Friday, December 3, 2010

What's freakin' Qatar got that we ain't got?

By now I guess you've heard that some place called Qatar and not the mighty U.S. of A., was chosen to host the 2022 World Cup. Frankly, when I heard the news, my first concern was whether there was enough room in a country smaller than Connecticut to fit all the people who will be flocking there for the games.

I can see all kinds of reasons Qatar got the bid. First and foremost, its Aspire Tower (pictured here) is way cooler looking than our Reunion Tower. And even though the emirate has, according to the International Monetary Fund, the high Gross Domestic Product per capita in the world (whatever that means), its government is not considering extending tax breaks for its wealthiest citizens.

How neat is this: Qataris (that's what the locals are called) don't even have to pay for water or electricity. The downside is that has resulted in beaucoups of energy consumption and Qatar has the highest per-capita carbon dioxide emissions of any country in the world. It should also be mentioned that Qatar doesn't have a good track record when it comes to dealing with immigrant labor.

And finally there's this: Texas A&M has a campus in Qatar. Not only that, its basketball team hasn't lost a game since March of 2008. That's 31 victories in a row. I don't know, however, if the students there are known as Qataggies.

No comments: