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Operation Collateral Freedom

Reporters Without Borders

Qatar listed amongst RSF’s Enemies of the Internet

As Doha News approaches its fourth month of being blocked in Qatar, international non-profit Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has come up with an innovative solution to the issue.

As part of a campaign to mark World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, the group has launched a mirrored version of the Doha News website that is accessible in Qatar.

Bookmark this URL to access our site whenever you want: http://ec2-52-17-106-120.eu-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com/

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

If you use Google Chrome, RSF has also built a handy Chrome browser extension to make it easier to access the mirror.

Fighting censorship

The mirrored site is part of RSF’s annual Operation #CollateralFreedom campaign. This year, the group is unblocking 24 websites across Turkey, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and beyond.

RSF explains how it works on their website:

“Operation #CollateralFreedom circumvents technological censorship by means of an original strategy in which “mirrors” or duplicates of the censored websites are created on the servers of the world’s Internet giants.

Authoritarian regimes cannot block access to the mirrors without the “collateral damage” of restricting their own access to the services of these Internet companies.”

Do the sites for you? Thoughts?

Ashghal

Al Rayyan Road upgrade

Motorists driving near Education City are in for some traffic relief this week following the opening of a stretch of Al Rayyan Road.

The eight-lane expressway includes 2.9km of road from west of Khalid bin Abdullah Al Attiyah Roundabout (New Al Rayyan Roundabout) to east of Bani Hajer Roundabout.

Its opening marks the completion of the first phase of the Al Rayyan Road Upgrade project, Ashghal has announced.

Ashghal

Al Rayyan Road upgrade

It said the project was opened ahead of schedule, but phase one was originally slated to be completed by the end of 2016.

What it entails

The new roads are four lanes in each direction, and include some side and service streets.

However, only three lanes in each direction will be open right now as other works on the project are completed, the public works authority said in a statement.

Ashghal

Al Rayyan Road upgrade

The first phase also includes three interchanges. Two of them, between Al Rayyan Road and Al Shafi St., and Al Rayyan Road and Al Qalaa St., are already completed.

The third, at Al Wajba St., will be done “soon,” Ashghal said.

Meanwhile, new and improved pedestrian and bicycle paths have been constructed to encourage people to walk and use other, more energy-efficient and sustainable means of transport.

Big picture

Work on the massive QR4.5 billion upgrade of 8km of Al Rayyan Road began in 2014.

The second phase of the project has already begun. It encompasses 5.3km of road from the west of Sports R/A to the west of Khalid Bin Abdullah Al-Attiyah roundabout (New Rayyan roundabout).

Ashghal

Al Rayyan Road phase 2 works

As with phase one, this area will also be transformed into an eight-lane expressway. Four lanes in each direction will be separated by a central median.

In addition, 5.4km of side and service roads will be revamped as part of this phase.

Six main junctions will also be constructed – the Al Massila interchange, the Al Rayyan interchange, the Bin Zaben interchange, the Khalid bin Abdullah al-Attiyah interchange at Al Rayyan Road, the Old Rayyan interchange at Huwar Street (Furosiya) and the Lebdii interchange at Bu Erayyen road.

Ashghal

Rendering of new Al Messila underpass with Al Rayyan Road running above Jassim bin Hamad St

Work on this phase was expected to end in the third quarter of 2017. But this has now been pushed back to 2018.

Both phases will include major micro tunneling work, sewage effluent networks, and upgrades to existing electrical and telecommunication networks.

Thoughts?

Kelly Hunter/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Pregnant women and new mothers with anxiety, depression or other problems now have a new resource to turn to in Qatar.

This week, the Sidra Medical and Research Center opened the nation’s first Women’s Perinatal Mental Healthcare Clinic.

There, professionals will offer guidance and counseling for mothers with attachment and bonding issues, as well as those dealing with previous trauma and loss, Sidra announced.

Sidra

Sidra Womens Perinatal Mental Healthcare Clinic team

Women with more serious problems, such as OCD, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, can also receive support at the clinic.

Currently, the center will only see patients who are referred by Sidra’s Obstetrics Clinic, Hamad Medical Corp. hospitals and Primary Health Care Corp. centers.

However, plans are afoot to expand the services offered.

 

Emotional health

In a statement, Dr. Felice Watt, division chief for Women’s Mental Health, said taking care of emotional health is just as important for new mothers as looking after their physical health.

She added:

“Mental health issues are common during this period and the right support and treatment can have a lasting positive impact on the mother, infant, and the entire family.

Our women’s mental healthcare team will provide culturally sensitive, woman and family centered support and treatment during this important time.”

Demand for better mental healthcare services in Qatar has been on the rise for some time.

Troy Benson/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The call grew louder earlier this month following the suicide of an American expat, with many community members saying they wouldn’t know where to turn for help with their issues.

Pregnant women and new mothers have also been seeking better support services.

In a series on giving birth in Qatar last year, many moms said they struggled with depression and questions about how to take care of their babies, and their husbands “had no idea how to support them.”

Women who suffer miscarriages in Qatar also say they have trouble coping without help.

Sidra progress

After several hurdles, Sidra partially opened last May with the launch of some pediatric outpatient clinics. And it started doing day surgeries in November.

This year, all 40 of its outpatient services are expected to become fully operational.

But so far, there is no opening date for the entire hospital, which has been delayed for years.

Thoughts?