Blog archive: Uae

  • 17th October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Khalid al-Hail, a 29-year-old Qatari living in exile in London, is a man with grand ideas. People address him as "Sheikh Khalid", though on Facebook he prefers to call himself "His Excellency". Variously described as a businessman, philanthropist and reformist, al-Hail is best known as the...
  • 15th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The London conference on Qatar, which has caused much hullabaloo over the last couple of weeks, took place yesterday – attended by numerous video cameras and a rather sparse audience of around 150 people, many of whom had badges saying "staff" or "press". The controversial event had been...
  • 13th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Despite having assistance from two PR firms – one headed by an American who used to organise events at the White House – the controversial and much-heralded "Qatar opposition" conference due to be held in London tomorrow is looking rather shambolic. After sending out vaguely-worded...
  • 11th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The controversial and much-heralded "Qatari opposition" conference due to be held in London on Thursday will be attended by "hundreds of world-renowned political figures, policy makers, academics, commentators and Qataris", according to a press release. However, the venue, conference programme...
  • 9th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Qatar, which is reportedly paying a public relations firm $50,000 month to "improve ties with the Jewish community worldwide", has accused the UAE of employing "Zionists" to organise an anti-Qatar conference. A news item published in Arabic by the Qatari-owned al-Jazeera on Thursday began...
  • 8th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Saudi/Emirati squabble with Qatar which began in May with a fake news item on a hacked website has continued in the form of a virtual reality game which almost nobody outside the Gulf views as seriously as the protagonists themselves.  The latest round of cat-fighting relates to a...
  • 29th August 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On August 8 Muhammad Fadli, a fashion photographer from Singapore, arrived in Abu Dhabi for a photo shoot, accompanied by his friend, Nur Ibrahim. The next day they were arrested in the food court of a shopping mall for the allegedly indecent act of "wearing women's clothes in public". Both...
  • 29th July 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A new human rights organisation which surfaced recently in Brussels has some uncanny connections with the scandal-ridden Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) which went bankrupt last year. GNRD, headed by a man who previously ran a fake university, was funded with millions of...
  • 21st July 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It's increasingly clear that the hacking incident last May which created a pretext for the Saudi-Emirati confrontation with Qatar was not a random attack: it had been carefully planned and took more than a month to prepare. This is a significant development because it suggests that the...
  • 18th July 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Egypt faces multiple security threats, with the continuing Islamist insurgency in Sinai and the bombing of churches not least among them. But the latest threat detected by the ever-vigilant Sisi regime comes from a different direction – from researchers doing surveys. Last November the regime...
  • 28th June 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Of the 13 demands made by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their ultimatum to Qatar, the one causing most consternation internationally is the call for al-Jazeera to be shut down. On Wednesday, the BBC's renowned World Affairs Editor, John Simpson, and David Kaye, the UN's Special Rapporteur on...
  • 23rd June 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Having placed Qatar under economic siege earlier this month – in a row that was triggered by a fake news report – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have now issued a formal list of demands. Qatar has been given 10 days to comply, or face unspecified consequences. The demands –...

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