Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Maybe not as big as Thailand or Philippines, but prostitution is way too prevalent and clear in Qatar to be ignored.
It's quite a paradox. The government refuses work permits, or even visit visas in (most) certain cases to unmarried women below the age of 35 so that they can curb the chances of prostitution in the country.
But you enter a bar here... any bar, and all you see is alcohol, a pool table, lots of aged foreigners, and chinky-eyed prostitutes. All over. Behind you, in front of you, beside you... trying to get customers for the night.
They're Chinese, not Filipinos. I realised that a few days ago.
I always used to think they're Filipinos, until Tariq, a colleague, who's been here for the last seven years, cleared it out for me. Filipinos surely are into prostitution, but it's not as big as the Chinese women. All of them, every single one of them here, do this for a living.
They're all from China. How they got in here is actually quite a big mystery. Hopefully, soon, I'll uncover it. No not through the newspaper I work for. If I write about it, I'll be immediately deported. This place ranks 123 in the press freedom list. In fact the story won't even be cleared. There is no question of it being published.
It's really foolish to believe that the authorities are unaware of the rather blatant business.
Anyone can get these women. But they mostly eye the older ones. And it's really the older ones who mostly eye the prostitutes. It conveniently works both ways.
Most of them are here without their families, because their families obviously refused to accompany them to Qatar. So a little bit of sexual urge is bound to exist.
From QR 200 to QR 1000, they're available, depending on how young they are and how they look of course. But without money, they won't even think about shedding their clothes off for you no matter how good looking or intriguing you are.
Unlike the Filipinos, who're basically "looking for love." They'd sleep with you for free, and be yours forever if you promise to take them with you back to your country - preferably America.
Even the Corniche, an eight-kilomter long stretch of curving road along the sea just like Mumbai's Marine Drive but much much cleaner which Qatar is really proud of, actually turns into a hot spot after dark for those looking for pickups for the night.
And it isn't just the men looking for women. It's the other way round too.
"Most Qatari women have drivers, and most of them use their drivers for other purposes too."
This statement is just a confirmation that Qatari women, hidden behind veils, are no angels. Not that I have anything against women wanting sex, or even buying sex. Even men for that matter. I think it's a very desirable and natural urge which every human has the right to. In fact, I'd rather have men buying women than raping them.
I am only saying it happens here too. And it's pretty open.
And that the 'strict restrictions' in Qatar might very well be a farce.
I understand that after putting up this post there is a possibility of my head coming in the way of the Qatar axe. But...