Why you should care
A tech entrepreneur in a region that needs more of them.
This is the second video in a multi-part series brought to you by Adobe on the Rising Stars of Marketing. Watch new stories each week on OZY.
Entrepreneurs are a rare species in the Gulf, where government quotas often mean cushy jobs for locals. That’s starting to change in Qatar, and Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon is leading the charge. The enthusiastic 31-year-old runs ILoveQatar.net, the country’s most successful online network, which aims to build cultural bridges and address what he calls a “numbers problem.” You see, Doha, Qatar, is a desert boomtown, built on the tiny country’s natural gas fortunes and populated largely by outsiders who outnumber locals about ten to one. While visitors were once welcomed into local majlis (a kind of lounge central to the culture’s social life) with generous servings of karak (tea) and al-qahwa (Arabic coffee), these days, there are so many people flowing into Qatar that there are more opportunities for misunderstandings than cultural exchange.
Watch our video to meet Al Haroon, who as “Mr. Q” has become an unofficial cultural ambassador of sorts for a country that certainly needs one.