Qatar

A Very Strange Society

A Very Strange Society

The State of Qatar is a most unusual place. For starters, it is a really wealthy country. In 2007, Qatar’s oil and natural gas wealth gave it the fifth highest per capita income in the world, $67,000 (according to the US State Department’s Background Note on Qatar.) Then there’s the composition of the country’s population. In May 2008, a month or so before my most recent visit, there were about 1.45 million people in Qatar, three quarters of whom were male. The population pyramids below (from the US Census Bureau) makes this clear. They also reveals that a large share of the country’s male population is in the 20 – 50 year old age range, and that this share is projected to increase significantly...

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A Snapshot of Doha

A Snapshot of Doha

Doha, Qatar January 13, 2008 Citizens of Qatar make up a minority of the population of the country. Most residents are temporary foreign workers. Doha also serves as a transit point for temporary workers en route to and from other Gulf States, several of whom also count foreigners as the majority of their populations. In most cases, foreigners cannot become citizens. This prohibition also applies to the children born in Gulf States to foreign nationals. Below is an article from en English language Qatar newspaper this morning. Above are some labor exports in transit at Doha International Airport at 1 am this morning. Construction sites and modern buildings near my hotel in Doha. I couldn’t walk around and take pictures today because it was...

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