1 thought on “Qatar”

  1. The ‘blessing in disguise’ aspect of the blockade is certainly an unexpected result for the chief blockaders and a bonus for Qatar! I just want to add 3 points: first with respect to supplies, Doha supermarkets [Carrefour a prime example] now carry fresh produce from everywhere in the world: mangoes from west Africa, south-east Asia and Latin America, French potatoes and tomatoes etc. This diversification also, to a small but significant extent, contributes to Qatar’s positive relations with the exporting countries, many of which are poor and in need of foreign currency.

    Second the changes in migrant labour working conditions not only have a major impact on the workers themselves and their home communities, as they can support and finance development activities with the improved income [basic wages increased + removal of the ‘fees’ charged by labour agents etc]. This is particularly important for very poor states with large numbers of workers in Qatar, Nepal being a prime example.

    Third, expulsion of Qatar from the Saudi-led coalition has saved its rulers from being associated with the murderous war in Yemen which, alongside Khashoqji’s assassination, is currently a major contributor to Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s negative image in the world, worsened by the now publicly acknowledged famine. Increasing questioning of the war in UK Parliament and US Congress have contributed to the sudden calls for peace from the USA administration. But Qatar has retained its positive image thanks to having no connection with the blockade on Red Sea ports or the aerial attacks, both causes of the famine. Moreover, it actively supports UNICEF and other UN agencies in humanitarian and development work, further improving perception of its role, a clear contrast with the situation of the coalition which, despite its major contribution to the UN’s Humanitarian Response Appeal, encourage shocking comparison between their humanitarian aid and their contribution to the arms trade.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top

Access provided by the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford