Calls to penalise parking lot abuses in Qatar mosques

September 6, 2012

Qataris have called for stringent action by traffic and municipal authorities against drivers who abuse mosque parking lots to park their vehicles haphazardly and illegally.

Ahmad Al Shaib, a municipal councillor from the Um Salal called for urgent action to address the “negative phenomenon” but added that local people also had a role to play.

‘It is a shared responsibility,” he was quoted as saying by daily newspaper Al Sharq. “There are the concerned authorities, but there are also the staff working in the mosque, the imam and the common people who should really tackle it, each according to his capacity. For instance, there are those who come late to mosque, particularly on Friday when the parking is full, and park their cars anywhere without the slightest consideration for others. They should be reprimanded.”

Al Shaib added that families should learn to come together to the mosque to reduce the number of vehicles.

“Each member comes in his car and this of course compounds the difficult situation. Car pooling, at least for relatives, is a necessity,” he said.

Most mosques in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have large parking lots to help worshippers park their cars and offer their group prayers on time. Muslims pray five times a day.

Saleh Bin Jaber Al Nabet, councillor for Abu Hamur district, said that vehicles to transport company workers were mainly to blame as they were often parked in mosque parking lots.

“They are the main cause of haphazard parking and of taking up space normally allocated for worshippers,” he told Al Sharq. “However, I am confident that with the relocation of bachelors’ accommodations outside the city, the situation will improve.”

Faisal Ishaq, a Qatari national, said that the lack of parking space often prompted drivers to park their cars illegally on the sidewalks or on a road lane.

“This is unfair and gives a bad impression about our culture,” he said. “People should be aware of the harm they cause and should learn to respect others. I think they do it because there is no reaction to their attitudes and I wish the traffic authorities would penalise them.”

For Mubarak Al Nabet, stringent action is needed against those who park their vehicles on the mosque parking lot.

“Those who park their car for hours, days or even weeks in fact deny worshippers the possibility to park their cars and pray inside the mosque,” he said. “This is unfair because the parking is for those who wish to attend group prayers at the mosque and not for others.”

Mubarak suggested installing an automatic system that allows vehicles on the parking lot only when there are calls for prayers.

“That way, only worshippers can bring in their cars and park them for the prayers. After the performance of the duty, they leave the parking,” he said.

A second solution is to set up cameras that record the movement of vehicles and guide the action to be taken by the traffic or municipal authorities against violators and abusers, he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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