Archive for January, 2011

You just know that Mr. Q’s blog is rumbling

I’m writing a blog post that I want to make sure is both fair and balanced about the AFC… recent… incidences… which have more than infuriated me compelled me to wait a few days to calm down before putting ‘pen to paper’.

Asian Cup 2011 Closing Ceremony

Tour of Westbay during Asian Cup

Clouds descending on Westbay

Some snaps

Original thread here Clouds Descending on Westbay

The importance of sponsors

To many people this is incredibly obvious, but alas, I’m always reminded of someone’s profile that I once read that said ‘Qatar – the land that logic forgot’.

It’s incredibly important to show some love back to the sponsors of events. If you’re an events organizer, showing them that they are important enough to be recognized, means that you’ve got a sponsor that will come back to you. If you’re someone who’s enjoying an event, recognizing the sponsor (or even using that sponsors services/products) means that they can afford to sponsor more events.

But who’s job is it to support sponsors of events? It’s everyones! Let’s say that Qatar Airways decided to go ahead and sponsor an event happening in New Year. Website’s (and magazines) that list the event, should ensure that sponsors logos are on materials (I’ve seen some places CUT OUT sponsor logos!). A lot of people complain that there aren’t enough events happening in Qatar (I’m sure that twitter.com/qatarevents would disagree), but rememember, if sponsors stop.. sponsoring.. events, then there’ll be less events. Less events means less content to cover. I mean, an events guide isn’t really useful when there’s nothing to cover right?

Hanging out with Samsung

So I was invited over by Samsung and Forbes Associates, to visit the Samsung booth over at the Asian Cup Fan Zone at Aspire park. I was quite excited, and honored, that they wanted Mr. Q to check out what they had to offer. I was already familiar with their fun apps (see http://blog.iloveqatar.net/2011/01/asian-cup-apps-and-other-fun-stuffs/ ) and didn’t really know what to expect from the booth itself.

I was greeted by some people from Samsung who had flown over from Korea for the next two weeks and they started to take me on a tour. They first wanted to show me their Galaxy Tab. Of course I didn’t mention the fact that I’m actually an iPad user, but I had to admit that I was always interested in the Galaxy Tab. It’s about half the size of the iPad, also quite thin, and runs off of Android. There’s one CRUCIAL difference though. It plays flash. I was told that with Flash running constantly that it would get a battery life of around 6 hours (but who runs flash constantly). The average battery life was 10-12 hours (nice!). I could definitely see people buying this because of its portability. They had this Q&A game on it that I was asked to play. (I scored 3/5 :( ) but got a nice little pair of blow up ‘sticks’. I was told that in Korea they bang them together while watching a match and it sure did make a loud noise!

I was then asked to do a little interview on camera where they asked me what I thought about Samsung. I explained that I was always a fan of Samsung products, my father loves their dual sim phone, and I used to almost exclusively use them for a period of time. (I love their Ultra series of phones. BRING THEM BACK SAMSUNG, I LOVED IT!). In fact, I was actually just thinking about the Samsung U100 recently ( picture here ) and wished they’d make a new one.

They then showed me their Shouting booth. You go into a room, select the country you are routing for and then scream your lungs out to support them! The best person (I think) wins a prize! After participating you get a horn as a gift.

They then have a set up for you to take a picture in front of a green screen so it looks like you’re with one of your favourite teams. I took a picture with the Qatari team (of course), and when finished, they printed it out, and put it in a picture frame that looked like the Galaxy Tab. I thought that it was quite awesome!

Basically with everything you participate in, you get a small gift to take home. It was very fun and the staff there were all having a fun time themselves. Anyway Samsung, thanks for inviting me to hang out, thanks for sponsoring the Asian Cup, and thanks for all the cool stuff you guys make! Now I wonder if the Samsung Qatar team are as cool as the Samsung Korea team.

Some pics! (click to enlarge)

Planning on opening an account with QNB? Read my story.

First of all let me say that there are people in QNB that I adore. I think that they are amazing people, but I only wish that the whole organization acted the way that they do. There’s no way I’m keeping this bottled in. Qatar National Bank is a STUPID bank. Now I’ve ALREADY got an account with them, but every time I wanted to check if transfers were made, I had to drive to a branch, wait in a que, then ask for a print out. Why? Because they don’t give you internet banking by default, you have to apply for it, and at the time of joining them they didn’t TELL me that I had to apply for it.

So I finally decided that I was going to get online banking. I stepped into a bank and asked for the service. The man behind the counter told me that I could just register online at home. “Are you sure?”, I asked. “Yes of course”, he replied. So I went home and tried to register. [Please enter your atm number]. I don’t have an ATM card for my companies account… So I finally decide to go back to the bank again and explain the lovely situation I was in. The fun begins. Read the rest of this entry »

Asian Cup apps and other fun stuff

I thought I’d share some fun stuff by various companies related to entertainment and events for the Asian Cup. If you know of any other companies doing anything, let me know and I’ll get it added here too.

