Trip to Qatar

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by tonk002, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. tonk002

    tonk002 5-Year Member

    Oct 9, 2010
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    Last week, I went with a select group of my school's Model United Nations program to Doha, Qatar for the annual Georgetown MUN Conference. There were 6 of us from my school who made the 22 hour trip to the Middle East. I represented Guatemala on the Human Rights Council. Other groups included the Security Council, the Arab League, the EU, and the African Union, among others.

    The conference itself was very exciting. Aside from my possible military goals, being a diplomat is and has been my dream for many years. The Human Rights Council debated two topics: Migrant Workers in the Middle East, and Refugees and IDP's. Both topics were covered, and resolutions were passed for each.

    The real treat of the conference was exploring a Middle Eastern country in the heart of the Gulf. We arrived four days early to look around. We camped in the desert one night and saw Saudi Arabia and were 30 miles from Iran. We also went to the Islamic Cultural Center where we learned about Islam. The Center is for non-Arabic Muslims to learn about their religion and for Westerners and non-Muslims. We were also able to visit a mosque.

    Qatar is a mostly Muslim country, so the call to prayer was five times a day. Many women wore Abaya's and nearly all wore head coverings. There is no Shaira law in Qatar, so Westerners were free to wear anything, minus shorts. We were welcomed into the Souq, a market, by all. They loved Americans and asked us all questions of where we were from and if we had ever seen snow.

    Even more exciting was meeting the kids at the conference. Kids were from every Middle Eastern country, minus Iran and Yemen. There were Greeks, Indians, Germans, Mongolians, Koreans and kids from France and Poland as well. We were the only American school. The kids knew much about the United States, while we knew little of their homelands. They were eager to teach us about their culture.

    I asked some about Islam. One girls, wearing an Abaya, said that she wore it because she wanted to. She believed in her religion, but no one forced her to make any choice. In fact, her 20 year old sister does not wear one.

    Qatar is a very interesting place. Taxes are non-existent and Porsche sales are up 75% in one year. Native Qataris are given $50,000 yearly just for being citizens. However, natives make up only 20% of the population. The rest are migrant workers, largely from Sri Lanka and Nepal and India. Many are also from other Middle Eastern countries.

    What was really amazing was Education City. As I mentioned, Georgetown has a full campus in Qatar. It is one of six institutions there, in an area known as Educaiton City. The Qatari Government pays Western colleges to come to the country and establish campuses there. Graduates recieve a degree from that college, as they would in the USA. These schools include: Georgetown, Virginia Commenwealth, Cornell, Northwestern, Texas A&M, and Carnegie Mellon.

    It was a fantastic trip. If you have any questions abou the culture or trip, please ask.:thumb: A cool sidenote: on the way home, we re-fueled in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  2. patentesq

    patentesq Parent 5-Year Member

    Jan 6, 2011
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    Well, we're glad to have you back! Thanks for the update. As for your statement above, you should Google the phrase "Foreign Area Officer". I think you'll like what you find.:thumb:

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