What is behind the Qatar quarantine?


Reuters photo



Yasser M. Dhouib


It is common knowledge that the recent political crisis in the Gulf is plaguing the political scene in the region and is noticeable also that is having a very negative impact on the world stage, in addition to the Arab world. It is also worth noting that what is behind the move of Saudi Arabia and UAE to quarantine the state of Qatar certainly does not stem from the supposedly established ties with terrorism and its sponsor.

These are purely baseless allegations disguised in a political charade and from a western Canadian perspective we must confess that the state of Qatar is not being fairly or properly portrayed in the news and Canadian media at large.

Indeed Qatar has been witnessing from 1995 a quiet revolution that has not only impacted its vision of itself as a Muslim and Arab country but also its role on the world stage.

The former Father Emir of the State Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was a kind of Roi Soleil, being concerned with the need for reform and modernizing not only his country but also the Arab world and Gulf region. This was his main political manifesto and reform project.

His action and vision has hugely impacted the success of his deeds by creating a huge mass media machine Al Jazeera, where free press and freedom were totally unknown in the region.

But his main motto was to make the Gulf region and the Arab world craft a new era of freedom and free expression where governments are totally removed from monitoring.

His son, the current ruler Sheikh Tamim Bin Khalifa Al Thani, is cementing and consolidating these reforms and gains and is superbly succeeding on that path. That approach has been a fairly rare and courageous move to reform the social and political fabric of the region where the very idea of change is not appreciated.

So to summarise, what the KSA and UAE need from Qatar is a total subordinate form of a sovereign country.

But let’s go to the core of the debate, in explaining the real issues pertaining to Qatar’s relations with its partners.

The Arab world has witnessed a spring for democracy and change that started in Tunisia in 2011 and succeeded to bare its fruit thanks to the steady efforts of Qatar and their financial support where its presence in the Tunisia finance summit in 2016 was prominent in investing billions of dollars to make this experiment succeed where other western and European partners of Tunisia paid the lip service in not fulfilling their pledges.

From a Canadian perspective Qatar has played a tremendous and prominent role in negotiating the safe liberation of a Canadian hostage in Afghanistan.

Prime Minister Trudeau was among the western leaders to highly appreciate this role. We have to remember that this spirit of reform and democratic advocacy was not appreciated by the Gulf partners of Qatar such as KSA and UAE and was deliberately bashed and deconstructed with firm ill intention.

In conclusion, Canadians need to understand that the state of Qatar is a very important partner and a reliable one when it comes to fighting terrorism and promoting human values of compassion. The huge and well appreciated experience of Qatar in humanitarian efforts for the United Nations’ endeavor to support the fight against poverty and hunger in Africa and Asia, Qatar’s NGOs have had a very interesting and influential role, one must remember the Qatar Katrina fund that came to the rescue of millions of Americans during the 2005 Katrina flooding.

For a country situated in a region where the emancipation of women is not appreciated we must cherish Qatar’s avant-garde approach in giving women their fair share.

In acquiring and having the responsibility of being minister or CEO or even UN ambassador, the role model for this emancipation was Sheikha Mozah the wife of the former Father Emir Sheikh Hamad, she has succeeded to make Qatari women totally involved in the emancipation move.

So what is behind the media stories is not necessarily giving the real explanation of this Gulf crisis and we as Canadians have to go beyond the headlines to understand those issues.






Yasser M. Dhouib

Yasser is a Public Relations Specialist (PR Specialist) Outreach Muslim Community Volunteer in Montreal, Canada. He is a former Board Member of The Canadian Muslim Forum CMF-FMC and advocated on issues relating to integration, inclusion and participation of minority communities in the broader Canadian and Quebec society, as well as addressing concerns related to discrimination and unemployment.


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