» Yusuf

Age 37 - Father and government employee

Yusuf

The son of a pearl diver, Yusef grew up in a fishing village. His first 10 years were spent in humid summer temperatures of 115°F without air conditioning. Though the discovery of oil in Qatar brought jobs and wealth, Yusef knew education and hard work would be essential to a successful future, so in his 20s, at his father’s encouragement, Yusef went to the US to study. Now he speaks English well, and is regularly promoted in his government job.

Because of his time in America, Yusef doesn’t believe the propaganda about how evil the West is. He secretly enjoys an occasional bottle of wine from the one “sin” store in town, and wishes the government would allow Qataris to openly purchase alcohol. Yusef sees huge differences between his life and those of his six children. Born into abundance, they lack motivation to learn and work because everything has come easily. Going to mosque Friday at noon bores them, and Yusef loses his temper when he sees them texting during the sermon. He is conflicted: while he enjoyed the freedoms of living in the West, he fears his Qatari culture is perilously close to disappearing.