A New Irish Passport


It was not until MB arrived in the Middle East (ME) some nine years ago that he learnt the true value of his Irish Passport. Read More

Weekly Photo Challenge – Corner


Corner.

Camels race around the corner at a track in Doha, Qatar – shot from MB’s camel racing excursion of some months back. Note the robot jockeys on the camel’s backs. The robots and their whips are controlled by remote controls in the hands of the owners who follow the camels in 4x4s on roadways outside the track perimeter.

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Sunday Shot – No Comment


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Qatar crisis – There is no crisis – We won!


Further to MB’s comprehensive and quite deadly ‘Qatar/Gulf Crisis’ update blog post of recent days, MB now brings further joyous news to all. If heretofore, followers had considered that there was still a lingering, albeit minuscule, smell of crisis in the Gulf air, MB is most pleased to inform all that the air is now mountain-fresh and rosy-smelling. Read More

Qatar Blockade – Update


Way back mid-June, MB published one of the most succinct, informative and entertaining reports on the Qatar/Gulf crisis seen in world media. Peers gasped for breath. Read More

Qatar Blockade – MB’s trying to sort it out!


Followers will, no doubt, already be aware of the ‘Qatar Blockade’, to give the subject matter its Twitter hashtag handle. On Monday morning last, Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain broke off diplomatic relations with Qatar, along with some other Islamic power-houses such as Maldives and Libya Eastern Region. All flights between Qatar and ‘The Others’ were cancelled indefinitely on the following day with travel bans imposed on citizens. The land border with Saudi Arabia (the only land border that peninsular Qatar actually has) was closed with some red & white ‘danger’ tape and plastic bollards, like you see on construction sites back in Ireland. ‘Danger – Do Not Enter’ signs suddenly appeared all along the frontline. “WTF?” shouted all the normal (powerless) citizens of the Arabian Gulf who, to a man and woman, hadn’t a clue what was going on.

And there you have it, dear followers. You are all as wise as all the locals on this matter. Tweets from ‘The Donald’ soon revealed that he was in the thick of it, and in all probability had rubber-stamped the whole escapade, which is still unfolding. ‘The Donald’ was in Saudi Arabia a few weeks back and departed with USD 100B in weapons contracts, while Ivanka gladly accepted a USD 100M donation to her ‘Female Entrepreneurs Fund’ from the Saudi King; her without the headscarf. Tramp. Trump.

Anyway……..

While all the expats were scratching their heads and scratching their butts trying to figure it all out, Mr Mohammad & Mrs Fathima Al Qatari made an immediate bee-line for the supermarkets and cleared all the shelves of perishable goods. Generations of dealing with Arab volatility has thought the Qatari lads and lassies a thing or two about dealing with a crisis. Monday and Tuesday saw some of the longest queues in Qatari supermarket history. Fresh milk was gone by Monday evening, leaving only UHT Goats Milk for dim-witted expats like MB, when they finally cottoned on to the fact that shopping is what one does when a crisis strikes. Food shopping. Comfort shopping. Any kind of shopping. Even MB got a little caught up in it all, buying a dozen organic eggs on Tuesday evening, rather than his normal half. How comforted was MB?! Struth!

MB heard only today that there is no chicken available in the shops, him not being the greatest of chicken fans and unaware of that particular chicken fact. The desert sand does not provide much sustenance for your average chuck, so the chicken farms of the Gulf are primarily located in Saudi Arabia where an odd bit of muck and dirt resides; Islamic chickens one and all no doubt. The chicken trucks are therefore presently stacked ten-a-chicken-breast at the blockaded Saudi border, as MB writes this chicken missal.

For the information and ongoing education of HX followers, the Arabic word for chicken is ‘dajaj’ (some word), and MB swears that almost 75% of the items on every restaurant menu in Qatar have the ‘dajaj’ word included somewhere. Dajaj this and dajaj that and dajaj the other. It’s akin to spuds back in Ireland. A must-have dish with every meal, in whatever format suits the moment. More dajaj please. And can I please order some desert dajaj? And a dajaj to go. Shukran.

So is there a threat of invasion MB? Well if there is lads, let’s hope it’s an invasion of chickens, or eggs. But which will come first MB? That’s the proverbial question lads!

Anyway, MB is not fearful of invasion. The HX Blog has numerous followers in Saudi Arabia and UAE, from MB’s sojourns in those regions. So the fact that MB is known to be presently residing in Qatar, means in all probability, that none of the hostile governments (of some 120M population) will risk sending troops across the border of Qatar (of some 2M population). Or if they do, it will only be to meet with MB to negotiate the terms of their surrender.

And that’s the story to date lads. MB will keep you all a(chicken)breast of developments, even before they happen.

Watch this space. Yesterday!

20170608_174331Lulu Supermarket today. Doha, Qatar. UHT Goats Milk. Yuk!

 

 

 

 

 

Foto Friday – Inside a Qatar Shopping Mall


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Foto Friday – Doha


MB is departing the money laundering capital of planet earth (Switzerland) in the coming hours and will arrive in the Doha (Qatar), the ‘richest locals’ capital of planet earth, in the early morning hours.

In case MB’s recent camel pics have given followers the impression that Doha is some quaint one-camel sand-blown dusty outback desert town, it’s not.

This MB phone-shot is from the ‘West Bay’ area of Doha, where many Westies like to live.

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Camel Racing in Qatar


Take your average camel race………….. Read More

Foto Friday – Camels


MB went to watch camel racing today. More photos will follow, but here’s one for the moment, for MB’s Foto Friday.

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Foto Friday – Fanar Mosque (Qatar)


Shot of the top section of Fanar Mosque, at the Souq Waqif area, Doha, Qatar.

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Qatar National Day


Today, 18 December, is National Day in Qatar and it’s a public holiday. We can describe it, for the benefit and explanation of HX non-Arab followers, as a sort of Islamic/Arab St Patrick’s Day. Read More

A stroll around the souq


Souq Waqif and surrounding streets. Doha, Qatar. 05 July 2016.

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Qatar 2-1 North Korea


Asia U23 Football (Top 3 qualify for the Olympics)

MB’s camera was confiscated by security guys as he entered the Al Sadd stadium tonight. Luckily he had managed to capture some of the atmosphere outside the grounds before the security incident.

The local Arabs were dressed like local Arabs. The North Korean fans seemed to be construction workers presently based in the Emirate. They dazzled us with their red caps. An attempt by MB to take a selfie with one of them was quickly snuffed out by a sharp-eyed NK official, who jumped in and told MB to FO – gangnam style!

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10 Random Shots – December 2015


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