Answering World Cup 2022 Concerns

This is something that really blows my mind. When I read articles about Qatar and why the country should lose the World Cup, I’m shocked at the amount of utter rubbish I read. It looks like journalists no longer find it necessary to back up their statements with facts or write with a bit of integrity. Let me also say that I am not a professional journalist, and I’m just a blogger sharing his opinions. I also don’t have any priveleged information, what I know is what’s been shared with the public.

What I read is a lot of hate based on stereotypes. The number of times I’ve read that we shouldn’t have the World Cup because we’re Arabs, Muslims, or Terrorists, is a sad reminder of the incredibly racist world we live in. Respond to one issue, and the topic is instantly changed. I for one can tell you that Qatar is NOT perfect. We’ve got loads of things that we need to work on, but you tell me ONE country that’s perfect. The nation is quite young and we’ve seen some incredible developments in the past 15 years. I guess that when people see the lights, skyscrapers, fancy restaurants, and beautiful projects, they forget that Qatar is a developing nation. 

The US and UK have had hundreds of years to go through to try and sort themselves out (spoiler alert, they still have issues), but the point is, they’ve had the opportunity to rectify problems such as sexism (which still exists), racism (which still exists), and elitism (which still exists).

You know what word you read most often in articles related to Qatar and the World Cup in papers such as the Sunday Times and The Guardian? Alleged. Let me define that for you, (of an incident or a person) said, without proof, to have taken place”. The key part in that definition is ‘without proof’. 

Let me give it a go. Someone, somewhere, who prefers to remain anonymous, has claimed that The Wednesday Guardian allegedly funds hate crimes. Does that make it true? No. During the time that the allegations are being investigated, and proven that they weren’t true though, guess what’s happened? The damage has been done. The idea has been planted. Is this in any way fair? Why is it that we always hear that every person is innocent until proven guilty, yet the roles have been reversed with Qatar? To many (not all), we were guilty until proven innocent.

I then read sensational articles which, to me, throws responsible journalism out of the window.
The Independent says “Qatar 2022: Fifa investigation into World Cup vote ‘ignoring the new evidence’, critics claim”.

Wait, what? According to Associated Press, Garcia told FIFA’s congress of 209 member countries that “The vast majority of that material has been available to us for some time.” So what I understand is that the ‘evidence’ is already in play, not being ignored.

I also read articles claiming that hundreds of workers could die with the construction projects related to the world cup. In fact, people commented on this before a single stadium or World Cup project started. It’s great to know that there are so many Nostradamus type people out there, but how do you know? In the US 4,628 people were killed on the job in 2012, 806 of them were in construction and a majority (around 35%) of the deaths were due to falls. In 2012, 35 deaths were due to falls in Qatar. Either way, I would hope that Qatar is doing everything in its power to ensure that injuries and casualties are kept to a minimum no matter where you’re from. One organization in Qatar that works towards training workers to stay safe is the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHO). I didn’t need to do much research but online I found that Lusail City (a huge new project) has it’s General Requirements for Construction Health and Safety, publicly published here. It mentions that OHSAS 18001 is a minimum for health and safety requirement management.

Workers rights is something that’s incredibly important. There are locals and expats who live here and want to see change. The state has been working on changing legislation, building special task forces to investigate rights abuses, and is working on ensuring people know what their rights are in the first place.

Here are some government enforced rules to make sure that laborers are protected.

1-     Taking someone’s passport is ILLEGAL. If someone takes your passport, you can report them to the government and the organization will be fined.

2-     Workers may NOT work during certain hours when the sun is at peak or above a certain temperature

3-     All work sites need to ensure that workers have access to water, safety equipment and that they follow Health and Safety Regulations

4-     All employees must be paid on time. Employees can report when they have not been paid.

5-     Laborers who work under the sun during summer should not exceed 5 hours in the morning shift and never beyond 11:30am. More info here

Don’t forget that Qatar cooperated with Amnesty International where in other countries in the region, they weren’t even allowed into the country. The way I see it, Qatar’s saying, help us identify the issues so we can fix them.

