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Monday, March 31, 2014

Ten ways the Ukraine crisis may change the world

Mon, Mar 31 05:17 AM EDT By Paul Taylor BRUSSELS (Reuters) - As Moscow and the West dig in for a prolonged stand-off over Russia's annexation of Crimea, risking spillover to other former Soviet republics and beyond, here are 10 ways in which the Ukraine crisis could change attitudes and policy around the world. 1) Russia diminished: Russia's role in international affairs is diminished, at least temporarily. Moscow has been de facto excluded from the Group of Eight industrialized powers. Its bids to join the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Energy Agency are frozen. Western summits with Moscow are canceled until further notice. President Vladimir Putin's attempt to use the BRICS group of emerging powers to mitigate isolation by the West faltered over Chinese and Indian unease at the Crimean precedent for disputes about Tibet and Kashmir. A joint BRICS statement condemned sanctions but made no mention of Crimea or Ukraine. 2) NATO revived: Just when it looked to be losing relevance as its mission in Afghanistan limps to a close, the U.S.-led military alliance is back in business. An increase in allied air patrols and war games showing the flag in Poland and the Baltic states is on the agenda, and Warsaw wants faster deployment of U.S. missile defense systems in central Europe. Under U.S. pressure, some European countries may rethink cuts in defense spending. Neutral Sweden and Finland, perceiving Russia anew as a potential threat, may increase security efforts and cooperate more closely with NATO. 3) Energy diversification: The energy map of Europe is being redrawn with accelerated action to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas. EU states are set to build more liquefied natural gas terminals, upgrade pipeline networks and grids and expand a southern gas supplies through Georgia and Turkey to southern and central Europe. The EU gets a third of its oil and gas from Russia, and 40 percent of that gas is pumped across Ukraine. Europe may now look to tap its own shale gas reserves and expand nuclear power, despite environmental concerns. "I see the danger of more nuclear - which is C02-free, which is also part of the discussion, but it is the wrong path," said Gerhard Roiss, chief executive of Austria's OMV, a big importer of Russian gas into central Europe. 4) China factor: The diplomatic alliance between Russia and China, which often vote together in the U.N. Security Council, could change in one of two directions - either rapprochement through a stronger energy partnership, with new pipelines being built to pump Russian oil and gas spurned by Europe to Beijing; or a cooling if China distances itself more from Putin's behavior and sees less benefit in closer ties with an economically weakened and relatively isolated Moscow. For now, President Xi Jinping is refusing to take sides in public. 5) U.S. leadership: Washington's global leadership role, weakened by the rise of emerging powers and by retrenchment under President Barack Obama, has been partially restored. Despite his disengagement from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and strategic "pivot" towards Asia, events have pushed Obama back into the old-fashioned role of "Leader of the Free World" in an East-West crisis in Europe. The crisis has swept aside European anger over U.S. spying on global communications and put a new premium on cooperation. In Brussels last week Europeans appealed to Obama to sell them shale gas, and both sides agreed to speed talks on a transatlantic free trade and investment pact. Yet U.S. strategists say American economic interests and the security challenges of managing a rising China mean Asia will remain the priority and Europe will have to do more for itself. 6) German leadership: The Ukraine affair has cemented Berlin's leadership role in Europe. Germany is already the dominant economic power, calling the shots in the euro zone crisis, and Chancellor Angela Merkel has become Europe's main interlocutor with Putin. Her disenchantment with him has shaped an increasingly firm crisis response after initial hesitancy. German willingness to reduce energy dependency on Russia will be the yardstick of how far the rest of the EU goes. Merkel is also the relationship manager with the volatile Yulia Tymoshenko, whose presidential bid may heighten tension in Ukraine. 7) EU united: The European Union has been reunited, at least for now, by the return of a common external threat. This may have helped EU leaders overcome some long-running disputes. Greens European Parliament member Rebecca Harms joked that it was too early to nominate Putin for the annual Charlemagne prize for services to European unity, "but in the face of a new threat of war in Europe, EU states have indeed agreed on a joint strategy towards Russia." Some EU diplomats say Poland may speed up slow-motion moves to join the euro, seeking sanctuary in Europe's inner core as the Baltic states have done. Polish entry would hasten the spread of the single currency to almost all EU countries, including Denmark, though probably not Sweden or Britain. 8) Contest for Central Asia: both Putin and the West are wooing central Asian autocrats in energy-rich Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, drawing a discreet veil over their human rights records. If Russia weakens economically, they will want at least a foot in the Western camp. 9) U.S.-Russian cooperation: some cooperation on global security issues will continue because Moscow has an interest in keeping it on track to avoid greater isolation. But tensions are possible over Syria, Iran, Afghanistan or North Korea, and Moscow has levers it could activate such as contracts to supply S300 air defense missiles to Damascus or Tehran. 10) Putin's future: Russia's leader is near the peak of his popularity, riding a wave of nationalist pride over Crimea. However, instability may grow if he comes under pressure from magnates angry at losing value on their businesses, forfeiting foreign investment in Russia and facing travel restrictions and asset freezes in the West. Most are 150 percent loyal for now, but things may look different in six months' time. (Editing by Mark Heinrich) ================================ West stumbles as autocratic force trumps economics Tue, Apr 01 07:51 AM EDT By David Rohde (Reuters) - A quarter-century after the fall of the Soviet Union, authoritarian rulers such as Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad are showing they can and will defy international norms, suppress dissent and use military force. American policymakers are struggling with how to respond. "It's a big philosophical question about how to deal with a strong state with anti-Western and autocratic proclivities (A natural propensity or inclination; predisposition.)," said Michael McFaul, the most recent American ambassador to Moscow. "I would say on that score we are kind of confused as a country." Citing the sweeping unpopularity of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American officials have embraced economic sanctions as their primary means of pressuring foreign governments. In an interconnected, 21st-century global economy, President Barack Obama argues, economic sanctions are more powerful than ever.
If Russia continues on its current course, Obama warned last week, "the isolation will deepen, sanctions will increase and there will be more consequences for the Russian economy."
He may be proven right. Over the course of 2014, the threat of economic sanctions may result in Putin backing down in Crimea and Ukraine. And historic sanctions against Iran -which slashed oil sales and cut the country off from the world banking system - could produce an accord that halts Iran's nuclear program. If not, a 16th-century Machiavellian truism ((Suggestive of or characterized by expediency, deceit, and cunning.)) will re-assert its dominance: The party most willing to decisively use force will prevail over a noncommittal opponent. "What we've seen with Assad and Putin is a willingness to smile at international norms and pursue power politics regardless of the cost," said Andrew Weiss, a Russia expert at the Carnegie Endowment and former official in the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. "And if the West is not united and America's interests are not immediately threatened, the response immediately becomes attenuated." How to respond has already become an issue in the 2016 presidential race. In the weeks since Putin sent Russian troops into Crimea, Republican senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan all criticized Obama's response. But none of them called for an American intervention in Ukraine. ECONOMIC CONNECTIONS Fiona Hill, a Russia expert at the Brookings Institution and a former National Intelligence Council official, said those who believed the collapse of the Soviet Union signified the triumph of Western democratic capitalism were deluding themselves. A large number of Russians remained deeply skeptical of Western norms. "It was only a very small elite around Yeltsin who were buying this," she said. "Too many people (Westerners) saw what they wanted to see, rather than what was happening." Then the global financial crisis strengthened a perception in parts of the world that Western democracy was failing - both politically and economically, Hill added. Shadi Hamid, a Middle East expert at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center, said Obama's decision to not intervene in Syria after last September's chemical weapons attack created a perception of American weakness. Strongmen, such as Egypt's military ruler, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had been emboldened. "They think they can get away with more than ever," Hamid said. "And this is tied to a growing sense of weakness under the Obama administration, whether it's fair or unfair." Obama administration officials deny that. They argue that another costly intervention in the Middle East would further weaken the American economy. And they contend that economic and technological strength - not brute force alone - will be the dominant source of power for decades to come. Steven Pifer, a former American ambassador to Ukraine and now a fellow at the Brookings Institution, argued that economic inter-connectedness will have an impact on Putin. Pifer said the Russian leader knows he needs trade with the outside world. "While the West may rule out the military option," Pifer wrote in an email, "it has other tools, including political isolation and financial sanctions that could inflict serious pain on the Russian economy." Weiss, the Carnegie expert, argued that Russia and Syria represent vastly different situations. Russia is far more economically connected to the world than Syria, he said. And Putin is not accused of killing thousands of his people and displacing millions in a bid to hold onto power, like Assad. But Weiss said he was unsure that economic sanctions alone would stop the Russian leader. "He's thinking about things in a very shrewd, pure-power way. "What leverage do we have against Putin?" he asked. "That's why people are somewhat stumped about what to do." In the case of Iran, years of false claims from officials regarding its nuclear program finally prompted Europe to agree sweeping economic sanctions that rebounded on Europe more than on the United States. Barring a Russian military incursion deeper into Ukraine, "the Europeans are not willing to go farther," he said. "They're happy to compartmentalize and go back to business as usual." "THEY WANT IT MORE" Hill compared the current world today with the 19th century, when trade was vast but nations still clashed. "The world was incredibly connected," she said. "And it didn't produce any greater political outcomes. You remember a lot of gunboat diplomacy." She said that economic interdependence flows both ways. "There is mutual dependency here," she added. "There is mutual leverage. We can use it and they can use it." Experts said that for Putin, Crimea's port at Sevastopol was vital. In Egypt, Sisi believes he is fighting an existential threat with the Muslim Brotherhood. In Washington, American officials disagree over whether core American interests are at stake, and the autocrats know it. "There is a calculation there," Hamid said. "They know that they want it more than we do." (Edited by Sara Ledwith) =================================

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Do we need Qatarization?

