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Illegal Hand Gestures in Qatar Defined by Qatar Police

Living in Qatar as a Western expat can be more than a little bizarre. The hand gesture thing really matters; people have been arrested for insulting a Qatari citizen for poor judgement while driving by gesturing with that circle to the head, you know, the are-you-crazy? gesture. My sweet and beautiful Lebanese friend was stopped, harassed, and given a huge fine for doing this. 

At the entry to Al Jazi, one of the finest compounds in Doha, a Qatari national was incensed that his entry was blocked by an American woman, so he hit her car with his car. When she didn’t move, he hit her again. When she got out of the car and asked if he was “F#(%ing crazy”, he hit the car again. The police came, the man was charged for damage to her car, but she went to jail for cursing, and insulting a Qatari citizen.

So when this comes out in the newspaper, LOL, guess it’s time to pay attention. The funny thing is, in all these gestures, I don’t see the FU gesture:

From the Qatar Gulf Times


By Joseph Varghese/Staff Reporter


Hand gestures which do not agree with the norms and values of Qatar are treated as an offence and therefore punishable by law,  Captain Rashid Mubarak al-Khayareen of the Community Police Department has said.

He also said that Qatari laws and regulations prohibit begging and there is harsh punishment awaiting beggars in the country.  

The official was addressing the leaders from different expatriate communities during an interaction held at the headquarters of the Traffic Department recently. 
The Community Police Department works under the Ministry of Interior (MoI). 

At the meeting, he said that it was highly important for the Interior Ministry to get the co-operation and partnership of the community members to achieve its security goals.
Al-Khayareen explained: “The Ministry of Interior adopts the concept of community policing as part of its belief that the responsibility of defending the security of  Qatar is the responsibility of everyone and the citizens and residents are the beneficiaries of it.”

He advised the residents to be careful about fraudsters. “You can straightaway ask for the ID card of the policeman, whenever you are asked to produce your ID card by a person who is in civil dress and claims he is a policeman.”

The official continued that Qatar was a traditional Islamic country and the Qataris expected every resident of the country to take care of the customs and follow the same. He said: “The country has its own customs and traditions and the people of Qatar are committed to follow it and they love everyone who respects those customs and follows them.”

According to al-Khayareen all the residents, both men and women should wear descent (decent) clothes, dresses that covered the body properly and they must avoid improper dresses contrary to the taste of the citizens. “The Qatari society gives respect to women and therefore we expect that the residents also will do the same,” he added.

Captain al-Khayareen further said that if anybody was in need of financial support, they might approach the charity organisations in the country as they are formed to support and help the needy and the poor. Begging in markets, commercial complexes and residential neighbourhoods are strictly prohibited.

He also said that the laws and regulations of the country prohibit fishing or riding bicycles in areas designated for families such as the Corniche, or near sensitive areas and economic establishments. 

Similarly, people should avoid taking pictures of women or men without their permission. 
Al-Khayareen said that people must avoid the practice of urinating or spitting on the streets or sleeping in the public places such as gardens or gathering in front of the houses of others which are contrary to the customs and traditions of the country.

He also appealed the residents to stay away from writing on walls as graffiti it might cause harassment for people.

July 17, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments