Qatar is the country where people ask you where are you from before what is your name.

Mostafa Sheshtawy, an Egyptian expat and blogger whose family has lived in Qatar since 1978.

In a provocative post entitled “How Qatar Classifies its citizens,” Sheshtawy, an occasional Doha News contributor, asserts that Qatar is divided strictly along racial lines. 

He argues that Qatar essentially has a class system with six tiers, with Qataris and Americans tied for first place. Other Gulf Arabs come in second, Europeans and Canadians third, non-Gulf Arabs fourth, professional Asians fifth and labourers sixth.

He adds that a person’s status in Qatar is directly related to their country’s international standing:

“Two things matter in “Classing” or actually discriminating citizens, how weak your country is, mostly economically and politically; if they never took a stand for their people, then you are on the bottom of the ladder.”

However, he concludes on a positive note, saying that he feels things have got better in recent years. 

I can tell you, it was worse, a lot of people, especially Qataris changed, and got less prejudice. The country is trying to get better, but as long as the country uses the sponsorship model, many people will abuse the power in their hands, and this act will never go away.”

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by Travel Aficianado

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