Articles

Cricket Mania Musherib

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2011 by inaar

Written on March 20, 2011

In the bustling streets of Musherib, tables at restaurants and cafeterias are filled with men sipping on QR1 Chai Karak – local tea with milk – and snacking on different samosas – stuffed pastry, a South Asian  specialty. Across town at Souq Waqif, the scene is similar with men sitting in outdoor cafes smoking sheesha pipes – water pipes used for smoking flavored tobacco. Both are a social hubs for the South Asian men and the local Qataris, respectively. Both scenarios may be different but one thing they both share is that they gather in such places to watch and support their sporting teams together on television screens.

 

In recent days, the world is witnessing the game of Cricket taking a center stage as the Cricket World Cup tournament includes many of the countries of which the men working and living in Musherib hail from.

In most restaurants and cafeterias in Musherib, one would find it mostly packed with expatriate men who live within the area as they congregate to cheer on their national teams. “The people who most come to my restaurant here are the Bangladeshis,” said Shaik Suhaib, a 35 year-old Indian restaurant manager of the Al Weesal Restaurant in Musherib. “After the Bangladeshis follows the Pakistanis, then Indians. Since they are a minority in the area, they sort of observe what is going on and check whether to come in to the restaurant or not.”

 

Such restaurants and cafeterias are a source of gathering for these men in Qatar, especially the Bangladeshis whose national Cricket team has been doing well in the World Cup tournament. “These Bangladeshis are so insane, they always ask “why did we loose why did we loose” whenever they loose,” said Suhaib. “These Cricket games becomes part of their lives, it becomes personal.” Indeed, such gatherings in support of their teams becomes a source to cure homesickness and support their national pride, even when they are flights away from home.

 

Many workers also come to these restaurants because their work timings and schedules forbids them from playing Cricket during the week. “I used to play the game but I don’t have time for it now,” said Shaikh Imran, a 19 year-old Indian who spends his afternoons at Mangrove Restaurant and Hyderabad Spices shop in Musherib. “I come here because I can watch my favorite game instead of playing it.” Abdul Haleem, a Bangladeshi 35 year-old labor working and living in Musheirb said that he watches the games at the restaurant because there was nothing better to do. “Sometimes I watch it here at the restaurant during my resting time. There is nothing to do after my morning hours of work, so I come here and watch with my friends,” Haleem said.

 

 

Shaikh Suhaib, the Indian manager of Al Weesal Restaurant and Juice stall, said that he was optimistic about the future and where these men can congregate. “The opportunities won’t go away, because there is a lot of different markets that are coming up. For example, people are going to the airport area in order to start shop so the opportunities are not going away,” he said. “It is going to be better and cleaner. The shops that are being built is going to be of the best quality. It is going to be better than here for sure.” Haleem, the Bangladeshi worker, said that there is no other place to watch the Cricket matches except in Musherib. “No, its only here. There is no other place,” said Haleem.

 

The Dohaland project in Musherib, a redevelopment project that is reconstructing the rundown Musherib area, poses an obstacle to where these men can meet and congregate in the future. “Even if there is another place that they want us to relocate to, my friends would still come here,” said Imran, as he watched Bangladesh defeat the Netherlands by 6 wickets. When asked if the restaurant he comes to would be broken down, Imran said: “I will go to a hotel where they show the Cricket matches and games and I will try there and my friends will just try to contact me there.”

Articles

Juvenile Justice: Is Qatar ready?

In Uncategorized on July 26, 2011 by inaar

Listen to the audio story here.

Written on June 7, 2011.

Local Doha police had arrested a 17-year-old male after a fight that involved physical injuries for his victim. Police had later investigated the case and held in jail for three nights at a local Doha police station until the young male was released. This story is ordinary except for one simple thing: the 17-year-old spent three nights I custody at an adults jail, sleeping in the same cell with adult criminals.

The 17 year old boy, who does not want to be named because he fears retributions from local Qatari authorities, said that he was held at a police station without a lawyer present during questioning and spent three nights in cell where adults were also present.

“This was not justice and fair. Just because I had had a fight with a local Qatari boy and I am an expatriate, I was held accountable in a justice system that did not treat me as a juvenile but as an adult,” he said. “This does not happen anywhere else in the world,”

Furthermore, there are allegations that even though the laws are theoretically the same, many contend that law enforcement officials discriminate against non-Qataris.

Severine Jolait, Coordinator of the Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice (IPJJ) at the United Nations, said that Qatar has made progress in juvenile justice but that it still violates certain articles from the Convention of the Rights of the Child when it comes to handling minors and delinquents.

“The minimum criminal responsibility age in Qatar is still set at seven years and remains far too low. There is also a concern that children between the age of 16 and 18 may be treated as adults,” Joliat said.

The National Development Strategy committee in Qatar announced two months ago that it plans to help Qatar establish its first children’s court is separate from the adults courts procedures by 2016.

Dr. Richard Leete, the Director of Social Development at the General Secretariat for Development Planning, said that Qatar’s efforts to create a working juvenile justice system and draft a child’s law stems from its growing international role. “In September, Qatar will chair the United Nations General Assembly in New York, so it is appropriate that Qatar comply with international standards governing certain age groups and other conventions,” Dr. Leete said.

However, many certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the UN in Geneva do not want Qatar to rush and establish a juvenile justice without taking into considerations ‘the best interests of the child.’

