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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Controversial ‘Harrodsburg’ photos draw ire in Qatar and beyond

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

With reporting from Heba Fahmy

A collection of candid photographs of wealthy shoppers taken in London’s Knightsbridge district has caused a stir on social media, with many Qataris criticizing them as being distasteful and an invasion of privacy.

The photos were taken by British photographer Dougie Wallace, who regularly posts them to a website showcasing his new project, “Harrodsburg.”

 Harrods
Harrods

According to Wallace, the images reflect “an up-close wealth safari, exploring the wildlife that inhabits the super-rich residential and retail district of Knightsbridge and Chelsea.”

The collection of photographs will go on display at a London art gallery in October, though Wallace recently said on Twitter that he planned to continue taking the photos until December.

Knightsbridge, the location of the Qatar-owned Harrods department store, is a popular hang-out for Qatari tourists, many of whom rent or own apartments in the area.

Consequently, Wallace’s collection of photographs contains images of Qatari and other Gulf Arab tourists, alongside numerous images of other wealthy people from around the globe.

Under the hashtag #دوغي_والاس (Dougie Wallace), some on Twitter have lambasted the photographer for sharing photos of children and others without their permission.

‘Social documentary’

Wallace, who has worked on several “social documentary” photo projects, called his latest collection “a timely and stark exposé” about the emergence of an “ultra-affluent elite.”

Thumbnails from Harrodsburg website
Thumbnails from Harrodsburg website

He claims that such wealthy people are “changing the face of our city, pricing out the upper middle class natives of Central London, excluding first times (sic) buyers from the city and (marginalizing) old wealth from their time-honored habitats.”

Unsurprisingly, his collection does not flatter its subjects.

Wallace’s photos are all taken on the street in London, with images frequently showing shoppers laden with bags from designer stores, or sitting inside expensive cars.

One image, taken through a car window, shows three young children sitting with their mother while their nanny stands nearby.

It was this image in particular that upset Jassim Al-Thani:

Others online demanded that Wallace should be taken to court for invading the privacy of the shoppers:

Translation: The British judiciary should hold him accountable for what he’s doing, as this offends visitors. If they were in the Gulf, this would have been a big issue.

Though many critics felt the subjects of the photos should sue the photographer, some pointed out that British law does not consider pictures taken in public places to be an invasion of privacy.

Meanwhile, some posted photos of Wallace, urging Arab women to beware of him if they saw him on the street:

https://twitter.com/Mariaaa_NA/status/634528924177985538

When contacted by Doha News, Wallace did not return requests for comment about the criticism his collection has received.

Not all Qataris have expressed offense at the photos.

Some, like journalism student Al Anood Al Thani, said they were rather surprised by the clothes worn by many of the subjects:

https://twitter.com/Al_Anood/status/634247716579618816

Foreign investors

On the Harrodsburg website, Wallace said he was motivated to take the photos to cast light on the damaging effect he believes wealthy foreign buyers are having on the Kensington neighborhood, where around 40 percent of properties sit empty at any given time.

“In a phenomenon dubbed ‘lights-out-London’, buy-to-leave absentee property owners are pushing up house prices without contributing to the local economy, adding insult to injury for the hundreds of thousands living in temporary accommodation or languishing on social housing waiting lists,” he writes.

His work feeds off a wider social unease over the amount of property and businesses owned by Qatari investors in London, an issue frequently covered by UK newspapers.

Qatar now owns or has large shares in high profile London landmarks like The Shard, the Olympic Village and Canary Wharf.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Meanwhile, contributing to the tension is an ongoing battle over the presence of noisy super cars in the upmarket Knightsbridge neighborhood during the summer, with authorities in the district planning legislation to curb the practice.

Each summer, hundreds of tourists, mainly from the Gulf, travel to the UK, bringing with them their luxury vehicles.

Many of these visitors congregate around popular hotspots such as Harrods, revving their engines, parking illegally and generally creating a nuisance in the area, according to local residents.

Two years ago, a British TV documentary sparked debate after it highlighted complaints about rich, young Khaleeji men turning London’s streets into their own personal playground in their imported supercars.

The film, “Millionaire Boy Racers,” provoked discussion about multiculturalism and tolerance in the wealthy London area.

Have you seen the photos? Thoughts?

136 COMMENTS

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Katie
5 years ago

I kind of agree with the part about photos of babies/kids – I hate it when magazines print photos of celebrities’ children. But it’s just distasteful, not illegal nor should it be.

The attitude here is often “Our country, our rules”, so the same should apply when Qataris go abroad. British country, British rules.
http://www.onlyindoha.com

Joe
Joe
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

STAY HOME with your “babies” anyone knows they should NOT take a “BABY OUT” in public for 3 months…after that its FAIR GAME and the USA its called FREEDOM.

If these “arabs” are afraid of being photographed then blend INTO the CULTURE they traveled to…we have to FOLLOW QATAR RULES when we are in QATAR that are OFFENSIVE to the western world.

and as for the ARAB WOMEN in their “short” skirts, driving fancy cars – it should tell you they want FREEDOM ~

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Joe

That’s a lot of shouty caps. Deep breath, Joe.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Joe

Sounds like you need a freedom beer my friend.