الاثنين، 7 مارس، 2011Do we need Qatarization ? A question we hear from time to time, which makes some of us wondering, do we? And if yes why? And why we don't hear about Americanization, Austrilization or Canadization? Yes we do need Qatarization, as long Qatar is an open market for employing form all over the world. We do need Qatarization for the Following main reasons: 1- To insure jobs and development of new Qatari graduate. 2- To continue development of existing employee. 3-To protect Qatar interests on big companies which effecting the economy. If the unemployment now is zero or close to in Qatar, when Qatarization is stopped and no monitoring program and pressure on the companies to employee and train Qataries , we will get one digit number after some years and we might get two digits number for unemployment, as companies will not employee local fresh graduate and spend on training them, while they could get a cheaper 10 years experience employee from far East. Also companies will always find it better to employee who they can Fire when is not needed or in downsizing with out problems. Until we get a restrictions on issuing work permit visas for any nationality, Qatarization will be a must so Qataries can get a reasonable jobs. Few Qataris who miss behave or abuse the system dose not mean that Qatarization is the reason, there are many Qataris are working hard and skillful and they have been supported by Qatarization, and the Qataris who claim that they don't have work to do, in most cases their supervisor don't want them to get involved in the effective work either because they will ask a lot of questions, and he feel is loosing his time answering them, or he is afraid that if they get to know how he do work with time he will not be needed any more. Having the ambition to become managers, is their right and natural feeling and should not bother any body, managing their country business and protecting it interests is every Qatari goal, and for example if a father own a company I don't think his son will be the coffee boy in that company, but he will be the managing director and that's normal. I believe companies in Qatar has build a culture, which based on employing experienced ready to go workers, so no room for fresh employee who need to be trained, as a result of that we see a lot of Arab non Qatari student who graduate from local universities with GPA 4 can't find work in any local company !! So companies’ culture and mentality should be changed and Qatarization is the driver for that. We don’t hear about Americanization, Austrilization or Canadization. Because no company there can get an unlimited number of work permit visas from any nationality, for that we see the big US companies open factories in China and India, while employing Chinese and Indians in their existing Factory in the States will be much cheaper, and they could protect their technology in better way. What we have in Qatar is a special situation can’t be compared to the western countries as their rules and regulations are different. In Qatar we have three labor markets Expats, Locals and Qataris, if we don’t have the protection and the pressure of Qatarization , we will be compared in wages with the Locals who are from different living cost where MacDonald’s meal cost 5 QR , and in skills and knowledge you will be compared with expats who have a very high wages and by both comparison , we Qataries will be the losers. Bottom line: Quality Qatarization can only be achieved when companies start to feel that they only have Qataries to employee for certain jobs, then they will choose Qataries carefully and will train them seriously, and after all will retain them in a good way, and that will be done with out monitoring as it will be the only way to keep their companies in business. مرسلة بواسطة أحمد الكواري في 12:07 ص ‏هناك 4 تعليقات: =============== Living the Confused Expatriate Life – Part 1 of a Few 16 February 2013 by Ms. Hala Abdoun | 20 Comments Dear Faithful Readers, Thank you all for your kind messages after noticing my absence for the last month. It’s been rough living with limited access at my place and working hard to prove myself at this new turn in my career. I have been writing a lot, believe me! I’ve written a few parts about my expatriate life in Qatar. Let’s start it off with the piece I wrote about identity… Living the Confused Expatriate Life Part 1 of a Few… Identity By: Ms. Hala I have lived the expatriate life here in Qatar for over 8 months now. There’s still a few bumps in the road to smooth out but overall, life is good. I’m enjoying my very busy and challenging job in a new industry. I’m apartment hunting for a third time now that my temp rent will be up soon. I’m following my 2013 resolution to a tee thus far… so life is good! Oh, did I mention I’m a legal resident of Qatar now? Oh yes baby I am! Got my residency permit a couple of weeks ago, now I can do stuff like get a monthly mobile phone service… hehehe Yes, mobile not cell… I’m catching on to the popular Euro lingo here. ;) However, living this expatriate life comes with a couple of interesting confusions. Maybe I just lived in this wonderful tolerant city that is San Francisco to have to deal with this identity confusion that I’m dealing with now. I’m a Muslim Egyptian American expatriate who talks in a lovely California accent but “looks” and talks Arabic like an Egyptian. Confusing much? Apparently so! When I first took on my new job, the grapevines of the office announced there’s an American among them. Aside from the fact that everyone thought the American was getting paid a bazillion dollars (that’s another entry, I promise you!), no one could tell whom the American was. Many didn’t realize until I started talking to everyone, introducing myself and getting the question, “Where’s your accent from?” Say Whaaat? I reply, “I’m American”. “Really?” “Yes, I’m from Calfornia.” “How long did you live there?” “Born and raised.” “Wow…” “Uh huh…” The major problem in Qatar is that everyone here is labeled based on their nationality. Even those born and raised in Qatar don’t even get a Qatar citizenship. They do get treated like Qataris with regards to “Qatarization” but aside from that, they are not even legally Qatari. There’s this thinking that one or the other has a look, has a personality, has a way of thinking or a way of doing… and everyone’s judging you based mostely on those ideologies and stereotypes. There are so many ridiculous notions about every ethnicity out here, it’s unbelievable. Let’s start with being an American girl and how exhausting it is to overcome that terrible stereotype. What’s the stereotype here about American girls you ask? Drum roll please… American girls have non-stop wild parties, get drunk all the time and the rest is flushed down a toilet in the morning. Mind you, many conservative expatriates here have come to this conclusion from the many movies and television shows that “always show you American girls drinking and having crrrazy parties.” *sighing and shaking my head* Finding an apartment under the American girl banner has simply been the most annoying experience of my life, twice! Having to do it so many times now is just torture at this point. I’m repeatedly asked where I’m from and have to answer with Egypt just to get a viewing appointment. Once they see my “Egyptian look” but hear my “berfect ingelesh”, I get asked, “Where are you from, exactly?” After going through an identity explanation, I have to further explain that the idea that us American girls are drunk party animals is just plain false. I’ve even had to emphasis that family will be joining me in Qatar permanently just so that they don’t think I will be in fact living alone and using this “extra space” for my wild parties. *sighing angrily* During my time as a temporary English instructor, I was asked to take on a group of young children. To my hesitation, I accepted and on the first day, disaster. One of the parents whom signed up his very disrespectful son only signed him up because it was exclaimed that the instructor was an American lady. Seeing that I wasn’t up to par, the Egyptian expatriate bee lined it to the director’s office exclaiming false advertisement. What did he expect? A tall blonde woman like the Americans he sees on television. Upon hearing this, I rolled my eyes and walked away before the ghetto San Francisco girl in me came out to bitch slap the stupid outta him! I’m trying my best to overcome this stupid ideology that I can only be either Egyptian or American. I had an argument with an Egyptian fellow a while back over a remark I found quite offensive. He went on to say, “oh, is your American turned on? I forgot you don’t get some of our jokes.” I didn’t even know we could switch between our bicultural identities… WTF? Apparently, there’s a stupid stereotype about bicultural Americans, especially Arabs… Those whom hold an American citizenship think they are better than everyone else, act like they don’t get some traditional lingo and will use their American identity for beneficial purposes. As a first generation born Arab American, this stereotype is so far from the truth, you’ve got to wait for the six o’clock train to get there! Half my family from both sides hold an American citizenship after immigrating from Egypt in the early 70′s and 80′s. They’ve all worked tirelessly, raised their children and grandchildren, paid their taxes, contributed to the American society just like any other immigrant family from any corner of the world. They all deserve the same respect as every other American out there.
I’ve learned over time that I’m not alone in this odd confusion. The citizens of Qatar themselves are also in this weird situation where stereotypes about them isn’t only false, but many act upon it to the point of disgraceful. The stereotypes about Qataris… they are extremely conservative, snubby, spoiled and unkind individuals seeing all others as second class citizens. Not only is this stupidity far from the truth, but many dress in traditional Qatari attire in an attempt to act upon these stereotypes and intimidate others. Yes, this includes bullying people on road to outrageous behavior towards others… just disgraceful!
On New Year’s Eve, a Qatari lady was discriminated against for, get this, looking and dressing Qatari… WTF? According to Doha News, a Qatari lady was not allowed into a hotel restaurant on the said day because it was deemed inappropriate for Qatari ladies to attend. Again, WTF? Sadly, this this happens a lot across Qatar.
I must say however, for the most part, Qataris are the complete opposite of these stereotypes just like any other ethnicity being treated according to whatever stereotype is drawn up of them. Qataris are quite polite, kind and generous. They may be wealthy but not many act like it’s their forsaken right to the wealth or OK the ill treatment upon others.
An interesting example I see all the time: in Qatar, you are not to fuel your own vehicle (similar to the law in New Jersey), you are to stay in your vehicle or go to the many shops at the station while an station employee fuels your vehicle. On any given day, as I sit comfortably while another fuels my car, I’ll see a Qatari gentleman step out of his vehicle, have a small talk conversation with the employee fueling and washing down his car, before tipping and driving off. Every time I see that scene, I see the employee with a huge smile on his face. Many of these employees can use the extra tip for phone cards to call home or even save up for an occasion. Other times, I hear of stories of how someone had their tires blown out and a Qatari pulled over in their designer attire to help out hands on. That I’ve personally experienced personally when I had my car accident. Yes, people from various backgrounds pulled over and offered to help but I gotta say, the Qataris were the ones whom stepped out of their vehicles, yelled at the rude police officer on my behalf and moved my car because, “She’s a lady and should be treated with respect.” Chivalry is still alive and kicking! Even the Qatari police officers at the police station gave it to the non-Qatari police officer for discriminating against me because I was American. “That doesn’t matter, she’s still a lady, have some manners brother!” Thank you. =) I do have to admit that my identity has brought up many a funny conversations. At an event a few months ago, I was blessed to meet some wonderful people. One of them was an elder businessman whom owns one of Egypt’s first timeshare businesses. We got to talking business until I mentioned how the timeshare business in the USA works. Once I stated that yes, I was an Egyptian American, he just stared at me. “And you wear hijab?” I couldn’t stop laughing before it was like, man you just opened Pandora’s box! I went on and on about the wonderful community that is the Muslim American community; from the San Francisco Islamic School where I volunteered to the advocacy work of CAIR to the masjids where I’ve prayed at. I had to stop myself at one point because I realized I was missing my community to the