Archive for Causes

Dear Laborers, Security Guards, Stay at home moms, People in the Office; everyone. Thank you.

Over at ILQ HQ, we’re always trying to think of fun and new ways of getting our message accross to people. Yeah we can do the usual Tweet or Facebook post, but I think that people appreciate the extra effort put into creating guides, microsites, and videos.

For National Day 2013, His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani shared something with everyone. It was going to be about #onelove and making an effort to show appreciation to the expat community here in the country. After all, we’re all coming together to build the future of this nation and help achieve Qatar’s 2030 vision.

With the video, of course we couldn’t cover all segments, but we wanted to highlight the contruction worker, the security guards, the western workers and the Qataris all coming together. Together, we’re building Qatar.

I should mention that the people in the video are considered twitter and online friends, I myself have friends from all national and occupational background. The message in this video, is that we need to support each other. We need to appreciate each other.

Oh and one more thing… Thank you.

QAWS closed down, but why did Qatar let that happen?

Let me start by saying that the reason why I’m writing about this is because of the poor animals in Qatar. I really don’t care which organization takes care of them as long as the animals are taken care of and the people who run it have good intentions. Now, being kind to an animal doesn’t need any justification; after all, my baby sister once said “It’s nice to be nice”. However for those that do need a reason, I’ve looked at this from different points of view.
In Islam:

I’m going to start this by referring to animal welfare in Islam. All animals deserve to live, “And the earth, He has assigned it to all living creatures” (Quran 55:10).

Animal cruelty in general is forbidden in Islam. Abdullah ibn Umar passed on that the Messenger of God, PBUH, said, “A woman was once punished after death because of a cat which she had kept confined until it died, and because of this she entered the Fire. She had neither given it food or drink while confining it, nor had she let it free to eat the creatures of the earth.”

 

Humanity:

Animals cannot speak. Let me give you an image; I’m a dog person myself (I like cats too even though I’m allergic to most). There are some dogs out there that are beaten until their bones break, are starved until their organs shut down, and thrown out in the garbage and left for dead. You know what the heart breaking thing is? Those same dogs would probably still wag their tails to the same evil hearted person who hurt them if he/she showed some compassion. Read the rest of this entry »

Speak Out Against Racism #SOAR

The positive people will see the hashtag #SOAR as in, if we stop Racism, we can soar. The negative people might see it that Racism makes us sore. Whichever side you sit on, I’m guessing that the common ground here is that racism is wrong.

Qatar is a unique country. Us locals? We’re just 8% of the population. We rely on an expat work force, and the expats rely on Qatar to help save up for a better future. It’s a win win situation right? You’d think so, but I clearly feel like there’s a rift between different groups. I’m not talking about Locals VS Expats, it’s bigger than that. I see expats hating on expats. Qataris hating on Qataris. Some locals feel discriminated against in their own country. Some expats judge all Qataris based on the actions of few (like those who jump cues). Trust me. It’s not necessarily a nationality thing. It’s a rude person thing; and guess what? That rude person is rude to everyone, even to his own nationals.

Before I get started, let me just put this out there. We’re all a little bit racist. That person who just cut you off in traffic? You peeked in his/her window, saw that he/she might  be *insert nationality*, and THEN, shouted (in the comfort of your own car), “Damn *insert nationality*”.

Our goal isn’t to try and eradicate racism, let’s face it, while we’d love to, that’s a battle the world has been fighting for a while. What we aim to do though, is get more people to speak out in situations where racism is obvious. We’re saying that it isn’t alright to stereotype. We’re saying don’t do to others what you would like done to yourself. We’re saying, let’s all just get along and celebrate the amazing melting pot that Qatar is.

We’re going to be launching a number of different episodes and I hope that we’ll see other people put together their own videos, flyers, activities, anything really.

Our first video is called Clones by Ramy Khalaf.

It stars local celebrity Hamad Al Amari. We cloned him. In this world, all Hamad sees are other Hamads.