The GCC is the most hypocritical place on earth, we know it, they know. Nothing to get excited about.

Naser
Naser
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

again…if its so bad why you stay in…… MIHM ..we are not hypo..we have believes and traditions..and we expect from guests to respect it.

Doc
Doc
5 years ago
Reply to  Naser

So you don’t understand the hypocricy that a Brit here has to abide by the laws of the land but in the UK where you are allowed to photograph who you like you are not supposed to respect that?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Doc

I do find it quite amusing when they don’t see the hypocrisy in their words. Reminds me of the imam who told me once that Islam is the religion of peace and when everyone is Muslim we will have peace. Mashalla.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Naser

Because it doesn’t affect me, I can live my life how I want. Family or society does not coerce me to behave in one way.

I don’t live the hypocrisy, I just see it all around.

Cerebus
Cerebus
5 years ago
Reply to  Naser

Is it your tradition to take pictures of my little girls walking around? Funny its bad when others do it to Qataris but not when I have them snapping pics of my kids at the Pearl or the mall. I find that completely offensive, perverted, and where I am from, they will arrest a person for doing that. Why on earth do these men need pictures of my children? Can someone explain what cultural norm that follows? Or is it respecting their honor? Its hard to take anything seriously from people that advocate this type of behavior among their own population but then get upset when they get called out on their own personal behavior in a public way. If you find it shameful, maybe one should not be out doing it in the first place. Even guest have a right to not have their children molested by the eyes of local Qatari men.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Naser

I think that the hypocrisy that he is talking about is how strident Gulfies are about people behaving properly when visiting the GCC, but then the being incredibly arrogant, loutish, and rude themselves when visiting other countries. Really, I think that the only national group more disliked than Gulfies for their poor behaviour when abroad is the Chinese.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Question : Please enter racial stereotypes in the blanks provided : I think all …………………………… are…………………………….and should be ……………………………As for those ……………………….they are ……………………………..and should always respect …………………

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

We’re not discussing ‘races’, we’re discussing nationalities. Gulfies have, for better or worse, a very negative image among many. This may be rightly deserved, or it may not, the important thing is that it does exist. They are like any group, the bad behaviour of a few (boy racers or Paris historic property destroyers anyone? ) leads to negative generalizations by others. No one is talking about ‘all’, but we are talking about commonly held perceptions. For fun one time, next time you are in London or Beirut, ask every taxi driver you travel with what the local image of Gulfies is. It is a very interesting exercise in perceptions and stereotypes.

This is not surprising, you’ll get the same sort of results if you ask taxi drivers in Tijuana about Americans. The extreme behaviour of a few is what gets the attention and is what gets lodged in the public eye. Just recently there was this article on how common this misbehaviour is: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/q/schedule-for-friday-august-14-2015-1.3190045/tourists-gone-wild-it-s-about-me-not-the-place-i-visit-1.3190281 It is just the way it is.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Sure, if the semantics work for you, then keep drinking the cool aid. Existence or not, is actually not the issue. Yes, YOU are implicitly talking about all……..’The national group Chinese’ in this context. All 1.357 billion of them and thus by default, the ones that travel. I don’t disagree with the point you are making however, generalisations are commonly held for specific “nationalities’, but because such ignorance exists in the minds of those who know no better, doesn’t make it the way it has to be for the rest of us. To conclude, here’s a few links to a survey that looked at the worlds worst travellers………draw your own conclusions …http://www.businessinsider.com/worst-behaved-tourists-2013-5 or or http://opentravel.com/blogs/worlds-most-annoying-tourists/ or finally from Forbes ; http://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewbender/2012/04/03/the-worlds-rudest-nations-for-travelers/ ……strange the ‘Gulfies’ are not even making the lists, but if the Lebanese taxi driver says so, then it must be!

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

Thank you for making my point so succinctly. Tourists often create bad images for their home countries in the eyes of their hosts,as the Qataris and Emiratis have unfortunately been doing in the UK. This may be unfair, but it is the way it is. We can do this all day long and find that nearly every nationality has its fair share of boorish travellers who bring disrepute upon it in the eyes of their hosts. Gulf Arabs (Gulfies) are no different – there are enough who misbehave (as with the recent ill-considered and ignorant comments on twitter) that the whole group is tarred. I don’t see this as a problem particularly representative of Gulf Arabs per se, it is that way for every group. As for Lebanese taxi drivers, well, they have as much credibility (and perhaps much more) as we random DN posters, n’est pas? As for ignorance, ‘we’ and our experiences and beliefs are very unique on a global scale, and sadly stereotypes drive the beliefs and actions of the overwhelming majority of the world’s population.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

You’re welcome, always willing to help those in need. Having also lived in Beirut myself, I can only draw on personal taxi driver experiences, which, actually differ greatly from your ‘Every Driver’ analogy. If your actual point from the beginning was that every nationality has their percentage of boorish travellers, then you will likely get universal agreement. The message remains however, no one likes, or should perpetuate stereotyping. Judge each person as you meet them personally, not on the gossip of the guy who picks you up from the street. Then the ‘Way it is’ is up to you, n’est pas?

