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Thread: The richest, fattest nation on Earth.

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  1. #1
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    The richest, fattest nation on Earth.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/ar...states/248366/



    Qatar is a tiny country with a big problem.

    This Connecticut-sized nation, sticking out like a loose tooth in the Persian Gulf, is one of the most obese nations in the world, with residents fatter, on average, than even those of the United States, which often takes the cake in such competitions.

    According to recent studies, roughly half of adults and a third of children in Qatar are obese, and almost 17 percent of the native population suffers from diabetes. By comparison, about a third of Americans are obese, and eight percent are diabetic. Qatar also has very high rates of birth defects and genetic disorders -- problems that, along with the prevalence of obesity (PDF) and diabetes, have worsened in recent decades, according to local and international health experts.

    So what's going wrong in little Qatar?

    Qatar also has very high rates of birth defects and genetic disorders -- problems that have worsened in recent decades.
    To misappropriate a well-worn phrase: It's the economy, stupid. In September, Qatar officially became the richest nation in the world, as measured by per capita gross domestic product. It also recently became the world's biggest exporter of natural gas, and earned the title of fastest growing economy in the world. By international development standards, all this growth has happened virtually overnight, making Qataris' lifestyles much more unhealthy, and at the same time leading many to hang on resolutely to what's left of their fleeting tribal traditions -- practices that include inter-marriage between close family members and cousins.

    "They're concentrating the gene pool, and at the same time, they're facing rapid affluence," said Sharoud Al-Jundi Matthis, the program manager at the Qatar Diabetes Association, a government funded health center in Doha, the capital. As a result of these factors, Qataris are becoming obese, passing on genetic disorders at an alarming rate, and getting diabetes much more often than others around the world. They're also getting diabetes a decade younger than the average age of onset, which is pushing up rates of related illnesses and complications, like hypertension, blindness, partial paralysis, heart disease, and loss of productivity. "It's a very, very serious problem facing the future of Qatar," Matthis said.

    Over the course of two generations, most native Qataris, who number only 250,000 in a nation of 1.7 million, and enjoy the benefits of a robust welfare state, went from living modest, tribal lifestyles in the Arabian desert, to living in air-conditioned villas with maids, nannies, gardeners, and cooks. Doha has mushroomed from a mere blip of beige buildings on a scorched spit of sand in the mid '90s, to a glistening glass metropolis populated by luxury hotels, fleets of shiny new Land Rovers, and fast food joints, where the young people huddle after school, sheltered from the famous Arabian heat, with temperatures hovering above 105 from late spring to late fall.

    "Everybody in Qatar knows about diabetes, but the problem is, it's talking only. No one is taking care of it," said Adel Al-Sharshani, 39, who was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago. His father and several of his friends also have diabetes. "I ignored all the advice until it was too late, and that is what other people are doing too. It's dangerous." Because like many Qataris he got diabetes as a young man, Al-Sharshani knows he faces higher risk of complications, like blindness and paralysis. "I am afraid of losing my eyes, my foot. I am afraid of losing my life," he said.

    Qatar is not alone in facing serious health problems. Its neighboring energy-rich states, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, which also have conservative social traditions and have developed rapidly over the last five decades, face similar challenges with inter-familial marriage. High rates of obesity, diabetes, and genetic illnesses abound in the region.

    According to the March of Dimes, Saudi Arabia ranked second globally for the number of birth defects per 1,000 births, while Qatar ranked 16th. A 2007 McKinsey report on the future of government-funded healthcare in the Gulf noted that the demand for hospital beds in Qatar is expected to increase by 100 percent by 2025. The six Gulf Cooperation Council countries are expected to increase their expenditures on health care by nearly 60 percent in that same time period.

    In recent years, the Qatari government has implemented dozens of public awareness campaigns intended to educate Qatari adults and school children about healthy eating, exercise, fitness, and sports. More delicate cultural issues -- like coaxing tribal leaders to abandon familial inter-marriage -- are being addressed by "higher-ups in society," Matthis said. "Community leaders, sheikhs, people like that, are talking about those issues more and more."

    The government has also implemented free and voluntary pre-marriage blood tests, which don't test for genetic links, but do warn potential spouses of genetic risks in their offspring. Most Qataris have a genetic predisposition for Type II diabetes, which increases the probability that their children will get the disease.

    "Our main focus is encouraging people to be active, getting them to lead healthy lifestyles -- that's our vision," said Maher Safi, the marketing director at the Qatar Olympic Committee, the governmental entity that oversees nationwide fitness and sports programs in Qatar. In the past few years, the committee has launched public programs administering free body-mass indexes and sugar level tests, disseminated material about healthy eating, and introduced initiatives to schools to help children learn about new sports, like handball, tennis, and bicycling.

