Archive for November, 2009

Bump and Crash

I can’t believe that I saw this yesterday. While on the way to Villaggio on Al Waab street, this small old car goes from the right lane (lane 3) to the left lane (lane 1) without indicating and cutting a car off. (I thought it was funny how we were the ONLY 3 cars on the road and that guy still almost caused an accident.).

What happened next was a shocker. The guy that the indian guy cut off was in a jeep and it looked like he was pretty pissed off because he over-took the car and then tried to ‘slice him’ (Slicing is when you turn onto another car as close as possible with the intention of scaring the other individual and is usually done to teach someone a ‘lesson’.)

The jeep mis-judged it seems (or this could be intentional) and smashed the tiny car causing him to fly onto the side-walk. The jeep kept going but then slowed down to park on the emergency lane. As I passed I looked into the car to see it looked like a Shami family. A male driver, a woman in the passenger seat and two people in the back.

So I memorized his plate and called the police to let them know what I just saw. (I wanted to explain what I saw before one or the other lied about it.)

Talk about serious road-rage! As I arrived at the mall, I kind of empathized with the Jeep. I myself am sick and tired of people not indicating and almost crashing into me. (The day before I had called Karwa to let them know that one of their taxis almost crashed me on a round-about and then was unapologetic about it AND he had a passenger!)

On the other hand, of course crashing another person intentionally isn’t acceptable at all!

Rule of Law

Looks like there’s a lot of interesting sites popping up on the net! I stumbled upon http://www.ruleoflaw.org.qa/

ruleoflaw

Not only is it quite attractive, but I think it’s a right step towards letting people know about what the laws are in Qatar. I’m a law graduate myself and I can definately say that finding out what the laws are in Qatar isn’t easy nor convenient. If only there could be an online legal database, that would be fantastic!

What is fuelyoursenses.qa?

I for one liked the new colorful billboards around Qatar with something that had one word and then the website.

Now I’m the type of person that if I dont know what something is, it’s not my top priority to go and investigate. However the third time I saw the billboard I figured, ‘why not?’ and went to fuelyoursenses.qa

At first I tried with my iPhone (but since it doesn’t have flash support I had to wait until I got to my pc). To be honest most sites should always have an html alternative just in case. After entering the site it looks fun and colorful. Enter your name, and then it asks me if I want to use my ‘voice’ or ‘webcam’. I have to pass on that since I dont know what this is for.

After it finishes loading, I just see a count-down and little box that displays whatever I type in an animation. No explanation as to what to do. Clicking on Help says that this is top secret….

thumb

So… does anyone know what this is about? I know that .qa is only for government sites.

Qatar 2022 bid video

You gotta love the internets! Found this on Facebook, that linked to a post on Qatar Visitor, that they found on Twitter by @nazqatar (we’ve got some twitter action ourselves! ILQ twitter channels)

Well if you’re looking for updates, or have your own updates to share about Qatar 2022 then join us on our forum!

Click here to go to Qatar 2022 – News & Updates

Energy efficient google

One of things that I’m very passionate about is taking care of the environment. Did you know that Qatar was the first country in the region to sign the Kyoto protocol? It’s a great step towards reducing our carbon footprint.

It takes very little for us to do our bit to take care of the environment!

Did you know that a white page takes around 72 watts to display? (of course if you’re using an LED backlit screen then you’re saving much more energy). I found out about this by Blackle, but since I set my homepage to my own custom page I thought I’d do the same!

So to do my part, I’ve gone and created an energy efficient Google page. You can find it by going to http://www.iloveqatar.net/search/black.html (I’ll be adding Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, QMail, and a few other quick links to it soon)

Yep, it’s just Google with a black background. It also comes with a nice light up ILQ heart.

So go ahead and set it as your homepage and save some precious juice!

Dominos Qatar Delivery is a joke!

Oh my God I can’t believe this! I just called the Gharaffa branch which is around 10-15 minutes drive from the Zig Zag tower. So I had to cycle through FOUR different employees of the branch trying to find out if they know where ANYTHING is in Qatar!

Do you know the Zig Zag tower?
No sir
Do you know the Intercontinental Hotel?
No sir
Do you know the Grand Hyatt?
No sir
Do you know the Ritz?
No sir
Do you know the Pearl Island?
No sir
Do you know the Golf Club?
No sir
Do you know Westbay?!
No sir
DO YOU KNOW QATAR?!

