In the news….

Qatar has been in the news a fair bit since we’ve moved here. The tiny little nation that is often described as punching above its weight has it’s fingers in a lot of pots and is balancing a lot of things!

This week it was on 60 Minutes. It’s an incredibly accurate description of the changes and issues going on here. I was really impressed by the Emir and by Prime Minister of the State of Qatar and their honesty, humility and wisdom. I was really annoyed by the shallowness of the interviewer.

I’m going to post the link to the piece here.  Many of you have been asking for video footage of Qatar. I’ll admit I’m discouraged with the editing process, but this video clip gives a great view of what my world looks like and the issues being discussed.

The journalism bothered me a bit in this piece but I’ll save you the whole rant going on in my head. Things like “the Emir has been criticized for not being loyal to his friends, like Saad” (you know, the murderer in Syria). Ok – I said I was saving you from it.

I was completely impressed and intrigued by the the Prime Minister. When he was asked “Can you think of any other country in the world that has the same quality of life?” His answer really surprised me.

Qataris are incredibly nationalistic. SO proud of their country. They can at times really give off an air of superiority. I fully expected the Prime Minister to puff up his chest and say “Absolutely we have the best quality of life!! Qatar is the best country in the whole world!” Instead he deflected, what was likely bait for just that answer, and humbly said “there are many countries that enjoy a good quality of life.” (You know I haven’t transcribed right? This is roughly what he said.)

He went on to say this remarkably wise thing…”the quality of life is not the most important thing, the most important thing is the quality of people the nation is producing.” He goes on to talk about the challenge of not producing spoiled people in this wealthy country, and he’s right. I was impressed that this was so high on his radar. As you will hear in the clip this country has gone from rags to riches so quickly it’s mind boggling. How to navigate this time in history must be a hugh challenge but I like what I see of their priorities.

I’d heard (from expats and Qataris alike) that the Emir was a wise, gentle and kind man. it was nice to hear him speak and to see what they were talking about.

I have so many thoughts about this little clip, about journalism, about monarchies, about Al Jazeera (and media in general), about freedom and responsibility, and governance and illusions and ethnocentrism…far too much for a blog post.

Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to try to do shorter posts more often. My sister is visiting so we’ll be doing more touristy things that you might like to get glimpses of, but we’ll be busy so my hope is for quick posts with a few pictures.


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6 responses to “In the news….

  1. Tracie, Terry and I watched the 60 Minutes segment last Sunday and felt the same way.. impressed with the Emir and President.. very impressed and surprised. Those buildings are a little bizarre and I noticed something similar last weekend, driving into Toronto for a dinner party and seeing these hour glass shaped buildings that glittered in the setting sunlight, like stainless steel. It made me uncomfortable to look at them but curious about the interiors too. Keep those posts coming… Linda

  2. Jill Morningstar-Janzen

    Tracie – I try my best to avoid American news shows, including 60 Minutes. In my opinion, they are in the business of creating bias and generating ratings – not revealing truth without their own opinions.

    Thank you for writing this. Please write more. I loved what the Prime Minister said about ‘the quality of the people”. When it comes right down to it, we are all people.

    Rant on, Tracie. If we shaped our opinions of our global community based on what its citizens had to say (instead of listening to what multi-million dollar news corporations wanted us to believe), I believe we would be far more compassionate and loving towards our worldwide neighbours.

  3. That was really interesting to watch. It seemed as if the interviewer was trying to find a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I suspected it was something he did with American viewers in mind, but it was irksome at times. So fascinating how much change Qatar has seen in such a short time period. And not unlike Canada, Qatar is “trying to be friends with everyone.”

    • Yes, I especially like the part where he blamed the arab spring on the Emir and Al Jazeera. A) like the arab spring was a bad thing and B) like the problem was the report of the brutal dictatorships not the brutal dictatorships themselves. Annoying.

  4. Lynda

    I like that you are making time for your sister. She should feel very special and i hope she appreciates it….oh!wait a minute! I have it on good authourity that she really really does!! ❤

  5. Nancy Luft

    I too saw that program and thought the interveiwer was so biased as well. It had that typical American slant. It certainly looks beautiful there.

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