Hamad’s getting a bit frustrated with life because, wherever he looks, everything appears to be exactly the same.

It’s Ironic, since he’s a stand up comedian and in this world, he’s depressed.

A world without diversity isn’t worth living. Love being different.

—–

Although we’ve only just launched, we’re almost at 2,000 views, so this is clearly something that a lot of people feel.
So far, I’ve received some great replies and posts too.

Crowne Plaza posted on Facebook:

“The Crowne Plaza Doha – The Business Park team has over 30 nationalities and we love celebrating our differences!

We embrace the diversity found in this vibrant multicultural city ‎#Doha. #SOAR”

W Hotel Tweeted:
“With over 63 nationalities working at W Doha, we support @iloveqatar #SOAR campaign! #SpeakOutAgainstRacism”

Doha News helped to spread the word with their post: “Video campaign launched to urge Qatar’s residents to speak out against racism

Support the cause! Spread the word #SOAR

All the stuff ILQ is sponsoring these coming months!

Hey there everyone, I thought I’d take the time to go ahead and update you all on what I’ve got iLoveQatar sponsoring these next few months. For those that don’t know, ILQ spends profit made off of any advert banners you see on charitable causes and to support the local community. The goal at the end of the day is simple, to make Qatar a better place! Somewhere that everyone can be proud of :)

Filipino Movie for Tribeca Film Festival

A bunch of guys from the Filipino community put together a great Filipino film as a submission for the Tribeca Film Festival. When they got into a bit of a jam and needed some support, ILQ jumped in to help them finish the project. This is Qatar’s first Filipino movie and we’re proud to have supported Global Pinoys and to be a part of another great first :)

It’s called “I Love You Maam”, a story about a girl who fell in love with her teacher back in college. Two years later they meet up again, in Doha… In the same school… Both as teachers… That’s when things get complicated. My favourite scene is when they’re surfing ILQ :P

Trailer - http://iloveyoumaam.com/

 

Ministry of Sound World Tour

Global DJ’s contacted ILQ to help support their latest event. This time the Ministry of Sound decided that they’re stopping by Doha as part of their World Tour on the 29th of September at the Intercon Beach. I don’t really like simply sponsoring a project with funding. I think that it’s a bit… cold, so I prefer helping to ‘activate’ an event. We help get the word out, provide some gifts, fun giveaways, I(Heart)Qatar shirts and stickers, take photos, and of course no party would be complete without some ILQ beachballs thrown into the crowd. I’ll be giving away some FREE tickets! So stay tuned! More information here.

 

QSports

Now these guys are doing something that I’ve been waiting for, for ages. Not only is QSports supported by the Qatar Olympic Committee but they’re now supported by ILQ as well. We’ll be sponsoring teams who can’t afford basic entry fees or uniforms on a case by case basis :) Interested? Registrations is FREE. So what do they do? They organize sports tournaments that you can register to be a part of. Want to play football and don’t know where to go or even have enough players for example? QSports solves that!

They’re still looking for more sponsors in case you work for a company that might be interested! Visit qsportsleagues.com for more information or to sign up!

They’ll also be posting their latest events and sports related news in the Sports sections of our forums :)

 

Evo Sports Academy’s Super Sports Day

This one’s thanks to Bassam. Evo Sports Academy decided that they wanted to get people active in Qatar. They went to Bassam with a mission; they wanted to help youngsters in Qatar pick a sport they’re good at, perhaps one that they never thought of trying before. Bassam gave the Evo Sports team an excited grin and we were in. Imagine! Helping people live a more active and healthy life-style! Oh and did we mention that it’s free? Yep! 6-16 year olds can enjoy football, basketball, netball, dance, and karate! Just come on down to the Doha Rugby Club on Saturday September 17th from 9am to 2pm. There’ll be coaching sessions, live DJ, BBQ, giveaways, competitions, and a bouncy castle too! Oh and if you go on down, you can probably get a free sports shirts with the ILQ logo on it too! Visit www.evosportsqatar.com for more.

