2022年世界盃:夏恩奎巴黎專欄

1週前
2022年世界盃:夏恩奎巴黎專欄

在多哈走下飛機的30秒內,看到我面前的飛機邊上有一個巨大的足球,我就想起了為什麼有近200萬人要來卡塔爾......為了國際足聯世界盃!

我以前從來沒有去過中東,也沒有參加過世界盃,所以這對我來說都是一種新的體驗--到目前為止,感覺非常奇怪。

我身處世界上最富有的國家之一,但當我到達時,工作人員仍在鋪設地毯和修理媒體中心的部分設施。

距離開幕式開始只有兩天時間,來自世界各地的數千名記者已經在使用他們的辦公場所,讓我們希望一切都能為仍將到來的大批人準備好。

但是,開車經過八個全新的體育場--花費了幾十億英鎊來建造--開始感覺到它又是一個非常富有的國家。

我在這裡只呆了24小時,很明顯,生活在卡塔爾的大多數人都來自其他國家。我被告知只有15%是卡塔爾人。

我與一些來自烏干達、印度、摩洛哥、阿根廷和塞內加爾的國際足聯工作人員、機場工作人員和酒店工作人員進行了交談。從烏干達來到這裡的超市工作的Loca告訴我,"我很高興看到更多的人來到卡塔爾,我可以賺更多的錢"。

在卡塔爾,只有25%的人口是女性。

在抵達之前,有人建議我穿上覆蓋腿部、肩膀和手臂的衣服,以尊重該國的文化。

就我個人而言,在32攝氏度的高溫下,要做到這一點是相當困難的,但考慮到23年前卡塔爾才給予婦女投票權,而且不久前婦女還必須向男性監護人徵求許可才能開車、結婚或上大學......穿長褲也不算太糟糕。

所有參賽國家的旗幟簡直隨處可見,建築物的側面貼着最可愛的卡通人物--微笑的長袍。我看到數百名男子穿着長袍,這是一種傳統的阿拉伯服裝,潔白無瑕,長及腳踝。

通常情況下,如果你在英國看到一隻在街上遊蕩的貓,在一天結束時,它會回到它的主人身邊,但在卡塔爾,貓的生活是不同的。

據報道,該國有近300萬隻貓,但其中很大一部分是流浪貓。當我看到三隻可愛的小貓在我的酒店旁啃食別人的剩飯時,我很想給它們一個擁抱,儘管我很害怕貓。

當我看到世界上第35座最高的建築上有一面巨大的威爾士國旗的數字時,我無法抑制自己的興奮。很高興看到威爾士在64年後重回世界盃決賽圈,他們將在周一對陣美國隊。

在這場比賽之前6個小時,在同一小組中,英格蘭隊在揭幕戰中面對伊朗隊。我只能想象,在這個30攝氏度的多哈冬季世界盃上,球員們在球場上奔跑的感覺會如何。

好了,我要去找那些貓了。祝我好運吧!


Within 30 seconds of stepping off the plane in Doha, and seeing a huge football on the side of an aircraft in front of me, I'm reminded why nearly two million people are expected to come to Qatar … for the Fifa World Cup!

I've never been to the Middle East before or attended a World Cup, so this is all a new experience for me - and so far it feels very strange.

I'm in one of the wealthiest countries in the world but staff were still laying carpets and fixing parts of the media centre when I arrived.

With only two days until the opening ceremony begins and thousands of journalists from all over the world already using their office spaces, let's hope everything will be ready for the mass of people still to come.

But driving past the eight brand new stadiums - which cost several billion pounds to build - it starts to feel like a very rich country again.

I've only been here for 24 hours and it's very apparent that the majority of people living in Qatar are from other countries. I'm told only 15% are Qataris.

I chatted to some of the Fifa workers, airport staff and hotel staff who are from Uganda, India, Morocco, Argentina and Senegal. Loca, who travelled from Uganda to work here at a supermarket, told me "I'm excited to see more people come to Qatar, I can make more money".

In Qatar, only 25% of the population are women.

Before arriving, I was advised to wear clothes covering my legs, shoulders and arms to be respectful to the country's culture.

Personally, this is quite difficult for me to do in the scorching 32C heat, but considering only 23 years ago women were given the right to vote in Qatar, and not too long ago women had to ask a male guardian for permission to drive, get married or go to university … wearing trousers isn't too bad.

Flags from all the playing countries are literally everywhere and the cutest cartoon character of a smiling thobe is plastered on the side of buildings. I've seen hundreds of men wearing a thobe, a traditional Arab outfit that's pristine white and ankle length.

Usually if you see a cat roaming the street in the UK at the end of the day it will go back home to its owner, but life for cats here in Qatar is different.

It's reported that there are nearly three million cats in the country but a huge population of them are stray. And after seeing three cute kittens nibbling on someone's leftovers by my hotel, I'm tempted give them a cuddle, even though I'm scared of cats!

I couldn't contain my excitement seeing the 35th tallest building in the world with a massive Welsh flag digitalised on it. It's great to see Wales back in the World Cup finals after 64 years, and they are playing the USA on Monday.

Six hours before that match, in the same group, England are facing Iran in their opening game. I can only imagine how the players will feel running on the pitch in this 30C Doha winter World Cup.

Right I'm off to find those cats. Wish me luck!

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