Originals

Get Ready for the Biggest International Party Where None of Your Favorite Ways to Celebrate Are Legal

According to Qatar’s legal code, freedom of expression is restricted, homosexuality is illegal and sex outside marriage is outlawed. Public drunkenness can incur a prison sentence of up to six months and some things considered benign elsewhere, like public displays of affection or wearing revealing clothes, can be grounds for arrest.

https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/us-urges-qatar-be-patient-tolerant-with-world-cup-fans-2022-10-18/

 

Hello football lovers and partygoers from all over the world! We’re so excited to welcome you to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the biggest party on the planet. Who’s ready to cheer their hearts out?! Woooo! But not so loud please. Public displays of fun will definitely land you in a jail cell, as will the many other ways you typically like to party.

It’s said that the World Cup is a celebration of football that brings the world closer together in a festive atmosphere, and trust us you’ve never partied in an environment like this before!



Two decades ago, Japan and South Korea gave the international football community a taste of Asia, and then Germany devised the universally-acclaimed Fan Fest, but for the first World Cup ever to be held in the Middle East, we’re putting our own cultural spin on the format: we’re adding rules. So many it’d make the NFL blush.

To start with, unlike your favorite superstars on the field, you will not be invited to openly express your individuality in front of thousands of people, or even emulate their wardrobe by dressing in fun, colorful shorts in public. In fact, all short-related choices (skirts, shirts, short expressions of intimacy between men and women, men and men and women and women) are most unwelcome at this particular party, but they will score you an invitation to a jumping afterparty in one of our private jails.

Also, it should go without saying that if we haven’t mentioned your gender identity in our official press releases yet, it’s almost certainly because we don’t understand or recognize who you identify as, and usually when we don’t understand something, you guessed it, straight to jail!

Any more party fouls to be aware of? Sure are, and this is a big one: sport and politics. They just don’t mix! Take penalties – remember those heart-stopping shootouts from past tournaments? Aren’t they a rollercoaster of fun? But, do you know what is a much less enjoyable kind of penalty? Getting arrested for writing about labor rights issues and inhumane working conditions in our stadiums, because when it comes to punishing loose talk, we’re tighter than the infamous World Cup group of death.

But don’t for a second think that our slew of public-decency laws and punitive penal system means we don’t know how to show sensation-seekers a good time. We are also an almost-completely dry country!

Naturally, many of the millions of passionate revelers who will soon converge on our cities will be hunting for entertainment, and take it from us, nothing lubricates the senses like our celebrated Teetotalism Center. Inside, visitors can learn about the long and rich history of prohibition in the Middle East thanks to a special exhibition from Budweiser, the official beer of the FIFA World Cup. Carousers accustomed to bar hours and looking to scratch their liquor (history) itch need not panic. The center’s closing time will be extended late into the night!

Of course, we understand abstinence isn’t for everyone. So if you truly are a spectator who finds it difficult to enjoy sport without temporary cognitive impairment, you can head to one of our special fan zones. There you can fill up on some reasonably-priced ethanol in front of the 50-tonne fire-breathing spider we have ostensibly hired for no other reason than to rile you up in a place where public drunkenness is punishable by hefty fines and, yep, that’s right, a return ticket to our booming jail scene!

We are so proud and grateful that our wonderfully compact country that is not quite the size of Connecticut has been selected to host the biggest international jamboree in sport, and there was certainly nothing funny about that decision. Just like Russia demonstrated in 2018, we are opening our doors to the world to get to know us better and see that there’s nothing untoward going on!

So get over here and make yourself feel at home. Sure, it’s not going to be like one of those massive, crazy block parties in Brazil 2014, or even be that remotely enjoyable, and so help us Allah if we hear a peep out of a resurrected vuvuzela, we’re starting the summary arrests, but remember what is truly important here: no matter your race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or nationality, absolutely nobody is welcome to party in Qatar!

 

by Alex Cowell

Alex Cowell is a writer and teacher in Sydney. He loves languages, European football and Persian rug stores that are always threatening to close down because they remind him of his level of follow through.