    In cooperation with government-run health centers, the government of Doha has begun building parks, sidewalks, and pedestrian crossings in the city and residential neighborhoods, where at the moment it's virtually impossible to walk even between buildings without braving the sweltering, traffic-packed streets. Earlier this year, the government installed outdoor exercise equipment and automated bicycle rental kiosks on Doha's central boardwalk, which have gotten mixed reviews locally.

    "You're not going to see Qatari ladies riding bikes," said Honey Stinnett, who was exercising on Doha's central boardwalk one night late September. She was raised in Malaysia, and says Qataris, most of whom follow the Wahhabi branch of Sunni Islam, are not culturally disposed to exercising outside. Most Qatari women wear floor-length black abayas, and many veil their faces. "Do you think you could exercise in that?" Stinnett said. "It's the culture that Qatari ladies are kept inside, where they are getting fatter and fatter."

    A few paces away, a crowd of teenagers and young twenty-something men took turns on the bright yellow and red exercise equipment installed by the government in January. None of them were native Qataris, but they guessed why I was there.

    "Because Qataris are fat!" said Hassan Tiaz, 19, laughing. He is Pakistani, but was born and raised in Qatar. He gestured to his own round belly. "It's because in Qatar, we just sit, smoke, and eat junk food. There's not too much work. Everything you have is automatic, and most of us just sit in air-conditioned offices and cars. Everything is done for us."

    Tiaz's friend, Abdullah Rashid, 20, who wore a long white thobe to work out, blamed the culture of wealth. "Qataris are spoiled rich kids. Anytime they want to go out, they just get inside their car and go to the place," he said. Most Qataris think of those who sweat outside, like gardeners or construction workers, as lower-class people who must be hired and brought in from the outside.

    "Also," Tiaz said, grinning. "Qataris just love to eat."

  2. #2
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    I thought it was the USA.

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    they deserve it...

    sitting there, doing nothing, using SC slave-like labour to do their work, getting their oil/gas money to their head and tummies...........whatcha expecting??

    u know what? God should've distributed natural resources more evenly throughout the World

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LethalSami View Post
    they deserve it...

    sitting there, doing nothing, using SC slave-like labour to do their work, getting their oil/gas money to their head and tummies...........whatcha expecting??

    u know what? God should've distributed natural resources more evenly throughout the World
    exactly ...
    i think Qatar deserve this ... how many times you hear in the news that they helped some other country when they have natural disasters..

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    what i mean is.......u take in more calories than u burn, ofcourse u gonna get fat

    nothing to do with their generosity

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    Quote Originally Posted by MVP26 View Post
    I thought it was the USA.
    We're catching up
    Sadly, fast food and other unhealthy nutrition is leading to all these consequences.

  7. #7
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    I thought it was USA as well.

    I am now disappoint.


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    "Because Qataris are fat!" said Hassan Tiaz, 19, laughing. He is Pakistani, but was born and raised in Qatar. He gestured to his own round belly. "It's because in Qatar, we just sit, smoke, and eat junk food. There's not too much work. Everything you have is automatic, and most of us just sit in air-conditioned offices and cars. Everything is done for us."
    I wouldn't mind such a life. Rich and fat, everything is done for you - great.


    Beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined - Nas

  9. #9
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    it angers me when i see these lazy, creatively challenged arabs sit in their homes and doing nothing just because they have oil..
    Thats why i admire jews and the west in general because their success is built on hard work and effort rather than just plain, dumb luck.
    these resources will eventually run out and then they will suffer...the sheikhs of the UAE are the only ones who hav e tried to diversify their economy
    Last edited by PakPrince; 15th April 2012 at 03:53.

  10. #10
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    interesting read.

  11. #11
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    I was in Doha for 2 days last year and believe me if I saw 200 people, hardly 20 of the would be Arabs. And even they were people like owners of the hotel or mall etc
    The desis were doing the service work like taxi driving, porters etc
    the filipinos were the cooks, the maids etc
    and the gooraas were managers.
    God knows where the arabs were?
    prolly in airconditioned rooms

  12. #12
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    too much money..