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

Who, in this conversation, is in need? That is the question to be considered. 😉 No doubt my my lived experience of Beirut was different from yours, I’ll give you that. Judge each person? Really? I think that a different verb might be more appropriate, but hey, that’s just me.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

It’s ok, you’ll figure it out eventually. If your ‘Lived?’ experience of Beirut was about chatting to every taxi driver about the ‘Gulfies’, you missed a lot!. If you are happy to go around blindly believing what others say and not judge for yourself, then yes, really, we can use another verb to describe that, but hey, thats just me.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

Oh, I have the liver damage, and the scar from teeth through a lip, among other mementos, to remind me of Beirut in my old age. I have great hopes that that city will become what it can be again before I shuffle off of this mortal coil. No desire to see it in that shape it is now, but hopefully again one day. Anyway, it was the taxi drivers who brought it up, when asking where I lived before Beirut and when I mentioned the Gulf it invariably brought up different versions of ‘poor you’ and ‘why?’

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Painful souvenirs and will agree with you in hoping that one day, a beautiful country and passionately proud people will see stability and happiness again…………

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Deleted for stereotyping.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

It clearly says ‘many’ and the further conversation makes it very clear that we are discussing perceptions and how people generalize and stereotype. I advise that you re-read the whole conversation and reconsider in light of this information.

Joe
Joe
5 years ago
Reply to  Naser

Then you should stay where you feel you can get more respect. Because When You show your tacky taste in public in liberal countries, you are a fare game dude!

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
5 years ago

People think he should be taken to court because he ‘offends’ visitors? The courts are where people go when they are suspected of committing a crime, and causing offence isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a crime.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Correct. Taking offence is just acting like a child. Being offended is the new must have fashion of the 21st century. Everyone must be offended by everything. Take to Twitter!

Cerebus
Cerebus
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I am offended by the offensiveness of your comments on being offended!

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

It does make you wonder about the extremely immature mindset, doesn’t it. These visitors should be issued a pamphlet on arrival reminding them that they have no right not to be offended.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

One that explains that when you are in public, you aren’t in private? It would be hard to write such a pamphlet without it sounding sickeningly condescending.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Well, apparently whatever education system these folks went through didn’t have that little detail in the curriculum.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Correction ‘no right to be offended’.

Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

I think our friendly Arabic-speaking tweet writer both hit the nail on the head and self incriminated all within 140 characters (very efficient!). “If they were in the Gulf, this would have been a big issue.” Well guess what hombre? You’re not in the Gulf and neither is Mr Wallace. Not everyone is offended as easily as your average Khaleeji seems to be (which is a really good thing!).

Cerebus
Cerebus
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Really? This is a big issue in the Gulf? Everytime my 2 little girls are at the pearl, you can bet there will be at least 3-4 incidents where a local is out there with a camera and a zoom lens snapping pics of them. I can imagine I am not the only one to experience this “big issue” that is only an issue if the pictures are taken of someone else.

Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

Maybe the size of the issue depends on the purpose of taking the photos and their use? An international public relations crisis if they are published but it’s OK if they are for (ahem) “personal” use?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I disagree with him saying they are ruining the neighbourhood. If they want to buy houses then that is their business and they do contribute to the economy, lots! As for the pictures I agree they are not flattering but they are in the UK so have to abide by the rules there. Their country their rules.

The thing that strikes me is the hypocrisy, we are constantly told women are not forced to wear the hijab and it’s a personal choice. If it’s personal choice I have no issue with it, but it is clear in the gulf they are forced to wear it, either by parents, husbands or through societal and culture pressure. As soon as they are in an environment where they are free to make a choice, some choose not to wear it and that is true beauty. The freedom to choose.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

When young females ventured to South America to do charity work they had scorn heaped upon them because they removed their headscarves. Will the same level of judgment be thrust upon the elites who like to spend their summers in Knightsbridge, without a headscarf in sight?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

No, because they forced orreedo to block the website. One rule for the rich….

Anas Nemmassi
Anas Nemmassi
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Their country their rules.

Asinine Thinker
Asinine Thinker
5 years ago
Reply to  Anas Nemmassi

You are naive, LOL, From what I can gather from history books, till 1971, it was more like “Their county, British rules”. Sovereignty is not a guaranteed privilege my son

Asinine Thinker
Asinine Thinker
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

LOL, it’s only blocked here. The rest of the world can still see the site. Like a child who closes its own eyes and thinks nobody can see it either. Pfff haha

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

I asked an Emirati American girl about this once.

She said that they wear the abaya and hijab partially so as not to draw attention to themselves, and in Western countries you draw more attention to yourself by wearing it than not wearing it.

I’m not sure how much truth there is to that, but it’s an interesting perspective.
Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Fine, don’t wear the abaya. I kinda get that, but why no headscarf? When I’m in London in summer it’s incredible to see these women with no end of make up, high heels and tight clothes and no headscarves. I can’t work it out.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

I can 😉

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

Lots of Muslim women don’t wear headscarves?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

True but in certain countries they are coerced. So no real choice at all.

