Published: July 14th 2012July 14th 2012
So last Thursday I was invited to attend the Intern Induction Day in Al Khor, which must be almost 50 miles north of Doha. Meeting in Doha at 7am so that was exciting, nice long lie. Then we were shuttled there in a coach. By we I mean to say the 20 odd national interns and me, the only international intern in the company. This is an interesting point actually as currently in Qatar there is a big push to get more nationals in the oil and gas sector and there is an ongoing project called "Qatarization" which aims to get nationals represent at least 40% of the workforce here. So this is why there is a huge focus on getting local students internships and scholarships. So it makes me wonder a little bit why I am here... but it's great for me so I don't mind! I wrote a lot of this on the day so it's just a copy and paste job:
Anyway, the day began with an awkward icebreaker, being unfamiliar with it I find it very hard at the beginning to distinguish people who I had already spoken to and who I had not, because all of the woman are wearing black Abayah's and the men white Thobes. Actually after a while it got easier but at the beginning I was all over the shop. (Also the names are unfamiliar so I generally instantly forget people's names when they introduce themselves.)
I can’t pronounce anyones names, it is awful. They would tell me their name “almahamad” or something which is harder to hear than read by the way. And I would make them spell it. I asked someone how to spell Mohammed by mistake because I didn’t hear what he said and he looked at me like I was a moron and probably a Satanist.
Then the fun began when it was time to leave. On the bus there we had seen some car accidents and it was windy with bad visibility because of the sand. Then after when we tried to leave we couldn’t because of the bad sand storm. After another half an hour or so in the room we were told we would try to go again. It was not a good idea. The road we had taken was shut so we had to find another road and at some points it was impossible to see anything so we had to stop completely. Passed another 5 at least car crashes. Some looked horrific. And at one point we had completely stopped and the sand was horrendous, it was rocking the bus and you could see it coming in through the vents at the front so someone took down the curtains and covered the vents because people were choking on the sand. Pretty intense. But we got back eventually, just at 2pm instead of 11.15! Genuinely just sneezed sand there. No big. Then my fave driver took me home and so all is well again.