Samsung have quite a number of things going on.

First up is the “Samsung Scouter” -
Samsung Scouter is an Android/Bada application which has been specially created for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 to provide real-time commentary on matches, tournament highlights and in-depth player performance analysis and comparison such as pass accuracy, ball possession and sprint speed. The mobile application can be downloaded from the Samsung Apps Store (www.samsungapps.com) for the duration of the tournament. (Is it on the Android store too?)

Facebook Promotion – “Be Proud, Support Your Country”
Samsung’s online promotion for the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 is currently running on the Samsung Mobile MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Facebook community. It is a fan-centric competition that allows participants to submit messages cheering on their favorite teams playing in the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011. Players who submit the seven best “cheers” will win a pair of return tickets to watch the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011 Finals. To participate, please visit www.facebook.com/samsungmobilemena.

Samsung “Man of the Match” Presentation, “Fan of the Match” Event
At each game (in the stadium), a player selected by the AFC will receive the Samsung “Man of the Match” award, which recognizes outstanding performance and fair play.  In connection with this, “Fan of the Match”, a promotion event for the stadium audience and Samsung Galaxy Fan Café visitors will take place at all matches. Using SMS, participants guess who will become the Samsung “Man of the Match” player for each game, and prizes including an autographed official football will be given to selected winners.

Vodafone also has some stuff for people who want to stay in the know. If you go to www.vodafoneqatarfootball.com you’ll find a mobile app, mobile version of their SportzDeck and some other ways of keeping up to date with the latest scores. The sportz deck app is quite fun and detailed too!

So we’re on the 3rd day of the Asian Cup

Well we’re on the 3rd day of the Asian Cup and a lot has been going on! I thought that I’d put some stuff together!

Now the first day was all about the Fan Zone! First of all, let me warn you that I’m sure that parking is going to be a problem. Entrance is 15QR and you get to enjoy all the different fun and games inside. The first day we went though, it was free (nice surprise). That meant that the Jay Sean and Karl Wolf concert was absolutely free!

Click here for Pictures of the Fan Zone

A lot of people also turned out for the free concert. However it wasn’t all fun and games. There was hardly any crowd control as people were pushing and shoving (mosh pit) and the security were useless! (I’ll post a video later on showing how they just stood there).

Here’s a video of Jay Sean and Karl Wolf live in concert and singing Qatar’s Yalla Asian song.

Oh and our favourite Qatari comedian Mohd Kamal was the host!

A true supporter is one that’s there til the end

Now this is only my opinion so I hope that this won’t be a ‘I’m more of a fan than you are’ topic.

Let’s rewind a bit to the first match a couple of days ago between Qatar and Uzbekistan. Qatar was excited. The crowd was roaring. Flames spit out of the ground in Khalifa stadium and there was a fireworks display that looked to be MILES long and visible all the way from the Zig Zag towers.

People of all different nationalities in Qatar were all routing for Qatar.

The match starts.

The crowd is clapping, cheering, and drumming. For the first half, it’s just a giant party and it seems that the two countries are pretty event. However, GOAAAAL Uzbekistan scores against us. My heart sinks for a second. “It’s alright, there’s plenty of time left”, I tell myself. I pick up my phone to tweet “Don’t give up on Qatar yet!”. I noticed people tweeting that they are leaving. I look at the stadium seats and I see that sure enough, some people are leaving. “How can they leave at this time?” I think.

Sadly near the end, the Uzbeks score another goal. “It’s alright, 10 minutes left and it probably is enough for us to score one goal”, I hope. Looking at the crowd, I see event MORE empty seats. It’s a sad view.

5 minutes before the match and many have left. I start to thinking. How can a supporter or a true fan desert his team? You need to support your country in both the good times and the bad. I found myself empthazing with the team. Imagine.. the opposing team scoring a goal against you. You look up at the crowd only to see empty seats. People have given up on you. You feel deserted. All for what? To save time so that you don’t get stuck in a few minutes of traffic? What? So you you came for the fireworks and leave?

Someone actually said that it was embarassing. What’s embarassing is when you don’t have the courage to stand by the team you support. Reminds me of those people who always side with the winning team.

Let’s use the analogy of an army. Why fight for a people, who won’t be there for you when you need them the most. Why do some sports have cheerleaders? Qatar doesn’t have super sexy bikini clad babes on the side-lines with their pom poms cheering the team on. WE are the ones who are supposed to give our country support.

Qatar has given many people a better life, but more importantly it’s given everyone HOPE that this place will change everything in the region, the least you can do show some love :)

Oh and to everyone else, chillax, Qatar isn’t the only country in the world to have ever lost a match.

Good luck everyone! And no matter WHICH country you support, support them til the end.

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.