Blog archive: Qatar

  • 24th February 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. View of an alley with several tailoring businesses. Photo: Nadine Compton   This is the sixth in a series of blog posts exploring employment problems in the Arab Gulf states. Part one: How it began Part two: The iniquities of kafala Part...
  • 23rd February 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This is the fifth in a series of blog posts exploring employment problems in the Arab Gulf states. Part two: The iniquities of kafala Part four: Working outside the rules Part six: Jobs, politics and ethnocracy      THE ARAB Gulf states have long been dependent on...
  • 19th February 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For sale of return: A recruitment agent stands with a group of Ethiopian domestic workers as they wait for potential clients at an agency office in the Hawalli district of Kuwait. Women who leave employers and return to recruitment agencies – either as a result of their employer’s decision or...
  • 17th February 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This is the second in a series of blog posts exploring employment problems in the Arab Gulf states.  Part one: How it began Part two: The iniquities of kafala Part three: Female domestic workers Part four: Working outside the rules Part five: Jobs for citizens? Part six:...
  • 16th February 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Employment systems in the Arab Gulf states are increasingly coming under an international spotlight. Following the decision to hold the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, concerns have been raised about the conditions of migrant construction workers preparing for the tournament – an issue that was...
  • 22nd January 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When uprisings toppled the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in 2011, other Arab regimes trembled. But not Qatar. Brimming with self-confidence, Qatar – perhaps alone among the Arab states – viewed the upheaval as an opportunity rather than cause for alarm. "Qatar's regional posture went into...
  • 11th November 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Following an eight-day fact-finding visit to Qatar a UN investigator has called for an end to the restrictive sponsorship system for employing expatriate workers. François Crépeau, the UN’s special rapporteur on migrants’ rights, said Qatar should make it easier for migrants to change...
  • 25th June 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      The Emir of Qatar's abdication this morning (see text of his speech) is widely seen as a milestone – and rightly so. It breaks the long-standing Arab tradition of leaders who cling to power until the drop, or are forcibly removed from office. Sheikh Hamad came to power in 1995,...
  • 28th May 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Villaggio shopping mall in Qatar, which proclaims itself as Doha's "newest and the largest family entertainment destination", was designed with an Italian theme. At the end of one corridor there's a gondola and behind it a large fresco depicting Venice. Visitors often stop by the...
  • 30th October 2012
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Verbal duelling between poets is an ancient Arabian tradition dating back to pre-Islamic times. Saad Abdullah Sowayan describes its customary form: "A duelling match involves two poets ... The first poet steps forward and improvises two verses in which he greets the assembled audience and...
  • 4th December 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A human rights organisation in South Africa is planning legal actionafter a journalist was sacked by al-Jazeera and expelled from Qatar following a positive HIV test. The journalist – a South African who has not been identified – had recently taken up a post as a senior editor with al-...
  • 24th June 2011
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, wife of the emir of Qatar, is famous for her good works. In the eyes of many, she's the model of a modern, enlightened Arab woman. Sheikha Moza is the driving force behind Qatar's remarkable Education City project, she is founder and chair of the Arab...

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