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Ramdan in middle east_Qatar

The Holy month of Ramadan is about to get underway and Qatar, as well as the entire Middle East region, is high on excitement. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting. Muslims are required to refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking and sexual relations. In some interpretations, swearing is forbidden. Eid al Fitr marks the End of Ramadan.

Ramadan 2018 will start on Wednesday, May 16, and will end on Thursday, June 14. The non-Muslim expat community will find it quite a stretch and will need to remember important dos and don’ts. Non-Muslims, young children, the sick, people with mental health illnesses, travellers, the elderly and women who are menstruating, pregnant, breast-feeding or have recently given birth, do not have to fast.

Since Ramadan is just a little over two weeks away, the routines in Qatar will change drastically. From beautiful decorations to Iftar feasts and lesser working hours, Ramadan is taken quite religiously here. Muslims are expected to follow the creeds of Ramadan, both in public and private spaces. They keep their thoughts and actions pure and use the month-long period for spiritual reflection. They rein in unwanted sentiments, such as anger, greed, envy, lust. Gossiping is considered unhealthy. They also mull over their spiritual beliefs, and strengthen their devotion by reciting the Holy Quran during the day.

More than any other time, the month of Ramadan can be challenging for the expat population.

Expats, take note

Ramadan for expats in Qatar

If you are planning to relocate to Qatar during the month of Ramadan, quash it. Government agencies and authorities are largely preoccupied with celebrations and are generally slow-moving in performing their duties. Offices close early and those at work are unusually not focused. Shops shut down before time and streets are generally deserted during daytime. These can be nerve-racking and you will find yourself with little direction and help that is normally available. It is better to relocate well before or after Ramadan.

You must accept invitations for an Iftar from observing locals. Bring dates and gifts. It strengthens the bond and sends a respectful message. Introduce yourself to your neighbours and visit Qatari families and friends and embrace the community spirit. Hug more and more to build affinity.

Even if you are a non-Muslim, it is impolite to eat, drink or smoke in public during the hours of daylight. If you can, try and participate in charitable activities and volunteer services.

You might want to leave Qatar for sometime during this time not just because of the punishing heat, but also because you don’t feel obliged to observe the rituals and be a part of it. Don’t. This is your chance to show that you appreciate their culture and are keen to celebrate with them. It’s a sign of friendliness.

Dress appropriately and do not play loud music. It’s considered intrusive and disturbing to those who are fasting. Be modest and patient.

You will do well to steer clear of debates, arguments and fights since Ramadan is a time of peace and tranquility. Remember, you are not a natural in Qatar. You are seeking acceptance, and it comes only if you adhere to ground rules and show that you care. Play by the culture. Don’t go on kissing or cuddling your partner of the opposite sex in public. It’s especially offensive during the Holy month.

Try fasting yourself. It has health benefits, cleanses the soul, helps you understand your body better and helps you with self-control. Of course, in a way, it also makes you one of their own.

 

Qatar Rail_Cityscape_2018

Qatar’s real estate sector contributes a significant share in the country’s entire GDP, with infrastructure projects accounting for the highest spending. The market continues to expand, thanks to a high immigrant population, economic diversification and infrastructure development.

A new draft law recently approved by the cabinet on regulating the ownership of real estate by non-Qataris, along with tax incentives and a balanced budget, are expected to trigger growth and help the country reach an 8 percent growth mark by 2019.

In line with the requirements of Qatar’s sustainable development agenda, the seventh edition of Cityscape Qatar 2018, an annual event, was unveiled at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) on Sunday to celebrate the rapidly growing real estate sector. The event was inaugurated by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Minister of Transport and Communications, HE Jassim bin Saif al Sulaiti, informed the gathering that Cityscape Qatar 2018 will contribute to supporting the national economy by promoting various development projects.

Leading national and international developers, including Qatar Rail, United Development Company (UDC), Qatari Diar and Katara Hospitality congregated at the DECC and a number of agreements were signed.

Qatar Rail and Qatar Insurance Group signed an agreement for the first naming rights. The station naming rights is one of Qatar Rail’s enterprises intended to form a partnership with prominent local and international companies to advance their services at the stations. In another deal with Qatar Rail, Qatar National Bank (QNB) was assigned as the official Acquirer Bank for all TravelCard and Fare Media payments. Under the agreement, Qatar Rail will accept payments made with all major credit and debit cards issued in Qatar and worldwide.

Ooredoo will play a major role as communications partner. As part of its agreement with Qatar Rail, the communications giant will guarantee that the users will benefit from uninterrupted high-speed communication services during their journey through the stations and aboard the Lusail Tram.

Other attractions at the expo were Doha Metro staff uniform with its sleek, modern lines and matching colours, the design of the Doha Metro cards, high-quality virtual reality ride onboard and Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) – high density, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly developments around rail transit stations that would act as community hubs within walking distance.

 

 

Children are the most vulnerable section of any society throughout the globe and are also the future of a country. Understanding the importance of the proper framework of Child Rights, the Government of Qatar has sought to upgrade its legislation surrounding Child Rights to match the international standards.

Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) recently organised a forum addressing safe childhood in co-operation with Qatar Social Work Foundation under the wise leadership of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

The event highlighted that Qatar is committed toward securing Child Rights on both legislative and institutional level. Constitution of Qatar already includes legal provisions that consider family, maternal and child rights.

It was highlighted that Qatar has further ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child making it a part of its internal law. It also adjoined the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of child, child prostitution and child pornography and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of child in Armed Conflict (OPAC), for upgrading the legislation for Child Rights.

The Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs Dr. Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi stated the importance of enriching child culture, consolidating, promoting and protecting child rights and extracting their creative energy to create a new generation that is able to lead the future. He stressed that is an important factor in achieving and maintaining a positive communication between the next generation and the society.

Dr. Saad further stressed that this is a combined responsibility of responsible forces in the society such as family, educational institutions, preachers, media outlets, civil organisations and the overall environment.

Protecting Child Rights is one of the major goals of Qatar National Vision 2030, in sync to achieve sustainable development. To achieve the same, the government is taking efforts toward updating the programmes that guarantee rights.

Moreover, as securing Child Rights needs contribution from all sectors of the society, the ministry is planning and taking various steps to spread social awareness and raise intellectual, factual and behavioural levels in children of the society. The aim is to promote and stimulate proper behaviour by which individuals communicate constructively with previous and coming generations, to enhance educational, social, health, cultural, skills, intellectual, creative and literary scenes among children in Qatar in various fields.

Further, the consequences on children in political crises such as the diplomatic blockade was pointed out as a violation of international law and human rights, especially considering the rights of children whose families have been separated.

Qatar Foundation for Social Work (QFSW) chief executive officer Amal Abdullatif al-Mannai committed that QFSW will promote the basic rights of children such as the right to identity, physical integrity, education and access to all information and services, as well as living in the family, physical and psychological rehabilitation, social reintegration, and the right to enjoy all rights without any discrimination, including the right of the disabled and orphan child to lead a decent life.