“A little country with big heart” is how camper described the tiny (but rich) State of Qatar on its last independence day. While that's a nice quaint description, many in the region tend to think of Qatar as “the small country with the big mouth” because it funds and hosts the AlJazeera News Channel which always seems to be causing a stir.
Not surprisingly, a number of blogs have spun out around AlJazeera. The one that gained the most popularity was “Don't Bomb Us – A blog by AlJazeera staffers” which was written when the news broke that the United States had considered bombing the station's headquarters in Doha and the AlJazeera Talk blog. Of course, a number of staff also blog in their personal capacities – from talkshow host Faisal AlCasim to Stef the Weatherlady.
Qatar is made up largely of expatriates and the Qatari Blogosphere reflects this. You'll find blogs written by people from across the developed and developing world (and even a couple written by Qataris!). Qatar Living launched the Qatar Blogs Project last year to promote blogging in Qatar and help bloggers from Qatar connect with each other. It currently lists over 40 blogs with many still to be added!
For a quick taste of some of the more interesting figures in the Qatari Blogosphere, we have
- Aisha, a 21 year old Qatari student at Qatar University, who has served as a bridge between many expatriates and locals in Qatar.
- Marjorie, an American working at Carnegie-Melon in Qatar and regularly blogs about human, women and other rights in Qatar.
- Camper, a Muslim expat from Britain who got over 10,000 page views (which is huge for Qatar) on a post about how he discovered Piglet being censored in a local bookstore.
Watch this space for more interesting voices from Qatar!