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Doha or another ME Country for best experience?

 
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thegoodprofessor



Joined: 03 Sep 2009
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:16 am    Post subject: Doha or another ME Country for best experience? Reply with quote

Hey I have an opportunity (it looks like) to go work in doha on a grant for a year. But I can choose any M.E. country. I am an American mature woman. I've taught in Oman, Kuwait and worked Iraq but don't know how other countries fare.

It's hard to choose one country for a year not having been to all of them first, but then again a new experience.

Please tell me your experience in Doha. If you have lived in other ME countries I would like to hear your favs and why.

I am also looking at Bahrain, Tunisia and (maybe Egypt). Not sure if Egypt can be included at this time. One year- one country

thank you
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16024
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd take Tunisia...

Too many political problems in Bahrain right now... and Egypt actually... Doha is pretty dull from all reports.

Tunisia has had the most successful Arab Spring outcome. I should think it would make an interesting year... and a great location. Cool

VS
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
I'd take Tunisia...

Too many political problems in Bahrain right now... and Egypt actually... Doha is pretty dull from all reports.

Tunisia has had the most successful Arab Spring outcome. I should think it would make an interesting year... and a great location. Cool

VS


Definitely have to agree about Bahrain and Egypt. People are 'disappearing' in Bahrain on a regular basis, and being brutally tortured, according to human rights organisations...I would also never advise anyone to spend a year in Egypt, as it was a very unplesant place, in my experience (your own could well differ, admitedly).

However, I think Doha's reputation as being a 'dull' city is becoming less and less deserved (speaking as someone who is living in Doha at this moment). There are lots of excellent restaurants, plush (albeit expensive) bars, constant exhibitions, fairs, festivals, plays (Kevin Spacey came here to do Richard III last December), a decent choice of comfortable cinemas (minus Villagio now, of course), as well as other regular performances (for example, Cirque de Soleil is coming here in a month, which should be good), and countless international sporting events held in the 'Aspire' zone. On top of this you have all the bog-standard Gulf country activities, such as camping in the desert, quad-biking on the dunes, and visiting the beach (private ones at the 5-star hotels, as well as ones along the coastline). There's also a nice corniche, cultural village (Katara) and souq (Wqif) for walking round.

I'm not saying it's as exciting as Dubai, but it's really not that boring at all. I think you'd have a nice time here, personally. Smile
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd still take Tunisia... Cool

VS
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millie18



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd take Tunisia too - it has more history, more of a chance to meet and mingle with the general population and all of that would last longer than the 2 day all encompassing tour that would be the equivalent in Qatar.

Qatar is what you make it as BBoy says, but it has very limited opportunities in situ whereas Tunisia has a lot of history and a lot of country and a lot of people to encounter and know (relatively) Personally, if I want to see Cirque du Soleil (as an example) Doha wouldn't be my venue of choice (merely one of convenience if I was already here).
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 736
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Tunisia Reply with quote

I'm not sure I'd take Tunisia to work for a year just at the moment.

I've just spent two weeks there and there is high unemployment, food inflation, lack of freedom of speech, poor living conditions and no doubt, corruption.

All travellers should be aware that a state of emergency still exists and there are often curfews. I was tired of being asked to show my passport and state my business in Tunisia. Despite the Jasmine Revolution, the current political and security situation leads to spontaneous and unpredictable events such as political and industrial protests and strikes, including unofficial roadblocks throughout the country.

People were killed in protests in Gafsa in March, in Tunis in April and in May in Jendouba and Ghardimaou. Tunisia and China are the two countries with the greatest internet censorship (according to Hilary Clinton in January, 2010) and when I tried to access several websites, they were blocked.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16024
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd still prefer Tunisia... all of the Middle East has high unemployment, food inflation (sounds like where I am in the US), lack of freedom of speech, corruption, and internet censorship.

One will sensibly stay away from any demonstrations which are to be expected in this time of political change there.

VS
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 736
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VS said
Quote:
Tunisia has had the most successful Arab Spring outcome



Have you actually been to Tunisia recently?

Read this other posting from March 2012 :

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=89212

This corroborates what I suggested about not working in Tunis just at the moment until the situation calms down.
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posh



Joined: 22 Oct 2010
Posts: 430

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bahrain
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16024
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dedicated wrote:
VS said
Quote:
Tunisia has had the most successful Arab Spring outcome

Have you actually been to Tunisia recently?

Read this other posting from March 2012 :

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=89212

This corroborates what I suggested about not working in Tunis just at the moment until the situation calms down.

I fail to see what that thread has to do with the current question. Of course, it isn't perfect there... duh... but I stand by my comment that it has been the most successful outcome of the Arab Spring. Their elections came off relatively well and they are moving forward. Fits and starts... shwaya shwaya... the usual issues with Islamists trying to increase their power along with the other political groups. Thus far, there has been no targeting of foreigners that has hit the press.

I never suggested that it would be a garden party. Both Tunisia and Doha are expensive. If our OP wants the rather boring predictable Gulf, she has the choice of Doha. If she wants something more interesting...

VS
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