Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Qatar Arrests Three for Sorcery

From today’s Gulf Times

Three sorcerers, who were preying mainly on women, were arrested by the preventive security department, a statement issued by the public relations department at the ministry of interior said yesterday.

The accused, who are from an Arab country, confessed that they were practising sorcery in some Gulf states before coming to Qatar and that most of their victims were women and girls, the statement added.

A number of books, amulets, local and foreign currency were seized from the suspects who were staying at a hotel.

Lieutenant Colonel Manahi Khaled al-Hajiri, the head of the preventive security department urged the public to be cautious and report any suspicious acts to the police on: 4471444, 4947888 or send an SMS to 92994 or e-mail:

I don’t believe in sorcery. The thought of it, to me, is just laughable. I can only imagine that the women these guys were preying on must have been desperate, and I can only try to imagine what their issues are – a straying husband? casting a love spell? some troublesome neighbor? wanting a baby?

My religion forbids us to have anything to do with sorcery – even fortune telling. I am guessing in the US people could be arrested for fraud, unless they could prove that their ‘sorcery’ worked, but I don’t know that practicing sorcery as such is against the law. So I have to wonder about all those women on late night TV who you can call and they will tell your fortune? That’s legal?

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Crime, Cross Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Random Musings, Spiritual | 6 Comments

A Breath of Winter

I am a happy camper.

AdventureMan’s teeth are chattering and he is rummaging through his drawers in search of long johns and his fleece jacket, the Qatteri Cat is nestled as close to me as he can get and there is a slight chill in the air (remember, I am an Alaska girl 🙂 so it doesn’t feel that cold to me!)

Yesterday, I even wore long sleeves, first time since December, when we had a couple chilly days. January in Doha – until yesterday – was more like March in Doha, with warm nights and warmer days. I appreciate the freshness of a little coolness.

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Doha, Qatar, Qatteri Cat, Travel, Weather | 6 Comments

Qattari Cat Goes Wild

It was like the ninth circle in Hell. We had been told this was the best clinic in town, so when we thought the Qatteri Cat was having a problem, we made an appointment, and braved the Doha drive-time traffic to get there, only to discover that there were like 25 people milling around the waiting room, most holding animals loose in their arms, and a feeling of desperation in the air.

The customer service was shocking. I watched one man, big guy, football-player type, sway and his knees nearly buckle as the curt woman behind the desk said in her loud voice “Oh! Your cat didn’t make it! Your’s was the little grey cat, right?” He was devastated. I was horrified that the news could be delivered so callously, and so loudly.

Many of the people without appointments had kittens bought at the Souq al Waqif. You know I love the Souk al Waqif, but if you buy an animal there, you are buying an animal who already has strikes against it, and people who breed them just for sale, with no regard for ethical treatment of another living creature. You are buying trouble, and big veterinarian bills. It’s gotten so bad for me, I can’t even walk through the bird/animal area anymore. I can’t bear to see the way the animals are treated.

We got to see the vet over an hour later. He was nice, very professional, very knowledgeable, and I cannot imagine what it is like having to run a veterinary service under these hellish conditions.

One of his handlers walked in, looked at me coldly and said “Is this your cat?” I said yes, and she continued on “this is the worst cat I have ever handled. He is EVIL! He is VICIOUS! He is the cat from hell. Is he like this at home?”

Imagine saying something like that to a customer!

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. The Qatteri Cat had a rough beginning in life. I met his first owners, and the women in the family didn’t like him. When he came to live with us, he loved – and trusted – AdventureMan from the beginning, but it took me a long while to win his trust. He was skinny and always watching my feet and hands; he would flinch if I moved too quickly. He had been mistreated.

He has bitten me twice, in his seven years living with us, both times when other cats were around and he was scared. When he is scared, or when he is in pain, all his natural instincts kick in. I give him a short time-out in a confined environment (the bathroom!), and everything is fine. He’s a cat. No, he is not vicious at home. He is a SWEET cat!

He has never misbehaved at a vet clinic, never. At the clinic in Kuwait, he couldn’t wait to get out of the cage; the female Italian vet told him what a handsome big boy he was and he was putty in her hands. I have to admit it, I felt a twinge of jealousy. He had eyes only for her!

The Qattari Cat is a cat who wants to co-operate. It doesn’t matter how good the vet is, if the staff is unprofessional, discourteous to the point of rudeness, and ignorant about handling animals, we won’t go back. We won’t risk him being handled cruelly. I cannot imagine why they keep this woman on their staff.

But I couldn’t resist taking a flash photo of QC to illustrate this post, with demonic, gleaming eyes, LLOOOLLLL!

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Civility, Communication, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions, Pets, Qatar, Qatteri Cat, Rants | 13 Comments

The Law of the Harvest

A small group was huddled, talking about volunteer work, and how people are afraid to commit, when the duties are actually very light, and easily accomplished, then we drifted into giving generously . . .

“It’s called The Law of the Harvest” one of my favorite women popped in as I was trying to explain that when you give, open-handedly, give with your heart, it all comes back to you multiplied.

We all turned to her. “Remember the seeds? You sow the seeds and then it is multiplied?”

Of course! It’s so simple! Why didn’t I think of that?

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Character, Charity, Civility, Community, ExPat Life, Leadership, Relationships, Spiritual | 11 Comments