Gulf Showdown Exposes Qatar’s Fragility

17 Jun 2017   Qatar

At her new exhibition in Doha, Qatari artist Maryam Al-Semaitt explained to guests the central message of her latest work: what happens when great wealth is taken for granted. That money, mainly from selling natural gas from a peninsula in the Gulf desert that was a British protectorate until 1971, has paid for the city’s skyscrapers, hotels and investments in some of the world’s most iconic companies, buildings and sports teams. What it can’t do, she said, is provide a shield for what’s now the world’s richest nation. The showdown with Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates has exposed the precarious position of Qatar. The soft power of the multi-billion-dollar Qatar brand that was meant to protect it has never looked more fragile. Doha’s isolation, cutting it off from diplomatic and transport links, is heading into a third week. “The fact that we have always taken […]

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