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    Quote Originally Posted by PakPrince View Post
    it angers me when i see these lazy, creatively challenged arabs sit in their homes and doing nothing just because they have oil..
    Thats why i admire jews and the west in general because their success is built on hard work and effort rather than just plain, dumb luck.
    these resources will eventually run out and then they will suffer...the sheikhs of the UAE are the only ones who hav e tried to diversify their economy
    I always use this quote from Syriana(watch it if you haven't already, it's a great movie) whenever this particular issue comes up:

    "But what do you need a financial advisor for? Twenty years ago you had the highest Gross National Product in the world, now you're tied with Albania. Your second largest export is secondhand goods, closely followed by dates which you're losing five cents a pound on... You know what the business community thinks of you? They think that a hundred years ago you were living in tents out here in the desert chopping each other's heads off and that's where you'll be in another hundred years, so, yes, on behalf of my firm I accept your money."

    The bit in bold is particularly apt for the situation in the middle east and just as sure as the sun is bright and the earth round is as sure that someday in the future, all of that is going to actually happen.


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    These damn Qatris took our record after beating us for 2022 World Cup hosting as well.


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  15. #15
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    In US it's actually the poor people who are obese.


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    Nice read.


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    Quote Originally Posted by saadibaba View Post
    In US it's actually the poor people who are obese.
    Not really poor IMO if you can eat your way through a horse.


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  18. #18
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    I live in Qatar..

    anddd.. I agree, everything said is true


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    Qatar, along with the U.A.E also is amongst the highest contributor towards the global carbon footprint per capita according to the WWF 2008 Living Planet Report.

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    Quote Originally Posted by khalil1986 View Post
    Not really poor IMO if you can eat your way through a horse.
    The lower and underclass of American society can't eat healthy because it's cheaper to buy big Mac meal for US$4 than drive down to the green grocer and purchase healthy food and cook at home.


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  21. #21
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    The thing with Doha is..

    the weather is really crap, always warm.. everyone owns a vehicle, petrol is cheap as hell.. and electricity is cheap too.. most of the time, AC's are on 24 hours a day everywhere lol.. it is a life of comfort.. people don't walk here at alll.. even if the grocery store is 500 meters away, one would get in his car and go to it


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    They are rich , real rich.


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    Quote Originally Posted by tanzeel View Post
    I always use this quote from Syriana(watch it if you haven't already, it's a great movie) whenever this particular issue comes up:

    "But what do you need a financial advisor for? Twenty years ago you had the highest Gross National Product in the world, now you're tied with Albania. Your second largest export is secondhand goods, closely followed by dates which you're losing five cents a pound on... You know what the business community thinks of you? They think that a hundred years ago you were living in tents out here in the desert chopping each other's heads off and that's where you'll be in another hundred years, so, yes, on behalf of my firm I accept your money."

    The bit in bold is particularly apt for the situation in the middle east and just as sure as the sun is bright and the earth round is as sure that someday in the future, all of that is going to actually happen.
    One of the most extra-ordinary movies I have ever seen. While I may not agree with it's political commentary, it was done extremely effectively while keeping a tense atmosphere. The story of the Pakistani child and the two royal brothers(with the elder one's fate) were both extraordinary. I have never seen a depiction done more accurately(let alone be tried by another film-maker). Why the movie never gets mentioned I will never figure out. It is probably because it was marketed as a spy thriller and was a dialogue movie moving faster than an action paced thriller.

  24. #24
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    Never want to make generalizations, but some of them are atrociously spoiled.


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    Quote Originally Posted by khalil1986 View Post
    Not really poor IMO if you can eat your way through a horse.
    Actually the obesity is because these poor people eat mostly unhealthy preserved food out of cans which have lots of additives and fast food unlike richer people who have a balanced diet


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    So what happens when these oil rich arab countries run out of oil? I read somewhere 2/3 of Saudi Arabian workers are imported from different countries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QazzarFan View Post
    So what happens when these oil rich arab countries run out of oil? I read somewhere 2/3 of Saudi Arabian workers are imported from different countries.
    They go back to living in tents, chopping each other's heads and limbs off, with the possible exception of Oman which is a better educated and more culturally refined country than the rest of them.


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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by tanzeel View Post
    They go back to living in tents, chopping each other's heads and limbs off, with the possible exception of Oman which is a better educated and more culturally refined country than the rest of them.
    Pakistan will rescue them :zaid Hameed

    Or the Arabs have to go on another conquest of Iran, Pak, India which have much better environment conditions, rule them and live happily ever after
    Last edited by mithun_minhas; 16th April 2012 at 14:27.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingusama92 View Post
    Never want to make generalizations, but some of them are atrociously spoiled.
    Yeah, these fat sheikhs should get off their backsides and do the work the South Asian workers they exploit do for once day - that'll lose them a few stones.


