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I suppose some sort of explanation is in order

My name is Tim. I am an English journalist and I went to Qatar for a year to work as a contractor. I left behind a wife, two children and 49 years worth of friends and family. This blog was my way of keeping in touch, as well as a reflection on life in Doha as I found it.

What I found was a fascinating city with huge ambition and a lot of good people, with the notable exception of the people in charge of the department I was working for, who were about as bad as anyone I’ve ever met, or even imagined. So we parted company by mutual contempt, and after six months I came home, leaving behind a bunch of very good friends, some strange experiences and a few interesting strands of work, which I hope will take me back there from time to time.

After some consideration, and a quick poll, I decided to keep the blog going, even though the days are no longer in Doha. Thank you for taking a look. Your company is much appreciated. And if you feel moved to leave a comment, I promise I’ll reply.

13 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Hi Tim
    Hope you are well.
    How is the job and new life
    Is it true you left the sinking man ytd ship and now support Liverpool !
    Look forward to reading more

  2. Tim Glynne-Jones permalink

    Hi, Anonymous Permalink. Annoyingly WordPress gives me no idea who you are. I have a few suspects in mind but please clear this up for me. I’m floundering. As for the cheeky line about Li… Liv… Liver… no, I can’t say it – that is a scandalous implication. The reason I left is precisely so I didn’t have to tolerate Liverpool enjoying this rare bout of success.

  3. gill permalink

    Hi I stumbled across your site whilst looking for information on life in Qatar. I’m considering applying for a nursing post I have an unemployed husband who’s a plasterer (hopes to find work) and three girls (14,11,6) I am flitting from best thing I can do for my family to omg this is a crazy idea…..the package seems to good to be true and I’m a little scared. Any advise?

    • Tim Glynne-Jones permalink

      Hi Gill. I sympathise with the way you’re feeling. It’s a massive step. I haven’t met any expat nurses so I don’t have any first hand accounts of what the working life is like for them. In general, you tend to find that facilities are amazing but processes drive you mad. I got that from someone back in the UK who came out to do a bit of consulting when they set up the children’s heart unit.

      In your position my concern would be the girls. I’m told that getting school places can be difficult and then there’s the rift from their friends back home. The older kids can find that really hard. And it’s not exactly an adventure playground. There are things to do but the cultural differences and the climate can force you indoors. Then there’s your husband. I really don’t know what opportunities there are for expat plasterers but my guess would be that there’s no money in it because all the building work is being done by low-paid Nepalese and Bangladeshis. I can look into that. I could be wrong. Plastering is a real skill and maybe they need teaching.

      This all sounds very discouraging. There are pluses. If you’re getting a good package, that’s an obvious one. Then there’s the new experience: it does kick your life into gear, being out of your comfort zone like this. I’ve never felt bored. There are great places to see around the region: Oman is supposed to be lovely, Dubai is flash, and then you’ve got places like Jordan and even the Maldives not too far away. It will give you a new perspective on life and you’ll come back richer for it in more ways than one.

      I’m on a one-year contract so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m also on my own, having left the family back in England, so I only have myself to fend for. I like roughing it in Bin Omran but for a family with young girls, you’ll more likely want to live in a villa in one of the communes (maybe the job sorts this out for you), which are pretty comfortable I’m told and have communal pools and other families around. There are a couple of other ‘living in Doha’ blogs I’ve come across, written by wives of men who have got work out here. They’ve been here longer than me and have the family experience, so I recommend reading them. I’m sorry I don’t have their links.

      If you’ve got any other questions, or anything specific I can find out for you, don’t hesitate. I hope it works out. And don’t worry, the terror passes almost as soon as you arrive.

  4. tlacamazatl permalink

    Tim, if one was so inclined, how could one find out about job opportunities in Qatar? I’m an American with a MA and very familiar with Arabic. I can give you my email if that would be easier. Thank you, Sir.

    • Tim Glynne-Jones permalink

      Hi. What field are you looking to work in? Your email is on your comment so I can email you and you can send me your CV by return.

      • tlacamazatl permalink

        CV sent. Thank you, Sir.

  5. Hello Tim,

    I work for Journalism.co.uk and we’re doing a podcast this week on moving abroad to further your journalism career, talking to people who’ve done it. One of our followers on Twitter recommended your blog. Would you have 5-10 minutes spare sometime this week for a chat on Skype or by phone? Would love to hear your experiences — and advice for others considering the same.

    • Tim Glynne-Jones permalink

      Hi Paul. Yes, I’d be happy to do that. Thanks for asking. I’ll email you with contact details.

  6. Marta gonzalez permalink

    Hi Tim!
    I hope You had a wonderful time in such an Interesting country!
    By te way, Man United is seriously crucial!!

    • Tim Glynne-Jones permalink

      ¡Dios mio! ¡Martita! ¡Que sorpresa magnífica! Como estas? Glad to see you haven’t forgotten all your best English phrases. How’s Asturias?
      By the way, feliz año nuevo.

  7. Yogesh Kumar permalink

    hey I read you blog.. it is amazing, Since looking for media job there … so stumbled on your blog. Great work boss. 🙂

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