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I thought that I’d take the time to respond to some of the comments I read online.

Qatar’s so small!

So what? I didn’t realize that having to travel a 1000 miles between stadiums was part of enjoying the match.

If size matters, then perhaps FIFA should add the geographic land size into their list of requirements. Oh but they can’t, because Qatar is part of the World and it’s called the WORLD Cup.

 

It’s hot!

How many countries in the world have a similar climate to Qatar? So is it fine to exclude all of them too? There are loads of people who actually live in this country already (2.2m in fact). I agree, it does indeed get hot. However most people aren’t hanging out during the mid day sun they’re indoors; or actually yesterday many were at the beaches when I went to Fuwairit (I recommend checking it out, that’s where the turtles lay their eggs too by the way).

Having said that, there are some awesome things happening here to make things more comfortable. Go to our traditional Souq Wagif and water mist is sprayed to keep you cool, the new Msheireb – Heart of Doha project is built in a way to block the sun and has automatic shades so people can enjoy walking around and shopping outside,   oh and the stadiums will have state of the art cooling technologies (some of which are already implemented since 2008). To take things a step further, the country’s also going to share the technology with other countries that need it.

Is it possible? Yes it is possible. Not only do stadiums in Qatar already have cooling, but I remember watching a video on YouTube about Stadiums in Texas that have cooling too. Go check it out.

 

Oh but I’ll have respect the country’s laws!

We all have to respect the laws of any country that we’re in right…? 

 

Qatar has a campaign to force people to cover up!

Wrong! A group of people in Qatar, put together a cause, to request people to dress modestly when it public. It’s not a campaign by the government or the state. It’s a group of Qataris, in Qatar, asking that people who visit Qatar, dress modestly. Nothing more. Do you have the right to ignore their request? You could. I for one like to respect the people in the country I’m visiting. You’re not planning to dress like Borat in his *cough* outfit right?

 

It’s a dry country, I want to drink!

You can drink! Qatar isn’t a dry country. Qatar does have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drink driving though. You can go to QDC and go buy a crate of beers if you want. You can go to a club or a hotel and enjoy your time. The only thing you can’t do is drink out on the streets. Having said that 1) There are special fan zones that will be much more lax with the rules and 2) are you here for  the football or not?

 

What are you going to do with all the stadiums? It’s a waste anyway.

Qatar’s said that stadiums will be dismantled and then rebuilt in other countries; in Africa for example. I think that’s pretty cool don’t you?

Qatar won’t let Israel be a part of the World Cup

The government has already stated that Israel would participate. In fact, Israeli athletes had competed previous in Qatar during the Tennish championships and the 2010 Indoor Championships.

But women have no rights in Qatar

Well I can’t speak for the whole of the Middle East, but here in Qatar, women absolutely have rights. A majority of Qataris who graduate from university are female. We have amazing female leaders such as Her Highness Sheikha Moza, Dr. Hessa Al Jaber the Ministry of Information, Communication and Technology, Buthaina Al Ansari a leading business woman, Aisha al Mudhaihka the CEO of Injaz, an organization to encourage entrepreneurship and personal growth, and the list goes on.

 

But you guys have a population of only 2.2m

So what? Why can’t Qatar host the World Cup if we’ve only got 2.2m (as of today)? I don’t understand.

 

It’s not fair, Qatar’s rich, so they could campaign more.

Why is it not fair that the country can afford to campaign? Not many people knew about Qatar until we were bidding for the World Cup, it meant that we needed to share what our vision is, what we’re all about. The goal here is simple, to unite people under the banner of football. Why is it a bad thing that Qatar has more money? Doesn’t it mean that more will be spent on making sure that the event is amazing? Doesn’t it give confidence that Qatar can actually afford to turn all the promises made into reality?

 

Qatar lied, they said it would be done during summer, now they want to move it to winter.

No, Qatar didn’t ask for it to be moved to winter. Qatar said that IF FIFA wanted to move the World Cup date, they wouldn’t be against it.

 

Look let’s get this straight. Yes Qatar has issues. Yes they’re being worked on. Yes the people want Qatar to be a country the World can be proud of.