 

Qatar Investors Window

The team over at UCI International contacted us and let us know that they were organizing a partnership with the Qatari Businessmen Association. Their focus is to showcase investment opportunities Qatar has to offer, bringing potential investors to the region to share knowledge and discuss valuable business opportunities. Since winning the 2022 World Cup, there’s definately going to be a lot of people that get attracted to Qatar. It’s exciting to think about all of the change that’s going to happen in the coming years. We’re their supporting partners and as such I think I should it would be best to give you the more information don’t you think? It’s on the 21st of November at the Grand Hyatt and one their keynote speaker is James Caan, the CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw and one of the Dragons from BBC’s Dragons’ Den. Did you know that Peter Jones from the Dragons’ Den is also a partner of mine? More information at www.uciinternational.com

 

Humanisation of Cities of Tomorrow

We partnered up with Naseba many times in the past. We think we make a good team actually. Last year, ILQ also supported this event and we got a standing ovation since Bassam was a speaker. So what’s it all about? Well on October 4th and 5th, global city leaders, ministries and influential people will get together and share their insights and thoughts as to how we can all work together to build a better future. There’ll be different pavilions under different themes “Knowledge”, “Urban”, “Power”, “Well-being”, “Hospitality”, “Green” and “Infrastructure. I’m very excited about the summit and hope that some great change will come out of this. One of the things that Bassam and I often talk about is encouraging future businesses to focus on partnership models and coopetition. More info at www.cityhumanisation.com

 

 

Green Programme for Schools

I’m going to start to start this off by saying… I’m disappointed… This is a fantastic cause. The goal of GPS is to educate children in schools as to the importance of taking care of the environment. Sounds like a great cause right? Well why haven’t many people ‘liked’ their facebook page then? Look, it takes two seconds and it shows them that you care! Go on visit http://www.facebook.com/GPSQatar I’ll wait…. I’m waiting….. Done? Hope so!

 

Inshallah partnering and sponsoring these different events makes Qatar a better place. What do you guys think? Good job?

Showing some love to Japan

Soon after the Big Day Out, we embarked on our next charitable project at ILQ. It was time to go ahead and show the country that gave us Land Cruisers that we appreciate them. Qatar without Land Cruisers just isn’t Qatar! We already did have a booth at the Big Day Out where we raised money for Japan (as well as gave out some awesome freebies like footballs with 2022 on them), but we wanted to do more. So we posted and tweeted that we’d be selling special t-shirts that were had writing in Japanese and Arabic. (I’ve never seen a t-shirt with those two languages before by the way). Our forum user, and the person in charge of the Japanese Society Qatar (JaSoQa), Daisy said that we should use the words Hope, Love, Brave, Happiness, and Peace. She even went as far as making sure that each color chosen was the right one.

 

 

Jim, one of the senior managers over at Landmark group went ahead and offered us space at Villaggio and Landmark (we are very thankful to them!) in order to sell the t-shirts; and it was with that we embarked on our mission. There were some fantastic people from ILQ and the Japanese community (thanks to Kasumi, Hiromi, Yoshiko, Joel and his friends, Kinimoto (who was dressed up as Naruto!), Ryan, Ellie, Joann, Zhan, Keiko and family, and Daisy) that manned the various booths.

So far, we’ve managed to raise over 16,000 QR selling the t-shirts and we’ve now been offered space at the Hyatt Plaza to do the same this Thursday and Friday as well. We’ll be giving the money to the Japanese embassy to do as they see fit.

I’d like to thank all of the kind souls out there that donated and helped us! I’m so very glad that everyone left feeling as if they had achieved something important with their time.

Now for my next ultimate challenge… find a someone to wash my car and guarantee it won’t rain the next day. Anyone?

iLoveQatar.net is an independent company

Hey there all,

After a little bit of an issue someone had with ILQ, I just want to make things VERY clear. iLoveQatar.net cannot be bought and ILQ is an independent company that has one goal. To make Qatar a better place. A group of us simply want to bring back the old way of doing business in the country. With honor and trust. It’s all about partnership and helping each other achieve our own goals.

