Dispatches from Dubai: 5 things I’ve learned about Qatar in the wake of adversity

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By Amelia Miller*

Images courtesy of iStock by Getty Images

It’s been 4.5 months, or 20 weeks, since the boycott against Qatar by the GCC+1 countries began and, still, we continue to go about our daily lives, adapting to this ‘new normal’ as best we can. And, while the demands on Qatar seem to change weekly, there’s one thing that doesn’t – its brilliance as a country. 

So what have we learned about Qatar, it’s government, and the people there since this boycott started? As a former Qatar expat, now living in Dubai, let me tell you – to pick only 5 scratches only the surface.

Here’s my top 5 things I’ve learned about the country that will always hold a piece of my heart – Qatar.

1. There’s food on the shelves

While this may seem menial, the boycotting countries would continually have us believe that the people living in Qatar don’t have food supplies and the supermarket shelves are bare. 

However, the shelves are full, people are eating, and the food is arriving. Trade deals have been made with non-boycotting countries, people have become used to new brands from different countries (in some cases enjoying them better!), and the focus on Qatari-made products is bigger than ever

2. Qatar’s government sets an example for resilience

Prior to the diplomatic fallout, I didn’t realize just how switched on the government of Qatar was. – from its top leadership, all the way down. Obviously I knew they were keenly aware of what surrounded them from all sides – it’s their job to be. However, the level of pro-activeness on the part of Qatar since this boycott began has been admirable.

I’ve not seen a government deal with such unprecedented events so quickly and so cleverly before. You really get a feeling Qatar will be more than okay, and that’s solely down to how the government has handled this entire crisis situation. Their quick decision-making, swift action, and quick business deals – all in aid of keeping the country going – have truly blown me away as an observer on the other side of the fence.

3. The Qatari government really cares about its people – both expat and local

One thing you can’t take away from the Qatari government during these last 4.5 months is just how much it’s shown it cares about every single person living in Qatar. Qatar has always been a country where the government truly values its people; however, in a time where everyone needed trust and leadership from the government, they were there in the public eye more than ever, on social media more than ever, and making decisions so no person suffers any ill effects of this blockade. 

They done their level best to ensure that life remains as normal, taking every single step possible, and then more, to make sure the people of Qatar were looked after. His Highness the Emir, after recently returning from an overseas visit where he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, met the public along Doha’s Corniche as a way of saying ‘thank you’ for their support.  

Life is going on as normal, people are happy, and business is continuing – this is all down to the amazing efforts from the wonderful government of Qatar.

4. Embracing the positive over the negative

Rather than focusing on all the outward negativity, Qatar has responded with positive actions in a display of just how strong and diverse this small, yet amazing country is. 

From launching new air routes on Qatar Airways, to creating visa-free entry for 80 nationalities, to flying in 4,000 cows with the aim of becoming self-sufficient with dairy, these are just some of the many positive actions Qatar has taken during this blockade.  

5. This beautiful, yet small country won’t be bullied. 

They tried – oh have they tried…and the boycotting nations really thought bullying tactics would work. But, what they didn’t realize, was that although small in size, Qatar is huge in heart, soul, and solidarity. This may have worked in the past, but Qatar has learned and developed itself in such a way as to ensure it remains in a strong position. Qatar won’t be bullied; it won’t cave in to ridiculous demands – and it doesn’t need to. No matter how long this goes on for, there’s one thing I know, and that is Qatar won’t accept any bullying from any country and won’t be forced into making decisions that aren’t right for everyone who lives within its borders. 

What are the things you’ve learned about Qatar since this boycott began? Do you agree with the above points? Let us know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to like, subscribe, and share. 

*[Editor’s Note: The author’s name has been changed to protect their identity due to the implementation of strict penalties faced by UAE residents speaking out in sympathy towards Qatar in the wake of the GCC crisis.]