Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Qatar Emir Meets with Family to Plan Step Down

Honestly, who would want to be King? All those events and ceremonies, living your life in a fishbowl? Never a week went by in Doha without rumors of a new wife, speculation about an old wife, and comments on the Emir’s appearance. He has ushered Qatar through perilous times; few “blessings” are as two-sided as new wealth. He is looking healthier and happier than I have ever seen him; maybe he is looking forward to a life of privacy and leisure 🙂 We wish him well; we wish him safety and health and all good things. From today’s Doha News:

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, will meet with members of the ruling family and several Qatari advisors today, government-funded channel Al Jazeera reports.

Over the past two weeks, several foreign diplomats have said that a transition of power in Qatar is imminent. 

Citing “trusted sources” regarding its information about Monday’s meeting but not elaborating any further, Al Jazeera implied that the talks would revolve around the Emir’s succession plans.

Details about the upcoming changes in government are unclear. But the Emir is expected to cede power to his fourth son, 33-year-old Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, while the Prime Minister/Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani, is said to be stepping down.

If the reports are true, the succession would be a historic event for Qatar and the Middle East, a region where rulers normally reign until death.

According to AFP:

“The emir is convinced that he should encourage the new generation. He plans to transfer power to the crown prince, Sheikh Tamim, and to carry out a ministerial reshuffle to bring a large number of young people into the cabinet,” a Qatari official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The Emir himself was a young 43 years old when he took power from his father in a bloodless coup on June 27, 1995, according to the Amiri Diwan’s website.

Though Al Jazeera’s report came in around 1am Monday, online reaction has already been building, with many Qataris expressing sadness about the potential end of Sheikh Hamad’s rule.

UPDATE | 12:20pm

Two hashtags in English and Arabic, #ThankYouHamad and  #شكراً_حمد, expressing gratitude for the Emir and his rule are trending in Qatar on Twitter.

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June 24, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Civility, Community, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Interconnected, Leadership, Living Conditions, News, Political Issues, Qatar, Work Related Issues | Leave a comment

St. John the Baptist and the Holy Spirit



This entry is a totally Here There and Everywhere moment; the impetus of which is today’s reading from Luke about the birth of John the Baptist, or as he is known in the Moslem world, the Prophet Yahya. We visited his tomb in Damascus; at our church in Kuwait on the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, one of the readings was from the Quran. I love it when our worlds intersect and we can discover what we can learn from one another, to the advantage of all.

I also love it that each meditation from Forward Day by Day lists at the bottom the area of the world we are to include in our daily prayers. I love praying for Nigeria. I have old friends from my Kuwait church living there, and also a neighbor from Doha, a sweet book-club friend who lived across the street, who now lives in Lagos.

When I pray for Nigeria, I see the tiny flame of the holy spirit entering into each heart, and then I see God blowing lightly on each person, so that the flame grows. The flame helps them reach out and encourage one another, and others see, and are attracted, and thus the holy spirit spreads. I imagine it covering Nigeria, all believers, seeing one another as fellow believers, not as Ibo or Christian or village or . . . you get the drill. I pray that the light spreads through all Africa, and tiny embers spread out to join, and then further, so that sparks unite all over the world.

I pray, too, for Damascus, and for Syria, and all our friends there; I think of all the wonderful adventures and times we have shared in Syria, and I know and trust with all my heart that our good and loving God can bring good out of this horror. I pray for it to happen sooner rather than to allow this suffering to endure.

. . . And that was just ONE synapse connecting early on a Monday morning, LOL. Have a great day. 🙂



MONDAY, June 24    The Nativity of Saint John the Baptist

Luke 1:57-80.

On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.”

It’s interesting to me that the name John means “God is gracious” and the meaning of the name Zechariah is “God has remembered.” Not all that different, given the content of the Song of Zechariah that he immediately launches into, but the miracle of the loosing of Zechariah’s mute tongue at that moment makes the point of the story pretty clear: going with the divine flow is the only way to go. 

Most of us don’t receive such pointed visions that show us the fork in the road—“this way, not that way”—but all of us are constantly cultivating either a disposition of “my will be done” or of “thy will be done” that will suddenly show up in those crossroads moments. It may appear like divine intervention, but it is long-term divine cultivation.


Living into a larger pattern is both exciting and terrifying, because it means letting go of convention and stepping into new territory. Like Elizabeth and Zechariah, we do not step forward blind but with a promise: God remembers, and God is gracious.


PRAY for the Diocese of Oke-Osun (Ibadan, Nigeria)

June 24, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Character, Community, Cross Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Faith, Interconnected, Kuwait, Lectionary Readings, Spiritual | Leave a comment