as paving roads, lighting dark or badly lit streets, expanding narrow streets, affording more parking spots in congested areas…etc Alas, we the citizens will yet again have no impact on these decisions and we’ll just have to begrudgingly accept them.

  11. Me said,

    Exactly B, the state of some the public hospitals around the country are absolutely horrifying, they look like something you would expect to see in a war torn nation, not one that touts itself as the ‘richest country in the world’. Watch how fast things are built up from scratch when it comes to putting in place projects that are used to make Qatar look ‘modern’, yet the infrastructure, medical care, education, all take a back seat.

    Yes even education, the scholarships here are such a hassle to get and when you do get one they come with all these strings attached that make it not even worth taking in the first place, including being forced into a job where you don’t have much choice or the option to complain if you are not being trained as promised when accepting their ‘scholarship’. So after serving the the 3/4 years there and then trying to find another job locally you realize you have essentially forgotten all you have learned and don’t have proper work experience to offset that either. The government scholarships work more like sponsorships, as a scholarship is meant to reward you on merit and you then get to work where ever you choose too. And Qatar can afford to do that for its citizens, as the choice for higher education locally is very limited.

    Before trying to thrust their modernity and ‘advanced’ society down the throats of the international world, they should focus on at least fixing up the internal defects locally before having people come here and see the truth of what things are really like…

  12. dreamer said,

    surprisingly, most of the comment do agree with the writer in someway or another.. lol and i though that i am the only Qatari the is kinda against spending soo much in sport..
    And Yes, there is lot more to think about other than sport.. we can prioritize them.. starting with the two most important thing in life HEALTH AND EDUCATION

  13. Me said,

    Human Rights Joint Select Committee Reports

  14. kbaisi said,

    Some good responses in here.

  15. Mr. Q said,

    Yes we do need it.

    This is the only way that our infrastructure is developed.

    When the world’s eye looks at Qatar, THATS when Qatar develops.

    • nas said,

      Oh really? We spend billions for stadiums and then what will we do them after the world cup is over? Breed sheep??? Development is about proper things the society needs, not to show off to the world !

      • Mr. Q said,

        I think you missed what I wrote.

        It’s the ONLY way Qatari develops ‘infrastructure’.

        When the world LOOKS at Qatar, thats when the government finishes roads, and finishes projects quickly.

        Look at the Asian Games? How much changed just because we were hosting it?

        The point is, the World Cup is the ONLY way that other baladiyas like Al Khor and Al Wakrah will have any development at all. (at a reasonable pace).

        Hope I’m clearer now.

    • Amna said,

      right on!!

  16. nas said,

    yes yes mr. Q i am in agreement, I missed what you wrote and you are right, if Qatar doesn’t show off to the world, nothing is developed!

  17. Genesis said,

    Hello Mimi
    I thought this thread needs reviving as we are just four days away of the 2022 world cup host announcement.
    I think that December 2nd is an important day for Qatar whether we win or lose the Bid.
    Qatar have pledged to spend 50 billion $ on projects if awarded the tournament benefiting from the remarkable achievement of 77 million ton of LNG production annually.
    I think this date is a turning point regardless of the outcome of WC2022 voting.

  18. N California said,

    I agree with Amna. The budget spent on the 2022 bid is huge but it doesn’t mean that it’s taking the money from the investments in other sectors. I think the goverment knows how to manage its budget. It has the experience and the financial consultants. Plus the country is making history.

    This opportunity will put Qatar on the map and will start attracting, and I know it already has because I spoke to some, minds and other new budgets that want to help you invest in the other sectors. In the QSTP (Qatar Science and Technology Park) are hundrends of world class professors and companies that are doing research in the sectors of health and environemnt. As in eduaction, we already see the new school buidlings and facilities, schooling systems and eduactions city (bringing world-class univeristies in important majors. The event will also bring more job opportunities.

    They will build more stuff so what! Has anyone noticed that more than 85% of the life is located in the Doha and the country can expand 20x in secular life.
    As for the worry that you will try to have a more “free” way of thinking to adopt to the different kind of people and minds coming from all over the world in the two month of the world cup period, all I have to say that if we will “lose” our morals in “two months” that means we never had any!

    I support the bid and I’m not trying to convince anyone that it is a good idea. Because.. It just is🙂

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