brink of tears. I know Qatar is trying really hard to create a tolerant, diverse and welcoming community. I know it will not happen over night and not by one feeling superior or the other feeling intimidated. I see the problem in Qatar as people coming from the many corners of the world with ignorant, close-minded and/or just confused and conflicted as I am. The thing is, it’s going to take a long time before the ignorant to be educated, the close-minded to be tolerant and the confused to take it all in one day at a time. I’m in the process still of taking it all in, one day at a time. - Ms. Hala 22 February 2013 at 10:53 pm Well I’m glad you did brother! hehehe Thank you for your comment but may I make a few points… 1. I think it’s utterly disgusting this whole categorization… two people, same job, different pay based on ethnicity? Just disgusting… and the fact that you mention that I have it better than most Egyptians makes me feel worst about it. 2. My American identity has brought me a headache and my native English has been good to me, Alhamdulillah! hehehe 3. I guess being bilingual has its advantages socially… However I’d like to note that I don’t associate with others whom are discriminatory or intolerant of others, no matter their background. I’ve cut a few ties with people because of this, including the story I mentioned above. I wish you the best as well Insha’Allah, thank you! Part 2 is coming! =) Ms. Hala 23 February 2013 at 9:32 am Well some rules were meant to be broken, especially one that is as disgusting as categorization! I did get in trouble, I waved the only passport I hold and it was of no help… that’s another story for another day. No I haven’t seen that movie, but I’m trying to find it online! hehehe I’ve only been here for about 9 months so my experiences are limited as well I’m sure. Arabian nights? Ummm… hehehe Exactly, there’s good and bad in all but to make a general assumption is what gets to me. Glad you enjoyed my rants, stayed tuned for more! =) Ms. Hala 7 March 2013 at 5:07 pm My comment, “They do get treated like Qataris with regards to ‘Qatarization’” was with regards to attaining employment, nothing more. I too know of a handful of Qatari born individuals whom are in your husband’s shoes. That was the point of my comment, that they are discriminated against and not allowed citizenship of the country in which they were born in. I’m sorry for what you and your husband have been through, it’s unfair and honestly very disgusting. No one deserves this kind of treatment nor should they accept this treatment upon themselves. That I think is the bigger problem here, that people accept this form of treatment and my advise to them is to simply not tolerate it. When there is no more talent in Qatar, than maybe, just maybe, people will change. Maybe I just have high hopes for humanity… I don’t know. Same to you my dear! =) Ms. Hala 30 April 2013 at 9:00 am I agree, most of that attitude is coming from expats more than the locals. Funny enough, the locals don’t give citizenship to those born and raised in their country which I find quite sad. ==================== Living the Confused Expatriate Life – Part 2 of a Few 2 May 2013 by Ms. Hala Abdoun | 10 Comments Living the Confused Expatriate Life Part 2 of a Few… Marital Status By: Ms. Hala I am not married. I am not engaged. I am not in a relationship. I am single. It has followed me around to no end, even when I’ve moved thousands of miles away, to a conservative Arab country. When it comes to my status here in Qatar, I’ve come across two reactions in people. The first being the cheerleaders. They are the ones with nothing but kind and positive reinforcements. It’s even more astounding when it comes from those I least expect it from. For example, the older Egyptian gentlemen whom I work with that are always encouraging me. In the last four months that I’ve worked with one of the managers, not a day goes by without him always complementing my strength and determination, especially during some of the challenges we’ve faced at the office, for doing what I do. With limited internet access in the past few months, when I do log on, I find a good number of emails and messages via social media from young people whom have noted how they follow-up on my latest Qatar adventures with inspiration. Some of them, already here in Qatar, have blessed me with their friendship. The second being the haters. They are the ones with nothing but stupid, stereotypical and just plain envious words because I can’t find any other reason for their bad energy. These are the people that feel the need to say one of three things: “You’re here, alone? No family? No husband? But why? You poor thing.” “I could do what you’re doing now but so-and-so said men don’t like girls like that and I really want to get married.” “I wish I was you! You’re doing everything I’m too dipshit* to do on my own! People talk you know.” Sigh. After my third month living in Qatar, I just stopped trying to answer to these people. Yes, I’m here alone with the blessings of my family. However, that’s when I came to realize that there are very few people like me in Qatar and most young ladies are living here either with family or a spouse, not alone. I miss my mommy. Please, don’t tell me of how you could do things for yourself if your life revolves around someone else. You people are more irritable to me than those whom keep trying to set me up with this “great guy”. Please realize that not all of us are living up to some odd standard of husband hunting. Some of us actually live for ourselves, have more meaning to life than just finding someone to accept us. I mean you want to get married, great, but life doesn’t need to revolve around the idea. And for crying out loud, if you want to do something, just shut the fuck up and go for it. Trust me, when you don’t do nothing, people will have something to say about it. When you do anything, guess what? People will have something to say about it. Funny thing though, most people don’t give two shits about what you are (or aren’t) doing so I’m still trying to figure out why you even care about the opinion of those people. Sigh. As of last month though, I’ve come across the third reaction that has started to get under my skin. The third being some of Qatar’s policies. Before I go on a rant here, I want to state that I understand why some of these policies are in play, to prevent human trafficking and prostitution. However, there’s got to be some kind of line of reasoning, understanding, common sensing (Is that even a word? Well it should be.) around here. And here’s where my rant begins. Exhibit A: In order to obtain my Qatar Residency Permit (RP), I had to go through a medical screening. Mainly an X-ray of the chest for TB screening and two different blood tests. For those sponsored under employment, the company pays in advance for the fees or refunds you for it while all others usually pay upfront during their appointment. If you are born in Qatar, you don’t go through this lovely experience. The Medical Commission that I was blessed to attend through my place of work was the most disgusting place in Qatar. It starts out nice, divided into a section for the ladies and a section for the men. Or I thought, until I drove towards the ladies section to find swarms of men waiting outside the ladies’ only entrance. I entered alone, passing the many odd stares and glares. Once inside, there were two lines, those pre-paid and those needing to pay. The pre-paid line was empty. Showed the lady at the counter my blue passport, got the up and down look before the lovely question, “You’re here through work? You’re here alone?” “Yes” I answered back smiling sarcastically and annoyed. She kept rolling her eyes as she processed my papers and directed me to the x-ray room. After the lovely experience of being herded like animals and watched by others as I took the x-ray, twice, I picked up what was left of my dignity and went to get my first blood test. Upon looking me up on the computer, the lovely lady at the counter made stupid remarks about me being work sponsored before handing me a few documents plus a little booklet. Not paying attention, I walked towards the exam room where a kind nurse was assisting me in getting my blood test. Having small talk and looking at the booklet because I hate needles (don’t ask me how I got my lip pierced!), I realized what the booklet was, “Prayers for the Dead”. Really? Bitch gave me a prayer book for the dead? Kind nurse laughed at a comment I made as she instructed me to go to a private clinic for my second blood test. I gave the bitch the booklet back stating, “I’m not dead!” Throughout the short drive to the clinic I kept thinking what the hell was her intention giving me that booklet? Am I as good as dead? Or did she just run out of “Prayers for the Living” booklets? Deeply annoyed sigh. Exhibit B: I finally found a nice little apartment, comfortable for myself and my little devil child, Ms. Doha in a brand new gated community. Upon registering and signing, it was brought to the attention of the gentleman handling my application that the contract would be under my happy name. Ms. Doha is having a hard time adapting to the new place. She did her best to get comfy on her first night… #FirstWorldKittyProblems “Ma’am, are you registering under your name?” “Yeeeeeees. I’m the one whom will live here.” “Do you have an ID?” “Yes! Here’s my Qatar ID and my passport as well.” “Do you have a letter of employment verification?” “No, I wasn’t told I needed one when I inquired over the phone.” “You need a letter of employment verification to complete your application.” “Why? My Qatar ID specifically states my place of employment as my sponsor.” “Yes but you’re special.” He joked politely seeing my disapproved reaction. I’ve been told that reaction scares a lot of people. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing so I tried to make a curious face. It didn’t work. Poor guy continued with his charming self, “Company policy requires that you bring a letter of employment verification because you’re a single lady. We’ll extend your booking time and follow-up with you, don’t worry.” I just stared blankly, watching other people register without a hitch. The gentleman assured that the apartment was mine and that he would follow-up with me but to please bring that letter from my employers. I left a little disappointment and fearful I was going to lose this nice place. I had to move out of my place and my lifestyle choice was the reason for the delay? Akh! I have to say that the lovely people of our HR department were understanding and produced the necessary documentations for me within the hour. The apartment company did continuously follow-up with me until I showed up with the letter later that evening. They were generous enough to expedite my move-in date upon knowing my circumstances. People here are helpful towards a single lady, especially if she’s willing to follow company policy. Sigh. * Disclaimer: none of those whom made that statement actually called themselves “dipshit”, but I think they should have. Read: Living the Confused Expatriate Life – Part 1 of a Few Ms. Hala 9 May 2013 at 11:11 am I’m not sure but try looking up some sources on QatarLiving.com or IloveQatar.com. I know there are a few alternative medicine and polyclinics in Doha, mainly near the Villaggio mall. Hope that helps! Ms. Hala 22 May 2013 at 8:56 am Is this a different mall aside from Center Point off the Khor Cornishe? I wasn’t even aware of that. I’ve meet many teachers who happen to live in AlKhor, so far, they all love it. ===================== 23 June 2013 by Ms. Hala Abdoun 7 Comments Living the Confused Expatriate Life – Part 3 of a Few Living the Confused Expatriate Life Part 3 of a Few… Unprofessional By: Ms. Hala I have to admit, being part of a management team in a growing industry in this part of the world has it’s perks. Even though I’m technically an entry-level manager, I’m the only female ever to hold a managerial position in the history of this company. Females in this company are about 10% of the entire workforce. So I think that in itself is a huge perk. I’ve been warned one too many times by colleagues with the phrase, “You’re not in America anymore. Welcome to the Middle East. This is how things work.” Yet I would always remind them that in my opinion, professionalism is universal. You can’t convince me that the lack of professionalism is the reason behind the Middle East’s successful economy despite the rest of the developing world’s economic downfall. It was the lack of professionalism that caused US taxpayers to bail out stupid big banks whom brought our economy to a recession. So yes, I’m in the Middle East – thanks for the warm welcome – but that shouldn’t mean professionalism is dead. Right? Ummm… to some extent. You see, it’s not necessarily where you are working in the world but whom you are working with in the world. Yes, certain cultural etiquettes need to be understood and respected. However, many misinterpret these etiquettes to their advantages. Sounds a little too