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    Quote Originally Posted by mithun_minhas View Post
    Pakistan will rescue them :zaid Hameed
    Lets put it this way, if Israel ends up nuking Saudi and UAE, they would take the number 2 spot, right behind Jinnah, on the list of people/countries that Pakistan is most indebted to. These two countries, Saudi and UAE(and to a lesser extent Kuwait and Qatar) are cancers to Pakistan. Their $100 million a year donations along with smaller amounts(in the tens of millions) from Iran and India fund the majority of terrorist activity on Pakistani soil.


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    Quote Originally Posted by tanzeel View Post
    They go back to living in tents, chopping each other's heads and limbs off, with the possible exception of Oman which is a better educated and more culturally refined country than the rest of them.
    Infrastructure will not dissapear with oil, but they will have to come out of the houses and work like rest of the world.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by shan View Post
    Infrastructure will not dissapear with oil, but they will have to come out of the houses and work like rest of the world.
    Do Arabs have anything to export outside of oil?

    Nothing grows there in that desert. What can they offer the rest of the world outside of their oil?

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by QazzarFan View Post
    So what happens when these oil rich arab countries run out of oil? I read somewhere 2/3 of Saudi Arabian workers are imported from different countries.
    Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Afridi View Post
    Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...
    Would have been great if Allah had bestowed Oil to a little east of Iran too. Pakistan would have been super rich too

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Afridi View Post
    Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mithun_minhas View Post
    Do Arabs have anything to export outside of oil?

    Nothing grows there in that desert. What can they offer the rest of the world outside of their oil?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irrigation_in_Saudi_Arabia

    Land under cultivation has grown from under 400,000 acres (1,600 km2) in 1976 to more than 8 million acres (32,000 km²) in 1993. As of 2005 37,835 km².

    With huge amount of money now they can make life of future generation easier. But ofcourse future generations will have to work to support first world life style.

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    very very interesting reads...

    i admit im not the most educated regarding matters in the UAE, but i do hold alot of respect for what the rulers of states like Dubai and Abu Dhabi have done for their people and their nation. Yes, dubai is going through a tough time and has done, however simply what the country was to what it has turned in to now, that is very commendable to me.

    they do have a very cushy lifestyle tho the arabs.

    We do always talk about them being lazy and arrogant and not very nice, but one thing impressed me when i was in dubai. Driving along the streets on our way to viewing the palace we were past by car by the king of dubai. No entourage, no security, no driver, just him, driving his car alone.

    This to me. have me respect for him in that single action

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    Lol at using averages, I would hasten to guess there would be 100m+ more obese people (at least) in the US than in Qatar. Tiny nation, not sure why comparison is fair.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Afridi View Post
    Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...
    Interesting that haters have been saying this for centuries, when the commercial exploitation of oil and the subsequent affluence of the Arabs really started only in the 20th.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poison View Post
    Lol at using averages, I would hasten to guess there would be 100m+ more obese people (at least) in the US than in Qatar. Tiny nation, not sure why comparison is fair.
    If we're going by sheer numbers, then China has the most number of obese people in the world. But, of course, that is simply the result of its population size. I think average is a fairly decent measure, as it neutralizes the difference in population sizes.

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    Obesity has nothing to do with wealth. In US, obesity is mainly found in the lower middle class or poor people and minorities, like African American and Hispanics. Its lifestyle and type of food that you eat. You can eat McDonald's one dollar menu meals every day and still get obese. Since anyone can own a house or a car on credit the only true measure of wealth in US has become how healthy or organic a person eats. The healthier it is the more expensive it is. In case of Qatar, obesity has less to do with their wealth than their lifestyle and overall general approach to health. Its a cave man's mentality, eat as much as you can because tomorrow you might not get anything. Depression also has a big role to play in obesity.


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    Quote Originally Posted by PakPrince View Post
    I was in Doha for 2 days last year and believe me if I saw 200 people, hardly 20 of the would be Arabs. And even they were people like owners of the hotel or mall etc
    The desis were doing the service work like taxi driving, porters etc
    the filipinos were the cooks, the maids etc
    and the gooraas were managers.
    God knows where the arabs were?
    prolly in airconditioned rooms
    In the US , spending their money , of course

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Afridi View Post
    Haters are saying this for centuries....ALLAH will never let oil run out for Arabs...
    YES!!!

  44. #44
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    In rich Qatar, an Indian restaurant lets poor eat for free


    In rich Qatar, an Indian restaurant lets poor eat for free
    AFP — Published about 16 hours ago
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    Shadab, who is a filmmaker as well as a restaurant owner, said those asking for food are mostly construction workers from countries such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh.—AFP

    DOHA: In a dusty corner of Qatar's booming capital, a sign outside a modest restaurant popular with migrant labourers reads: "If you are hungry and have no money, eat for free!!!"

