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How is Qatar these days?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15606
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but I have always been of the opinion that if one accepts a job in a culture that is different from one's own, one should show respect by sincerely attempting NOT to offend. This is not an insistence that all women throw on an abaya and veil. It is easy enough to use common sense and dress conservatively. Personally I feel that any woman of any nationality that is in public in any Middle Eastern Muslim culture should be mature enough to cover up. By that I mean long skirts, or tunic tops with trousers, and obviously no mini skirts, short shorts, and sleeveless tops. Rolling Eyes

This arrogant attitude that they have some "right" to dress as they want is an embarrassment. And it increases the amount of harassment that all Western women get because of that attitude. I have also noticed that the women who complain the loudest about men bothering them on the streets are the ones that dress the most like a hooker. If they wish to dress in this style, they should stay in their own country.

VS
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
Sorry, but I have always been of the opinion that if one accepts a job in a culture that is different from one's own, one should show respect by sincerely attempting NOT to offend. This is not an insistence that all women throw on an abaya and veil. It is easy enough to use common sense and dress conservatively. Personally I feel that any woman of any nationality that is in public in any Middle Eastern Muslim culture should be mature enough to cover up. By that I mean long skirts, or tunic tops with trousers, and obviously no mini skirts, short shorts, and sleeveless tops. Rolling Eyes

This arrogant attitude that they have some "right" to dress as they want is an embarrassment. And it increases the amount of harassment that all Western women get because of that attitude. I have also noticed that the women who complain the loudest about men bothering them on the streets are the ones that dress the most like a hooker. If they wish to dress in this style, they should stay in their own country.

VS


I disagree. In the US/Europe, the hijab/Abaya (with or without the veil) makes a lot of the non-Muslim populace, both men and women, take offence. This is evidenced to some extent by the bhurka bans in France and Belgium (which, by the way, I do NOT agree with). Rightly or wrongly, it's often seen as clothing which represents the subjegation of women, just as conservatives in Qatar would argue wearing mini-skirts causes the exploitation/degredation of women. Would you apply the same standard to Qatari women taking jobs in Europe or the US? As you say, I'm also not talking about them walking about in a bikini, but removing the offensive garb, which makes others around them feel so uncomfortable, and replacing it with everyday western-style clothing, so as to make others feel more at ease. Or does the unyielding attitude of bhurka-wearing immigrants in Europe, to their "right" to wear offensive clothing, not count as equally "arrogant", because they claim "religious obligation" (when in fact, in many instances it is a cultural/societal/familial expectation)?

Also, does no blame fall on these men who are harrassing women? Is there no expectation of self-control? My girlfriend makes a point of dressing modestly when she goes out, in accordance with her particular culture, and surprise surprise, whenever we go to shopping malls she gets constant sleazy looks from men. Is this her fault? The mindset here appears to be such that women are looked upon as sex objects regardless of how they dress.

I reiterate my statement that Qatar either has to show tolerance for the different cultures and lifestyles that make this country what it is, or it risks becoming some kind of despised pariah society, like Saudi, where foreign people only go for short-term gain, get out as soon as they have reached their financial goals, and hide themselves away in western compounds whilst doing so.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12035
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear bulgigoboy,

I guess it all depends on what a society's "values" are (e.g. individual freedom versus religious conformity.)

At any rate, it's that society's choice, and I suspect they are aware of the "consequences" you mentioned. But when an outsider is in that society, he/she, I'd say, needs to abide by their laws and customs - or risk the consequences.

Regards,
John
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear bulgigoboy,

I guess it all depends on what a society's "values" are (e.g. individual freedom versus religious conformity.)

At any rate, it's that society's choice, and I suspect they are aware of the "consequences" you mentioned. But when an outsider is in that society, he/she, I'd say, needs to abide by their laws and customs - or risk the consequences.

Regards,

John


Then I would pose the same question to you as I did to VS, which is: Should the standard be applied the other way round?
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1082
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have heard stories of Arab women being forced to remove their viels when visiting other countries that value facial identification.

I've never visited the Arab world but if I were to do so I would try to find a happy medium--as a young white girl in Latin America I found I was more comfortable it I wasn't drawing undo attention to myself with my attire. I imagine that western women in the Arab world would find that even more so.

(And stuggling to manage my hair in our current swings of differences in humidity in Mexico, I thought to myself that simply keeping one's hair covered all the times must have certain advantages!)
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12035
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear bulgogiboy,

Vice-versa doesn't work - for the same reasons I mentioned: different societal values.

In "Western society" (warning: broad generalization ahead, ) qualities such as the previously-mentioned individual freedom, tolerance, fairness, etc. are part of the fabric (or, at least, given lip service.") Therefore, according to our "values," we ought to respect, for example, a woman's right to wear, say, a burka.

In Qatar/Saudi society, there's no such "versa." So, anyone gong there needs to know that and not complain because they're not big on individual freedom, tolerance, fairness, etc.

That's just the way it is.

Regards,
John
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear bulgogiboy,

Vice-versa doesn't work - for the same reasons I mentioned: different societal values.

In "Western society" (warning: broad generalization ahead, ) qualities such as the previously-mentioned individual freedom, tolerance, fairness, etc. are part of the fabric (or, at least, given lip service.") Therefore, according to our "values," we ought to respect, for example, a woman's right to wear, say, a burka.

In Qatar/Saudi society, there's no such "versa." So, anyone gong there needs to know that and not complain because they're not big on individual freedom, tolerance, fairness, etc.