I’m sure you can tell that I got very frustrated!

So where DO you deliver? What is your radius?
Only anywhere 6 minutes away sir

What the hell?! What delivery service only delivers 6 minutes away?! Dominos is a joke. If Dominos sponsor knew about this, he’d go crazy knowing that his employees reject business they shouldn’t be rejecting!

Flagging Qatar

I was quite proud of a micro-moment today! Engadget changed their design today. It’s a site that I frequent for my tech-news. I was kind of shocked at first. OMG did they brand the whole page just for chrome? So I visited “Welcome to the next Engadget” ‘s thread. Scrolling down I noticed that they had discussed their new commenting system and low-and-behold I see a Qatari flag! They used one of my comments as a screenshot!

Felt like a double-proud moment seeing a Qatari flag and my post used as an example on Engadget. :) (On a side note, in the cyber-world, my alias is ‘amnesia’, just in case people didn’t realize.)

Screen shot 2009-11-20 at 2.06.48 PM

Should I boycott Saqr?

saqrIt’s actually a very serious question. First I’m going to explain the events that unfolded and it’ll be up to you to decide whether you would want to boycott Saqr or not.

I should mention that I have ALWAYS had such a great experience at Saqr. I found them to have reasonable prices and I was always able to find what I was looking for. (With some of their branches though, I found the staff to be unattentive.) I also truly did want to support a shop like Saqr. It was a great Qatari alternative to Virgin. These guys sell DVDs, BluRay, games, hardware, iPods, Blackberries, accessories, also some awesome limited edition stuff, AND quite a few branches around Qatar! Actually… before continuing, I’m 100% sure that if the owner of Saqr new of what was going on, he’d fire the upper management in a heart-beat.

So I entered into a Saqr branch 5 days ago to buy a Wii. I really wanted to use Wii Fit Plus but they had a US version of the game and my old Wii was a UK version. I spotted nicely bundled Wiis at various prices. So I ask the man why the Wii’s cost different. “This one is Korean and that one is US”, he says. Alright… so what’s the ‘difference’…. Nothing sir, just that one is from Korea, but they are all multi-region. Multi-region?! I thought, that’s fantastic. He warned me that they didn’t give out any warranty so I asked him to test out a UK and US game for me, and he did. “Can I update the Wii?” I asked. “Of course sir!”. I left with a game, some DVDs and smile.

When I got home, I played with it for a couple of days. After a hard-day’s work, playing a game for a bit helps me stop thinking about how I’m going to try and make Qatar a better place and stress involved with it. I decided that I wanted to access the Wii shop to see if there was something to buy online. “Update needed” the Wii commanded. Alrighty… I update it… the system blinks… the system restarts… the system greets me with a message… “Yay!-no wait…not yay…”. Error 303: Unauthorized Device.

Without a second thought, I go back to Saqr and meet some fresh new staff (the staff that were there last time weren’t on this night’s shift). Now the first guy I deal with is fantastic! He checks it out, asks a few trouble shooting questions, and then tries to comfort me and tells me that he needs to make a call to management. Next is the woman behind the register. She doesn’t look so happy. I ask her what’s going on and she explains that someone stole a couple of games and now the management are going to take the cost out of all of the staff’s pay.

I know right? How can they do that to their staff? It’s not like THEY stole it. We chat for a bit and we go back to the subject of the Wii, apparantly we have to wait for management because there was no warranty. “I know it doesn’t mean much, but the sign does say that”. “The sign doesn’t trump the law which states I have 14 days to return faulty goods, and it doesn’t excuse Saqr from selling me an illegal system, plus I didn’t use ANYTHING from the box except the Wii.”. She smiles in acknowledgement. I understand that she has to give it a go.

So I stand around for another 30 minutes while one by one, a different staff member gets on the phone. They’re all very nervous now because if they take back the Wii and because it’s faulty, THEY have to pay for it! I felt bad… I was on the verge of just buying another one, but why should I have to pay 1,000 QR out of my pocket right? Then I try to console them. I explain that they should report this to the Ministry of Labour. “They won’t do anything”, the woman says, “we’ve tried and nobody cares. Plus I can’t lose this job.”.

