Tuesday, October 03, 2006

We are mad at Qatar

Our government spokesman today announced that Jordan has recalled it’s ambassador to Qatar, presumably to protest Qatar’s backing of the Korean Foreign minister, Ban Ki Moon, as secretary general for the United Nations. Jordan has nominated Prince Zeid Raad al-Hussein, and Arab foreign ministers (including Qatar) had vowed to back his nomination. Nasser Joudeh said that the Jordanian government is unhappy because Qatar didn’t stick with the Arab consensus. The implication is that Prince Zeid’s losing is of secondary significance. Joudeh also suggested that the Qatari stance towards Jordan is due to the alignment between us and the Saudis.

Many people feel that Qatar has negative attitudes towards Jordan, and cite how Al Jazeera covers our issues. Of course, many people besides Jordanians think that Qatar is against them because of Al Jazeera’s coverage of them. While one might argue about how independent, fair or neutral Al Jazeera is, the channel is popular because it offers people view points that they would like to see. I am not a big fan, but there you go.

To be honest, in the grand scheme of things Jordan and Qatar are both small fry. Both would like to assume roles larger than their geographic, economic or demographic realities would dictate. From this perspective, the squabble between the two governments is a small, insignificant side show. As a Jordanian, I am more concerned about the jobs of 15000 Jordanians in Qatar than I am with securing a job for Prince Zeid.

I wish somebody would break up this fight and make each child stand in the corner until the end of the period.


At 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As a Jordanian, I am more concerned about the jobs of 15000 Jordanians in Qatar than I am with securing a job for prince Zeid."

Very true ya Khalaf! It's always the "commons" that end up bearing the consequences.

At 1:11 AM, Blogger Rami said...

ya zalameh who fuckin' cares?

At 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ya zalameh who fuckin' cares?"

the 15000 jordanians who work in Qatar, their spouses, their parents, their children, siblings they may support, ...that's about 150,000 jordanians who could drop from middle class to below poverty line. and for what cause? fighting israel? NO. Liberating Iraq? NO. Defending Jordanian borders? NO. Lets hope some wise people get involved and end this conflict.

At 3:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Anon.: So what if Qatar didnt vote for whats his name..? even if they did, he wouldnt have won, it is not like it was down to the two and then Qatar betrayed him and changed the whole outcome. Our government keeps convincing us that our "special" relationship with the US is to our benefit, so why not get mad at the US for not supporting (again, who??). Based on qualifications, Ban Ki Moon is more qualified, based on international consensus, Ban Ki Moon is more liked, so why should Qatar, and for that matter the entire Arab World break ranks with the rest of the world, just to vote for (I cant take it anymore, what is his name???). If the governments wants to look at countries "breaking ranks" (haha - as if there were ever any ranks), they should look at their very own spotty history or better yet, read any Israeli Prime Minister's diary. So, am I mad at Qatar? no. Am I mad at the UN? no. Am I mad at the Jordanian government? again, no. I am simply too tired of these petty differences determining our whole foreign policy, just to please ......... oh thats right, PRINCE whatever.

At 4:36 AM, Blogger Habchawi said...

Qataris are entitled to their own opinion. However, this is not an isolated incident; it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I agree with you in that number of Jordanians employed in Qatar needs to be in the government calculations, but this obviously would put us at odds with other countries, that Jordan might have more interest in staying in a good terms with than Qatar.

How accurate is the 15K figure anyway?

At 5:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish somebody would break up this fight and make each child stand in the corner until the end of the period.

Lol, I too found the "we're recalling our ambassador because you're being mean to us" move very childish.

At 5:41 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Anon 1: The "commons" typically pay, but usually somebody at least pretends to care about them.

Rami: Nice to see you here. I think that you care, for one. Sweeds tend to be socially minded.

Anon 2: I think that the prince winning would have posed problems for us. I mean, nobody can please everybody. He would have had to make decisions that would anger people at him and ultimately at Jordan.

Habchawi: I don't think that the government is escalating this issue to please a third party. As for the 15000 number, it is the one out there. It is probably close enough. my position would not change if the number was 10000 or 5000.

Moi: I am glad I am not the only one. Good to see you around.

At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree with moi,very childish.We are all annoyed at Qatar behavior,but it is their right to vote..as they please..isn't it?

At 10:37 AM, Blogger Rami said...

alright, so this is the story as i see it. A prince who we never heard of before, all of a sudden comes out of the blue and position himself worthy of being the UN's secretary general.

Arabs thought it was nice to have an arab in that position.

one country decided not vote for someone else, then the jordanian government decided that it wants to boycott qatar.

hello.. isnt the jordanian government supposed to care about its people, like it was mentioned above, all those jordanians in qatar?

prince who? i think the jordanian reaction to boycott qatar just proves how irresponsible jordanian officials can be, let alone, being worthy of heading the UN!

maybe this guy after all has the credentials and the intelligence, but the reaction made him look bad, in my opinion, as a jordanian who sees things from the outside.

that's what i meant.. afterall i dont think any jordanian (other than those in qatar or those who have an interest there) is really concerned with this whole campaign.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger fire alarm said...

Im sorry, but where does Jordan come off telling Qatar how to manage it's foreign policy ?

If jordan wants to bycott qatar then so be it. Qatar will be stuck with one or two dozen university students which it needs to relocate. Jordan will be stuck with at least 150,000 jordanians with no jobs !!

Reality of the matter is, Qatar will never decide to deport 150,000 folks from jordan overnigt, it will pretty much cripple the economy and many gov't agencies. Qatar infact will do nothing. You'd be suprised at how little attention this is being given in qatar, both by locals and jordanians. This is not the first or the last embassdor tobe withdrown from Doha.

I think ppl need to realize, qatar is part of the world first, then part of the arab world. Qatar has to look out for its best interest then the interests of others !! and since when has the arab world/league agreed on anything ??

At 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You totally spoke my mind here. Do you know what's even more childish and absurd? It's the way some official writers handled this issue, they started attacking Qatar and criticizing it for having relationships with Israel and for having US military bases on its ground! I was certain more than ever that the government should hire some other pens who are "a little more" educated about their country.

At 3:20 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Salam: We failed to convice Qatar to adopt the candidate as their own. They prefered the South Korean, and you are right, it is their choice.

Rami: well said.

Twix: The issue is embarassing at many levels. Of course, it is not the people's fault that the governments are fighting. Every country weighs its interests its own way. This is a given.

Omar: maybe they should hold their breath until they turn blue, to prove how angry they are.

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always nice to read your posts Khalaf.
The 15,000 figure can be found in this article too:

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The Jordanian official position is that it is actually for the sake of the Jordanian Expat that they are pulling the Ambassador.

"The UN vote is not the only reason that made Amman take this decision. There have been a series of incidents over the past year," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Qatar has made it difficult for Jordanians to renew residency permits or to obtain visas and is always acting against Arab positions," the official added.

At 5:16 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Moi and Issam: This is what they are saying NOW, not what they said yesterday. They would have been more convincing if there had not been the UN SG issue. In any case, I don't see how this hissy fit will help the ex-pats.

At 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's boycott Qatar!!! Burn their embassy .. yaaa

At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smile, you are a citizen of a country that will f_ck you over for a silly cause. So not only is the Jo government not doing much to help the poor and make the economy work, now they are activly involved in screwing their citizens. You have to love Arab regimes. As if Jordanians have a say in this stupid argument.

At 4:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mentioned that article b/c it had the 15K figure, not because I agree with the premise of it, or the government's take on the issue. Like you said, if they were so concerned about the expats they could've raised this concern before the UN issue.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger EXzombie said...

Qatar's position is justified in a way...

the arab league agreed on the Korean and Thi candidates, whom worked for over a year to gain the support of the arab league, while the Jordanian candidate poped up just one day before the the arab summet (5th of sept. 2006)......!!!

check this link and see page 79... there is no indication to support the Jordanian candidate...


At 4:42 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Exzombie: The relevant page is 154. But since when has anybody cared what the Arab League says?

At 5:02 AM, Blogger EXzombie said...

as mentioned in other posts regarding the issue...

page 154 is a statement that doesn't force nor require from the Arab league to support the Jordanian candidate....!!!

what I can't fathom is why did the Jordanian goverment declare it's candidate on such short notice.....!!!

At 6:57 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Good question. I wish somebody will answer it.

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know i'm showing up late to the party, but thought I'd add a couple of points:
-Amr Mousa was interviewed by Jazira (but of course) and said very clearly that Qatar explained that due to its commitments and the late nomination of Prince Zaid it would not be able to to do much (this was not reported in our media)
-Although I would have liked to see a Jordanian elected to this position, its true that it would have been a very problematic post and would have reflected on Jordan as a whole
-Qatari's were in a way pragmatic: why stick your neck out when you know the chances of the "brother" winning are so bad (the polls had the prince trailing right at the end) when you can get brownie points from the guy whose gonna be coming in and staying for a while.
-Loved the diversion of the Government completely disregarding the fact that we lost out BADLY because almost NOBODY voted for the prince and just got obsessed with how Qatar "betrayed" us..pathetic how we get taken for these stupid rides as if we're all three.
-A prince's ego is hurt and thousands of Jordanians get screwed for jobs. Not worth it..the Prince will get over it,New York will do that to you- the jobless lot will just get hungry. Grow the F up, we're a small country (ok, bigger than Qatar but they have this thing they call OIL) and we can't afford the posturing frankly..

At 3:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whatever i just wanna go to qatar and the visa is stopped cus of what happened , i have nothing to do in jordan all i want to do is going back to qatar


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