Archive for October, 2009

The celebrities have landed… in DOHA!

dohacelebrity

Seems like Qatar is lighting up with stars! Just yesterday a friend comes to my desk and says ‘Do you know that Brad Pitt and Angelina are having lunch at the W Hotel?’

It was an awesome feeling just to know that they’re here in Doha. Loads of celebrities are here supporting a couple of events.

We’ve got the Doha Tribbeca Film Festival (which is still going on and is at the Corniche, has it’s own out door cinema set up, fireworks at night, partly hosted in the Museum of Islamic Art, and is doing stuff all over.

Then there’s an ILQ supported event by 21st Century Leaders. They’ve brought over celebrities to take part in a charitable event including Sir Ben Kingsely and Josh Hartnett (perhaps we’ll be able to get a few ILQ shout-outs!).
It’s a fantastic concept. Tell celebrities to draw something related to peace, put it on merchandise, sell it, and then give the profits to charity.

I’m very proud that iLoveQatar.net will be working closely with them to support charitable causes! If you’ve got an idea or a suggestion, do let me know!

Also! What other celebrities have you heard are here?

Super Mario on Oud (Arabic style :) )

Think Pink Qatar

My Grandmother (God rest her soul) was a great person, she sadly died of a rare form of cancer and it was a great blow to our family. (But I can proudly say that she did a lot of good in this world before going off to heaven :) )

Think Pink Qatar aims at trying to create a support group, increase awareness, and hopefully influence those who can, to donate in the fight against breast cancer.

For those who didn’t already know, here’s a reminder about The Walk for Life! <— Click there more more information.

There’s some great supporters of this! Just to recognize them, iLoveQatar.net (Our second year now!), Vodafone, Qatar Happening, HSBC, Qatar Gas, Toyota, and Harely Davidson. (I’m sorry if I didn’t mention someone.)

Almost halloween

logohalloween

Just thought I’d mention that if you’re looking for Halloween Event in Qatar then head on down to ILQ’s events section. If you’ve got your own event going on, be sure to share it with us all as well!

Qatar Events <—- Click there!

Tekken 6 is out in Qatar! – Sorry, it sucks :(

I’m very disappointed people… I work almost from the morning ’til night almost every day. It’s been very tiring -_-; However the day started with an awesome text message from my cousin. “Tekken 6 is out now! They released it early in Qatar before the rest of the world.”.

No way, I thought, Qatar… first…? I’m not complaining! So I rushed off to the store after work and bought it for 240 QR. Got home and was ready to play as my favourite Character Lei Wulong. My heart was torn out… they ruined the game… this is the SIXTH installment and they ruined it….

Now I’m a Street Fighter and Tekken Fan. When Tekken 5 came out they had already changed Lei’s moves a bit but I adapted easily, but with Tekken 6 they’ve near changed him into a completely different character. Circle, X then hold up used to do three triple acrobatic kicks in a row, now it’s Front, Circle, X, then keep tapping circle for example.

1) I don’t like the new menu
2) Most characters speeds have been changed (Lee is slower, Lei is slower, Bruce is faster, Gun Jack is TOO fast etc…)
3) Lei’s moves have changed! The essential buttons are no more… meaning I have to learn new combos
4) Theres a stupid new ‘Rage’ bar, that makes you stronger when you’re life is low meaning that a beginner can end up getting smashed, get rage, and then kill you…
5) Lei doesn’t kick people up high anymore for a combo unless you change your ground stance, which takes too long.
6) There are too many juggles
7) Seems like the only playable character is a Fat guy named Bob that moves faster than a ninja….
8) A stupid new character who’s head is a bomb, has jetpack wings, can shoot off her arms, and also eject a chainsaw…
9) The distance between characters is unmeasurable… you get hit even though the opponent doesn’t touch you ‘physically’….

I know I know, I usually talk about some important stuff… but this got to me… I hardly play games anymore but this was supposed to bring back memories :(

Serena Williams not being very nice..

Our friends over at Qatar Visitor made an interesting post about Serena Williams.
Apparantly when she arrived at Doha Airport, she tweeted “Does anyone know where Doha is?”

The question is, ‘Is that a nice thing to say about the country that’s hosting you?”

Read more here http://qatarvisitor.blogspot.com/2009/10/does-anyone-know-where-doha-is.html

Qatarisation: A Qatari’s View

Qatarisation: what it should be about.

www.qatarization.com.qa states that “Qatarization is the identification and development of quality, competent Qatari males and females to assume permanent positions in our industry. Our objective is Quality Qatarization.

The preparation of quality Qataris is based on performance, and competence rather than time, and should be balanced with operational requirements to ensure a smooth operation.

Qatarization requires the support and commitment of experienced Qatari and expatriate staff, at all levels, to develop and train inexperienced Qataris and help them gain valuable on-the-job experience.”

