You gotta love Qatar. A Middle Eastern neighbor to Saudi Arabia, it has an absolute monarchy that’s been ruled by one family since the mid-19th century. It’s still illegal to criticize the leader. But unlike woman-crushing Saudi Arabia, at least they’re trying.
According to Wikipedia:
“There have been several noted improvements since Sheikh Hamad seized power in the mid-1990s. Under his leadership, the Emirate entered a period of rapid liberalization and modernization, while maintaining its Islamic identity. Among other things, the country is known for being the first country among Arab States of the Persian Gulf to allow women the right to vote.”
Yes, the leader is really trying to sheikh things up. And this:
“Qatar maintains close relationships with western and eastern powers, and has often tried to bridge the gap between Muslim and non-Muslim states.”
But those are just baby steps compared to what’s coming next. A company recently posted the design for a new sport stadium being built in the country to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup:
Tell me there’s a bigger monument to the beauty and power of women anywhere else in the world. And it’s a welcome change from the standard intended-to-inspire-awe structure, which always looks like this:
Prior to the discovery of oil, Qatar was known primarily for … wait for it … pearl hunting.
Yes, God is trying to keep things moving forward. And it’s not beneath him to use sports stadiums to get the job done.
I wonder if this stadium will have a retractable roof?