We read about some people demanding for a revote, but if the problem is that we have issues to resolve, then shouldn’t the demand be that we sort things out instead? Let’s all wait for the investigation report to be announced (with  the evidence of course) and until then, rather than slam Qatar, help Qatar become a better place for everyone.


All Qatar is asking for, is an opportunity to host an amazing World Cup event. All I’m saying is, give us a chance. 

 

 

First look – Al Wakrah Stadium – Video, Pics, and Goals

Alright everyone, a lot of people have been talking about the World Cup 2022 happening in Qatar and one of the most exciting things is the development happening around the country. One of the stadiums that a lot of people have been interested in is Al Wakrah Stadium. Especially since it was one of the final stadiums to be unveiled. Mystery is exciting right?

So I now present to you Al Wakrah Stadium! A 40,000 seater and cooled stadium located 15km south of Doha in Wakrah. (Interesting fact, that’s were fishermen and pearl divers based themselves).

Al Wakrah Stadium 2022

Al Wakrah Stadium 2022

Video:

Also, the Qatar 2022 team shared some stuff with me. They wanted to let everyone know what their goals are (heh heh pun intended). Remember these goals everyone. They’ll have to stick by them!

1- Drive and deliver an outstanding Fifa World Cup Programme. (Yes! I want people to admire Qatar!)
2- Build high quality talent and establish a centre of excellence (Nice, who’s going to be the Qatari Pele?)
3- Deliver an exceptional national and international experience (Not entirely sure what they mean here)
4- Support economic diversification and business environment development (That’s a pretty big mouthful, but it’s related to getting the private sector involved).
5- Promote football and healthy lifestyles (nice, my recommendation is to have more places for people to play football. Like literally, I should be able to call up my friends and say, let’s go play, and then find a field to play in. Right now, I couldn’t even play at Aspire park if I wanted to.)
6- Improve environmental sustainability (They’re committed to LEED, GSAS, and reducing the Qatar carbon footprint. I’d like to know a bit more on the how. The fact that it’s a priority is fantastic though.)

The stadium is also going to be harnessing solar energy to help power as much as possible.

Some other fun facts in numbers.

24-28 is the range of temperature that the stadiums will be at
50 is the maximum number of km between stadiums.
1981 is when Qatar reached the final of the Fifa World Youth Championships for the first time (defeating Brazil and England).
170,000 the number of seats that Qatar will donate to countries in need of sporting infrastructure following the world cup.
50 million the expected per annum capacity of the new Hamad International Airport by 2022

Anyway, I’m excited for what’s to come. I can’t wait for even more projects to be completed. On the way to making the world proud? Hope so!

People starting to get evicted…

Well, that was fast! Some people are starting to get evicted. It’s a very polite letter of course. It says that the property will be compensated for and that people have until the 1st of January 2011 to vacate the premises. (This is in Gharaffa).

I know that people get compensated greatly, but I can’t help but think about tenants. I mean… is 3 weeks enough time to get people to move out of a property….?

Why Qatar needs the World Cup!

Why do we need the World Cup? A few people seem to think that it could be a waste of money and we’ll end up with unused stadiums (but that only goes to show that people don’t even bother doing any research before jumping to conclusions and making definitive statements).

I for one am very excited at the thought of us getting it. Not only does Qatar have what’s considered to be unlimited cash to spend on such an event, but Qatar has some great ideas for how to make this event about bringing the world closer.

It’s the fact that it will be bring further development and change that gets me more excited though. Qatar will be under the world’s spotlight and will be scrutinized. With people paying attention, things have to change (or most likely will). Remember that road in westbay in front of City Center that was under construction for 6 months and was finished in a week before the UN came over for a meet up? Perhaps this is the kick that Qatar needs to improve quality and get things done faster.