    Sixteen kilometres (10 miles) from the gleaming glass towers of Doha, one of the richest places on the planet, sits the “Industrial Area” of small-scale workshops, factories and low-cost accommodation.

    It is only a 40-minute drive south of the centre of the Qatari capital and its luxury shops, upmarket brands and expensive restaurants.

    But the “Industrial Area”, rarely seen by outsiders, is a different Qatar—one which provides essential labour and materials for the country's massive and relentless expansion.

    It is at the margin of Doha life, both geographically and metaphorically, but home to a restaurant called Zaiqa doing something apparently unique for the oil-rich Gulf state.




    In rich Qatar, an Indian restaurant lets poor eat for free
    AFP — Published about 16 hours ago
    Whatsapp
    51 Comments
    Email
    Print
    Shadab, who is a filmmaker as well as a restaurant owner, said those asking for food are mostly construction workers from countries such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh.—AFP

    DOHA: In a dusty corner of Qatar's booming capital, a sign outside a modest restaurant popular with migrant labourers reads: "If you are hungry and have no money, eat for free!!!"

    Sixteen kilometres (10 miles) from the gleaming glass towers of Doha, one of the richest places on the planet, sits the “Industrial Area” of small-scale workshops, factories and low-cost accommodation.

    It is only a 40-minute drive south of the centre of the Qatari capital and its luxury shops, upmarket brands and expensive restaurants.

    But the “Industrial Area”, rarely seen by outsiders, is a different Qatar—one which provides essential labour and materials for the country's massive and relentless expansion.

    It is at the margin of Doha life, both geographically and metaphorically, but home to a restaurant called Zaiqa doing something apparently unique for the oil-rich Gulf state.
    Workers cook food in 'Zaiqa'.— AFP

    About three weeks ago the Indian brothers who own Zaiqa decided to put up a small makeshift sign offering free food to customers who cannot afford to pay.

    “When I saw the board I had tears in my eyes,” said one of the owners, Shadab Khan, 47, originally from New Delhi, who has lived in Qatar for 13 years.

    “Even now when I talk about it, I get a lump in my throat. “He said the idea came from his younger brother, Nishab.
    'People need free food'

    The 16-seater eaterie stands on the prosaically named Street 23, sandwiched between another restaurant and a steel workshop.

    It is a busy area—opposite is a mosque and then a road where large trucks hurtle past.

    Inside, on brightly coloured tablecloths, “authentic Indian cuisine from the heart of Delhi” is served 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A fish curry costs six Qatari riyals ($1.65, 1.50 euros), an egg roast is three riyals and a spinach dish of Palak Paneer is 10 riyals—for those who choose to pay.


    Shadab, who is a filmmaker as well as a restaurant owner, said those asking for food are mostly construction workers from countries such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh.—AFP

    DOHA: In a dusty corner of Qatar's booming capital, a sign outside a modest restaurant popular with migrant labourers reads: "If you are hungry and have no money, eat for free!!!"

    Sixteen kilometres (10 miles) from the gleaming glass towers of Doha, one of the richest places on the planet, sits the “Industrial Area” of small-scale workshops, factories and low-cost accommodation.

    It is only a 40-minute drive south of the centre of the Qatari capital and its luxury shops, upmarket brands and expensive restaurants.

    But the “Industrial Area”, rarely seen by outsiders, is a different Qatar—one which provides essential labour and materials for the country's massive and relentless expansion.

    It is at the margin of Doha life, both geographically and metaphorically, but home to a restaurant called Zaiqa doing something apparently unique for the oil-rich Gulf state.
    Workers cook food in 'Zaiqa'.— AFP

    About three weeks ago the Indian brothers who own Zaiqa decided to put up a small makeshift sign offering free food to customers who cannot afford to pay.

    “When I saw the board I had tears in my eyes,” said one of the owners, Shadab Khan, 47, originally from New Delhi, who has lived in Qatar for 13 years.

    “Even now when I talk about it, I get a lump in my throat. “He said the idea came from his younger brother, Nishab.
    'People need free food'

    The 16-seater eaterie stands on the prosaically named Street 23, sandwiched between another restaurant and a steel workshop.

    It is a busy area—opposite is a mosque and then a road where large trucks hurtle past.

    Inside, on brightly coloured tablecloths, “authentic Indian cuisine from the heart of Delhi” is served 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A fish curry costs six Qatari riyals ($1.65, 1.50 euros), an egg roast is three riyals and a spinach dish of Palak Paneer is 10 riyals—for those who choose to pay.
    Workers serving the customers.— AFP

    The need for free food in Qatar is particularly acute among labourers and those working in heavy industry.

