A Fifth Qatari Travelogue: The Blockade



Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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15 Responses

  1. Avatar InMD says:

    I’m not sure the tone of this piece is sufficiently defiant, what with the blockade…

    Thanks for sharing these I very much enjoy reading them.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Here’s the anecdote that I thought about including in the essay but talked it over with Maribou beforehand and we agreed that it was just a hair “on the nose”.

    On one of the last nights we were there, we went to the mall’s food court to get a little something for supper. Despite the blockade, the food court was hopping and I saw a woman in full hijab dress sitting with (I presume it was) her son (in short pants and printed t-shirt) and they were opening a set of Avengers action figures (you know the ones, 8-9 inches tall, fully articulated, kung fu grip) and they were pulling out Iron Man and Captain America. As they were sitting together and playing with the figures, (I presume it was) the father in full Qatari dress came over with a tray full of McDonald’s and sat down with them and they started to eat.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine says:

      Rajin’ Cajun Chicken Burek? Booo.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        I didn’t get that one. I suppose, someday, it might be nice to go there and do a “we’re going to see if they got the spices right!” thing for Middle-Eastern food that purports to be something vaguely American. “How dare they call this ketchup!”, and that sort of thing.

        I just wanted the shawarma. It was a rough day. I just wanted the shawarma.Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine says:

          Well sure, everyone loves Greek food. ;-pReport

          • Avatar Jaybird says:

            They call it “Mediterranean” over there.

            One of the places we went to in the mall had “Persian Food”. It included what you and I know of as “Dolmas”. Much more sour. A lot more vinegar.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine says:

              They call it “Mediterranean” over there

              Of course they would.

              Back to the original post… does the Emirate have a Nobility with equivalent regional or functional jurisdiction? We tend to forget that the Monarch is usually popular with the people over and in distinction to the Nobility; notwithstanding the modern day Royality Shows.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                From what I could tell, there are a number of functional jurisdictions and the people in charge of those jurisdictions also have noble titles.

                But, also, Qatar has a Prime Minister as well as an Emir.

                They seem to have some mobility between seats. For example, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (the Emir’s father), was the Prime Minister before becoming the Emir.

                They’ve got all kinds of Ministries. I believe that the Minister of each Ministry has a royal title of some kind as well. Of course, in my preliminary googling, a number of these ministers seem to have the surname “Al Thani”. (But not all of them! But… I’m guessing that if you kept going, they’d be cousins.)Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                Ok, but no real locus of power other than a connection to Al Thani. That sounds very centralized.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                The dude knows how power is grabbed and, I’m guessing, an idea of how power is kept.

                Propaganda, for example, is absolutely positively 100% essential.

                But, yeah. “Keep your friends close, enemies closer” is probably part of the game too.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                when your entire citizenship is fewer people than work for Home Depot in the US, you can afford to be centralized.

                (and 90%+ people all live in the same metro area)Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine says:

                So what you’re really saying is Bezos acquisition target?Report

  3. Avatar Fish says:

    Hooray I didn’t know Calvin Harris had a new album out!

    Er…ah…great piece, Jay. Now I want to read your notes for all the bits that you elected not to include!Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      Variants of “holy crap, this is so heavy-handed… this is so transparent…” followed by “holy crap, am I unironically rooting for the Qataris after reading this story?” followed by “holy crap, my brain has been re-wired to think of Tamim as the Emir and I didn’t even notice as it was happening”.

      Holy crap. Propaganda works. Holy crap. It doesn’t even have to be particularly good.

      Holy crap. How am I being re-wired *RIGHT NOW*?

      That sort of thing.Report