Think about it! New laws which’ll open up so many doors and make things more transparent. Expats will most probably no longer need an exit permit, the Human Rights Authority will be given more funds and responsibilities, there’ll be more construction in anticipation for the games which’ll hopefully provide more accommodation than there is demand (that’s good because it means we’ll have a market adjustment and commodities will hopefully drop to their true value), plus it’ll bring a huge amount of businesses interested in opening up within Qatar. (Fingers crossed that everyone gets in on that action though and it’s not just the same group of people running everything). Unlike the Olympics which is hosted in one city, the World Cup is country wide, that means that Qatar will have to develop and focus on other areas of Qatar. This means more variety, more choice and hopefully a more dispersed population that will reduce congestion.

Why do I personally want the World Cup? I want to show the world the meaning of Arabic hospitality. I want to see foreigners come into Qatar and enjoy Qatari kindness. (Let’s hope that modernization doesn’t completely kill that though :P) I want those who are corrupted and seedy to be exposed as a result of scrutiny, I want laws to open up and there to be more ‘open-ness’ within the country, and I also want there to be a better perception of our culture. I’m sure that you, dear reader, can think of more advantages than disadvantages.

Doha has already stated that it will make the World Cup the most amazing and greatest event in history. That’s believable after the success of the Asian Games 2006. Doha has announced that it’ll be flying in students from all over the world for free for the games, will provide state of the art centers, fields, and media villages for all, and will be developing at a tremendous speed to satisfy all requirements.

They’ve also planned to do some great stuff AFTER the World Cup as well! The stadiums that are being built will be dismantled and reconstructed in developing nations. For all those people concerned with alcohol and siting by the pool in bikinis. Don’t worry, there’ll be special ‘expat’ areas that will be like open zones. (Although you can already enjoy the two in many places in Qatar, just not in public.) Some had concerns about Israel participating in the games. Qatar has already said that it isn’t an issue. Some Muslims might not like that, but I say TOUGH. It’s Qatar’s chance to show the tolerant, respectful and fair side of Islam.

If that doesn’t satisfy you with a reason to support Doha, think of it this way, if you’re not in it for the amazing spectacle that it’ll create, be in it for the fact that it’ll change the region. It’ll change the world’s view of the Gulf. It’ll bring the world closer and give the Middle East a step forward towards the ‘peace’ the west has been wishing for us.

Also see:

Qatar 2022′s first five stadiums!

Although not about the World Cup, I wrote a few posts about the Olympics which might be of interest.

Olympics 2016

Qatar 2022′s first five stadiums!

Here’s something exciting! First glimpse of Qatar’s first five stadiums for the 2022 World Cup!

So? Going to help us win the bid? Visit Qatar2022.com for more!

Win some prizes! Just take a picture!

Photograph passion for football and win some great prizes from the Qatar 2022 bid!
http://tinyurl.com/2442nxt

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

Qatar 2022 – World Cup Bid – GOOOOO Qatar!

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Qatar 2022 news

Official website: [www.qatar2022bid.com]

Qatar succeeded with the Asian Olympics. It’s to this day, many people talk about the cinematic experience they had as they viewed athletes from Asia, a tremendous rate of growth, and the unimaginable happen.

Qatar was on the map and wanted to prove to the world that anything was possible. So the country tried with the 2016 Olympics. Looking at the statistics comparing other bidding nations, Qatar was ranked quite high. Alas, 2016 wasn’t Qatar’s year.

The people and the country remained unwavered and there was a new sight on the horizon. The World Cup 2022.

Personally, I think Qatar can do it. In fact, it may be even better than winning the Olympics. Getting the World Cup means that there will be even more development in the country. Rather than one city, Qatar will have to work harder to develop various cities in Qatar. This means that things will kick into high gear.

What’s the purpose of the World Cup?

Well, I personally believe that it’s a way of getting nations together to battle it out in a friendly way, to test strengths, to inspire generations, and to bring the world together for those few moments as individuals of all colours, ages, and sexes, grip their chairs and show their love for their country (or even their favourite stars).

What better a way than to promote the gentleman’s sport. The country’s national sport. A Middle Eastern nation’s dream. Football.

So give us a chance World! Support Qatar 2022. This Qatari and iLoveQatar.net will be eternal grateful.

So tell us! Why’s 2022 important to you?

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Original thread here

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.