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

In some countries there is coercion, in some countries women wear the hijab by choice. My Lebanese colleague, like most of her compatriots, didn’t wear the scarf, until she decided that she wanted to be closer to her religion in her 30s.

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com/?p=483

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

If only freedom of choice existing for all. It’s a shame to men and it’s nearly always men, believe a woman’s honor exists only between her legs

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I absolutely agree with you. Freedom of choice for all? That’s the dream.

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com/?p=483

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

What is so great about freedom of choice?

True freedom is born out of discipline…too much choice often leaves us confused and floundering and than we just become slaves to our ever-changing whims….this is definitely the state of many in the so-called “free” West today. They are complete slaves to the fashions of the time and to their own momentary feelings.

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

I’d rather be a slave to my own whims than someone else’s!

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Except that the values of modesty and chastity are not ‘someone else’s whim’…they have been recognized as important across the planet and across time periods.

To forego modesty and chastity is to open oneself to all the problems we have now in the West: STD’s, abortion, teen pregnancy, sky divorce rates, etc.

Enjoy being a slave to your own whims.

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Ah yes, the good old days of the patriarchy.

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

So, you do not have an argument to make, do you?

How convenient, just dismiss everything someone says with one word.

I can play this stupid game too, my words to dismiss you without argument: Cultural Marxist.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Better a slave to whims than to some heavily armed sheikh.
Anyway, what one sees in these photos is hardly modesty or chastity.
It’s a vulgar display of petrodollars and extravagant trinkets, pilfered, basically, from one’s countrymen, and held up for display, to the revulsion of the (educated, civilized) natives of London.
And Marxism notwithstanding, how are absolute monarchies, military dictatorships, or radical theocracies in anyway superior to democracy and capitalism?
Oh, right. They’re not. Not to any free, civilized person, anyway.

brorick
brorick
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

you say freedom of choice but it sounds like you want them to wear what the westerners wear..how many times have you seen a man wearing a thob in london? yet i dont see you comment about that, maybe the arabs are better at adapting to the culture that we are?
no woman is forced to wear next to nothing on a night out in the middle of december yet they do…
my experience comes with my friends mother who wears the hijab, when i ask her why because we live in the uk, she says its her choice and doesnt care about people to telling her not to wear it.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  brorick

Good for her, if she wants to wear hijab that is her business. Ignore the haters.

I’ve only seen a few Arabs wear thobs outside of the gulf and rarely in London unless it’s an official event. Some I know in the gulf would rather wear a suit than national dress all the time, especially in winter but feel pressured to do so.

brorick
brorick
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

who pressures them? maybe its themselves thinking society will judge, like people feel embarrassed to drive an old car…
like i said, maybe its just adapting to culture when travelling so thats why you see women dress differently from country (as do the men, but thats ignored by the media)

Anas Nemmassi
Anas Nemmassi
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

No a woman’s and a man’s honor lay in their dignified behavior not between her or his legs. But a woman who “opens her legs” ( she has all the freedom to do so in the west) IS NOT MARRIAGE MATERIAL whatever her origin is!

But what do you propose to us middle-easterns really?

More promiscuity under the name of freedom?

Do you want middle-eastern societies to westernize?

More affairs? More divorces maybe? Or maybe open-relationships?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Anas Nemmassi

And they you go, “she is not marriage material”, blatant sexual discrimination and a good example of how some people in the Middle East judge women by different standards to men.

I’m not here to tell people in the Middle East how to live their lives but when they hold women to different standards to men and treat women as second class it’s needs to be exposed.

Maybe your also be surprised how many women in the Middle East have “open their legs” but we’re still pure on their wedding day, maybe even your wife because you know what you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Lol, do you not see the blatant contradiction in this statement?

“I’m not here to tell people in the Middle East how to live their lives but when they hold women to different standards to men and treat women as second class it’s needs to be exposed.”
You are not going to tell them how to live…unless how they choose to live is different than how you choose to live.

The fact is, you are so sure you are right that you cannot even consider the other point of view…this is totally clear when you say they “need to be exposed.”

First off, maybe women are just treated differently than men? Maybe this is because men and woman REALLY ARE DIFFERENT. This used to be recognized in the West, really not too long ago.

Anyways, you are the typical completely close-mined Western liberal, who is also a complete Western chauvinist. You are obviously not capable of conceiving that there might be legitimate ways to view male and female roles in society that are different than yours.

(Disclosure: I am a Westerner and a Christian).

Edited for spacing: when I first posted it eliminated all spaces between my paragraphs.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Hello westerner, Christian. (Do you wear that as a badge)

No I don’t see the contradiction at all. In some places FGM is seen as a cultural practice especially in poor rural areas. As humans it’s our job to speak for those that have no voice and stamp out such crimes.

Same as with women being judged and sometimes killed due to the different standards they are held to. Honor killings are not acceptable and when you place a woman’s honor between her legs this is what happens.

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Ok, so you pick honor killings out, the most extreme example. Great, I never said Muslim societies were perfect. But hey, in the West, with our sky high divorce and cheating rates, we ain’t perfect either, are we?