It really is a tough one, but what happens next really angers me. The manager on the phone tells the salesman that if he can RESELL the faulty Wii, he won’t need to pay for it… What?! The management wanted them to repackage it and sell it to someone who didn’t know better! Wouldn’t that person just come back to the store and ask for another one as well? They’re just delaying the inevitable. The guy’s eyes start to water and he says “Excuse me sir” and runs to the back office. This guy probably makes 1,500QR and they’re going to try and dock him 1,000QR for taking the unit back; what’s even MORE crazy is he wasn’t the one who sold it to me! He comes back and tries to sort everything out for me and brings me a nice new Wii. “Don’t worry sir, if they take it out of my salary, I’ll try to fix it and I’ll have something to play with!”, he tries to muster up a smile. I’m kind of in shock… Is this all an act… ?

So I suggest not telling the management anything in the future if that’s the way they act. “I can’t do that sir. It’s not right.”. I couldn’t believe it. There are three great employees in front of me, none wanting to do something illegal. They all want to do the right thing and they’re not appreciated…. So I gave them my business card and tell them that if they ever need any legal help, just to give me a call and leave.

I left the shop feeling sad and wasted one and a half hours. If this was in the UK or in Japan, it wouldn’t have been a problem. I’d be in and out. In this case,  Saqr sold an ILLEGAL Wii, docked their own employees for it and then wanted to resell it. Now… what would YOU do?

I hope that the owner of Saqr reads this one day. I really do want to support that place.

Indian population in Qatar

Oh my God… look at this horrendous article…

The Indian population in Qatar has gone beyond 500,000. This was revealed by Deepa Gopalan Wadhwe, Indian Ambassador to Qatar at an event honouring a high level visiting Indian delegation, yesterday.

According to the latest figures from the Statistics Authority, the population of Qatar has reached 1,597,552 based on data collected on August 31, 2009.

This could meen that Indians represent almost half of the whole population in Qatar.”

Source: The Peninsula via (ILQ News)

I am CONVINCED that they did this on purpose just to test their reader-base and to see whether they are intelligent enough.

1) The writer spelled mean as MEEN.

2) How the hell does 500,000 equal HALF the population of Qatar when the population is 1,597,552…..? Hint= (500,000/1,597,552) * 100 = 31.2%

Either way though, half a million is A LOT!

The Indian population in Qatar has gone beyond 500,000. This was revealed by Deepa Gopalan Wadhwe, Indian Ambassador to Qatar at an event honouring a high level visiting Indian delegation, yesterday.
According to the latest figures from the Statistics Authority, the population of Qatar has reached 1,597,552 based on data collected on August 31, 2009.
This could meen that Indians represent almost half of the whole population in Qatar.

Qatari Celebrities

A lot of people have asked me about celebrities in Qatar. Who are they, what do they look like, who are the famous people from qatar, etc..? So I thought I’d share a few of them since you’ve probably seen them around but didn’t realize it. I’ve listed four that came to my mind first. Actors, Martial Artists, Singers, and Sports Icons.

Adel Al Ansari – Model/Actor
http://www.adelalansari.com
You probably know this guy from the Asian Games! He’s the actor that was one of the stars for the intros and endings of the days. He’s gone on to do plays, shows, and commercials in Qatar including being QNB’s ‘ambassador’ for 2 years.

Ali Abdul Sattar – Singer
http://www.tulumba.com/mmTULUMBA/Images/MUAR000743_250.jpg
Ali started singing for fun. Some said that it was hard to get him to shut up when he was younger. Ali has become one of the regions well known Khaliji singers pretty fast!

Nada Zeidan – Nurse/Archer/Rally Driver
http://www.nadazeidan.com/

Yep an odd combination! Nada started off as a nurse but soon found that she had an affinity for Rally driving. She actually won the Middle East Rally Championships (Women’s cup) three times (Dubai, Syria, and Lebanon). She also found a passion for Archery and is the regions top female Archer!e


Ahmad Al-Sulaiti – Actor/Martial Artist
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1219198/aukmen_ahmad_al_sulaiti/

Ahmad Al-Sulaiti started at Qatar Petroleum believe it or not! However behind that front-desk smile was a martial artist of 20 years! Quite recently, he starred in a movie called Aukmen (which is based on his story). It was also filmed in Thailand and showcased a new Qatari talent to the world! He’s also the cousin of a friend of mine

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.