By Victoria Scott
Qatar’s population is continuing to grow, but the number of Qatari nationals remains fairly static, at around 10 percent of the country’s residents, according to some estimates.
However, it used to be as high as 42 percent, according to Priya D’Souza.
The former editor of BQ Magazine was born in Qatar, and her family has lived in the country since the 1950s.
However, Qatari nationality is passed down almost exclusively through the father’s bloodline, and expats who are born in Qatar are not usually granted citizenship.
D’Souza recently left Qatar for good, and is now writing a series of posts for website calloftravel.com to “shed some clarity on the Qatar community (both local and migrant) to aid those looking to make Qatar home for the next few years.”
‘Waves’ of migrants
In her first post, “Have Qataris always been a minority in their country?” D’Souza outlines immigration patterns to Qatar since the 1940s.
She also charts the changing relationships between the local population and expats. Her family for example still has close friendships with Qatari families they have known for almost 70 years.
But it is difficult to call a country home and not a hold passport to that nation, she added. All families who have lived here for generations “have at some point hoped for Qatari citizenship.”
Now, changes appear to be afoot among this population, with many long-term resident families considering, “for the first time in decades” leaving Qatar.
She didn’t elaborate why, but added:
“While Qatar will always hold a special place in my heart as the country I was born in, the Qatar of the last decade and what it is turning into, is the reason I had very little choice but to leave,” she said.
D’Souza’s future posts will cover topics such as how safe the country is; whether Qatari society is hypocritical; migrant worker rights and treatment; working in Qatar and censorship; and Qatarization.
You can read her first post here. Thoughts?