    It is estimated that there are anywhere between 700,000 and one million migrant workers in the tiny Gulf kingdom, out of a total population of 2.3 million.

    Rights groups have criticised companies in Qatar for not paying workers on time or, in some cases, not at all. The Qatari government, under pressure to introduce salary reform in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, vowed earlier this year to force companies to pay wages through direct bank transfers.

    Even those who do get paid will be intent on sending most of their money back home, said one of Zaiqa's diners, Nepalese mechanic Ghufran Ahmed.

    “Many labourers earn 800-1,000 riyals ($220-$275/200-250 euros) per month.

    They have to send money back to home. It's expensive here so there are people who need free food,” he said.


    Shadab, who is a filmmaker as well as a restaurant owner, said those asking for food are mostly construction workers from countries such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh.—AFP

    DOHA: In a dusty corner of Qatar's booming capital, a sign outside a modest restaurant popular with migrant labourers reads: "If you are hungry and have no money, eat for free!!!"

    Sixteen kilometres (10 miles) from the gleaming glass towers of Doha, one of the richest places on the planet, sits the “Industrial Area” of small-scale workshops, factories and low-cost accommodation.

    It is only a 40-minute drive south of the centre of the Qatari capital and its luxury shops, upmarket brands and expensive restaurants.

    But the “Industrial Area”, rarely seen by outsiders, is a different Qatar—one which provides essential labour and materials for the country's massive and relentless expansion.

    It is at the margin of Doha life, both geographically and metaphorically, but home to a restaurant called Zaiqa doing something apparently unique for the oil-rich Gulf state.
    Workers cook food in 'Zaiqa'.— AFP

    About three weeks ago the Indian brothers who own Zaiqa decided to put up a small makeshift sign offering free food to customers who cannot afford to pay.

    “When I saw the board I had tears in my eyes,” said one of the owners, Shadab Khan, 47, originally from New Delhi, who has lived in Qatar for 13 years.

    “Even now when I talk about it, I get a lump in my throat. “He said the idea came from his younger brother, Nishab.
    'People need free food'

    The 16-seater eaterie stands on the prosaically named Street 23, sandwiched between another restaurant and a steel workshop.

    It is a busy area—opposite is a mosque and then a road where large trucks hurtle past.

    Inside, on brightly coloured tablecloths, “authentic Indian cuisine from the heart of Delhi” is served 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A fish curry costs six Qatari riyals ($1.65, 1.50 euros), an egg roast is three riyals and a spinach dish of Palak Paneer is 10 riyals—for those who choose to pay.
    Workers serving the customers.— AFP

    The need for free food in Qatar is particularly acute among labourers and those working in heavy industry.

    It is estimated that there are anywhere between 700,000 and one million migrant workers in the tiny Gulf kingdom, out of a total population of 2.3 million.

    Rights groups have criticised companies in Qatar for not paying workers on time or, in some cases, not at all. The Qatari government, under pressure to introduce salary reform in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, vowed earlier this year to force companies to pay wages through direct bank transfers.

    Even those who do get paid will be intent on sending most of their money back home, said one of Zaiqa's diners, Nepalese mechanic Ghufran Ahmed.

    “Many labourers earn 800-1,000 riyals ($220-$275/200-250 euros) per month.

    They have to send money back to home. It's expensive here so there are people who need free food,” he said.
    Shadab stands outside the restaurant.—AFP

    Shadab, who is a filmmaker as well as a restaurant owner, said those asking for food are mostly construction workers from countries such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
    Just bread and water

    "We realise a lot of people out here do not get paid on time and do not have money, not even money to eat," he said.

    "So there were people who would come here and just buy a packet of bread. And they would eat the bread with water."

    "So, we realised those people don't have money for anything else. They just buy a packet of bread, which comes to about one riyal. So, we would try to offer them food." But it is not easy, added Shadab.

    "Self-respect", he said, means many refuse to take something for nothing.

    As a result, in the three weeks since the free food experiment started, “the number of people coming here to get free food is like two or three people a day at the most”.

    As if to emphasise Shadab's point, two workers entered the restaurant while AFP was there but left in case their complimentary lunch should become public knowledge.

    In another sign of how people fuelling the Qatari boom are struggling to live, it was recently revealed that some Doha market workers were forced to live in their stalls as they cannot afford rents.

    For Zaiqa too, there is a black cloud on the horizon.

    The restaurant's future is threatened by a dispute over rent with the property owner and may have to close down. Shadab and his brother have a different plan for their next restaurant.

    “We are putting a refrigerator outside, so this refrigerator won't have a lock. It will be facing the road and it will have packets of food with dates on them,” he said.

