Dialectical Anthropology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 181–219 | Cite as

Interpretations of Islamic Practices Among Non-Qatari Students Living in The University of Qatar’s Ladies Hostel

  • Alexis R. Lay


The study design included participant observation in an all female University and University housing. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with second-generation expatriates and Omani students. Physical control of expatriates not only occurs through the Gulf practice of sponsorship (The Kafeel System) but through the local cultural and Islamic related controls intertwined with the Arab code of honor. Subjects living in the University ladies hostel expressed a hidden transcript in the privacy of their own group, expressed disguised resistance in public and occasionally directly confronted the Qatari. Omani students in the hostel disguised their resistance by spreading gossip, nick-naming homosexual Qatari students at the University or by acting out a skit depicting their exclusion from Qatari privilege. This study is part of a larger study which found that blaming oppression of the expatriate worker on globalization is a simplistic view of oppression in the Gulf and ignores complex issues within Qatari society and other Gulf States.


Arabian Gulf States Arabs expatriates GCC Gender Gender Segregation Islam Labor Middle-East Muslims Oil producing nations Omani students Qatar Qataris resistance second-generation expatriates Shari’a temporary workers 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexis R. Lay
    • 1
  1. 1.East LansingUSA

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