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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Doha, Qatar

Submitted by precious

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

I travelled extensively throughout my life.

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

I don't speak Arabic but do plan to learn a few words so that i can give a piece of my mind to the wreckless drivers as the police never ever does justice and finds a way to blame the foreigners in Doha. We end up paying the price for not learning Arabic.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?

Not really.I have been to India, Pakistan, Thailand, Singapore, Dubai so never really thought there would be any adjustment problems.

How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?

Confused, angry all the time, tired, heat, dust allergy, high price, no friends, not respected enough for gender difference(if I asked a question my husband will be given the answer).

Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

All through these stages and more!!! I have lived 2 years then moved out of Qatar while my husband kept working there. now i might have to move back and i am getting sleepless nights.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

Homesickness, increased eating (one of the entertainments here), ongoing depression and insecurity. But in certain situations, I have become aggressive because the Qatari just might jump the que ahead of you and the tll person will serve them because no one wants to fight in Arabic!

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

Some shops are open till late at night. Separate gym hours for female. Domestic help easily available.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Finding places to go in his heat and making new friends.

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!

Yes, when I turned and suddenly saw a women covered in an abaya and I nearly screamed. It took me some time to get used to the women in black.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Just think about the money you are making and try to put good use to it and go for holiday. Mark your calendar like me and do a countdown every night to that luxurious holiday you now can afford.

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Comments about this Report

May 23, 2011 16:40

sorry , i have more things to live for nothing will keep me here not money not holiday nothing.....these people have no dignity or integrity , they dont have honesty and the are currupt to the bones. nothing at all like what their religion calls for

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