Monday, January 23, 2012

"What's it REALLY Like?"

I now know of three friends - three! - who are thinking of coming to Qatar. This excites me to no end. The thought of adding to the pals I have here with me to walk this leg of the journey with... wow. It would be a very good thing.

A question that has come up with these friends, as well as with many other followers of the blog is, "What's it really like?" This question always makes me laugh. Like, whaddaya mean? You don't believe all the happy, glamorous faces I post here on a weekly basis? But truth be told, as I look back over my posts since we've come here, much information is lacking. There's a lot of the usual family stuff, as well as our exciting little day trips, but actual info on daily life here, as well as info about Qatar in general? Kinda not so much.

I've wanted to do this, but life has been a tad overwhelming here, and time for pontification somewhat rare. Heck, I still haven't even written an entry on the college where I work, and I still haven't sent my mom and dad that picture of all three rows of seats in our Nissan.

So here we go. Little by little, I'm going to provide a bit of an education here. Don't expect amazing. I don't have time to do a ton of research. Honestly, it's going to be mainly my perspective as a white North American working mom. Anyone else you talk to might have a completely different take on some of these issues. But I'm all for spreading the word on how great I think this little-country-that-could is. I want people to know how safe it is, how amazing the weather is, and how great the job opportunities are.

And if I could sum up the best trait of Qatar, it would simply be this: its sense of optimism.

The economy is not falling apart here; it is thriving. There are jobs galore to be had... particularly in the oil and gas industry. However, Qatar is also aware of the finite resource that oil is, and so as a country, it is moving towards becoming a knowledge-based economy. Thus, if you are in the teaching field, it's kind of job heaven here. There is an overall sense here that the future is bright and can just get brighter. And I believe this is true. FIFA 2022 will do much to boost Qatar. Already, there are countless world-class events that take place in Doha... too many to keep up with. Sporting events, film festivals, concerts, motor shows, famous artists. It is truly an exciting time to live here.

For today, I'll leave you with some links to videos that have impressed me. I hope they help to convey some of the optimism in the air here. My personal favourite is the 60 Minutes segment that just aired last Sunday.

1. How to say "Qatar"
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-57359444-10391709/qatar-easy-for-you-to-say

2. 60 Minutes piece
http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7395216n

3. A promotional video just a tad heavy on the promotion...
http://vimeo.com/33143072

4. This is an older 60 Minutes segment, still interesting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kU9gkmrmxg&feature=related

5. And this is part two of the older segment
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huXgOqBsJLU&feature=related


(Huh, I didn't do too bad, now did I? You'd never know this has been my worst week of homesickness and culture shock, now would you?) ;)

2 comments:

Suzanne said...

Thanks Kath for the education. It definitely looks like an incredible place!

Beth said...

Thanks Kathy. Hugs from home.