    "So anybody who wants to take it, he doesn't have to come inside."
    http://www.dawn.com/news/1175466/in-...r-eat-for-free


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  45. #45
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    In Western countries, only poor are fat.

  46. #46
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    Someone once said to me:

    'In the West everyone gets to eat. However the poor eat the most unhealthy food.' Hence the obesity

    In developing countries it the other way around. Its almost as it being a big healthy In weight is a sign of being from good stock.

    Terms like 'khatey peetay khandaan' and whatnot are testament

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum View Post
    In Western countries, only poor are fat.
    Agreed, and this is because they eat a lot of processed, cheap freezer food, McDonalds, Pizza and etc. It is much more expensive to buy healthy food. God damn it our Orange juice doesn't even contain Orange .

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabbar Singh View Post
    awesome

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Someone once said to me:

    'In the West everyone gets to eat. However the poor eat the most unhealthy food.' Hence the obesity

    In developing countries it the other way around. Its almost as it being a big healthy In weight is a sign of being from good stock.

    Terms like 'khatey peetay khandaan' and whatnot are testament
    Lol, Haha. Hota ye hai ke Middle class mein 'khatay peetay' is the norm. A protruding abdomen is seen as a sign of prosperity. But as you graduate from middle class to upper class, dieting and weight loss becomes the fad. Aunties hitting treadmills before their kitty parties, etc.


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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laal View Post
    Lol, Haha. Hota ye hai ke Middle class mein 'khatay peetay' is the norm. A protruding abdomen is seen as a sign of prosperity. But as you graduate from middle class to upper class, dieting and weight loss becomes the fad. Aunties hitting treadmills before their kitty parties, etc.


    So true.


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  51. #51
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    Back when I was doing high school in Qatar, about 1/3 of the boys in our physical education class refused to attend the class, got a note from the doctor for the whole year that they were unable to do sports (lol...). There, if you are qatari, even as a student, you can basically do whatever the hell you want pretty much. So even though the instructor knew the excuse was complete BS he couldn't do anything.

    There was a friggin coffee bean in our cafeteria as well, and a mcdonalds across the street from the school.

    Can't say I'm not surprised.

  52. #52
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    It is interesting to see old threads and posts. Although some are embarrassing, it shows you how much you've changed since then, for better or worse.

  53. #53
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    So true, I live here in Qatar and see obese people left right and center..


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  54. #54
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    There are so many vegetarian restaurants in Qatar I am surprised the Qataris are so fat. Perhaps they don't dine in Indian restaurants, or maybe the vegetarian restaurants are even more loaded with oil and fat. Who knows?


    My conspiracy is bigger than your conspiracy

  55. #55
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    I live in Qatar and these Arabs have there lunch, dinner in KFC. In clubs, they bring you KFC to eat.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by saad32170 View Post
    I live in Qatar and these Arabs have there lunch, dinner in KFC. In clubs, they bring you KFC to eat.
    Is Qatar liberal like Dubai or Islamic?

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laal View Post
    Lol, Haha. Hota ye hai ke Middle class mein 'khatay peetay' is the norm. A protruding abdomen is seen as a sign of prosperity.
    Always hated how desis keep telling healthy people that they should eat more while they are themselves racing to an early grave that is as wide as it is long.


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    Listen, smith of the heavens, what the poet asks.

  58. #58
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    Love visiting Qatar. Uncles and cousins live there. Beautiful country!

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by saadibaba View Post
    In US it's actually the poor people who are obese.
    It's the free foodstamp given by Govn't!


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  60. #60
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    ^ I should rather say inappropriate usage of foodstamp.


    3WCs, #2 ODI team, IPL, Fab 9: Sachin, Dravid, Saurav, Kumble, VVS, Viru, Zak, MSD, Yuvi

  61. #61
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    I spent ten years in this tinpot Sheikhdom. Even twenty years ago, which is when we left, obesity was an epidemic. They weren't just fat, they were hideously fat. They were fat in ways that seemed to defy a normal human body's fat accumulation patterns. Look up the outgoing sheikh, Hamad whatshisname. That's what they looked like, even as kids.


    Qaid-o-Hayat-o-Band-o-Gham Asal Mein Chaaron Aik Hein

  62. #62
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    One question.

    Doesn't Qatar have people of all religions living there?

    Isn't it a good country to live in?

    Then why do people say they export terrorism? I mean what's the point? What's their goal?

    By the way, I had a college friend from Qatar. NRI fellow.

    He was FATTIE FAT.


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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by mithun_minhas View Post
    Is Qatar liberal like Dubai or Islamic?
    Talking about sports clubs

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by sensible-indian-fan View Post
    One question.

