Saturday, June 10, 2017

Updates of Life in Qatar

How long has it been, six days now? The economic blockade continues and while everyone is continuing on as normal there is an underlying uncertainty. With diplomats and countries weighing in to the crisis nobody "on the street" here seems to know when or how this is going to end. Until then life goes on.

It's still Ramadan so everyone is fasting and most stores are closed through the day. There's plenty of groceries in the shops and that initial buying spree has ended, in fact things are back to normal. I've been eating out at restaurants for most iftars now, and have been meeting friends for sohours at majlises. Work hasn't been disrupted and the usual traffic jams still occur. During the evenings people gravitate to the parks or malls. While it is hot outside there hasn't been any humidity so the evenings are still pleasant.

The blockade is of course the main topic of conversation as people discuss recent developments & updates, and just try to make sense of it all. As a foreigner resident in Qatar I am now banned from entering the UAE, something most of us foreigners just find bizarre. That Saudi, UAE and Bahrain have now passed laws that if anyone in their countries posts anything sympathetic about Qatar on social media they could be imprisoned is even more bizarre. No such restrictions here though. Qatar is trying to take the high road on this crisis and so are being accommodating to people here. Qatar has not asked any Emirati, Saudi, Bahraini or Egyptian to leave Qatar. Many are leaving because their respective countries have demanded that they leave Qatar but Qatar is not forcing them to go.

Anyway, schools are about to finish for the year after which will be the usual exodus of families to cooler climes for the summer holidays. This happens every year and up to a quarter of a million or so leave. So if in the next week or two you suddenly hear news stories of people cramming the airport for flights out of Qatar it is part of the usual summer break. That's not to say it might be a bit bigger this year, some people might be nervous about the current situation and decide to get their families out earlier than they might normally.

I hope this crisis sorts itself out soon. The respective countries need to get around a table and talk things through.


Natalie said...

Glad I found your blog. I am moving over in September & cannot wait!

Anonymous said...

Well said - great summary of the current state of affairs.

Glen McKay said...

Thanks everyone. Hopefully things turn out okay.