Thursday, 17 March 2011

Justice, Qatari style

There we were, last class of the day, and I've made the students work like slaves for four hours. Time to ease up a bit, so we sit round in a circle and they tell some anecdotes. Abdullah, who owns six Arabian geldings, and has a penchant for taking photos of his innumerable Filipina girlfriends, regaled us with this story, which I shall share with you.

"Fifteen years ago a friend of mine, who was 14 at the time, drove out into the desert with a guy who had promised to let him drive his pickup. He was a beautiful boy: long hair, smooth face, and the guy wanted to fuck him.

"No, no," said my friend, but the guy was drunk on whiskey and had a gun and his way. When he stopped the pickup to have a pee my friend grabbed the gun and shot him five times, then ran over the body. He came back to Doha in the pickup and with some of his friends went back, drove the body to a remote spot and buried it in the sand, throwing the whiskey bottle into the grave with a curse.

Unfortunately my friend liked the pickup too much, and was stopped a few days later while driving it. The story came out and he was brought before the court on a murder charge. Maybe it would have been a lesser charge, but my friend's father, to save the family's شرف, insisted that he say only that the guy had wanted my friend to fuck him.

Well, the guy's family knew what a scumbag he was and would not have asked for the death penalty, but his son insisted and my friend was sentenced to death, with his accomplices in the burial getting one or two years. Fortunately the Emir commuted the death sentence, and my friend is still in prison. Perhaps he'll be out in a couple of years, إن شاء الله"

4 comments:

sweepyjean said...

I don't read Arabic, but I surmised that the family was trying to preserve their honor to the detriment of the truth and their very son's life. Unfortunate, that.

Simon M Hunter said...

Yes, that's right. I have been here only a short time, but already it's clear that it's impossible to understand the society here without appreciating the importance of شرف, which means so much more than just 'honour' that I did not translate it.

MeltonM said...

So it's seen as more honourable to fuck rather than be fucked? A quaint idea. Prison is the last place you'd want to be if you adhere to that view.

Simon M Hunter said...

Just so. And indeed Abdullah's coda was that his friend was locked away in solitary every night...