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A force majeure…. unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract; a greater force.

It begs the question for the hundreds of building sites in Doha, does the Qatar Crisis constitute a ‘force majeure’ when looking at the reality of delivering on a contract when you’re land locked, air restricted and import reliant desert peninsula off Saudi, the ringleader of the whole spat. It certainly makes me question the viability of building a city with the ability to host the World Cup in not far off 4 years, when the supplies are being sent on a world cruise before finally docking in Doha, weeks, probably months late, on the sliver of access they have carved out for themselves.

I asked the question, off a source that is gainfully employed, perfectly qualified to answer such a question and the response was, ‘there is no force majeure’.

What about supplies, all the materials, specific components needed to complete construction, how can it go ahead without the support of your neighbours, there is no force majeure the reply came again.

What about the exchange rate, and the sliding stock prices, surely this affects the construction costs and have severe impact on the financing and ultimately delivery of the contract, there is no force majeure, this time I noticed a vacant gaze as the words came.

But how will it work, if expats are leaving because of the crisis and new management roles become difficult to fill, surely this will be a consequence of the ‘the crisis’. ‘we have been told, there is no force majeure, work as normal’.

Aha I got it, the penny dropped, the bell of recognition rang, this was Qatar control at its best, brainwashing of employees, and banning them to discuss the negative effects (there are only negative effects) of the current Qatar Crisis. There would be no mention of a force majeure, thus there would be no force majeure.

As I’m standing pointing the finger at the contractually bound, I think of myself, the emotionally bound, and does this not constitute a force majeure for moi?

I came to Qatar on the understanding that Dubai and Abu Dhabi were easily accessible, should I need to get a shot of live in a semi western world. This avenue of release has been blocked and is no longer amenable.

I came to Qatar on the understanding that we would be able to provide palatable food and a passable education for our children. The latest milk I tried was a trio of Cows, Goats and sheep’s milk. Sick of UHT and the Turkish Suuitas which tastes a little too earthy for me, I am now starting each day on a quest for some kind of milk product that will not curdle my stomach or my Barrys Tea. The chicken fillets are as rare as hen’s teeth, and when you take a gander down the fowl aisle, you’ll be met with chicken liver, chicken feet, chicken necks, everything but the breast. The education is passable, being one of two first language English speakers in the class will see you being top of the class regularly.

I came to Qatar on the understanding that we wouldn’t be reading between the lines of the news every day or about how Qatar are after ordering 24 Typhoon fighter jets. How the armed forces are getting soldiers geared up for attack, defence situation, which feels more imminent than is comfortable.

And lastly and most importantly, I came to Qatar on the understanding that we would have the freedom and required platforms to keep in touch in family and friends, but since coming back, WhatsApp, Skype, Snapchat have all been restricted, rumour has it, as a measure to up the security level, which is already on high alert according to a representative from the Qatar Ministry of Interior. Another rumour suggests that the restrictions are being imposed by the government body, Ooredoo, to drive more traffic through their network and increase profits. Either way, skype isn’t working.

So, with all this in mind I would have to say from my own perspective, could I be penalised, if I packed up and left, because if you check my original contract for living in Qatar, all this is very much a force majeure.

 

 
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