familiar? This is when I discovered that half the staff, a mix of various languages, nationalities, levels of management, are scared of me. Yes, scared. Lack of professionalism is the culprit here. Here’s the shpeal, I manage the logistics of this global division. I deal in large part with clearing and transporting agents, Qatar customs administrators and global suppliers in over 15 countries including the USA. On one lovely day unlike today, I realized that the term “professionalism” to some extent did not exist in the eyes of some people I deal with on a daily basis. I was only about 3 months into my position and the idea of how my job was to deal with extremely unprofessional people hit me, hard. What the hell am I going to do? How the hell am I going to make it in this industry? How the hell am I going to even last in Qatar? Damn. There I was on the phone with the most incompetent person representing the clearing and transport agents behind the delays for our division in receiving units sitting at the ports for days. Paying customers threatening to cancel sales. Sales team members freaking out fearing losing those sales. Managers scrambling to meet their goals before month end just two days away. Our division simply trying to, you know, do business! It was just me between my division and this incompetent imbecile whom was oblivious to the importance of his work for us. He kept going on and on with this bullshit, one lie after the other in the most unprofessional manner I’ve ever dealt with in my entire working life… I couldn’t take it anymore. I hold two masters degrees in business, I have multiple years of experience dealing with people of all personalities and here I was unable to take this waste of oxygen anymore. I became the very thing I feared being in my career… unprofessional. I just held that phone with a tight grip and gave it to this imbecile, cursing and screaming amongst a culture of appropriate and polite manners. “If your fucking company can’t get my shit done on time, I have 20 other cheaper and more competent companies that can! Don’t fucking bullshit me man because I don’t give a fuck! Just. Get. My. Shit. Done. Now! Do you hear me?” The man on the other line just froze, sniffled and broke down like a two year old kid. He would get it done he said, by the end of the day. I slammed the phone, took a few deep breathes, checked I didn’t break the phone, then placed my hand over my dropped jaw… the entire office within sight had heard every single word I said. I turned around to one of my sales managers applauding me, “YES! It’s about time someone showed them who’s boss! They are always screwing us over!” I just giggled in disbelief as I whispered, “I made him cry.” Some had their jaws dropped while others laughed, “you made him cry?!” The rest continued to give me this wide-eyed stare, unsure what to make of me anymore. Conversing what had just happened, this apparently wasn’t the first time these agents had been delaying work fulfillment. They were behind lost deals and damaged goods in the past. Then, my boss called me into his glass office. Damn. “What the hell is going on out there?” “Ummm, I was on the phone with what’s his name trying to figure out what was taking them so long to get our units delivered. And honestly,” I was trying to find that professional lady, she’s here somewhere, I know it. “I couldn’t help it when he started BSing me so I just gave it to him pretty bad till he cried. I know it’s-” “You mean bitch!” “Hey!” I responded, that the professional lady was now lost forever, or the rest of the day maybe. “This ‘mean bitch’ just saved your ass there. You’re fucking welcome!” My boss just laughed, “Good, thanks! Please keep me posted, we need get these units to our customers ASAP. We have to meet our deadline and goals in the next couple of days.” “We shall, we shall.” The rest of that day, everyone gave me odd wide-eyed looks. Everyone asked me what happened, whom got the wrath of the American. In a few hours, our work was cleared, units were delivered, everything was good. It shouldn’t have taken me being unprofessional, was the thought at the back of my head. By the end of the day, I was shown an invoiced by one of our accountants, “are we responsible for these fines?” Of course things didn’t end there, it got worse. The agents had sent us an invoice for their incomplete services, dated days before the shipments even arrived, with fines they racked up leaving our shipments for days at the ports. When I brought this to the management’s attention, they had a fit. “We need to review all their back invoices.” “This is a matter of principle.” “Hala should be in charge of reviewing all these invoices before they go to the accounting department.” “Right, she deals with them daily, she would be the authority approving whether or not we are responsible for these fines.” Damn. A little irked, I shot an email to their head honco on vacation for like the millionth time that if I didn’t get a corrected invoice, they wouldn’t get paid a dirham (thats pennies for you American folk). He of course complied by sending me the imbecil to my office to “clear things up” the next day. Everyone slyly watched as the guy again started with his bullshit and knowing I might just explode, I took a deep breath and with a loud but very calm tone, “Listen man, don’t fucking start with me again. You guys fucked up and left our units out there for days. You need to own up to that, period.” I found her, I found the professional lady again and this one is awesome! “So you either get me the corrected invoice by the end of the day today or it’s free. Plain and simple, ok?” He just stared at me and when he teared up, he walked away because he had to “take care of work.” No yelling, no scream, just slightly loud and straight in the face. Professionalism at it’s best, I thought, until I looked around again to the wide-eyed faces. It was official, I was the scary person in the office. Damn. “I heard she pushed him against the window, threatening to throw him over if he didn’t get us our stuff.” “I heard him cry when she yelled at him… why did he even come to the office?” “I watched her scare him straight while she sat there casually. He’s so much taller than her and he is scared of her. A girl!“ “Now she knows how things work in the Middle East.” Damn. Like Loading...Categories: In Living Qatar, Job Sustenance | Tags: America, career, cultural etiquettes, damn, female, global, manager, Middle East, professionalism, Qatar, unprofessional, work | Permalink. Ms. Hala 23 June 2013 at 10:14 am Thanks Museem! hehehe It’s just I didn’t want that to define me in the office nor scare people from me but I guess that’s the reality of things here. Yea, that’s why I emphasized that there weren’t even that many ladies here. A lot aren’t sure how to work with one or what to expect from one. Most are nice and quiet while a few are social and outgoing. I thank you for supporting the ladies’, ummm, “professional” manners within the workplace. =D Ms. Hala 23 June 2013 at 11:14 am Agreed, collective team efforts are much more productive than divided teams. That’s one of the things I like in my company, those divides are slowly breaking… keyword, slowly! hehehe I’m not an unprofessional professional… I’m a confused expatriate! Ms. Hala 25 June 2013 at 9:59 am I haven’t flown Qatar Airways but everyone I know that did has had nothing but positive feedback. Let me know if you still need help getting the issue resolved. And yes, LOVE Emirates Air! =D ============== JOB ALERT: Marketing ManagerJOB ALERT: Marketing Manager in Stockton, CA needed! Details: Small credit union looking for a candidate to manage and coordinate all marketing, advertising and promotional projects. Ideal candidate has 1-2 yrs in financial services industry and a BA in Marketing or Business related degree. Compensation is between $45,000-$50,000 but no relocation assistance is provided. Email resume & cover letter to Ms. Frieda Afandi at . Good luck! ============== UPDATE 2-Qatar buys helicopters, missiles in $23 bln arms deals Thu, Mar 27 16:08 PM EDT * U.S. firms get deals worth $7.6 bln * Boeing gets contract for 24 Apache attack helicopters * Lockheed, Raytheon also win contracts (Adds details, in paragraphs 9-11, of additional weapons included) By Praveen Menon DOHA, March 27 (Reuters) - Qatar announced contracts worth about $23 billion on Thursday to buy attack helicopters, guided missiles, tankers and other weapons from Boeing Co, Airbus and other arms makers as the Gulf state accelerates its military build-up. The world's top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter announced deals with about 20 global companies, including firms from the United States which were awarded deals worth 27.5 billion riyals ($7.6 billion), said a spokeswoman for a Doha defense conference where the announcements were made. The weapons purchases include large deals with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and others. Qatar, and other Gulf Arab and Middle Eastern countries are looking to acquire new high-tech military equipment to protect themselves from neighboring Iran and internal threats after the Arab Spring uprising. Boeing confirmed that the announcement included a contract to buy 24 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and three Boeing 737 Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft. The deal for the helicopters was valued at 8.9 billion riyals, said the spokeswoman for the conference. In Paris, France's Defense Ministry said Qatar had agreed to buy 22 NH90 military helicopters from a unit of European aerospace group Airbus worth 2 billion euros ($2.76 billion) and two Airbus-made refueling tankers. NHIndustries is 62.5 percent owned by Airbus' Eurocopter helicopter unit, 32 percent owned by AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy Finmeccanica's and 5.5 percent by Stork Fokker. Qatar also committed to buy a Patriot missile defense system built by Raytheon equipped with PAC-3 missiles made by Lockheed; advanced daytime, high-definition sensors and radars for Apache helicopters; and Javelin missiles built by a Lockheed-Raytheon joint venture, according to sources familiar with the matter. Raytheon had told analysts in January that it expected to finalize an order with Qatar in the first half of 2014 for over $2 billion in Patriot missile defense system equipment. The Pentagon approved the sale to Qatar of $9.9 billion worth of Patriot fire units, radars, and various Raytheon and Lockheed missiles in November 2012. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the U.S. body which oversees foreign arms sales, had notified lawmakers in July 2012 of a possible sale of Apache helicopters to Qatar. A spokeswoman for the U.S. agency had no immediate comment. Washington has been keen to deepen its cooperation with Gulf nations, which have been long-standing allies, on missile defense and increase pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. The Apache helicopters are built by Boeing and used by the U.S. Army, Egypt, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom. They will be fitted with Longbow radar equipment made by a joint venture of Lockheed and Northrop Grumman Corp. ($1 = 3.6415 Qatar Riyals) (Additional reporting by Marine Pennetier in Paris and Andrea Shalal in Washington, Editing by William Maclean, Elaine Hardcastle and Tom Brown) =================== Qatar ‘promises to improve labour laws’ Dozens of Nepalese workers had died in Qatar Reuters Published: 14:32 March 26, 2014 Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on printMore Sharing Services6. Image Credit: Supplied Doha: Qatar has promised to improve its labour laws, a member of the European parliament visiting the Gulf Arab state said, after persistent criticism from human rights group over its treatment of workers. Pressure on Qatar, which is hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup, grew after Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported in September that dozens of Nepali construction workers had died and that labourers were not given enough food and water. Qatari and Nepali officials denied the report. Richard Howitt, a member of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights who visited Doha this week as part of efforts to help Qatar reform its labour laws, said Qatari officials were working on new legislation to improve conditions for foreign workers in the Gulf Arab state. “It’s been a very constructive visit,” Howitt, a Briton, said on Tuesday. “I met with officials who said that we should be hearing about new announcements which include laws to protect domestic workers by this summer... Change is imminent,” he added, referring to house maids and cleaners, who are usually foreign. He did not give any more details. Officials from the Qatari Labour Ministry were not available on Wednesday for a comment. Summer in the Middle East falls between June and September. The European Parliament subcommittee on human rights, which is looking into the issue of sports and human rights, last month decided to help Qatar