“Qatar has to look carefully when planning the entire child law and the juvenile justice system,” said Dr. Watheba Al-Saadi, legal advisor at the Qatar Foundation For Child and Women Protection. “The National Development Strategy can easily say it can establish all this within the five year span they set, but a complete working system must consider the best interests of the child, which include completion of education while in detention and even alternative ways of processing delinquents than in a court of law.”

One of the key elements that creates confusion in the current Qatari system is the presence of different and separate legal systems in Qatar. “One is the civil law and one is the Islamic shariaa law and this causes a lot of confusion on where to place children between 16 and 18 years of age because the civil law says that childhood ends at 18 while the Islamic law states that it ends at 16,” said Dr. Al-Saadi. NGOs such as Defence for Children International disagrees with two legal systems governing children. “I think in Qatar’s case the civil law must prevail over the Islamic law because if Qatar has accepted international standards and ratified them, it means they have a commitment to respect international law,” said Ileana Bello, Executive Director at Defence for Children International.

“After they had jailed me, I realized I was caught between two legal systems,” said the 17 year old boy who was jailed for three nights. Professor and child psychologist Moza Al-Malki disagrees with a current system that allows minors to be arrested, questioned and jailed in the same system where adults are also processed.

“I am glad that Qatar is pushing forward to include a children’s court and juvenile detention system separate from the adults. This is because we need to realize that anyone who is under the age of 18 years old cannot make complete and rational decisions by themselves. International standards accept that the definition of a child is anyone between 12 and 18 and Qatar must accept that,” Professor Al-Malki said.

Under Qatar’s draft child law, the criminal responsibility age will be changed to the minimum 12 years old instead of the current seven years of age. “We should not have a debate about what should be the minimum age of criminal responsibility,” said Bernard Boeton, head of Terres De Homme International Federation, an NGO that networks eleven national organizations working for the rights of children and to promote  equitable development  without racial, religious,  political, cultural or  gender-based discrimination.

“The world can vary whether seven or 12 years old is too young to set the minimum criminal responsibility age for minors at, but the debate should [be about] when and where the right to freedom and liberty can be taken away,” Boeton said. He added: “the main definition of the child is not [physical] age but instead defines him as a human being who has not yet the full capacity of understanding, expressing and defending himself.”

For now, many children below the age of 18 are trapped under a system which still does not define them as children not able to make rational decisions at times of fault. “I could not understand how they could have jailed me in an adult prison cell where I slept next to a murderer and a thief, children that young should not be an such an environment ever,” the young 17-year-old anonymous male said.

Articles

God is One

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2011 by inaar

While Muslims have numerous mosques in and around Musherib and the Christians who have the facilities of the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Rosary in Umm Saeed, the Hindus are confined to the four walls of their homes where some have nailed shelves up on walls to hold their idols while some even converting a closet into a place of worship.

Articles

Egyptians celebrate Mubarak’s resignation

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2011 by inaar

By Ismaeel Naar. Source from The Daily Q

The end came quickly Friday night for Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year regime. A haggard vice president Omar Suleiman appeared on television to tell the world: “Hosni Mubarak has decided to waive the office of the presidency and has instructed the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to run the affairs of the country and may God guide us in our steps.”

Minutes later, thousands of protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square erupted in jubilation. Only minutes later, their countrymen in Doha took to the streets of the Qatari capital to celebrate Mubarak’s departure as well.

“As an Egyptian, this is the proudest day of my life. Thirty years of tyranny and taking of Egypt’s resources … and stealing them. It is such a proud day. We are so happy, we are ecstatic and our emotions are flowing,” said Nabil El-Nashar, a student at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

The end came after an emotional 18 days of roller-coaster protests by hundreds of thousands of Egyptians in and around Egypt’s Tahrir, or Liberation, Square turned sour again Thursday when a defiant Mubarak told his countrymen that he would not bow to pressure and step down as president. On Friday, demonstrators continued to demand his ouster—demands that the military finally heeded on Friday evening.

Doha’s Egyptians celebrated Friday’s announcement by driving their cars toward the Corniche area and honking their car horns, a typical Egyptian victory celebration. Others abandoned their cars altogether and danced in the streets around the city, waving Egyptian flags and singing victory songs about their country.

Among the chants heard: “He’s gone, he’s gone,” shouted by people hanging out of their cars and waving flags celebrating Mubarak’s abrupt resignation Friday.

Qatari police and traffic officers initially tried to block roads leading up to the highway adjacent to the Doha Corniche but the local Egyptians found another way to the area and their celebrations were enough to convince police to halt their efforts.

“Many people in Egypt were hurt and [had tear gas thrown at them],” said a young local Egyptian participating in the celebration parade. “But today thank God that now our country is ours. We need to work harder and everyone must study and succeed. Egypt is free, Egypt is free.”

Yousif Khalil, a student at Northwestern University in Qatar celebrating on the Corniche, was philosophical :“We have never tasted freedom but I guess there is a first time for everything.”

Articles

Egyptians in Qatar Celebrating

In Uncategorized on February 12, 2011 by inaar

Egyptians in Qatar celebrate Mubarak’s resignation from the presidency and his fall from power. February 11, 2010. Corniche, Doha, Qatar.

Articles

Bhangra in EC

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2011 by inaar

Articles

Egyptians in Qatar demonstrating

In Uncategorized on February 9, 2011 by inaar

Video and photos by Jasmine El Gazar
Edited and Produced by Ismaeel Naar

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