Thursday, August 20, 2015


Today is the letter Q for my Travel Blogging Challenge. There is only one country that starts with the letter Q - Qatar.

To be honest, I don't even know where Qatar is.  If I had to guess I would say the Middle East.  I would say a small country with one ruler and with lots of oil.  Okay, now I am going to Google it.

Sure enough, Qatar is a high income economy backed by the world's third largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves.  It also has the highest per capita income in the world.  Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its territory surrounded by the Persian Gulf.  Qatar is an absolute monarchy and its head of state is Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Bingo!  I got it right.

This was an interesting fact: In 2013, Qatar's total population was 1.8 million: 278,000 Qatari citizens and 1.5 million expatriates. 

Until I read this: According to the US State Department, expatriate workers from nations throughout Asia and parts of Africa are routinely subjected to forced labor and, in some instances, prostitution.  Some of the more common labor rights violations include beatings, withholding of payment, charging workers for benefits which are nominally the responsibility of the amir, severe restrictions on freedom of movement (such as the confiscation of passports, travel documents, or exit permits), arbitrary detention, threats of legal action, and sexual assault.  Lovely!  What a place to visit.

The country has among the highest rates of obesity, diabetes and genetic disorders in the world.  All that money and good living.

I know I have said this before but not a country high on my list of countries I wish to visit.

Until tomorrow...

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