introduce labour reforms after a hearing with several witnesses including human rights groups and the UN’s International Labour Organisation. Howitt said he had also urged Qatari officials to abolish the “kafala” or “sponsorship” system that allows sponsors to hold guest workers’ passports for the duration of their contracts. He said the Qatari’s said they were planning to introduce some changes into this system but gave no specific time frame. Qatari officials were reluctant to allow the formation of labour unions, he said, because they viewed the issue as “not compatible with national security”. Faced with the challenge of completing big construction and infrastructure projects before the World Cup, Qatar has an increasing number of its estimated 1.8 million foreigners working on projects related to soccer’s showcase event. Howitt also said executives from European construction companies he met in Qatar admitted to having laxer workers’ welfare standards there compared with their operations in Europe. “Some European companies confessed that they apply lower standards in Qatar compared to what they do in Europe,” he said. “European companies and the private sector have to take the lead in providing better conditions for workers, and this is something that I had discussed with them.” Last month, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup organisers said they will penalise contractors who violate the welfare of construction workers after the Gulf country was widely criticized over its labour rights record. But the measures, which included detailed standards unveiled by the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, did not deal with the sponsorship system for migrant workers that a UN official said in November was a source of labour abuse. ================= MIDEAST STOCKS-Egypt extends profit-taking bout; Qatar, Bahrain rise 1. A contest between antagonists; a match: a wrestling bout. 2. A period of time spent in a particular way; a spell: " ====================== Emirati official draws ire after calling on UAE to ‘reclaim’ Qatar By: Nada Badawi | April 2, 2014View as "Clean Read" | 25 Comments 395 SHARES EmailUPrint Dubai Police/Facebook New remarks from one of Dubai’s top security officials, who has called for the annexation of Qatar into the UAE, are generating an outpouring of online response from Doha’s local community. In a series of tweets posted this week to his more than 600,000 followers, Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan, the deputy chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, said: Translation: “We demand that Qatar be returned to its original ruling under Abu Dhabi, return the branch to its original one.” “Qatar is an integral part of the UAE. We must put up signs on our borders with Qatar stating: ‘You are now entering the UAE’s eighth emirate.’” “Qatar should not be ‘a safe haven’ to the so-called ‘Muslim’ Brotherhood.” Khalfan, formerly Dubai’s police chief, is a longtime critic of the Islamist group, which Qatar has supported. However, many in the GCC see the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat to their political stability. Qatar’s position on the group has been cited by analysts and local officials as the main reason the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Doha last month. Khalfan’s tweets also mention his disapproval of Azmi Bishara, a former member of Israel’s Knesset and the general director of Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies in Qatar, in addition to prominent Doha-based Islamic scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi. Online reaction Qatar has not publicly commented on the senior security official’s remarks. But the Qatari community has been discussing Khalfan’s statements on social networks, with some mocking his posts under the Twitter hashtag #ضاحي_خلفان_يطالب_بضم_قطر_للإمارات (Dhahi Khalfan demanding the annexation of Qatar to UAE). Khalfan also asserted that Emiratis comprise 80 percent of Qatar’s total population, and were the first to name the country’s city Doha, saying: “I hope you’re not upset, this is the truth.” But Twitter users scorned the remarks, reminding Khalfan that the UAE, along with Qatar and Bahrain, were collectively known as the Trucial States after the British withdrew their colonial presence from the region in 1968. Diplomatic ties Some have expressed concern about the online row, saying Khalfan’s tweets could heighten the already existing tension between Qatar and the UAE. Translation: “I love the UAE and its people, but he’s crazy! It’s not allowed to cause chaos between Gulf countries. Shame on his words.” The tensions began worsening earlier this year, after the UAE officially objected to a sermon of Al Qaradawi’s. During a broadcast speech, the Egyptian-born Qatari cleric criticized the UAE’s support for Egypt’s new military government, which overthrew Brotherhood-backed President Mohamed Morsi last year in Cairo. Since then, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have pledged billions of dollars in aid to the new government. Qatar meanwhile had backed Morsi’s government and has seen the return of aid it previously offered to his administration. The situation escalated last month with the withdrawal of Saudi, UAE and Bahrain’s envoys. In addition, Saudi Arabia declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group. However, many are doubtful that Khalfan’s messages will do anything more than spark ire for now. A think tank source in Qatar who asked to remain anonymous told Doha News: “His remarks have surprised many people and have done little other than to exacerbate public antipathy between Qatar and the UAE. It is hard to see why such a senior official feels the need to express himself in this way – it is extremely counterproductive.” He added that the problems between the Gulf countries would be fixed by officials more senior than Khalfan, and “not on Twitter.” Thoughts? ======================

"حزب الله" يخطط لأعمال انتقامية في قطر بالتعاون مع استخبارات النظام السوري

توقعت جهات برلمانية في لجنة الشؤون الخارجية والاستخبارات في الكونغرس الأميركي، أن تنفذ الاستخبارات السورية وخلايا تابعة لـ"حزب الله"، سلسلة عمليات تفجير واغتيالات في العاصمة القطرية، مستغلة الخلافات بين قطر وبين السعودية والإمارات والبحرين. ونقل أحد قادة اللوبي اللبناني المؤيد لـ"ثورة الأرز" في واشنطن، عن أحد أعضاء الكونغرس البارزين، أنه حصل على معلومات أمنية أميركية من لبنان والأردن أكدت دخول العشرات من عصابات الاستخبارات السورية و"حزب الله" بجوازات عربية مزورة الى الدوحة خلال الاسبوعين الماضيين، "تمهيداً لشن عمليات تفجير سيارات مفخخة واغتيالات في الاماكن التجارية المكتظة، واستهداف مصالح سعودية واماراتية وبحرينية وغربية في العاصمة القطرية، لنشر الفوضى في هذه الدولة الخليجية." في سياق متصل، اعلن مسؤول أمني مرموق في "حركة أمل"، ان "مواطنين لبنانين مؤيدين للحركة في الدوحة، أبلغوا رئيس مجلس النواب ورئيس حركة أمل نبيه بري أخيراً، أن هناك مخططا قطريا لإبعاد مئات اللبنانيين الشيعة من البلاد، بعدما تسلمت الدوحة من استخبارات غربية ولبنانية معلومات عن دخول أعداد كبيرة من ميليشيات "حزب الله" وعملاء الاستخبارات السورية في بيروت وعمان وبغداد الأراضي القطرية، بهدف ارتكاب أعمال تخريبية، في محاولة للايحاء بأن الدول الخليجية التي سحبت سفراءها من الدوحة تحاول استهداف الأمن القطري." وكشف عضو الكونغرس عن أن الوساطة الكويتية لحل الأزمة الخليجية لم تصل بعد الى آخر مداها، وان إدارة الرئيس باراك أوباما تسعى لرأب الصدع بين دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي, خصوصاً أن مثل هذه الخلافات مع قطر تعرض مصالحها الخليجية للخطر، في ظل وجود قاعدتيها الجويتين الأكبر في منطقة السيلية القطرية. توقعت جهات برلمانية في لجنة الشؤون الخارجية والاستخبارات في الكونغرس الأميركي، أن تنفذ الاستخبارات السورية وخلايا تابعة لـ"حزب الله"، سلسلة عمليات تفجير واغتيالات في العاصمة القطرية، مستغلة الخلافات بين قطر وبين السعودية والإمارات والبحرين. ونقل أحد قادة اللوبي اللبناني المؤيد لـ"ثورة الأرز" في واشنطن، عن أحد أعضاء الكونغرس البارزين، أنه حصل على معلومات أمنية أميركية من لبنان والأردن أكدت دخول العشرات من عصابات الاستخبارات السورية و"حزب الله" بجوازات عربية مزورة الى الدوحة خلال الاسبوعين الماضيين، "تمهيداً لشن عمليات تفجير سيارات مفخخة واغتيالات في الاماكن التجارية المكتظة، واستهداف مصالح سعودية واماراتية وبحرينية وغربية في العاصمة القطرية، لنشر الفوضى في هذه الدولة الخليجية." في سياق متصل، اعلن مسؤول أمني مرموق في "حركة أمل"، ان "مواطنين لبنانين مؤيدين للحركة في الدوحة، أبلغوا رئيس مجلس النواب ورئيس حركة أمل نبيه بري أخيراً، أن هناك مخططا قطريا لإبعاد مئات اللبنانيين الشيعة من البلاد، بعدما تسلمت الدوحة من استخبارات غربية ولبنانية معلومات عن دخول أعداد كبيرة من ميليشيات "حزب الله" وعملاء الاستخبارات السورية في بيروت وعمان وبغداد الأراضي القطرية، بهدف ارتكاب أعمال تخريبية، في محاولة للايحاء بأن الدول الخليجية التي سحبت سفراءها من الدوحة تحاول استهداف الأمن القطري." وكشف عضو الكونغرس عن أن الوساطة الكويتية لحل الأزمة الخليجية لم تصل بعد الى آخر مداها، وان إدارة الرئيس باراك أوباما تسعى لرأب الصدع بين دول مجلس التعاون الخليجي, خصوصاً أن مثل هذه الخلافات مع قطر تعرض مصالحها الخليجية للخطر، في ظل وجود قاعدتيها الجويتين الأكبر في منطقة السيلية القطرية. Predicted points parliamentary foreign affairs committee and intelligence in the U.S. Congress, to be implemented by Syrian intelligence and cells belonging to the "party of God", a series of bombings and assassinations in the Qatari capital, taking advantage of the differences between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and between the UAE and Bahrain. And the transfer of one of the leaders of the lobby Lebanon's pro's "Cedar Revolution" in Washington, for a member of Congress, prominent, he got information on U.S. security of Lebanon and Jordan confirmed the entry of dozens of gangs Syrian intelligence and "Party of God" passports Arab forged in Doha during the past two weeks, "prelude to launch suicide bombings, car bombs and assassinations in crowded places, commercial, and target the interests of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain and Western in the Qatari capital, to wreak havoc in the Gulf state." In a related development, said a security official prominent in the "Amal", that "the citizens of Lebanons supporters of the movement in Doha, told the head of the House of Representatives and the President of the Amal movement Nabih Berri, finally, that there is a blueprint diagonally to keep hundreds of Lebanese Shiites from the country, after it received the Doha intelligence Western and Lebanese About the entry of large numbers of militia "Party of God" and the Syrian intelligence agents in Beirut, Amman and Baghdad Qatari territory, in order to commit acts of sabotage, in an attempt to suggest that the Gulf states withdrew their ambassadors from Doha trying to target security level. " He revealed Congressman that mediation Kuwait to resolve the crisis the Gulf has not yet reached the last range, and that the administration of President Barack Obama is seeking to heal the rift between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, especially that such disputes with Qatar suffered interests Gulf of danger, in the presence of Hadtaha Jawatin largest in Qatar Sailiya area.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rain Water in Salwa Road; Lusail Expressway Project Works

Flood-hit vehicle owners ‘can’ seek compensation March 29, 2014 - 5:26:58 am DOHA: Insurance experts advise that the owners of Wednesday’s flood-hit vehicles can approach the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) or the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning for compensation. Talking to Al Arab, a section of Insurance advisors said the vehicle owners are not eligible for claiming compensation for their damaged vehicles as natural calamities are not covered udner the existing automobile insurance policy in Qatar. Dozens of motorists were stranded on Salwa Road underpass following Wednesday’s flood.
“The owners of the damaged vehicles can legally approach Ashghal or the ministry for compensation, as both are primarily responsible for the flooding of the underpass,”
the daily quoted an expert as saying.
It said the sewage network linking Salwa Road and Abu Hamour was supposed to open to the sea. Though, the Salwa Road and Abu Hamour networks were linked, the network that opens to the sea was not in operational, which led to the flooding of the underpass. “Either Ashghal or the ministry must own up the responsibility for the mess. The owners can approach either,”
Al Arab quoted another expert as saying. The flooding has raised the question whether insurance companies must cover natural calamities like floods in Qatar. Meanwhile, Al Sharq said Ashghal had put a system in place to store storm water temporarily in the Salwa Road network. Ashghal had been perfectly draining it out during rainy days. However, the process went haywire on Wednesday because of the unprecedented downpour, it said. Mishaal Al Dahnim, an engineer, said the contracting company must be held responsible for the maintenance of damaged vehicles. However, he said in terms of traffic management, the Salwa Road is one of the best. Fawaz Al Ansi, another expert, said the flooding raised serious questions about designing and executing road projects.