    Doesn't Qatar have people of all religions living there?

    Isn't it a good country to live in?

    Then why do people say they export terrorism? I mean what's the point? What's their goal?

    By the way, I had a college friend from Qatar. NRI fellow.

    He was FATTIE FAT.
    They're Wahhabi. Spreading anarchy overseas comes with the territory. The ruling Al-Thani clan are Nejdis like the Sauds. They were driven out a few hundred years ago and set up shop in the peninsula they now rule.

    Also since they're rich, they've decided they need to have influence, so they'll back anyone who is willing. Typical nouveau riche debutante behavior.


    Qaid-o-Hayat-o-Band-o-Gham Asal Mein Chaaron Aik Hein

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    They're Wahhabi. Spreading anarchy overseas comes with the territory. The ruling Al-Thani clan are Nejdis like the Sauds. They were driven out a few hundred years ago and set up shop in the peninsula they now rule.

    Also since they're rich, they've decided they need to have influence, so they'll back anyone who is willing. Typical nouveau riche debutante behavior.
    Ok but why haven't they turned the place they rule (Qatar) into a hell hole yet?

    Why no crazy rules like Saudi?


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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by sensible-indian-fan View Post
    Ok but why haven't they turned the place they rule (Qatar) into a hell hole yet?

    Why no crazy rules like Saudi?
    Because their women (and men) probably can't fit in to regular car seats so they don't need to make laws to bar women from driving.

    See, now that's a smart to way to get what you want without incurring the wrath of women rights groups. :kfc

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by sensible-indian-fan View Post
    Ok but why haven't they turned the place they rule (Qatar) into a hell hole yet?

    Why no crazy rules like Saudi?
    Their interpretation of Wahhabism is probably laxer than Saudi Arabia. But crazy is a spectrum, and they're certainly on it.


    Qaid-o-Hayat-o-Band-o-Gham Asal Mein Chaaron Aik Hein

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by mithun_minhas View Post
    Is Qatar liberal like Dubai or Islamic?
    Somewhere in between


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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Their interpretation of Wahhabism is probably laxer than Saudi Arabia. But crazy is a spectrum, and they're certainly on it.
    But why is it not applied in their own country?

    If someone is so convinced about their ideology that they would spend billions of dollars to propagate it, then wouldn't they apply it for the land they rule?

    Qatar doesn't seem to be a hell hole with crazy rules which is why I am confused.


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  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by sensible-indian-fan View Post
    But why is it not applied in their own country?

    If someone is so convinced about their ideology that they would spend billions of dollars to propagate it, then wouldn't they apply it for the land they rule?

    Qatar doesn't seem to be a hell hole with crazy rules which is why I am confused.
    Well even with Saudi Arabia, what they propagate overseas is different from what they implement at home. At home, they keep the radicals in check, at best co-opting them. Overseas, they empower them.

    Qatar may not have all the crazy rules of Saudi Arabia, but they're there. I remember during our time there, my mother and plenty of expatriate women drove vehicles, but we never ever saw a native woman do it. Expatriate women (and men) could dress as they pleased (within limits of course), but the locals all had the same dress: black tent for women, white tent for men. They had the punishments too, they just didn't make a spectacle out of it. I'm not sure if it has changed much since. Those who live there now should know more.


    Qaid-o-Hayat-o-Band-o-Gham Asal Mein Chaaron Aik Hein

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Well even with Saudi Arabia, what they propagate overseas is different from what they implement at home. At home, they keep the radicals in check, at best co-opting them. Overseas, they empower them.

    Qatar may not have all the crazy rules of Saudi Arabia, but they're there. I remember during our time there, my mother and plenty of expatriate women drove vehicles, but we never ever saw a native woman do it. Expatriate women (and men) could dress as they pleased (within limits of course), but the locals all had the same dress: black tent for women, white tent for men. They had the punishments too, they just didn't make a spectacle out of it. I'm not sure if it has changed much since. Those who live there now should know more.
    Oh..I see...thanks.


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  72. #72
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    these arabs are the advance shape of mughals & I am sure their end will be more likely of mughals end

  73. #73
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    I stayed in the US for quite some time and I wasn't exactly rich, let's leave it at that. The only thing stopping me from eating out at Wendys, McDonald's and places like that was the fact that some of these chains didn't offer Halal meat which is why I ended up cooking a lot at home. Instant noodles such as Ramen and Maggi were my best friends while Doritos and Fritos covered the rest of my day.

    I can safely say had the halal-restraint not been put on me, I would've bloated up about 25 pounds.


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