But Muslim relations between men and women are hardly defined by honor killings.
Muslims simply believe that women need to be chaste, this is belief is, taken in the context of all history, completely normal…it is in fact the modern Western lack of chastity that is abnormal.

But of course, in your Western, leftist chauvinism you will not except this…the funny thing is, you probably, like so many liberals, considering yourself tolerant, open-minded, and open to different cultures ways of viewing life!

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Honour killings do not just apply apply to Muslims, so no need to jump to that conclusion, but it is a valid point.

As for divorce rates you should check out divorce in Qatar, much higher than the western average but I guess the evil west is to blame of that as well…..

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Well, the West is to blame for the situation in Westernized Qatar, certainly.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Lol. No one is responsible for their own actions these days. Must always be the west’s fault

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I think you may be purposely acting dense here.

The plain fact is this, Western gov’ts and corporations have been and are working actively to ‘modernize’ our world both economically and politically. This process is guided by was started in the West.

Modernization brings with it a destruction of traditional values…we can see this in countries from Europe to Japan…lower birthrates, lower marriage rates, higher divorce rates, etc.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

You bore me. I just don’t know what you are arguing for, a return to medieval values? Women dying in childbirth, execution for blasphemy, 50% of kids dying before they reach 10, religious wars leading genocide and oppression (ME specialised in them over the last 1000 years), simple diseases killing indiscriminately before modern medicine, no freedom of speech, women sold like chattels and so on.

P.S you know nothing about Japan if you made that statement

End of discussion for me, enjoy life!

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Muslim men however are about as “chaste” as the rest of us.
Funny how that works out, mathematically.

Nor do I think that chastity is superior to nonviolence. Perhaps you’d have fewer rebellions, civil wars, terrorism, acid attacks, stonings, amputations, and general savagery if you:

1) adopted capitalism, freedom, and democracy, like we did centuries ago, and

2) allowed healthy sexual expressions to occur between men and women, rather than the harem model of polygamy (amoungs your wealthy) and furtive, hidden vice amoungst your many poor.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
5 years ago
Reply to  Anas Nemmassi

If a woman ‘opens her legs’ then there has to be a receiver ( most often male ), so that renders him non marriage material also.
Oh wait I forgot. This is one of those quaint patriarchal , one rule for us another for women, concepts isn’t it. And there I was thinking I was living in the 21st century. Must’ve hit the time warp button by accident.
Beam me up Sooty. Quick.

Wake up and smell the hummus. Promiscuity has already arrived in Qatar. Just go out to the desert at the weekend and follow the noise and the revving. It’s not just local males out there talking car stuff. Local females are there too.

Affairs are a natural byproduct of arranged marriages.

Divorce rates here are just as high as most of the west.

People will do what people got to do, to live. Even if they have to hide it to survive.
(Desert Witch 2015).

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  Desert Witch

“And there I was thinking I was living in the 21st century. Must’ve hit the time warp button by accident.”

So values change with time?

What was true in 1915 is not true in 2015?

At any rate, if values change with the decades than I see no particular reason why anyone needs to criticize the values of others. Either values are timeless or they are not.

If they are not timeless than who are you to say that another cultures values are inferior to what you believe?

*Edited for spacing

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Not sure what you have chosen to refer to ‘values’. I was criticizing attitudes and opinions.

For the record some universal values are timeless, others are not.

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  Desert Witch

Chastity and modesty are timeless values…this are values Muslim dress seeks to uphold.

Andrew Vanbarner
Andrew Vanbarner
5 years ago
Reply to  Anas Nemmassi

I would only propose a bit more civility.
The sons of your warlords are, I suppose, free to terrorize other motorists in London in their gaudy new motorcars, but if you allowed the rest of your citizens – those who DO NOT have armed bodyguards, endless luxurious baubles, and harems full of foreign women – a bit more freedom and a bit more prosperity, then perhaps your region wouldn’t be in a constant state of war, omni contra omnium.
And spare us the moral lectures. We’ve seen how your elites behave, and they make our aristocrats look ascetic. Nor is the region known for its pacifism, to say the least.

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Spend a weekend in Bahrain and you will find many Sunni ladies do not wear the head scarf.

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

Yup. For many it is a personal choice. I feel like sometimes Westerners can’t comprehend the idea that a woman would wear it by choice.

In the age of the selfie, it’s almost impossible for some to understand that there are some women who don’t want to be looked at.

Freedom means the freedom to wear it, or not.

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com/?p=483

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

yes, lots of Muslim women that I have come across or that I know don’t wear headscarves. They are not from the Gulf and also some of those that are from the Gulf they take it out as soon as they can where they can even in the Gulf.

Peaches
Peaches
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I am confused about the same thing. The first time I saw a Qatari thobe and fully covered women (not even eyes) was when I came here. This one Muslim guy, who thought I was grossly under educated, was like ‘I bet you think the women here are forced to cover, when actually they choose to.’ And my thought was definitely that, if you choose to do it then you choose to do it anywhere, none of this stripping off as soon as you go abroad.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Peaches

There used to be a British Pakistani doctor at one of the hospitals in Qatar and I asked her why she came. She said she want to connect with her Muslim faith and live in an Islamic country but she said she was going back to the UK because of the attitudes here. I asked her what she meant and she said because she didn’t wear hijab people said she want a ‘proper’ Muslim and must be a loose women. Not only from Qatari males so much but from Asian men. She was constantly judged and told what to do as a women.