“Qatar must tighten its scrutiny on government projects. They must be subjected to rigorous inspection and continuous monitoring during phases of execution before rushing to inaugurate them,”
he said. ======================= CMC wants to be part of Salwa road flooding probe Doha The Central Municipal Council (CMC) wants to be part of the committee probing the flooding of the underpass on Salwa Road. The CMC on Tuesday decided to write a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning asking it to include the CMC in the committee constituted by the Prime Minister. It decided that Representative of New Doha and Deputy Chairman, Engineer Jassem bin Abdullah al Malki and Representative of Zakhira Engineer Hamad bin Lahdan al Mohannadi would represent the CMC if the PM allows it to be part of the investigation. The CMC took the decision after widespread complaints against Public Works Authority (Ashghal). Traffic was thrown out of gear after a recent downpour flooded the 8-month-old Salwa Road underpass, which cost about QR1.7 bn to build. (TNN) page 3 >> =============== Panel set up to probe flooding of tunnels on Salwa Road March 28, 2014 - 3:01:59 am DOHA: The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani has set up a special committee to investigate the cause of the flooding in some tunnels on the Salwa Road following heavy rains on Wednesday. The committee will study whether the water-logging was caused by any technical defects, Al Sharq reports. The panel, led by the Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning H E Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, comprises experts. The contracting company that executed the Salwa Road project could be held responsible if any engineering defect is found, said the daily. The panel will start work immediately and an investigation report is expected to be ready in two weeks ================ Rains flood low-lying areas of Doha March 27, 2014 - 5:05:30 am Vehicles caught in a flooded underpass on Salwa Road after heavy rains in Doha yesterday. DOHA: Heavy rains disrupted life in the city yesterday, leaving many low-lying areas inundated, especially one of the tunnels on Salwa Road. The Qatar Décor underpass on Salwa Road was flooded by the downpour that lashed the country since the late hours of Tuesday. A number of motorists heading from Doha to Industrial Area were caught in the tunnel for hours as water rose waist-high after intermittent rains continued until afternoon yesterday. Social networking sites were abuzz with reports and comments about the flooding, with people posting pictures of half-sunk vehicles that got stuck in the deluge. Traffic came to a standstill on the highway during peak hours. Police later closed the Qatar Décor underpass temporarily and diverted traffic to other roads, causing congestion in the area. Despite efforts by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) to pump out water from the underpass, the traffic disruption continued until evening. Ashghal said yesterday that the flooding was caused due to incomplete work on the underground drainage network on Salwa Road. “Salwa Road has an efficient and deep water drainage system including pipes with large diametres, providing high drainage capacity for surface water. However, as the project’s underground drainage connection to the sea through Abu Hamour network is not yet constructed, Salwa Road drainage network is currently used to receive and store surface water inside the pipes only as a temporary procedure till the main drainage network is ready to streamline the water to the sea as planned,” Ashghal said in a statement. Ashghal said it had deployed tanks and suction pumps immediately to handle the waterlogging as “the pipes reached their maximum capacity within a very short time due to heavy rains.” Senior Ashghal engineers and officials from the Traffic Department were present in the area yesterday to supervise the operation. The unstable weather in Qatar over the past two days forced some Doha-bound flights to land at neighbouring airports, Al Sharq reported yesterday quoting a senior official of the Civil Aviation Authority. The Ministry of Interior on its Twitter account informed the public about the temporary closure of the Salwa Road tunnel and advised motorists to exercise caution while driving in rain and low visibility. Nouf Al Malki, services department director at Doha Municipality said the emergency team at the municipality pumped out water from several low-lying areas in Doha, including Duhail, Airport, Al Hilal and Al Dafna. The Meteorology Department said yesterday that most parts of the country received moderate to heavy rains yesterday. The downpour is not likely to continue today, although there is a chance of light rains in some areas. “We are yet to obtain data about the rain in different areas. But many parts of the country received heavy rains,” a senior official of the Department told this daily last evening. The Department had earlier forecast strong winds and thundershowers this week, as an extension of a low pressure area in southwestern Saudi Arabia. The Peninsula ================ 26 March 2014 NewsImage Ashghal mobilised its emergency teams to the affected area to conduct an alternative water suction procedure to eliminate the excess water in the tunnel NewsContent ​Heavy rains falling on Qatar today (Wednesday 26 March 2014) has caused increasing surface water levels in some of Salwa Road areas, mainly in the underpass know as Qatar Decor Tunnel. Immediately Ashghal had mobilised its emergency teams to the affected area to conduct an alternative water suction procedure to eliminate the excess water in the tunnel. Ashghal’s seniors from related departments along with its drainage and road management specialised engineers were immediately presence at the area. Ashghal expects to completely conclude its procedure within the next few hours. Ashghal asserts the fact that Salwa Road encompasses an efficient and deep water drainage system including pipes with large diameters, providing high drainage capacity for surface water to serve Salwa Road. However, as the project’s underground drainage connection to the sea through Abu Hamour network is still not yet constructed, Salwa Road drainage network is currently used to receive and store surface water inside the pipes only as a temporary procedure till the main drainage network is ready to streamline the water to the sea as planned. When these pipes reached its maximum capacity within a very short time due to heavy rains as was the case today, water suction pumps and tanks are immediately deployed to the area to handle the excess water from the Salwa Road drainage pipes to the nearest drainage network in order to reduce the level of water levels inside these pipes. Ashghal will be updating you with all developments related to this issue on a timely basis. ============ Lusail Expressway Project Works to Start on Saturday 11 November 2012 NewsImage “Ashghal will start works on the first phase of Lusail Expressway Project, which responds to future traffic demands and delivers a modern connecting road network” News Content ​ The Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ will start the works of the first phase of Lusail Expressway Project with a network of tunnels, flyovers and junctions. Lusail Expressway responds to future traffic demands and delivers a modern road network to connect people and places with speed and ease. This is in addition to the extensive landscaping and beautification scheme to be implemented along the project. As first phase of the project, the existing North Canal Crossing bridge will be closed from Saturday, November 17th, , in order to rebuild the bridge as multi-lane passage. The closure will last until the completion of the project. During this period, Al Jameaa Street will be the alternative route to the Golf Club, Lusail International Circuit, Residential compounds and all other sites located at the north of the canal. The Lusail Expressway programme forms a part of Qatar’s Expressway Programme which involves reconstruction and upgrading of the existing Lusail Road from south of Al Wahda Street (Arch Roundabout) to the North Canal Crossing totaling approximately 5.3 km in length and connecting Lusail area with the city center. The expressway involves three main interchanges, connecting Pearl Qatar, Katara and Lusail. The reconstructed road will have four lane dual carriage-ways, with additional double lane to ensure traffic flow between the interchanges. The Expressway Programme, a nationwide road infrastructure programme involving around 30 highway projects,will improve the way people and places are connected across the city of Doha and wider Qatar. It will deliver over 900 kms of new roads and an array of underpasses, flyovers and multi-level interchanges to enable free-flowing traffic and improved journey times. ================= Brief description , Lusail Expressway As part of the Expressway Programme, this project will provide a vital connection into Doha’s fast growing Lusail City Development area which is currently under construction. It will upgrade the existing Al Istiqlal Road from south of the Al Wahda (Arch) roundabout to north of the North Channel Crossing, and Onaiza Street. The 5.3 km will comprise four lanes of highway with additional lanes to provide for traffic movement between the interchanges. The project includes three large interchanges and has key interfaces with the Pearl, Katara, Lusail City Development, and the future Sharq (Doha Bay) crossing. The Lusail Expressway will also cater for future light rail transit (LRT) and Metro's Red Line North. Associated infrastructure developments include: Storm water network with two pump stations, an underground detention tank and two outfalls, foul water, treated sewage effluent, chilled water, potable water, electrical EHV, HV, MV, & LV, telecommunication network Q-Tel & Vodafone, Doha city surveillance system and Qatar Armed Forces telecommunication networks and landscaping features. Project Description Benefits •The project will provide a vital connection into Doha’s fast growing Lusail City Development area which is currently under construction. •Existing major development areas such as the Pearl and Katara will also benefit greatly from the project with improved interchanges and better journey times for residents, businesses and visitors to the area. •With its complex network of tunnels, flyovers and junctions, the Lusail Expressway will respond to future traffic demands and deliver a modern road network that will connect people and places with speed and ease. •The project includes three major interchanges which will completely transform the way people move in and around the area. •One of the most significant features of the project will be the extensive artscape and beautification scheme installed along the length of the project. •Iconic super structures at key locations along the route will complete the look of this world class road network, making the Lusail Expressway a true landmark in the region. Project Information Geographical Location N/A Area Multiple Areas Sector Expressway Programme Projects Total Cost 3,500,000,000 Q.R. Status In progress Type Roads Start Date 17 November 2012 Expected completion date Third quarter of 2016 Construction company Hyundai Engineering and Construction Consulting company Design Consultant: AECOM Middle East Ltd Supervision consultant: CDM Smith Programme Manager: KBR ===================== Ashghal Introduces Electronic Performance Evaluation System 18 February 2014 NewsImage Public Works Authority applies international standards in employee performance evaluation to enhance efficiency NewsContent The Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ Human Resources Department has launched the first governmental electronic appraisal system to evaluate its employee’s performance in line with the human resources law of Qatar. This step supports Ashghal’s long term strategy to develop the skills of its local workforce. Mr. Saif Al Kaabi, Manager of the Human Resources Department at Ashghal, commented on this milestone saying “Ashghal has been always keen on developing its local talents and offer them opportunities to standout. In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, the organisation works to continually enhance the performance and development of employees by offering jobs, training and scholarship opportunities for all its employees and Qatari nationals who wish to join Ashghal’s team. The new electronic system was designed and implemented in corporation with the Information Systems Department, and it is available for all employees through Ashghal’s intranet portal” said Al Kaabi, adding that the electronic system has been officially activated for the employee evaluation cycle for 2014. Al Kaabi explained that the main feature of the new system is that all its functions are done electronically, starting from sending evaluation forms and seeking approval by the concerned head of the section or affairs. As a first step, the system notifies the concerned managers to prepare the annual evaluation through Ashghal’s internal intranet portal. In the second step, the system sends all employees evaluation forms to the concerned manager. At a later stage, the concerned person fills out the evaluation forms and sends them to their concerned managers for approval. Once approved, evaluation results are sent directly to the employee’s email or his/her account on Ashghal’s internal portal. One of the key features of the system, Al Kaabi added, is that it allows employees to submit a grievance to the Grievance and Appeals Committee if they are not satisfied with their evaluation. Al Kaabi confirmed that the Authority applies international standards in employee performance evaluation to enhance efficiency. These levels are checked through specific measuring tools according to the themes specified in the annual evaluation folder. The system contributes to automating the traditional manual evaluation procedures to support Ashghal’s vision of using the latest technology across its operations It is noteworthy to say that the evaluation system is considered as a regular procedure through which the employee’s performance is evaluated against specific goals and indicators that are updated and reviewed continuously throughout their employment. This is part of Ashghal’s wider Individual Development Plan designed for Qatari employees. Launched in 2013, the Individual Development Plan (IDP) for Qatari employees aims to develop the skills and competencies of the national workforce at Ashghal. 