Monday, January 9, 2012

Counter Revolution

The Pearl at Night
Qatar recently withdrew the liquor license for a free area, The Pearl, where expats would go to have dinner and a glass of wine/cold beer/fruity cocktail.  It's a residential, shopping and restaurant filled area that, up until about a month ago, was a favorite for just about everyone from West of Istanbul (Not Constantinople).  You can read up on all of the details here.  "Here" just so happens to be a link to the Wall Street Journal that discusses how the surging wave of western culture across the Middle East is being challenged by the Wahhabi counter-revolution.

I live here.  I work here.  I would venture to say that 90% of the people I work with or that we have as clients are expatriates.  I don't think its a good thing to take away something that most of those people would describe as a necessary part of their quality of life.

I also don't think its a good idea to be so short sighted that you can't see the forest for the trees.  Did the Qataris really think they could have restaurants, and bars that serve alcohol and not have the expats get ridiculous and some locals so tempted they can't resist?  Have they never been to London on a Friday night?  Or known an Australian on any given weekday?

There is no counter-revolution.  There is a bunch of men with power shooting themselves in the foot.  You can't have the World Cup and Wahhabi-ism too.  They just don't jive.


Auntie Analogue said...

Istanbul? Constantinople? Why not Byzantium! (And you can't have a World War II aviation movie with a character declaiming tersely, "Mumbai doors open.")

Anonymous said...

Of course you can't have both...however, alcohol is seen as a part of a degenerate, foreign culture. It goes without saying that there will be opposition to it. In fact, it's a good sign: it means they haven't completely succumbed to the moronic hedonism of modern (not 'western') society