So much for no compulsion in religion and freedom for women to choose.

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

There is compulsion, but it’s cultural moreso than religious – if it was more to do with religion Lebanese, Moroccan women etc would also cover. The thobe and abaya/scarf are known as National dress, not Islamic dress, though that is certainly where the idea originated.

If you look at it as a cultural thing, it’s easier to understand why they choose not to wear it when they are outside their own culture.

Things are changing here. Older women tend to cover everything apart from their eyes, middle aged women cover all of their hair but leave their face uncovered, and women in their 20s for the most part don’t cover all of their hair and wear colourfully embroidered abayas that are often left open a bit at the front. I would imagine the next step, in a few years, will be girls choosing not to wear them at all.

I’ve come across it in Dubai, but not here.

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Indeed it is cultural. Another example is religion and politics. Take the USA and Canada as an example. In the US it is a cultural norm for politicians being photographed at their house of worship. However, in Canada, it is regarded as poor taste.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  SullyofDoha

Extremely poor taste I would argue; one of the things that I like about Canada.

Nadoosh
Nadoosh
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Exactly Katie! in Kuwait, the majority of Kuwaiti women don’t wear the Abaya, only very religious women or Bedouin women wear it.
The thing is that Qatar is a very conservative society and they still maintain a lot of their traditional values, unlike other gulf countries.

MSU
MSU
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

No doubt. Did you know “Dubai-ish” (i.e., flashy) is a style of abayas that are available in a few South Asian Countries?

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

A lot do not wear a hijab. If you were a hijab you can not have any hair showing at all. Those are the ones that wear it for religious reasons.

The rest is more for cultural reasons. Some may be forced but others choose to because of society pressures or because it is representative of their culture (indirect force one might argue) . I would say that more than anything ladies care more about society backlash and family reputation. The ones that don’t care or feel like they arent doing anything wrong, don’t wear abaya. People who don’t know them personally won’t even realize they are Qatari.

Waqas Ahmed
Waqas Ahmed
5 years ago
Reply to  Misha

The point is that there could be many reasons for girls to wear or not to wear a hijab. As a Muslim we should not be judging anyone based on their looks. Those who are criticizing them have other issues with this country and its people, so they wont let go of any chance to bash them. You might have observed the similar bashing trend if you are a regular reader of Doha News.

Susan
Susan
5 years ago
Reply to  Misha

Agreed. Here in Qatar the cultural forces and pulls are stronger than the religious ones. How many Qataris do you know who would embrace their sister/daughter marrying a Muslim man from Nepal or Pakistan — even if he were the best, most proper, upstanding Muslim man they had ever met? They’d sooner shave off their mustache than see that happen. This has been my experience with people at least. They are Qatari first, Muslim second.

brorick
brorick
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

how many men do you see wear the thob in london?

Rob
Rob
5 years ago

Now I’m back in London, I quite enjoy when popping over to Harrod’s or Selfridge’s checking out the freakos mooching about, barking at the staff, an the staff are just “like, wotevvvaaah, you drama queen” in the politest possible way. Then I go for a drink, outside, in a pub. Sometimes next to water!!

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob

No need to rub it in! 🙂

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com/?p=483

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I wonder when someone would do a London nightclub expose one rich khaljeeis. I used to have a great time with the girls from Saudi, Qatar and UAE especially.

Even members of the royal family are known to hang out in them, but I won’t go there….

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

You don’t need to travel that far, sneak a peak in the penthouse suites on a Thursday night in the West Bay hotels and your going see some pretty eye opening stuff. I’ll never forget late one Thursday night in the foyer of a very modern hotel and a covered woman screaming at the top of her lungs “let me in, I know he’s up there with those women, I’m his wife, let me in”. She was bundled outta there pretty quick.

Ali
Ali
5 years ago

I loved those pics they are amazing, but there are few Qataris in those pics!

Michael L
Michael L
5 years ago
Reply to  Ali

How do you know ?

Ali
Ali
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

We gulf people know each others, and how we look like 😉 most are kuwaitis and the rest few are emirates and Qataris

Jason
Jason
5 years ago
Reply to  Ali

I am guessing the fingers are pointed elsewhere in those countries too. “Not us!”

wbas
wbas
5 years ago
Reply to  Ali

لا تتفسلف وايد

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

*pours G&T*

*grabs popcorn*

*sets hypocrisy meter to overload*

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago

Actually, on the DougieWallace.com website, the ‘Shoreditch Wild life’ portfolio is the one to view, that will give you a true ‘Diversity’ perspective. The Harrodsburg one is mild in comparison……

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
5 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

Oh dear lord… Still, I’d rather show up in the “Shoreditch Wild Life” gallery than the “Age Of Wealth” gallery.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

All are better than People of Walmart though. Ugh.

