To the good people of the Gulf

Sawsan Al Shaer

Published: Updated:

To all those who are loyal to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to those who fear its disintegration and collapse, to the good people who are trying to restore things to normal between Gulf countries and to how the situation was before the decision to boycott Qatar was made, we say thank you.

We appreciate and respect your efforts, but we need to stand on a ground that’s mutual, the citizens of the four boycotting countries, and you. We must specify some principles and see if our goals are one when we use the same words.

This will make dialogue easier, and we may reach the same conclusion. Different intentions lead to different conclusions. Therefore, conclusions cannot be unified when they come from different places.

The anti-terror quartet thinks Qatar’s practices over the past few years were tantamount to attempts to “topple legitimacy.” The quartet thinks that Qatar continued to act the same even after it pledged not to.

Let’s keep in mind that toppling legitimacy is not necessarily carried out via a foreign invasion, like what happened in Iraq, when foreign troops invaded it, as it can be carried out via stirring local unrest (Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen).

If you view toppling legitimacy as “storm in a cup,” then conclusions and visions will certainly be distant and solutions will be very different

Sawsan Al Shaer

The Arab Spring

Bahrain almost joined the Arab Spring countries. To make this clearer, let’s note that the entrance of the Peninsula Shield Force to Bahrain and announcing the national safety state reminded us of the coalition’s liberation of Kuwait. People cried tears of joy and rejoiced. Ask the people of Bahrain how they received the Peninsula Shield Force.

The Bahrainis witnessed the scenario of the collapse of legitimacy in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – a scenario accompanied with occupying hospitals and universities, closing roads, burning buildings, kidnapping security forces and torturing them and treating them as captives. Our fears were not at all exaggerated.

Qatar supported terrorist groups in Bahrain and provided them with money. It also utilized Al-Jazeera channel for them. An official in the Emiri Diwan used to contact terrorist commanders and asked them to take footage of blood on the streets to air them on Al-Jazeera.

Also read: In response to Doha, Bahrain says it has right to demand the return of its lands

A recording of this conversation was broadcast and we heard him as he asked them to take footage of whom he called “thugs” and who were in fact protecting neighborhoods and cities from terrorists who had marked officers’ houses with red signs.

Qatar did not only threaten Bahrain’s security but it also threatened Saudi Arabia and the UAE by aiding terrorists. It funded them and gave them Qatari nationalities.

It also harbored the man who was accused of the attempt to assassinate King Abdullah, may he rest in peace, and it allied with Qaddafi against Saudi Arabia. Hamad bin Khalifa did not deny this recording. Qatar also granted the Qatari nationality to Muslim Brotherhood members and frankly threatened the UAE’s governance.

Proof against Qatar

This is only some of what Doha did. There are plenty of evidence and proof to its practices if someone wants to check them out. This evidence confirms Qatar’s involvement with groups that seek to topple legitimacy in a number of Arab countries, including in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE.

And now, we and the good people of the GCC must address intentions when we discuss certain matters in order to make sure that using the same term implies the same meaning. If you view toppling legitimacy as “storm in a cup,” then conclusions and visions will certainly be distant and solutions will therefore be very different.

What you call “controversial” matters or “misunderstandings” or “storm in a cup” is “toppling legitimacy” to us. We agree with you that one can sit and discuss misunderstandings and reach middle ground solutions. However how can you hold dialogue with someone who wants to topple your country’s legitimacy?

Also read: Bin Laden documents: New secrets revealed linking Qatar and al-Qaeda

When Kuwait was invaded, some Arab countries adopted a “neutral” stance. Some Arab Members of Parliament even proposed forming popular delegations to visit Iraq and Gulf countries to reach an understanding.

Kuwait, as well as we, yelled at them and asked how can one possibly reach an agreement with someone toppling legitimacy? We were overwhelmed by disappointment from Arab brothers who lost empathy with Gulf countries’ suffering. How could they not feel the pain we felt? We knew that if Kuwait was gone, the Gulf would be gone too. There was simply faith in the unity of fate.

There are direct threats from Qatar which supports terrorist groups. In Bahrain in particular, we witnessed what Kuwait lived through in terms of terror, fear, chaos and then joy and hope. Our people in Saudi Arabia and the UAE then answered our call. It’s not a storm in a cup! It’s a storm that must end strongholds of terrorism and their supporters.

My words are from my heart. With all due respect and appreciation to Gulf people who have good intentions.

This article is also available in Arabic.
Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets under the handle @sawsanalshaer.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.