MIDDLE EAST

Who is driving Qatar into suffocating, costly isolation?

A top Qatari investor in Doha Stock Exchange recently appeared on Al-Jazeera television channel to reassure Qatari and foreign investors that the stock situation is alright. This has come following the news of many investors exiting the market as they feared a dark future especially that the quartet’s boycott is still on and there are little indications of it ending soon.

The investor, Jaber bin Hajjaj Al-Ashahwani, broke down as he called on the Qataris to feel for Qatar as he saw how capital inflow has stopped in the exchange because they are worried about the boycott and fear that they will lose their capital and profit.

As a result, the stock exchange has lost many of its traded funded. The Qatari government’s efforts did not reassure investors even though it pumped government funds to revive the stock exchange.

Also read: When will FIFA pull the 2022 World Cup from Qatar?

The economic situation, particularly the stock exchanges, are the most credible when detecting reactions to any political development as these numbers do not lie. This is how analysts figure out people’s real opinion away from the media fuss, which may depict a wrong picture about the situation of a country.

Yes, Qatar is a rich country and its population is small, which makes its citizens rich. However, investors are fleeing the country, which is draining the economy. This indicates what the Qatari citizens cannot disclose as they fear the government’s suppression.

The government of Hamad bin Khalifa and Hamad bin Jassim does not hesitate to punish anyone who dares criticize it and oppose it. Punitive measures can go as far as revoking citizenships.

Qatar’s situation resembles that of a human being who refuses to admit he is ill and in need of treatment and insists on maintaining his lifestyle

Mohammed Al Shaikh

Refusal to admit

Qatar’s situation resembles that of a human being who refuses to admit he is ill and in need of treatment and insists on maintaining his lifestyle until his condittion gets worse and it’s impossible to control the disease. A skilled politician does not include words like stubbornness in his dictionary.

He only insists on something when persistence is in his favor and backs down when he realizes that persistence may harm his country’s interest. However, the government of Hamad bin Khalifa and Hamad bin Jassim foolishly addresses political matters. All they do is lie and they are basically lying to themselves before lying to others.

Also read: Qatar ‘spends $5 million on PR campaigns’ to polish country’s image

They say the Qatari treasury has huge funds but I am certain that they will not be able to withstand the situation forever especially after their attempts to internationalize their cause failed and the world ignored them or only sympathized with them via statements.

As I have said before, Qatar will be forced to submit as the Qataris will not be able to bear the isolation they are suffering from. Moreover, trying to please people inside Qatar by pumping money into the market is a policy which the regime cannot continue to adopt.

This is more so especially that their advisors from the Arabs of the North, mainly Azmi Bechara, will eventually realize that they are the ones who misled Hamad bin Khalifa and Hamad bin Jassim and led them to this suffocating and costly isolation.

This article is also available in Arabic.
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Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd.

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Last Update: Monday, 16 October 2017 KSA 15:41 - GMT 12:41
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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