Qatarisation should be done the right way, it’s a system that was put in place in order to provide Qataris with the opportunity to occupy various roles in order to be functioning members of society.

The fear is that there are so many expats in the country that Qataris aren’t running their own country to an extent.

Many believe that Qatarisation is there to help them ‘find’ jobs and secure them into a permanent position. The truth is, Qatarisation is all about educating Qataris and supporting ‘future leaders’.

There are three fundamental rules to Qatarisation in my opinion:

1)      Every Qatari deserves the opportunity to be trained and educated in order to be able to fulfil his duties in a particular role

2)      No Qatari has the right to keep a job based on nationality. A Qatari can be given an opportunity, but they should earn that role.

3)      Qataris should be hired based on their skills to fill suitable rolls.

At the moment, The official Qatarization plan includes only government jobs and the energy and industry sectors, but there are other laws that give Qataris preferential treatment in other sectors. Qatarization also applies to companies that have investment from the government.

What would I personally like to achieve through Qatarisation? To give forward thinking, hard-working, and passionate Qataris a chance; and if you can’t find that Qatari, then try to spark interest and change the mentalities of those that exist in order to create a new ethos.

On the other side, I feel that Qatarisation needs to be done the correct way as well. You can’t force expats out of jobs. These are people who have chosen to come to my country for a living and now we’re taking everything away from them.

Keep Qatarization in mind for new positions, and for current positions, why not have a Qatari train during the time that an expat is there (an average expat’s contract is for 2-4 years and most know that they don’t plan on staying in Qatar forever)?

Why do I say this? Because I want the Qatari people to be selected due to their intellect, to be valued for their hard-work, and if we just create a system with no purpose except for filling a few seats, then we’re not thinking about the true future of this country.

So common Qataris! Let’s work hard!

Traveling with Qatar Airways : Quick tips

I get quite a lot of emails asking me the same questions regarding weight, rules etc… especially when people are traveling from their home country to Qatar. (I guess ILQ provides faster answers :P )

Here’s a quick quide

Qatar’s Airport

Qatar’s airport was updated from it’s old one, but even now it’s called the ‘old airport’ because of the new airport that’s being built and which is said to be one of the biggest in the world. At the moment though, Qatar has a Premium Terminal for people flying business or first class. It’s pretty nice because there’s games, good food, massages, etc…

Visas

There’s a total of 34 countries that can get visas at the airport (Japan being one of them and it annoys me that as a Qatari I have to go through a huge visa process to visit Japan, but that’s another story). Check out ILQ’s visa section for more information: Qatar Visa

Feeling lost? Then use Al Maha Meet and Greet Service

You can request that Qatar Airways arranges this for you. They’ll handle everything from you from the moment you land to your exit :)

E-gates

I’ve written about these a lot. I love them. Makes my life easy and smooth. Expats can also apply for an e-gate pass with their residency permit which means that you don’t need to cue in immigration. If I remember correctly, the card costs QR150 a year for expats or QR350 for 3 years. All you need to do is get one from the Airport Immigration Office with your ID card (Qatar ID). It’s very close to the Airport.

Online Check-In

Again I explained my adventures in another blog post, but you can check in online through Qatar Airways website which means you only need to be there 30 mins before your flight and there’s a fast track for you.

Baggage Allowance

The biggest question of them all. I have to admit, on Qatar Airways website it’s not that very clear, so here I am clarifying it all!

First there’s the standard baggage allowance. If you have  buy a ticket with them, you get 20kg for economy, 30kg for business  and 40kg for first class.

However, if you apply for a Privilige club you get extra weight. I seriously recommend getting one because even burgundy (the lowest level) get’s extra weight. It’s 10kg for Burgundy, 15kg for Silver, 20kg for Gold.

So if you’re a Burgundy traveling economy you can get 30kg :)

DTFF not BFFs?

I don’t understand something with the Doha Tribecca Film Festival. If they’re trying to promote it in the country and someone adds a video on vimeo (uneditted, unchanged, and links to the DTFF) in order to promote the event and to promote Qatar, then why would you want it to be removed?

I’m sorry but I’m trying to make sense of this… because it’s personally beneficial to me if someone did it for a video of ILQ.

Cartoon intros… in Arabic

toons

Well since I’ve already posted two vids, I thought I’d show some Western Cartoons but sung in Arabic :P Sadly theren’s any popular Qatari cartoons, although Kuwait and the Emirates have created some nice ones including the South Park spoof “Block 13″ and the Emirati “Al Fareej”.

Duck Tales

The funny part here is that the part where they say ‘Duck Tales a-w000hooo’ in English they just say the title of the cartoon which is the equivelant of saying, ‘Tales of Duckarinos’

Click the more link below for more cartoon intros.

Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.