Posted on June 8, 2017
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.
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!
Lulu Supermarket today. Doha, Qatar. UHT Goats Milk. Yuk!
Posted on April 14, 2017
Posted on March 31, 2017
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.
Posted on March 12, 2017
Posted on March 10, 2017
Posted on February 24, 2017
Posted on December 18, 2016
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
Posted on July 7, 2016
Posted on January 22, 2016
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!
Posted on December 19, 2015
Posted on December 17, 2015
Qatar National Day is tomorrow, 18 December 2015.
The flags are out. The purple & white. And many photos of the ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and the former ruler until June 2013, his dad Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Took a few shots at the Souq Waqif in Doha last weekend.
Mabruk al yaum Qatar!
Posted on December 10, 2015
MB attended a football game in Doha, Qatar, last weekend. At the Al Sadd Sports Club. It reinforced his view that the decision to award the World Cup to Qatar in 2022 is a good one.
Posted on September 24, 2015
Eid mubarak to all lads.
It’s the 2015 Islamic Eid holiday. The Feast of the Sacrifice. MB went to Doha animal market (Qatar) earlier today. Read More
Posted on August 28, 2015
Posted on August 23, 2015
MB currently resides in Qatar. It is probably most famous at present for being selected to host the 2022 football (real football) World Cup. Doha is the capital city and already a huge amount of redevelopment and infrastructure is underway to ensure a timely completion ahead of the games. Although there are still seven years to go before the event takes place, the Qataris are taking the opportunity to rebuild their entire capital city and are also modernising much of their countries roads and transport system. The new Doha airport which opened last year, after a few years delay to the works, is as modern as exists anywhere in the world.
The award of the World Cup to Qatar has come in for much criticism, but MB wrote a recent post on the Qatar 2022 tournament, which he fully supports: https://michealdebarra.com/2015/06/05/qatar-2022-the-case-for/
Property rents are extremely high throughout Qatar and in Doha especially, compared to most places in the Middle East region, or even beyond. For decent rented accommodation one can expect to pay in the region of Euro 1,250 per month for a single room in a shared apartment, or in the region of Euro 2,250 per month for a single bedroom apartment. Consequently recent years have seen a vast amount of residential developments completed. Many more are either under construction or at architectural design stage.
The below pic was taken by MB a few nights back in the new Doha ‘des res’ area called ‘West Bay’