API study abroad advisor preps for her trip to Qatar

By Vija Mendelson, API Program Manager.

A month from now I will be hopping on a plane to head to Qatar!  Any one of us can shoot over to Wikipedia (still makes me cringe a little, holdover from my teaching days) or many other websites to “research” new places, so I’m not going to write a book report here.  Instead I’ll highlight a few facts I personally found interesting as I did a little reading on my soon-to-be hosts and their country (in no particular order):

Map of Qatar (Google Maps)

– Full independence from Britain on September 3, 1971
– Slightly smaller than Connecticut
– 563 km of coastline
(‘tis a peninsula, after all)
– Dependence on large-scale desalination facilities for water supplies
– Population 850,000(ish) / 427,000 in Doha
(96% urban pop overall)
– Oil and gas “likely have made Qatar the second highest per-capita income country – following Liechtenstein – and the country with the lowest unemployment”*
This is in the WORLD!
– Median age: 30.8 years

– Ethnic groups: Arab 40%, Indian 18%, Pakistani 18%, Iranian 10%, other 14%
– Chief of state: Amir HAMAD bin Khalifa Al Thani
(also Minister of Defense & Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces)
– Telephones – main lines in use: 285,300 (2009) vs.
– Mobile phones – 2.472 million (2009)
(Why doesn’t this match up with population? “Subscribership exceeds 300 telephones per 100 persons.”)*
– Home of satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera
(which literally means “the Peninsula / the Island”)
– Transnational issues: Disputes – International: “None”*
(This doesn’t mean it’s all rainbows and unicorns – it’s way too arid a climate for unicorns to thrive, after all – but there are few countries the U.S. would say this about!)

*Thanks to the CIA for information sharing. They are thorough…

Flag: maroon with a broad white serrated band (nine white points) on the hoist side; maroon represents the blood shed in Qatari wars, white stands for peace; the nine-pointed serrated edge signifies Qatar as the ninth member of the “reconciled emirates” in the wake of the Qatari-British treaty of 1916.

Vija Mendelson, Ph.D. manages APIs programs in Argentina, Chile, Qatar, the UAE, and Barcelona and Bilbao, Spain. She is extremely involved in academic affairs, research and development at API, and regularly participates in international education conferences.

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  1. Vija, this is going to be such an amazing experience, I can’t wait to hear all about it! (:

  2. Jeramy Johnson says

    You are going to have a great time! I want to see pictures of you on a camel too 😉

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