Lisa Clayton
Lisa Clayton
5 years ago
Reply to  SokhnaFan2010

OMG! I opened this at work and came across this: http://www.dougiewallace.com/shoreditch/3yyb271zukcot8742e42xraczesnx5
My shrieks of laughter brought colleagues to my office to make sure I was okay!

Michael L
Michael L
5 years ago

Dunno why people saying it’s blocked … It’s not

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago

Hey Jassim Al-Thani and those who think like you – your consent is not needed to take your picture in this context. Don’t apply your alien standards of perversion, okay? As we are constantly told ad nauseum by Qataris, if you don’t like it, leave. Go somewhere more agreeable to your standards of perversion.

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

For someone who thinks people have no right to be offended, you seem very offended by his opinion.

Disagreeable as it is, he has a right to say whatever he thinks. Right? 🙂

Katie
http://www.onlyindoha.com

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

No right not to be offended actually. Nope, he can think whatever he wants, he can only say within the bounds permitted by law. I am not so much offended by this al-Thani guy as shocked at his ignorance. We are in agreement about how disagreeable he is as a human though.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

I am not offended by his opinion. I am shocked by his ignorance – presumably he is the product of one of the better educations that Qatar can provide.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  Anonmauser

Deleting for attack.

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago

Some absolutely great photos in his collections though, he has a good eye. I’d like to see an in-depth interview with the two guys in the matching velour jogging suits. I can’t help but speculate on their relationship…

Bornrich
Bornrich
5 years ago

Taking pictures of other people’s kids and posting them online is a big no-no, in any part of the world. Everyone else is fair game on the streets according to British law and many citizens in the UK will be either ignorant of or unsympathetic to the cultural sensitivity surrounding photographing Qataris (especially women).

My advice would be to not attract attention to yourself and dress in cheap clothes purchased from charity shops. Like Mr Wallace!

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  Bornrich

Depends where you are, that’s the point.

disqus_ZM5UFScbWq
disqus_ZM5UFScbWq
5 years ago

An aside….but I think all the plastic surgeons whose work is displayed in these photos should be exposed for daylight robbery – it’s brutal……….

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

I was thinking the same. Some of those women look like escaped witches from a Disneyland theme park……

Excuseme
Excuseme
5 years ago

This is stupid. This is Europe not the middle east. First of all, the whole of london is monitored by camera so if u dont want ur image captured, dont go to London. Its funny how these people suddenly care about privacy rights when its about them but the millions of people suffering in their countries dont seem to matter. #pathetic

irobot
irobot
5 years ago

Respect is a two way street if you expect foreigners to abide by your laws here you must abide by there laws or deal with the lawlessness in their country. I dont see whats shameful of being photographed in a public place unless of course your with the wrong Mrs or Mr for that matter.

srslyguiz
srslyguiz
5 years ago

yes there are people who dress differently when they’re abroad..call them hypocrites if u will…but there are also people who as you can see from the pictures (if you have seen them and aren’t commenting just to jump on the bandwagon) who do dress the same in london as they do in their home country…I’m talking full coverage abaya niqab etc….why aren’t people mentioning them?

hypocrites exist everywhere…that’s if they are being hypocrites…recently women dressed that way can be seen in gcc countries too…

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  srslyguiz

Just because a Qatari female wears the abaya in Qatar and not abroad does not make her a hypocrite. Some wear the abaya for social/cultural reasons and choose not to wear it abroad. I don’t see Qatari men being criticized for wearing thobes in Qatar and not abroad.
What would make them a hypocrite is if they do not cover abroad AND judge others who don’t wear the abaya in Qatar and abroad.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Misha

They are indeed hypocrites. If you are wearing the abaya out of respect for your culture/religion, then why this respect suddenly disappears when you are abroad? If you respect it here then you should respect it everywhere.

The point is that you do NOT respect your culture/religion. You hate it and you wait for the first occasion to get rid of it. You are just afraid of what people would say when they see you here. The problem is that those people will do the same thing when they go abroad. Moreover, their parents and family relatives know that very well as they travel with them. So it is eventually a matter of ridiculous social hypocrisy. Everybody does it and everybody knows that everybody does it but everybody wants to be seen as a saint at home.

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

What on earth does respect have to do with this?! I respect all religions and cultures of countries I have traveled to, that doesnt mean that I have to abide by all their traditions. If expats here don’t wear an abaya or thobe that doesn’t mean they have no respect for the culture just like if a Qatari in Qatar does not wear an abaya it doesnt mean she doesnt have respect for the culture.

It is their choice when if they choose to cover in Qatar or not at all or cover abroad or not at all. The hypocrisy comes in when these same people contribute to the judging of others who choose not to cover in Qatar.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Misha

You do not seem to get my point. Read my comment again.
We are not also discussing their freedom to do what they want. They are free to do what they want and this is not up for debate 🙂

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I have read your comment again and maybe I am missing your point but your comment seems to say not wearing the abaya all the time equals not respecting your culture (which I dont agree with).

Also I am debating your “selective freedom”. That just because you do something in one place (or country) means you should do it everywhere. With that logic the ladies who went to the amazon were not respecting their culture and were hypocrites for not wearing the abaya in the rainforest.

