You can imagine how excited DKM was too. He seemed to think that this was the final step in christening Qatar as the ideal place to live, for the moment. The country has steadily progressed for the better in the past decade. We have incredible royalty and political leaders here, who are truly invested in making Doha thrive.
That said, the kind of guests these leaders want to attract are a little different from Mr. Wayne.
Since I moved here almost three months ago, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Sergio Garcia, Richard Branson, DJ Tiesto (I thought I told you to shutttt up), Nancy Pelosi, Mahmou Ahmadinejad and a bunch of other random people have visited Doha. My creepy older crush, Bill Clinton will be here in a few weeks. There is a lot going on.
Needless to say, Lil Wayne doesn't fit neatly on that list. He sticks out like....a drug addicted rapper in Doha. I was shocked to hear he'd perform here and immediately thought that someone hadn't thought that through.
Turns out I was right. Lil Wayne won't be spotted walking along the corniche just yet. His concert was cancelled yesterday, after the marijuana loving rapper was flagged by Interpol (!!!). I received this message, from the event organizers in my Facebook inbox:
We have been informed by the Ministry of the Interior that they will NOT be permitting Dewayne Michael Carter AKA lil Wayne To enter or perform in Qatar and that's due to him being recently flagged by Interpol.We operate under the laws of the State of Qatar and we would not like to tarnish the state's image in any way or form. We have informed the artist's management that we will not be proceeding with the event scheduled to take place on the 16th of April at the Intercontinental Qatar and they communicated that they are disappointed that they could not fulfil their commitment to all the fans in Qatar. We are still on for the 16th with a Mega Star, Look out for the flyer.Thanks for your support.
I wonder who the Mega Star will be. DKM seems to think it's Bryan Adams. I think it will be local DJ Joe Mitri.
I'm not slagging the Ministry for cancelling the event. I'm siding with the government on this one. Lil Wayne basically embodies everything that this country is not. He's a wonderful fit for the West, but Qatar just isn't there yet. Did you see his interview with Katie Couric? The guy wouldn't survive overnight in a Muslim country. For fuck's sake, VH1 is resurrecting its show to make a Behind the Music special about him. Behind the Music hasn't been on in years. He's kind of controversial.
I know the youth of Doha want the city to become a current, happening place, and while it would be great in theory, I think the right decision was made not to invest in the singer. The Emir and Her Highness (also known as the greatest royal couple EVER) have spent the last decade investing in education, culture, science and the arts and have worked too hard at establishing Qatar as a leader in these fields to have a visit from a popular rapper overshadow that.
Yes, I realize how lame I sound. Partying at a Lil. Wayne concert would be ridiculous. But Doha has bigger and better things to accomplish. I'd rather Qatar make international headlines for the fact they will open one University a year until 2012, or for the Science and Technology Park last week, and not for the fact that Lil Wayne came to Doha, only to be arrested for vulgarity. Predicting his visit would be a disaster is one of the smartest things the government could ever do.
Now bring on Slick Willy.