Campaign to beautify Qatar confuses residents

We All See You billboard

Nat High

With reporting from Ankita Menon

A new marketing campaign in Qatar that’s designed to make residents more aware of their bad behaviors appears to be confusing and concerning many people instead.

Billboards and signage have been going up this month across Doha, depicting a cartoon silhouette of a boy peeking out from behind a table. The text of the sign says in Arabic and English, “We all see you/You are not alone.”

The ads have caused some residents to express consternation, saying it makes them feel as if they’re being watched by the government.

 

In trying to figure out the significance of the campaign, tweeters have been pointing to a March 2013 press release from Qatargas, in which the energy company announced a three-year campaign to address certain bad habits like littering.

Speaking to Doha News today, a Qatargas spokeswoman confirmed that the signs were part of the company’s initiative.

She said Qatargas was working with other partners on the campaign, and that it involved “cleanliness.” But she added that she could not comment until the initiative officially kicks off this week.

Keep it clean

According to last year’s QatarGas statement, the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning is also involved with the campaign, a three-year bid titled “Qatar Belongs to Everyone.” The MMUP did not return a request for comment.

The point of the campaign is to raise awareness about littering, spitting on the street, hanging laundry on balconies and disposing of garden waste and used household equipment in public places.

Qatar Tribune reports:

“It will also discourage residents from throwing food waste in public parks and beaches, leaving unused cars in public parking lots, leaving sewage valves open and washing vehicles in places not specified for the purpose….

The campaign will have a specially-designed character to promote its messages and slogans such as ‘For a Cleaner Nation’ and ‘We Are All Watching You, You Are Not Alone.’”

In addition to billboards and signage, the campaign will communicate its message via SMS, public transport buses, stickers, flyers and television commercials.

The Qatargas spokeswoman said more information about the cleanliness push would become available in the next two to three days.

Thoughts?

About Shabina S. Khatri

Shabina S. Khatri is the editor of Doha News. She holds dual bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Spanish from the University of Michigan, a Masters of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University, has previously taught at NU-Q, and worked for the Wall Street Journal and the Detroit Free Press.