Foot­ball fever has in­vaded our homes. One such evening, watch­ing a par­tic­u­larly in­tense match, and ob­serv­ing the frenzied, crazed foot­ball fans, I could not help but imag­ine this sce­nario in a rather dif­fer­ent set­ting, eight years from now. Vi­su­alise scan

Qatar Today - - FROM THE DESK - SINDHU NAIR

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port which ap­peared re­cently in a lo­cal news­pa­per, many ex­pa­tri­ates re­spect the tra­di­tions and laws of the coun­try. But when there is foot­ball fever around, and when fans around the globe fol­low the game to the coun­try, can we ex­pect the tourists to re­spect the cul­ture of the host coun­try and act ac­cord­ingly? Or will the moral po­lice stop their pa­trolling around this time? Will the coun­try tone down its moral stance and al­low the fans to en­joy a good game of foot­ball with all the usual ac­com­pa­ni­ments?

These are not the most im­por­tant ques­tions that have been asked about Qatar hold­ing the 2022 World Cup. The oth­ers are more con­tro­ver­sial in na­ture, with the World Cup spon­sors Sony and Adi­das voic­ing con­cern over new al­le­ga­tions of bribes paid to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup. Qatar has re­sponded to the al­le­ga­tions by say­ing that it won the bid on its mer­its and is con­fi­dent that the award­ing of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar will stand. A FIFA in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sia and Qatar's win­ning bids is set to be pre­sented this month, a week af­ter the World Cup fi­nal.

While there have been some doubts cast on Qatar and its poli­cies, there has been a unan­i­mous vote for the re­gional air­lines which are vouched for their ser­vice, safety, world-class tech­nol­ogy and equip­ment with most of the air­lines ply­ing the lat­est of avail­able air­crafts. While the re­gional air­lines stand less com­pe­ti­tion on a global scale, they are pit­ted against each other in a lim­ited airspace. It is this com­pe­ti­tion that Qatar To­day fo­cuses on in our July cover story.

Another area that the coun­try is tak­ing a leap on is ICT. While Sin­ga­pore took the lead as the first Smart Na­tion in the world, Qatar in­tends to look into the best prac­tices and ap­ply them here. Qatar To­day was in Sin­ga­pore for the land­mark an­nounce­ment of the coun­try be­ing the first Smart Na­tion and we give our read­ers a feel of this su­per-con­nected city.

In the same era that we speak of a new-age cur­rency that is re­defin­ing cen­tralised and con­trolled money, we also speak about chil­dren who have no ac­cess to qual­ity pri­mary ed­u­ca­tion. Qatar To­day finds out more about both these di­verse sub­jects in the July is­sue. The holy month of fast­ing is here and is the best time to re­flect on all these con­tra­dic­tions that the world throws at us. We wish all our read­ers Ra­madan Ka­reem.

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