By AHMED EL AMIN
DOHA: Sheikha Al Jefairi, the lone woman sitting member of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) who is seeking re-election from her constituency (Old Airport), says she does not differentiate between fellow citizens and expatriates.
“For me everyone is equal. Whether he or she is a fellow Qatari or a resident, doesn’t matter. Everyone from my constituency who has a problem to address can come to me. My doors are always open,” she told The Peninsula yesterday.
“My doors are open for expatriates as well,” she said. Busy campaigning for the May 10 poll to the fourth term of the CMC, she said that one of her election promises this time is to set up an all-women club in her constituency.
“Women are socially isolated. There are hardly any avenues for them to gather and interact, so a club exclusively for them would really help.”
If Al Jefairi wins, which she is quite sure about considering the work she has done in her constituency, this will be her third term in the CMC. In the last election in 2007, she defeated her rival by a record margin—the highest in any CMC election so far.
She said there has been an increase in the number of women voters in this election, but despite the fact this time she is being opposed by a woman (unlike the last time in 2007 when her challenger was a man) she is confident that both male and female voters would favour her on merit.
“The number of women who are taking part in my poll campaign is double that of men this time around. My campaign team also has more women than men,” she said.
Al Jefairi is quite honest talking about the poor condition of infrastructure in the Old Airport area and says she would fight to improve it.
Potholed streets with some of them missing lighting are some of the major woes of the area which supports a massive expatriate population. “I will fight to rebuild the infrastructure,” she said. Quite concerned about people with special needs Al Jefairi says they deserve more attention. “I wish to publish guidebooks for them so they are aware of their rights.”
Al Jefairi headed the key legal committee in the CMC and had been in the forefront of the campaign to shift labour camps from residential areas to localities designated for the purpose.