81 employees took part in phase I of the Individual Development Plan that constantly reviews and assesses the employee’s learning and career objectives in order to identify and drive his or her personal development in the right direction and fastest way. Consistent with the corporate business objectives, values and mission these plans were designed to be a personalised guide for each employee in order to achieve their individual and corporate goals. In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, the Individual Development Plan lays emphasis on developing individuals and enhancing skills of the local workforce. Ashghal also offers an annual scholarship programme that aims to enable employees and students to continue their studies in the technical or scientific fields inside Qatar or abroad, according to the Authority strategy to develop local talents to streamline the knowledge and skills gained to meet the current and future needs of the Authority. ============================ Work on to end 'smelly' woes SANTHOSH CHANDRAN DOHA ASHGHAL is trying to seek a permanent solution to stop the continuing leakage of smelly water flowing from an underground pipe in a Muntaza street close to the C Ring Road. Speaking to Qatar Tribune on Sunday, a team of Public Works Authority (Ashghal) workers trying to stop the leakage problem said that the suspected underground broken drainage pipes in the area must be repaired or replaced to find a permanent solution. Furthermore, an Ashghal official said that they have already given instruction to the sewage division to address this issue. Filthy water has been emanating from the area for the last four days. Residents, officials and even patients who use the street which hosts important facilities like the American Hospital, Aster Medical Centre, Ministry of Labour and Al Jazeera Village have been complaining of the stench and unhygienic condition. A resident at Al Jazeera Village said,"Even though teams from Ashghal drained the dirty water three times today (on Sunday), the fault has not been detected yet." A Mowasalat employee residing in the area said that the situation has become unbearable and underlined that their repeated complaints have not been addressed as yet. An Ashghal worker admitted,"The fault cannot be sorted out only with draining out the smelly water. The main cause of the leakage is supposedly broken pipes. These pipes should be replaced or fixed properly." A senior official at the nearby Aster Medical Centre stated that there is no fault or damage with their drainage system and their complex has nothing to do with this issue. Patients visiting the health facility are also affected by the water leakage problem. Some of them strongly expressed their concern over the stench that has overwhelmed the street. ====================== Emir amends labour law, ratifies cabinet decisions QNA Doha The Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani on Tuesday issued law No 3 of 2014 amending some of the provisions of Qatar's Labour Law No 14 of 2004. HH the Emir also issued the Emiri Decision No 9 of 2014 appointing Saud Abdullah Zaid al Mahmoud as Qatar's ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Russia. HH the Emir also issued the Emiri decision No 10 of 2014 appointing Sheikh Abdullah bin Thamir bin Mohamed al Thani as Qatar's ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Saudi Arabia. He also issued Decree No 7 of 2014 ratifying an agreement between the governments of Qatar and China's Administrative Region of Hong Kong on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of income tax evasion and its attached protocol, which was signed in Hong Kong in May 13, 2013. The agreement is to have the power of law according to Article 68 of the constitution. The Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani on Tuesday ratified the Cabinet's Decision No 9 of 2014 on the expropriation of some properties for public benefit. HH the Emir also ratified the cabinet's Decision No 10 of 2014 on the entry into force of Law No 2/ of 2002 on retirement and pension for Qatari workers at companies affiliated with United Development Company (UDC). Besides, HH the Emir ratified the Cabinet Decision No 12 of 2014 on the applicability of the provisions of the law No 24 of 2002 on the retirement and pension of Qatari employees at Qatar Jet Fuel Company. He also endorsed Cabinet Decision No 13 of 2014 enforcing the rules of Law No 24 of 2002 on retirement and pensions of Qataris working with Musheirib Real Estate Company and Cabinet Decision No 11 of 2014 on applicability of the provisions of the law No 24 of 2002 on pension and retirement of Qatari employees working with the 'Education Above All'Foundation. The Education Above All Foundation is a non-governmental organisation founded in 2009. The decisions shall be effective from the date of issue and shall be published in the official gazette ================ Salwa Road re-opening pushed to September By: Doha News Staff | January 29, 2013View as "Clean Read" | Comments 0 SHARES EmailUPrint The re-opening of Salwa Road following an ambitious redevelopment project has been pushed back again, until at least September of this year, according to a senior official. Phase 7 of the $4.1 billion, 13-part Doha Expressway project entails expanding the 6.9km of road from Al Asiri Interchance (Midmac Roundabout) to Industrial Interchange, and was supposed to be completed last month. The $436.7 million phase was then postponed to the middle of this year, with delays being attributed to the scale of the project and previously, the intense summer heat. Tunnel art Now, speaking to reporters yesterday, Ashghal president Nasser Ali Al Mawlawi said that phase of the project will be completed by the third quarter of 2013. However, he added that the Ain Khalid Underpass will partly open to traffic by this weekend, in part to facilitate the artwork of French-Tunisian graffiti artist eL Seed, who is painting murals on the tunnels along Salwa. Salwa Road has been a nightmare for motorists and shop owners since construction began in July of 2010. But according to Gulf Times, things should look like brighter by September: The mainline will feature eight lanes, four lanes in each direction separated by a median with continuous service roads. There will be four two-level interchanges along this section with the mainline of Salwa Road placed as an underpass beneath the crossroads to allow free flowing mainline traffic. The project will provide a strategic corridor between the centre of Doha and the Saudi Arabian border ===================== Salwa Road Project 04 October 2011 "• Ashghal executes the project with 1.592.000.000.000 QR • Two-level interchanges (tunnels) and light signals • Surveillance cameras and communications center to monitor the project" NewsContent The Public Works Authority ‘Ashghal’ announced the construction works on Salwa Road on the 1st of July 2010, Midmac-Yuksil Union began implementing the project with an estimated cost of 1.592.000.000.000 QR. The 7.6 Km long project links Al Asiri interchange (Midmac) to Al Senaeiya interchange. The work includes constructing 4 lanes in every direction as well as serving roads and parking. It also includes constructing two-level four interchanges with lighting signals: Al Bustan, Central Market, Al Aziziya and Ain Khaled. Al Bustan interchange (Qatar for decoration previously) includes 651 m long tunnel consisted of 4 lanes in every direction. It also includes 123 m long bridge consisted of 2 lanes in every direction and lightning signals on Doha highway and serving road parallel to every direction of the lanes as well as side parking specialized for serving the shops. Central Market interchange includes 730 m tunnel consisted of 4 lanes in each direction and 136 m bridge of 2 lanes in every direction and lightning signals on Doha highway and serving road parallel to every direction of the lanes as well as side parking specialized for serving the shops. Al Aziziya interchange also contains 810 m tunnel consisted of 4 lanes in each direction and 128 m bridge of 2 lanes in every direction and lightning signals on Doha highway and serving road parallel to every direction of the lanes as well as side parking specialized for serving the shops. Al Ghanem interchange includes 718 m tunnel consisted of 4 lanes in each direction and 124 m bridge of 2 lanes in every direction and lightning signals on Doha highway and serving road parallel to every direction of the lanes as well as side parking specialized for serving the shops. It's worth mentioning that such project aims at developing infrastructure networks such as constructing new sewage network and new rain water disposal network, building deep pipes in the tunnels with diameter of 2400 and 3000 mm, establishing processing water network, and extending water lines with diameters range from 100- 600 mm. The project aims also at constructing electricity lines of various voltages (very high- high- medium- low) and constructing lighting network to all project places in addition to extending developing network for the traffic monitor system. Regarding closures and alternative roads, Ashghal coordinated with the traffic administration and decided not to close the main roads or interchanges wholly; therefore, current roundabouts were extended to enable the contractor to begin constructing the tunnels easily. In addition to that, the four interchanges were provided with lighting signals and surveillance cameras to facilitate traffic movement, monitor the road all day and inform about traffic jam or any accidents happened. Salwa Road is one of the most vital roads in Qatar as it includes around 700 trade buildings. The project of constructing Salwa Road is divided into four main parts; each one has four subsidiary parts of 200 m length for each of them in front of the commercial shops. Project public relations team coordinating with Ashghal’s public relations and communications department decide visiting shop owners and notifying them with the work plan and required period. Commercial nature of every establishment will be determined to know the need to the paths for passersby or to the iron bridges for cars to avoid the damage arise from the constructional works. Ashghal developed the operations center in the site administration to work for 24 hour throughout the week to follow up the traffic diversions and the immediate notification of any accidents. ============================ Graffiti artist eL Seed to paint Salwa Road tunnels amid construction delays By: Doha News Staff | January 3, 2013View as "Clean Read" | Comments 0 SHARES EmailUPrint Qatar Museums Authority and Ashghal, the Public Works Authority, have commissioned French Tunisia graffiti artist eL Seed to decorate four tunnels on the newly-expanded Salwa Road, as construction there stretches behind schedule. EL Seed specializes in “calligraffiti” – a mixture of street art and Arabic calligraphy, and has done outdoor public works recently in Tunisia and South Africa. He’s also previously offered Calligraffiti workshops at the Museum of Islamic Art. He’ll be painting the tunnels over the next four months, and keeping the public updated with photos and video on the site eL Seed in Doha. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- eL Seed inspecting one of the tunnels last October (Credit: QMA) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The public art commission is part of the Salwa Road redevelopment project, which is expanding the highway to four lanes on each side. Considered Phase 7 of the QR15bn ($4.1bn) Doha Expressway project, all 13 phases across Doha are slated for completion in 2015. The Salwa Road phase, which expands the 6.9km of road from Al Asiri Interchance (Midmac Roundabout) to Industrial Interchange at a cost of QAR1.59bn ($436m), was supposed to be completed by December 2012. Ashghal has since said it expects the project to be finished in mid-2013. The Gulf Times newspaper predicts an April 2013 opening, which would put the duration of the construction at nearly two years. The delays have been attributed to the scale of the project and previously, the intense summer heat. The next phase of the Doha Expressway project will tackle the stretch of Salwa Road from Al Asiri Interchange to A-Ring Road (passed the Radisson Blue Hotel on C-Ring, The Centre shopping complex, and the Jaidah flyover). ============================= The e-mail also violated a directive for her not to communicate with anyone outside the agency regarding the upcoming science curriculum review, officials said in the documents. "But even if I did, is that so horrible?" she said. Comer said she paused for a moment before forwarding the Forrest e-mail, but she felt sending it was OK because of Forrest's credentials. The New York Times reports that Comer said in response that she wanted the commissioner to indicate where Comer was "bashing anyone’s faith". “He just doesn’t get it,” Comer opined. Comer told the Spectator that since she was forced to resign, many teachers in rural Texas have contacted her to tell her that they are already being forced to teach creationism in Texas public school science classes The NABT encourages the TEA leadership to protect its science staff from the political crossfire so that they can provide state leadership in science education and assist the science teachers of Texas. As members of NABT, it is important to stay informed and involved both locally and at the state level. Todd Carter NABT President-2008 In mid 2008, Comer filed a suit in federal court in Austin, Texas, that stated that the policy she was terminated for contravening (which required employees to be neutral on the subject of creationism) was unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that teaching creationism as science in public schools is illegal. Comer also stated in her complaint that she was fired without due process after serving as the state science director for nearly 10 years. Her lawsuit sought a court order overturning the neutrality policy on teaching creationism and declaring that her dismissal was illegal under the Constitution and her reinstatement.[28] A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit on March 31, 2009.[29] In August 2009, Comer appealed the dismissal decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (docket 09-50401). Appeal arguments were heard in April, 2010,[30] and the court ruled on July 2, 2010, that the TEA's policy does not violate the First Amendment's religious freedom clause because it does not advance or inhibit the practice of religion.[31] ==================== Insurance cover for flood-hit cars Posted about 22 hours ago by QatarNews in News All the vehicles that got trapped and damaged in the recent flood at Salwa road are eligible for claiming their insurance coverage, a top executive at a leading insurance company said. Khalifa Abdullah Turki Al Subaey, CEO, Qatar Insurance Group, said the concerned insurance companies are obliged to accept claims of the vehicle owners. Talking to an Arabic daily, Al Subaey said the vehicles were trapped on the Salwa road not because of floods, but due to water logging. Water logging cannot be considered as ‘natural disaster’, a provision that is being exempted from Qatar’s automobile insurance coverage. “Water logging was mainly because of the poor designing of the road. It cannot be considered as ‘a natural calamity’,” the daily quoted Al Subaey as saying. ====================== Comments Doha roads jammed with traffic following flooding, Salwa Road closure Curiosity Killed the Cat • 19 days ago Now who says Doha News can't be educational :) I enjoyed reading that! Curiosity Killed the Cat • 19 days ago Yes who knows what they've used now, maybe it is a passive until it's all linked up and well it's just more cost effective to scramble a few workers with tanks on a rainy day than build a dedicated pipe through the city and out to the sea. I read drainage is really tricky because we have a high water table and what are we a couple of metres above sea level? Getting water/damp smell out of car.... just as tricky... Curiosity Killed the Cat • 19 days ago Storm water drainage and sewage are two different and in most countries separate systems. The issue on Salwa is storm water drainage and not sewage ie poo. Most of Qatar roads are drained using "passive" seepage systems. The water drains to a large hole, for better words, and the water seeps into the surrounding sand and down into the water table. Why such a simple system? Because it rains 5 days a year and it's cost and time effective to build. Active drainage systems are interconnecting drains and pipes which in most cases lead out into the sea, the stuff you see in movies. There is actually very little of this type currently in Qatar, it's simply not cost effective at this point. This is changing and eventually you will see suburbs built with this infrastructure before the houses go in, along with roads, gutters, water, elec (now it's house first then utilities "sometime later"). Like everything it comes down to time and money. "One day" these Salwa tunnels will be hooked up to active drainage in Abu H until then folks don't drive your white Mercedes salon into water that is obviously too deep to pass, and make your poor wife scramble in waist high water. Look out for your safety first.