Now ILQ partners up with and takes sponsorship from ANY company in Qatar that wants to help ILQ make Qatar a better place. What are some of the things we do?

Well through our volunteers group (run by an awesome guy named Speed), where we partnered up with and joined hands with Qatar Living, RedBull, Sigma Paints, Barangay BQ, Vodafone, and others, we drove around Qatar on a hot Saturday morning and passed out bottles of cold water and caps to labourers in the streets! It was our way of showing appreciation to the people who break their backs to build Qatar!

With whatever ILQ can afford (yes we don’t have a huge budget despite the brand becoming popular and well known) we sponsor events and groups like Think Pink (breast cancer awareness campaign), Wear Something Yellow (anti-racism campaign), QAWS, Dogs in Doha, QPCA, and Doha Mums to name a few.

Is it all charity? No it’s not. We want Qatar to be a fun place, where all the people in Qatar can enjoy life here in their own way! So we sponsored and supported events like Tiesto, David Guetta, Montel Jordan, The Red Carpet, Glow, The Peppermint Experience, and even a national day event!

When we’re not doing something entertaining. We’re doing something for the community. We arrange social gatherings. Two of the big ones are ‘The Souq Seekers’ and ‘The Pearl Divers. This is to help people make friends get to know each other and for those that are new to the country, have a group of people that can make them feel comfortable.

Sometimes we’ll be approached by small groups of people that need some help so that they can enjoy life a bit more here. A group of  women needed sponsorship so that they could enter into the Expat Women’s Volleyball tournament and needed uniforms, ILQ was there and continuing the trend of supporting sports a group of young guys wanted to enter the Expat Basketball Tournament, ILQ was there to help them out as well!

Now the community is doing stuff for itself too! A great guy who’s alias is HPT on the forums started a FREE Tennis group (check out the forums for more), another forum member named TimeBandit started a Photographic society, another forum member named FlipFloper does designs and artwork for people, and the list goes on and on (I’m sorry that I can’t list all the wonderful people that are helping to make ILQ what it is today actually!!!)

We also pass out goodie bags at social gatherings. We can’t afford a lot but if it’ll make people happy and spread ILQ and its vision, we do our best to have some stuff ready. So what do you get in an ILQ goodie bag that we pass out at events? The bags were paid for by Dr. Hassan’s medical center so one side says ILQ and the other Dr. Hassan’s medical center, you get a bumper sticker that has the Vodafone speechmark and the ILQ logo (VF paid for that), you get some ILQ heat hearts and squishy balls (we paid for that), you get a speaker dock from Barzan Digital, and the list goes on.

So some people might think that Vodafone and ILQ are pretty close. Well it’s simple, they’ve always been there to support and sponsor the stuff we do around Qatar! If Qtel or Virgin for example wanted to help us we’d gladly work with them as well. In fact, we WANT to work with them.

So what’s the relationship with Vodafone? Well, they bought ads on the website. they paid for our booth, they paid for co-branded stickers, they paid for micro-sites whenever we had a fun idea like www.ramadan-mubarak.com and that sort of stuff. Any company in Qatar can help us out and use ILQ as a channel, yes even Qtel. You wouldn’t stop advertising on a television channel (like MBC) because a competitor advertised on the channel right?

Who are some of the other advertisers and partners? Global DJs, Starlink, Qatar Airways, Olympic Committee, ICTQatar, Lava, Urban Stars, LoveSac, Barzan Digital, King Koil, Arte Legno, and Dr. Hassan’s Medical center to name a few.

Dr. Hassan’s medical center wanted to spread health awareness amongst children so they gave us some coloring books which we distributed to kids (along with ILQ beach balls) when we supported the Pakistan Women’s Eid Bazaar.

We also tried to build a fantastic, friendly, online community that not only helps each other, but supports each other. Are you an expat and need information about the country that you’re planning on moving to or have just moved to? Well ILQ’s got a pretty nice and light guide too!

