It appears to be difficult for Qataris to understand what's happening around them. Despite the boycott for the fourth consecutive week, Qatar continues to be in denial and is even taking a few steps backwards.
Doha seems to be relying solely on its worn-out media, its obvious populist propaganda and its misleading policies, all while wanting the world to stand with it. Qatar is hoping that countries in the region would turn back on their landmark and decisive step to boycott it, which shocked many allies who are now skeptical about Qatar’s fate.
After Qatar failed to internationalize its crisis, many are now waiting for an announcement after a 10-day deadline to respond to the requests of the boycotting countries is coming to an end.
But Qatar will not do anything, and will not know how to deal with the demands of the boycotting countries. Stranger still is that the requests are identical to the ones of the Riyadh agreement in 2014 – with the addition of several items. But the initial requests had been already approved and signed by Qatar so why would it reject the demands this time and consider them all as offensive?
Up until now, Qatar does not know if Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt are boycotting it or besieging it. It cannot identify its allies: the Gulf and Arabs or Persians and Turks? It does not even know whether Sheikh Tamim or Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa is the state’s reference for decision-making. Those who live in such a situation – a natural consequence of going back and forth for years – will find it hard to understand what is happening. Doha may have thought what is happening is a “prank” from the Gulf, or a “joke” from the people of Egypt.
The decision to boycott or to end the boycott is a decision purely taken by Arab countries that will not accept any pressure or blackmail, neither from international forces nor human rights organizations and biased media.Mohammed Al-Hammadi
Qatar is roaming east and west, looking for lobbies here and there to put pressure on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain. It believes that this might work, but this actually shows that it does not understand the new reality and the new rules of the game: the decision to boycott or to end the boycott is a decision purely taken by Arab countries that will not accept any pressure or blackmail, neither from international forces nor human rights organizations and biased media.
The only solution for Qatar is to stop supporting terrorism, stirring turmoil and aggravating the situation in Arab countries. If it does not do so, Arab countries will keep on boycotting Qatar, which is their legitimate right to protect their security, stability and peoples. The four countries boycotting Qatar are applying the popular saying “close any door that might be causing you trouble.” As long as Qatar refuses to cooperate with these countries, it should go on without them and without complaining; if it does not cooperate, to each country its own way.
This article was first published in Arabic.
Mohammed Al-Hammadi is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Ittihad newspaper and Executive Director of editing and publishing at the Abu Dhabi Media Company. He founded and was Editor-in-Chief of the Arabic edition of National Geographic magazine, and has held numerous positions in journalism since joining Al Ittihad in 1994. Al-Hammadi has been a columnist for more than 15 years, including writing a daily column for seven years and producing a weekly political column in Al Ittihad since 2001. He has also worked as a parliamentary editor for seven years, covering the proceedings of the Federal National Council in the United Arab Emirates. In addition to being an active participant on social networks, Al-Hammadi has an interest in new media and is currently working on a project to ease the transition from traditional to digital and smart media. Al-Hammadi has received numerous awards and is a member of a number of organizations and federations. He features regularly in broadcast media as a regional political commentator and has authored several books including Time of Ordeal (2008), The UAE Democracy (2009) and The Fall of the Muslim Brotherhood (2016). Twitter: @MEalhammadi