By Yuri Justo
Recently, Qatar has been in the news. Specifically involving its alleged funding of terrorism. I would like to share with readers my observations of the country, where the government owns the citizens. Qatar has two ideas about the U.S., friendship and suspicion.
I have experience in the region going back over 20 years, and have some knowledge of Arabic, and the regional culture. I made friends and dealt with a number of Qataris while there.
The worst encounter that I had was in visiting the Defense Ministry. There our group representing the U.S., was treated very disrespectfully. Our basic run-of-the-mill logistical concerns and wishes were shrugged away. They put us in a little room, and then made us wait for a long time. As I remember, we met with no one important, very little that we wanted was allowed us, and we were treated very suspiciously. There was an American working there, but our minder got upset when I spoke to him. I walked away thinking, maybe the Qataris really don’t like or trust us. In fact, I had never been treated so badly by an Arab ally before. Everything in Arab culture is given through in gestures and tones, but the nonverbal cues were not signs of friendship at all.
- Written by Abdullahi
- Category: Opinion