I am in Qatar at the moment, thinking of what I have observed.
Here is a TED talk by a dynamic woman from Qatar. Here is her introduction at TED website.
Sheikha Al Mayassa, a patron of artists, storytellers and filmmakers in Qatar, talks about how art and culture create a country's identity -- and allow every country to share its unique identity with the wider world. As she says: "We don't want to be all the same, but we do want to understand each other."
It gives yet another window into the Qatari character. She reminded me of Mariela Castro, daughter of the President Raul Castro of Cuba, who became an independent and powerful force in the Cuban Scene, not connected to the Politics of her father or his cronies.
I noticed with interest that Sheikha Al Mayassa studied at Sciences-Po, the college that creates a lot of intellectuals in France!