That's just the way it is.

Regards,
John


I know they have different values, and I respect (at least in terms of 'paying my dues') their values. I also believe we should respect womens' right to wear a bhurka, or not, should they visit 'free' ( a relative term these days I'll concede) western countries. What I'm getting at is the hypocrasy of whiners in places like Qatar who hold a double-standard when it comes to "cultural sensitivity". I agree with you, that is just the way it is, absolutely, but it doesn't mean I have to like it, does it? Laughing And, from speaking to my Qatari students, I think a lot of them are actually in admiration of the individual freedom western people enjoy, and Qataris frequently visit places like London so they can enjoy this freedom, but they still hold onto the "not in my backyard" mentality, when it comes to their "pure" Islamic society, the hypocrasy of which annoys me.
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MotherF wrote:
I have heard stories of Arab women being forced to remove their viels when visiting other countries that value facial identification.

I've never visited the Arab world but if I were to do so I would try to find a happy medium--as a young white girl in Latin America I found I was more comfortable it I wasn't drawing undo attention to myself with my attire. I imagine that western women in the Arab world would find that even more so.

(And stuggling to manage my hair in our current swings of differences in humidity in Mexico, I thought to myself that simply keeping one's hair covered all the times must have certain advantages!)


That would be France and Belgium. I am fervently against this type of regulation, if it's merely in the street/park/cafes/libraries/etc but, for security purposes, where a bhurka could provide a perfect, albeit hilarious, disguise for, say, a bank robber, veils should not be allowed.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12035
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear bulgogiboy,

"I know they have different values, and I respect (at least in terms of 'paying my dues') their values. I also believe we should respect womens' right to wear a bhurka, or not, should they visit 'free' ( a relative term these days I'll concede) western countries. What I'm getting at is the hypocrasy of whiners in places like Qatar who hold a double-standard when it comes to "cultural sensitivity". I agree with you, that is just the way it is, absolutely, but it doesn't mean I have to like it, does it? And, from speaking to my Qatari students, I think a lot of them are actually in admiration of the individual freedom western people enjoy, and Qataris frequently visit places like London so they can enjoy this freedom, but they still hold onto the "not in my backyard" mentality, when it comes to their "pure" Islamic society, the hypocrasy of which annoys me."

No disagreement from me on that - but remember, hypocrisy is the hallmark of societies that try to control what many/most of us would likely regard as "normal" (or at least legitimate) drives and desires. One might even say that hypocrisy can be one of a society's "values." Very Happy

Regards,
John

P.S. It didn't/doesn't "annoy" me as much as it saddened (and, sometimes, amused) me.
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear bulgogiboy,

"I know they have different values, and I respect (at least in terms of 'paying my dues') their values. I also believe we should respect womens' right to wear a bhurka, or not, should they visit 'free' ( a relative term these days I'll concede) western countries. What I'm getting at is the hypocrasy of whiners in places like Qatar who hold a double-standard when it comes to "cultural sensitivity". I agree with you, that is just the way it is, absolutely, but it doesn't mean I have to like it, does it? And, from speaking to my Qatari students, I think a lot of them are actually in admiration of the individual freedom western people enjoy, and Qataris frequently visit places like London so they can enjoy this freedom, but they still hold onto the "not in my backyard" mentality, when it comes to their "pure" Islamic society, the hypocrasy of which annoys me."

No disagreement from me on that - but remember, hypocrisy is the hallmark of societies that try to control what many/most of us would likely regard as "normal" (or at least legitimate) drives and desires. One might even say that hypocrisy can be one of a society's "values." Very Happy

Regards,
John

P.S. It didn't/doesn't "annoy" me as much as it saddened (and, sometimes, amused) me.


Actually, I think I used the wrong word. "Saddened" would more accurately describe my feelings too.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12035
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear bulgogiboy,

You sound like you're getting older - and feeling as Melville did:

"The closing words of the story are the narrator's resigned and pained sigh: 'Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!' '

Alas poor Bartleby, alas poor humanity.

Regards,
John
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millie18



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry but the major fashion transgressors that stand out not only more closely resemble hookers on the stroll in NYC or London or any other major Western City - they're wearing stuff that is so short and so tight and so transparent they'd be arrested for public indecency in those places if they ventured out to their local grocers in daylight hours when children were present.

Viewing someone's bum cheeks or half way down to their navel with "free swinging" matching pendulums on either side is not my idea of appropriate dress anywhere. Although I have some male colleagues who would "appreciate" the view.
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

millie18 wrote:
Sorry but the major fashion transgressors that stand out not only more closely resemble hookers on the stroll in NYC or London or any other major Western City - they're wearing stuff that is so short and so tight and so transparent they'd be arrested for public indecency in those places if they ventured out to their local grocers in daylight hours when children were present.

Viewing someone's bum cheeks or half way down to their navel with "free swinging" matching pendulums on either side is not my idea of appropriate dress anywhere. Although I have some male colleagues who would "appreciate" the view.


I've been to most of the major shopping malls here, on several occasions, and never seen anything like that.

I really must get out more!

Laughing
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millie18



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 174

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too visit the major shopping malls (at least one a week) - try hanging around the grocery section of Carrefour in City Centre (you can't do Villagio anymore) when the ladies of leisure hang out (some literally).
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm actually going to go there tomorrow anyway, so will pop over to the grocery section and check out the melons, and so forth. Cheers
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