Showing posts from June, 2017

Gulf Crisis week 3 - Qatar's camels and cows

The Gulf Crisis is now 3 weeks old, and with Qatar now in receipt of 13 demands from its neighbours there seems to be little hope of a speedy resolution.  These demands include limiting ties with Iran, with whom Qatar shares a gas field, shutting down the newly created Turkish airbase, severing any affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood and closing the Al Jazeera Media Network and other Qatar Government funded broadcasters.

Qatar's Ambassador to the US, Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani accused Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt of trying to "suppress free media and undermine our sovereignty" and stated of the imposed sanctions, "Qatar could continue forever like this with no problems".

As a sovereign nation, Qatar has worked hard over the years to develop an independent foreign policy including diplomatic and economic relationships with other nations around the world.  This is now bearing fruit and enabling Qatar to put measures in place to weather the sanc…

Gulf Crisis week 2

2 weeks have passed since Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and began blocking air and sea routes and closed the only land border between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

 The participating countries closed their air space to Qatar Airways and their national airlines are no longer flying into Qatar.  With the land border closed, all deliveries of food and other materials through Saudi Arabia have been halted so other arrangements were quickly made, including flying in produce from Turkey, Iran and India and sea shipping via Oman rather than UAE.

The effect on Gulf families is the biggest impact and today marks the 14 day deadline for Saudi, UAE and Bahraini nationals to leave Qatar and for Qataris to leave those countries.  There are harsh penalties for those who do not comply, including threats of jail sentences, travel bans of up to 3 years and possibly revoking citizenship permanently.  Amnesty International has accused these countries of "toying with …

We are Qatar

Well, what a week!!  Ive been in Qatar now for 4 years and we've had some ups and downs and one or two troubled times, especially back in 2014 when diplomatic ties with our neighbours took a step back for a few months but on the whole, I've always had the view and the feeling that Qatar is pretty much one of the safest and most stable nations in the Middle East.

Then last Monday the ground shook beneath our feet and we suffered what can only be described as a geopolitical earthquake.  Sudden and severe, with instant impact, initially causing panic among the people, had us holding our breath for a few days waiting for the aftershocks and leaving long term consequences which we are still yet to truly grasp.

On Monday 5 June, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, recalling their citizens and putting the country under an air, land and sea blockade.  Qatar imports 90% of its food, much of that overland through Saudi Arab…