Arab, Palestinian in Qatar

Map Source:  Bethany World Prayer Center
People Name: Arab, Palestinian
Country: Qatar
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 381,000
World Population: 11,043,500
Primary Language: Arabic, South Levantine Spoken
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.08 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Arab, Levant
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The majority of the people living in the small Persian Gulf nation of Qatar are not Qatari. They are foreign workers. One of these guest worker groups are Palestinian Arabs. The income of Qatari citizens is one of the highest in the world. The leaders of the Qatar have used their oil and natural gas earnings to diversify their economy. The Palestinians usually work in jobs that the UAE citizens find beneath them. Only about half of the total population of Palestinian Arabs live in Palestine. Palestinian Arabs are a subset of the larger Levant Arab peoples.
Islam came to Jerusalem and Palestine soon after the death of Mohammed. The Palestinian population at that time was mainly Jewish and Eastern Orthodox Christians. Over the centuries more and more people converted to Islam and other Muslims moved into the area. In the first Arab-Israeli War of 1948, thousands of Palestinian Arabs fled their homes in the area now known are Israel. Atrocities were committed by both sides in the war. Many Arabs fled their homes fearing for their lives. Since that time, Arabs who departed Israel have not been allowed to return to their homeland. During the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, thousands more left east Jerusalem, Gaza and the West Bank.
Some of these Palestinians now live in Qatar. Many of them send money they earn to their families in Gaza, the West Bank, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon. Many Palestinians suffer tragic lives of poverty and neglect. The billions of dollars donated by the United Nations and the West to help the common Palestinian often ends up in the bank accounts of Palestinian leaders or is used to buy weapons. The donated money frequently does not help the lives of the Palestinian people.
 

What Are Their Lives Like?

Since many of the Palestinians living in Qatar are educated and they are able to take middle and lower management jobs in the oil, tourist and manufacturing industries. These middle-class Palestinians can read and write Arabic plus speak English. These men can sometimes make enough money to bring their families to the UAE if they can gain the government's permission. If the men's families do come, they are able to purchase a small home or afford a decent apartment.
Uneducated Palestinians arriving in Qatar must take any job they can find. These low positions include digging ditches, cleaning streets and sewers and taking care of animals. These lower level workers are not allowed to bring their families to Qatar and may be in the country illegally. They send their earnings home and often live in squalid conditions with a dozen or more men living in one small apartment.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Palestinians are Muslims, usually Sunni. A small group are Christians. Many of these Christians have departed Palestine, preferring to live in areas where Christians are not persecuted. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols.
The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

The Palestinians living in Qatar may not ever have heard a clear presentation of the gospel. Isa or Jesus is much more than the human prophet that he is deemed to be in Islam. The Palestinians working in lower-level jobs in Qatar would benefit from medical teams of believers coming to help them and showing them the love of Christ.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Palestinians of Qatar in this decade. Pray the Holy Spirit produces a hunger for spiritual things among Palestinians in Qatar.  Pray that Palestinians would tune into Christian TV and radio programs.
Pray that Palestinian parents would be able to provide adequately for their children.

Text Source:   Joshua Project