Book Launch: Inside Qatar: hidden stories from the one of the richest nations on earth

The small Gulf nation of Qatar will soon play host to the world’s largest event — the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup. But what is life really like in this nation that, just 75 years ago, was a backwater and is now a gas-laden parvenu with seemingly limitless wealth and ambition?

Please join us for a talk based on John McManus’s book, Inside Qatar: hidden stories from one of the richest nations on earth. A social anthropologist, McManus lifts a lid on the hidden worlds of Qatar’s gilded elite, its spin doctors and thrill seekers, its manual labourers and domestic workers. He attempts to go beyond the government PR and the negative headlines about its treatment of migrant workers to capture what life is really like in this nation of 3 million people, only 11 per cent of whom are Qatari citizens.

Inside Qatar reveals how real people live in this surreal place, a land of both great opportunity and great iniquity. The sum of their tales is not some exotic cabinet of curiosities. Instead, Inside Qatar opens a window onto the global problems – of unfettered capitalism, growing inequality and climate change – that concern us all.

Biography: John McManus is a social anthropologist whose research looks at sport, migration and multiculturalism in the Middle East, in particular Turkey and Qatar. He is the author of Inside Qatar: hidden stories from one of the richest nations on earth (Icon Books, 2022) and Welcome to Hell? In Search of the Real Turkish Football (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2018), the latter awarded runner-up in the 2019 British-Kuwaiti Friendship Society book prize. John holds a PhD in Social anthropology and MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford and is a former Postdoctoral Fellow at the British Institute at Ankara (2016-18). His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Guardian, Washington Post, Financial Times and the BBC, as well as academic journals.