The opening of the West Qurna 2 / day capacity of 120 thousand barrels per day

The opening of the West Qurna 2 / day capacity of 120 thousand barrels per day [Baghdad - where] Production starts on Saturday in the West Qurna oil field / 2 in Basra province in the presence of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. A source in the Iraqi Oil Ministry told all of Iraq [where] that "the field is operated by Russia's Lukoil 75% will begin initial production in which the amount of 100 000 to 150 000 barrels per day and will increase this percentage in the next few days." He said the "oil in the giant field is one of the best types of oil extracted in Iraq." And will attend the start of production of each of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and Vice President for Energy Affairs Hussain al-Shahristani and officials in the Russian company officials as well as local and members of the media. The Russian Lukoil announced at the time of the former near the start of production at the West Qurna / 2 card of elementary [120] thousand barrels per day. The director of the drilling operations of the company Vadim Miller, a reporter [where] "It will be drilled 24 oil wells in the compound of No. 6 has been drilled 8 wells so far is under testing and inspection, and it turned out that the productivity of each well of these wells 7.5-10 thousand barrels per day." He disclosed that "the company will produce in the second phase of 1.5 million barrels of crude oil per day." For his part, deputy director of the oil processing plant project Vitaly Dischof reporter [where] that "the company is implementing its obligations through the implementation of the first phase of development of the project and plans to reach production to 120 thousand barrels per day." The company is developing a giant oil field revealed in 22 of the month of October 2013 its intention to sell oil from the field [the West Qurna-2 in the province of Basra to China. The company acquires 75% of the value of the project, compared to 25% for the Iraqi Southern Oil Company National. The Lukoil signed a contract with the Iraqi Oil Ministry for 20 years to develop the second phase of the West Qurna field in Basra province in a bidding round in December 2009, vowing to produce 1.8 million barrels per day within six years. And Qurna is one of the largest oil fields in Iraq and has proven reserves of 12 billion barrels him from Alinv. http://www.alliraqnews.com/2011-11-25-02-00-52/124829--2-120-.html افتتاح حقل غرب القرنة/2 اليوم بطاقة 120 الف برميل يومياً [بغداد-أين] يبدأ اليوم السبت الانتاج في حقل نفط غرب القرنة/2 بمحافظة البصرة بحضور رئيس الوزراء نوري المالكي. وذكر مصدر في وزارة النفط العراقية لوكالة كل العراق [أين] ان "الحقل الذي تديره شركة لوك أويل الروسية بنسبة 75% سيبدأ الانتاج الاولي فيه بكمية 100 الف الى 150 الف برميل يومياً وستزيد هذه النسبة في الايام القليلة المقبلة". وبين ان "النفط الموجود في الحقل العملاق يعد من افضل انواع النفط المستخرج في العراق". وسيحضر حفل بدء الانتاج كل من رئيس الوزراء نوري المالكي ونائبه لشؤون الطاقة حسين الشهرستاني ومسؤولين في الشركة الروسية فضلا عن مسؤوليين محليين واعلاميين . وكانت لوك اويل الروسية اعلنت في وقت سابقا قرب بدء الانتاج في حقل غرب القرنة/2 بطاقة ابتدائية قدرها [120] الف برميل يوميا. وقال مدير عمليات الحفر للشركة فاديم ملير لمراسل [أين] "انه سيتم حفر 24 بئرا نفطية في مجمع رقم 6 حيث تم حفر 8 آبار حتى الان وهي قيد الاختبار والفحص وظهر ان انتاجية كل بئر من هذه الابار 7.5-10 الاف برميل يوميا". وكشف عن ان "الشركة ستنتج في المرحلة الثانية 1.5 مليون برميل من النفط الخام يوميا". من جانبه قال نائب مدير مشروع محطة معالجة النفط فيتالي ديشكوف لمراسل [أين] ان "الشركة تقوم بتنفيذ التزاماتها من خلال تنفيذ المرحلة الاولى لتطوير المشروع وتخطط ان يصل الانتاج الى 120 ألف برميل يومياً". وتقوم الشركة بتطوير الحقل النفطي العملاق وكشفت في 22 من شهر تشرين الأول 2013 عن نيتها بيع النفط من حقل [غرب القرنة-2] في محافظة البصرة الى الصين. وتستحوذ الشركة على 75% من قيمة المشروع مقابل 25% لشركة نفط الجنوب العراقية الوطنية. يذكر ان لوك أويل وقعت عقدا مع وزارة النفط العراقية لمدة 20 عاما لتطوير المرحلة الثانية من حقل غرب القرنة في محافظة البصرة في جولة عطاءات في كانون الاول 2009 متعهدة بانتاج 1,8 مليون برميل يوميا في غضون ست سنوات. وحقل القرنة هو من أكبر حقول النفط في العراق ويبلغ الاحتياطي المؤكد له 12 مليار برميل من النف. http://www.alliraqnews.com/2011-11-25-02-00-52/124829--2-120-.html ======================== LaoKhao. I will tell you why. I have been investing very successfully for over 40 yrs and I have seen all this before. I have always made the most money when I have simply trusted my own research, decided to buy and held and ignored advice from amateurs and professionals alike. Most people when giving out investment advice have a motive. This board is full of the one line brigade who post negative sentiments with no rational explanation. I have invested a huge sum with GKP because I believe the oil will eventually be sold and the reserves will gradually increase. I also believe GKP will be sold in the next 12/24 months. =================== You have to ask yourself why these people expend so much time and effort posting nothing but negativity, bile and vitreole and belittling others who would rather look forward instead of stewing over the past. If they are indeed still invested then they need to sell and move on for the sake of their own health. Sadly, call me cynical but I don't believe many of these individuals are invested, it just makes no sense to post 24/7 about how the end is nigh !? Perhaps one or two of these disingenuous posters could actually explain the reasoning behind their campaign of hate and their desire to impose their supposed superior view point on others ? I suspect they are either very bitter at sitting on a substantial paper loss, which whilst perfectly understandable doesn't excuse their incessant need to trash the share and shout down anyone with a remotely optimistic outlook, or they have an ulterior motive, which, if so, is embarrassingly obvious and transparent not to mention tiresome. Sadly I've put one or two previously respected posters on ignore, along with more than a number of not so respected ones, for the sake of my own sanity. This share is too stressful enough without having to contend with the psychological water torture of a few clearly unhealthily obsessed individuals waging their campaign of doom. The fact remains, if you don't like/trust the company or don't believe in their prospect, sell up, move on and get on with your life, for the sake of everyone's sanity. ============= Nobody is going to be interested in buying GKP - we have been told that daily here for years and it therefore I finally accept it must be true. Any serious IOC would rather spend years $'bns drilling all around our sludge find. Why anybody would be interested in buying the largest and locked oil sorry sludge find for a generation is beyond belief ? The best thing to do is sell these pronto if you haven't already. The CB's at 273 will never convert so when the cash runs out these funders have done $ 325m in as well- the greedy and clearly stupid BOD setting their options at 275 325 and 375 are also clueless, as they will never see these options in the money. Simon Murray even though he is still a director on Li Ka Shing's holding company and was responsible for building Orange and selling it to Mannesman for $30bn is also away with the fairies buying 160,000 at £ 2 - he's done his nuts in too - whacko. Li Ka Shing - I don't give a flying faaark if he is the most astute and wealthy Asian businessman of the past 50 years ............................well he is clueless and ..............his 30m+ will be down the khazi here soon as well. As for dumbnuts Asher still holding 15m+++ as our deputy chairman ( former head of Global oil at Glencore and chief exec PA Consulting ) - well he has already dropped £ 18m in 6 months. So he has another £15m to toss away soon too. Those heady days £ 4+++ when Ren was still in bromance with Todd - B77 was a GKP millionaire - was a 'fit up' by Todd of course. Just because since those heady SP days when a takeover was a foregone conclusion and we are now 70% cheaper in the market ,and we now have > 200% more OIP - clean title - revenues - physical export route - production - some very prospective drills - a conservative CPR - massively improved politics -and the best CG in the sector - means diddley squat to our possible takeover prospects. I'd sell mine but I am romantically attached to GKP so just can't. Sooner these go negative the better IMO. I'm then going to pile into Tesco. ============================ Mon 23:26 Irrational fear investor48 30 Hello Everyone, I woke up this morning to see the SP hammered down.It really beats me that this fund raising for production is causing so much fear to everyone. The way we have been sold down,looks as if we are raising monies for the next well that is so critical that if no oil is found,GKP would have to close shop!! GKP is sitting on OIP of 12.5billion barrels across 4blocks of it's concession.We have AB that we could sell,may be not at USD350million but below USD200million.We have the BIRS that we have carried for the KRG and exports worth approximately USD100million. This irrational fear has driven many to sell,triggered by an institution selling,margin calls or fearful PI's. Not long ago we were fearful of Excalibur and if they had won they would have gain 30percent of Shaikan GKP's prize asset.During that fearful period the SP was well above 100p.May be on hindsight it would have been better to have Excalibur win because they would have had a share of Shaikan and thus required to put in at least USD250million,and we would not have required to carry out this fearful fund raising that the city has used to spread fearful rumours!! Now we have production and exports happening and just because GKP has to raise monies to continue with our increased production,our SP is 86p!! It really beats me,how market rumours can drive people to being fearful or exuberant.Most Majors and NOC's spent billions for exploration and there are no certainties that they will find any oil. The SP is still very volatile and we just have to ride this wave of irrational fear. Goodluck and best wishes to all =================== Mon 23:26 Irrational fear Investor48 Author's posts Hello Everyone, I woke up this morning to see the SP hammered down.It really beats me that this fund raising for production is causing so much fear to everyone. The way we have been sold down,looks as if we are raising monies for the next well that is so critical that if no oil is found,GKP would have to close shop!! GKP is sitting on OIP of 12.5 billion barrels across 4 blocks of it's concession. We have AB that we could sell,may be not at USD350 million but below USD 200 million.We have the BIRS that we have carried for the KRG and exports worth approximately USD 100 million. This irrational fear has driven many to sell,triggered by an institution selling,margin calls or fearful PI's. Not long ago we were fearful of Excalibur and if they had won they would have gain 30 percent of Shaikan GKP's prize asset.During that fearful period the SP was well above 100p.May be on hindsight it would have been better to have Excalibur win because they would have had a share of Shaikan and thus required to put in at least USD250 million, and we would not have required to carry out this fearful fund raising that the city has used to spread fearful rumours!! Now we have production and exports happening and just because GKP has to raise monies to continue with our increased production,our SP is 86p!! It really beats me,how market rumours can drive people to being fearful or exuberant. Most Majors and NOC's spent billions for exploration and there are no certainties that they will find any oil. The SP is still very volatile and we just have to ride this wave of irrational fear. Goodluck and best wishes to all ============= Hi Nordel I personally feel that there's too much of a big deal beng made about us having to raise exactly 250 mil. So what happens if we only raise 200 mil? Does that mean we're going to go bust at the end of May? I think the chances of us going bust at the end of May are extremely slim. The market seems to feel that our jugular is currently exposed and that they can dictate terms and give us a rough ride. We have very few shares in treasury and this needs to be increased so come the AGM I would hope and expect that the company raises the number of shares so if it wishes to do a placing, it would have the ability to do so. Now a lot of people will say they don't want a placing but I think I would have preferred to take some slight dilution as opposed to the drop in the price that we've recently had. I think that because of some of the mismanagement we've been left with limited funding options which doesn't make for a strong company so I'm quite happy to deal with any shortfall in funding later in the year by which time I think we will be in a much stronger negotiating position with hopefully a much strengthened share price. That's not to say I think there will be a shortfall just dealing with the fears that are being spread in the market. All the best Oilman63 ================= 10,000 shares bought at well over double today's price. That is not a small amount of money and yes it is devastating. Although why you would feel the need to dig at someone who is losing money on a purchase of GKP shares baffles me. Having now read the CPR from front to back, I have every right to feel let down, disappointed and devastated by what has happened here. Particularly the in depth analysis of water contacts, inflow and financial projections. I don't know if the BOD directly misled shareholders or not, particularly on OWCs and self funding to 100K+ bpd, but I certainly do look forward to Gram's analysis on at least the former point. But then Toby, you and I originally disagreed as you felt my £5 per share 2015 target was deramping. £5 a share by 2015. Negative. Uh huh. Do we need to go over your ramping and projections again? That you seem to delight in this low share price and investors losing money, while still proclaiming massive share price increases from here says a lot. =================