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QU holds seminar on “A Year of Blockade: Current Situation and Future Aspirations” | Qatar University

QU holds seminar on “A Year of Blockade: Current Situation and Future Aspirations”

2018-06-05 00:00:00.0
H.E. Lulwah Al-Khater

Provided an overview on the consequences of the one-year blockade against Qatar

H.E. Sheikh Thani bin Hamad Al-Thani honored the seminar on “A Year of Blockade: Current Situation and Future Aspirations” held by Qatar University (QU) on May 4 at the Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, Salwa Hall.

The seminar aimed to provide a general overview on the consequences of the one-year blockade against Qatar at the local, regional and international levels. It also gave an academic perspective about the effect of the blockade on Qatar and the region in terms of international relations and law.

H.E. Sheikh Thani bin Hamad Al-Thani was joined by QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham and QU officials and college deans.

Speakers were H.E. Lulwah Al-Khater, Official Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, Dr. Nayef Bin Nahar, Director of the Humanities and Social Sciences Center at QU College of Arts and Sciences, and Dr. Majed Mohammed Al-Ansari, Manager of Policy at QU Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI).

In his remarks, Dr Hassan Al Derham said: “Qatar has achieved in one year and under its wise leadership what other countries may achieve in several years. We have overcome all constraints, earning the respect of the world. As per the international indicators, Qatar’s economy is steady. In addition, the country’s huge projects such as the FIFA 2022 World Cup projects, the Rail and the infrastructure development projects, are still ongoing and have not been affected by the blockade. This reflects the speech of His Highness The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in which he said: "We do not fear the boycott of these countries against us, we are a thousand times better off without them. But vigilance is required."”

H.E. Lulwah Al-Khater noted that the position of the siege countries about Qatar shows that these countries are not able to absorb Qatar’s steadfastness and success in overcoming the blockade’s effects. She also noted that the region is radically changing and that the siege countries’ main problem is being unable to articulate a dialogue or a balanced and thoughtful policy, which makes them struggle with their policies towards Qatar and the region as a whole.

H.E. Lulwah Al-Khater said: “The siege countries are reviving a distorted form of the Arab nationalism through breaking two of its values -- the socialist dimension and the Palestinian issue as these countries have recently shown a negative position about the Palestinian issue.”

Dr. Majed Mohammed Al-Ansari said: “This crisis is not temporary but a deep one. It will reassess the way adopted by the society before the blockade to deal with a lot of principles and the external environment. In this context, QU and the local institutions made huge interactions about the crisis since the first day. The crisis underlined the vital role of QU as a "house of expertise". The University launched numerous programs about the blockade and the ways to deal with it. Additionally, numerous master’s research projects on the crisis have been conducted at the University.”

He added: “A survey recently conducted by SESRI on a sample of 889 individuals has shown that the political awareness in Qatar has increased after the blockade. The percentage of individuals who follow political news has increased to 90%. The majority of the Qatari citizens (62%) believe that Qatar must achieve full independence from regional alliances, which indicates a lack of confidence in the regional environment, while a huge proportion of citizens (86%) agreed that Qatar must search for new alliances with regional powers in the region, which indicates a lack of confidence in the existing alliances.”

Dr. Nayef Bin Nahar highlighted the challenges that Qatar should tackle despite of its success through the crisis, saying: “Qatar must seek to maintain its presence and achieve a balance of power, whether through a self-force, whether through the development of new alliances.”

He stressed the importance of developing alliances, highlighting the Qatari-Turkish model. He also noted that it is important to develop relations with other allies in the region, such as the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia, due to the strategic interests that these countries share with Qatar. He added: “The Gulf Cooperation Council is only necessary as a service institution that maintains the permanence of intraregional transportation and trade. However, as a political system the Council cannot remain the way it is. It is in the interest of Qatar to add new members to the council such as Iraq, Yemen and other countries.”

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  • Dr. Nayef Bin Nahar