Lodge Sir George Cathcart No. 617

Our Man in Doha

Brother Jim Embleton left Scotland to work in Doha, Qatar. The following is a message from:

Our Man in Doha!

Hi Sam and Brethren all,

Hope all is well.

As mentioned a while ago I was offered a job helping to start up another new hospital, this time over in Qatar.

So despite the diplomatic difficulties and trade blockade here I am some 4552 miles East.

As you would expect its a bit on the warm side!

Since I arrived just over two weeks ago its peaked between 100 - 110 degrees every day with humidity between 55 and 80 percent.  Clearly difficult conditions for a Glaswegian.

But I'm told it will cool down to the almost Baltic 90's soon as their summer ends.

The people here are a mix of Qatar locals (only 12% of the population, the wealthiest people and worst drivers I have ever encountered) and the rest of us ex pats who make up the population of the country to 2.6 million.

This country feels very safe (unless you drive!) There is very little crime, no litter and no graffiti.

In general terms the people tend to be quite friendly and accommodating. One worrying thing is that there is unfortunately a clear divide between the national groups even down to where they live and the jobs they can secure. Westerners manage everything, Sri Lankans and Nepalese drive, Asians work in construction and Philippinoes do just about everything else.

All in all its a good but very different place to live and work.

Petrol has just reduced to the equivalent  of 18p a litre but a pint of lager during happy hour in the cheapest hotel bar costs £6.30 and just under a tenner at other times, so in the kindest possible way lets hope Scotland doesn't make it to the  2022 world cup as the tartan army would be the warmest and thirstiest they had ever been.

In terms of Masonic lodges they are officially illegal in Qatar but I hear there is one hidden in the city centre and another on the US airforce base outside of town... I shall investigate and report back.

As I'm sure you'll appreciate work is again keeping me from attending the lodge, however I wont be away for ever and would love to make a return to 617 when I get back in a year or two.

Can you please pass on my fraternal best wishes to the RWM, Office bearers and all at 617.


Jim Embleton

Jim has promised to keep us updated on his adventures in the desert sun.