So who else wants to partner with us? Well we’re very excited that MTV and Nickelodeon support our vision. They’ve flown out to Qatar to not only see if they can help Qatar and the region develop but to also support our vision believe it or not! We’re VERY VERY proud of that.

So moral of the story? ILQ is loyal to Qatar and it’s various communities. If you are from a company that cares as much as we do, then please hold our hands. We need all the help we can get. Supporting us can be in the form of helping us with events and charitable causes, it can be in the form of placing an advert on the site (because we use the revenue generated off of ads to keep going), or you could even donate some cobranded goodies :)

So who’s in? or is ILQ a stupid idea? Am I just fighting a losing battle…..

Why Qatar needs taxes

I’m not going insane. It’s something I’ve always wanted to talk about and a commenter on the “Qataris are Rich – The Myth” post had touched on taxes and brought this back on my mind.

I don’t want to be taxed like crazy (like how the UK does to its people) but maybe a slight tax would be a good thing. (I’m talking about income tax and none of that VAT stupidity!)

Imagine if Qatar taxed citizens 1-2% of their salary for example.

1) That should be enough to beautify the country, parks, water systems, lights, etc…

2) People would demand that the country does something with their tax money

3) People would start conciously thinking of their financial status

The government should also provide tax breaks.

1) If you build a garden or put grass outside of your house, you get a 50% tax break (this forces people to beautify Qatar to avoid paying tax)

2) If your organization (or even your household) does something charitable, you get a tax break

If you think about it, Qatar is the ‘perfect’ country to have tax.

1) The taxes aren’t ‘needed’ by the government, which means that it should remain stable.

2) The tax money they generate would be considered a ‘bonus’

Who can give me their views on tax?  Good? Bad? If you think it’s good, explain why? Remember, don’t just think of the economic impact, think of society, psychology, bureaucracy, etc..

ictQatar Business Connect – iLoveQatar.net was there

I’m feeling proud today. Despite being sick with a fever and a soar throat, what happened today was great.

I was asked to speak at the ictQatar Business Connect seminar today at Al Sharq Village. http://www.ictqatar.qa/output/page977.asp however what I experienced today was something special. The conference halls were packed full of people. Who knew there would be so many people that would be interested on starting up online businesses?

I’m not going to act indifferent, (as some do to seem ‘cool’), since I was ‘stoked’ for lack of a better word. In the middle of my presentation, I had a standing applause, and by the end, I had swarms of people coming up to me, and various companies that all wanted to be a part of iLoveQatar.net

Long story short, it was just the type of moral support that I needed to rejuvenate my enthusiasm. Of course, I also appreciate the fact there are so many people online and in the Qatari community that support me on a daily basis!

I’ll be posting my presentation up soon  for you to go ahead and read through at your leisure :)

update: as promised here’s the presentation and the presentation transcript.

ILQ ICT Presentation
ILQ ICT Transcript

Art Dog Day in Doha

So ILQ sponsored the Art Dog Day and the Fur Ball that happened some days ago. It was so great to be a part of a fun event! We’re taught in our faith, that it’s important to treat all of God’s creatures with respect.

Let’s look at the concept of Halal for example (no I’m not encouraging eating your pets! Relax!) The reason why we have Halal food is because it’s a human way of killing livestock. So it’s funny how someone can go and kick a cat, but then ask for a Halal burger. Ah well, I digress!

Interested in seeing a few photos of the event? Click here http://iloveqatar.net/forum/read.php?5,12035

If you were one of the attendees, you could have picked up some ILQ freebies, like one of these Beachballs!

Donate to charity!

donateSome people may have notice, but there’s now a little donate box on the left side of ILQ courtesy of Vodafone. (Right underneath ILQ’s Labour force donation button). They’re making it easy to donate to charity and all you need to do is select how much you’ve got to spare!

So if you’re feeling generous, go ahead and donate! Just visit http://www.iloveqatar.net and share a little :)

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.