During that controversy, there were ladies (not just males) who talked bad about these ladies and their families. These people are hypocrites if they or any of their family members go somewhere without the abaya.

A hypocrite is when you claim one thing and do another. Most Qataris don’t hide the fact that they don’t cover abroad. For whatever reason they wear the abaya, the problem arises when they themselves help create the social pressures by judging other females.

Waqas Ahmed
Waqas Ahmed
5 years ago
Reply to  Misha

awesome response (Y)

KK
KK
5 years ago

Well Jassim, this is the UK so adhere to local laws; if you do not like it than…. Isn’t that what we are told in qatar?

all seeing
all seeing
5 years ago
Reply to  KK

dont go to UK if you dont want their culture. stay in your home.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
5 years ago

:p

Red_Panigale
Red_Panigale
5 years ago

There is no expectation of privacy in public in the UK (or USA). If you go outside, you can be photographed or filmed all day long.

greylag
greylag
5 years ago

London is an international city, in an open country, commercially as well as culturally. Back in the late 60s-early 70s it was the Kuwaitis, then the Japanese, then the Russians, and now the Qataris. The people making money off all these high flyers are British- shops, estate agents, property owners. Don’t blow off about hypocrisy.

Lisa Clayton
Lisa Clayton
5 years ago

It looks like most of the photos are not Qataris or even Khaleejis, and people need to accept the law there (as we have always been told to accept the laws in Qatar).

My only reaction to some of the women is how unattractive excessive clown make-up is. And his lack of retouching these photos into glamor shots is probably what some women are upset about. Yikes!

Oh… and … NO man should wear a velour “warm-up suit”! Just cause you can buy something, doesn’t mean you should! sheesh!

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

It’s the UK. It’s tolerant, it’s democratic, and it’s liberal. It’s a land where the British and visitors alike can wear what they want provided it is not considered provocative or indecent, and it’s a land where the media, including members of the free independent press (note those words) are allowed to photograph or video whoever they want as long as their actions do not constitute a nuisance. If you fear embarrassment in your home country to be caught on camera without your national dress then don’t blame the British for it – it was your decision not to wear it. As for the issue of housing, which was the photographers motivation, it is in crisis in London – a real crisis. For generations the British have assumed that they would one day own a house but for the young generation working in London it’s fast becoming impossible. House prices are rocketing, and money flowing in from foreign investors, particularly from those buying to let (I.e. not actually living there) in the expectation of a future capital profit is pouring petrol of the fire, and there is genuine anger about the situation. So don’t be surprised if the free press tries to raise the profile of the issue by photographing foreigners pouring out of the Qatari owned Harrods with luxury goods to take back home.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
5 years ago

So you dress to nines, show off your bad face lift, your crazy eye brows, show off your chest hair, take your expensive car with the top down and park it outside the most famous shop in the world and then cry when you get attention?? Cmon. Get a grip. If you don’t want the attention there are plenty of places in the world to buy a Hermes scarf on the low down. Personally, I get my assistant to do it 😉

Misha
Misha
5 years ago

If it isn’t against the law to take photos of people in the UK then there is no case to take him to court. I don’t see how these ladies are offended unless they feel like they are doing something wrong. If you are publicly walking around the most visible parts of London in front of many Khaleejis then I assume you must be comfortable with your appearance.

If 40 percent of the houses are foreign owned in Knightsbridge well that is the fault of the British government. Many countries have restrictions on foreigners buying properties. Middle and lower class Brits that have grown up in central London are forced to move elsewhere. Many highrises are being built in London right now, none of them will be affordable for the average citizen.

Although I don’t agree with his statement that foreigners don’t contribute to the local economy, the summer spending in those few months is a significant part of their tourism.

Joe
Joe
5 years ago

Neo-wealthy immature brats from this region love to show off in Europe, where they invented the word fashion! The problem is that they will never get it right, not in this tacky way !
Personal taste does not always improve by sudden wealth, and here’s a perfect example of that!

Siling Labuyo
Siling Labuyo
5 years ago

All that plastic surgery…

MSU
MSU
5 years ago

“Let’s boycott by not going to the UK!”

– Said no one ever

all seeing
all seeing
5 years ago
Reply to  MSU

FUNNY,

Anon
Anon
5 years ago

I realise the photos are probably meant to be unflattering….close ups, use of flash etc., but still, aren’t the idle rich so generally lacking in any kind of taste and subtlety? Awful. And if they flaunt it so grotesquely they should expect to be photographed occasionally. Hilarious that some Qataris don’t like it. Buying Harrods doesn’t turn it a quasi-embassy. They’re our laws about public photography, if you don’t like them, **** off or stay in Doha.

all seeing
all seeing
5 years ago

the funny thing when we were in London last month along the riverside, it was around 6pm. me and my wife saw an arab guy and an arab lady kissing on the corner of the street. like nobody is looking at them, dude its london, the crowd is crazy. dude they do it in the streets of london. they have freedom there.

all seeing
all seeing
5 years ago

IN UK, THEY DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO, NOT LIKE IN THEIR “OWN” COUNTRY.

Asinine Thinker
Asinine Thinker
5 years ago

Some ugly a** Qatari chicks there. Phew!