“Qatar-strophe”

Current Affairs

Following the release of a statement by Qatari emir Sheikh Hamad bin al-Thani, supposedly insinuating a support for terror and “Iranian-backed terrorists groups” (1) across the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and 5 other gulf states have severed ties with Qatar. Officials have been given 48 hours to leave, with Qatari nationals given 14 days to leave the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Following this, Emirates and Etihad airlines, in addition to others, have suspended flights to and from Doha. The reasons behind this ex-communications of sorts is the accusation that Qatar run the risk of “destabilising” (2) the region.

Approximately 40% of food imports for Qatar are from Saudi Arabia, leaving Qatar incredibly vulnerable and essentially, stranded. It seems almost too coincidental that this break comes about following Donald Trump’s trip to Riyadh last month, with many calling this move a bold risk and political statement, resulting from the US strengthening its alliance with Saudi Arabia.

Ultimately, one cannot ignore the ongoing conflict between the Shi’ite and Sunni muslims, predominately between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It was only in 2015 that, of the 769 pilgrims, over 400 (3) Iranians were killed in a stampede in Mina, during the pilgrimage of Hajj – matters were exacerbated following Saudi’s intentional, initial belittling of the accurate number of casualties. A crisis of this scale only fuelled the fire of conflict of power between Iran and Saudi Arabia, fundamentally as a result of both following two different branches of Islam.

Severing ties with Qatar following a supposedly “hacked” (4) statement by the Qatari emir is a dramatic move, resulting in isolating the gulf country. On twitter, reports are already emerging of stores in Doha suffering from empty shelves and a progressively worsening rise in food/water shortages across stores. All of this extensive action being based on an alleged conspiring with Iran and supporting extremism.

Muslim countries are essentially expected to stand united against extremism: conflicts such as this create vacuums for terrorist organisations to infiltrate, going against President Trump’s very reason for visiting Saudi Arabia. Innocent civilians will be stranded in the Middle East, utterly helpless in the face of this ex-communication. It appears there is much more behind Saudi Arabia’s decision to break off alliances with Qatar than the media are aware of. The collateral damage will be extensive following this, but, to world leaders it’s more of a matter of political alliances than humanity and the well-being of mankind.

(1) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40155829 
(2) http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-40155829
(3) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-saudi-arabia-murdering-pilgrims-hajj-stampede-a7228466.html
(4) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/05/world/middleeast/qatar-saudi-arabia-egypt-bahrain-united-arab-emirates.html?_r=0

Featured Image: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20140510-saudi-arabia-and-the-uae-accept-the-status-quo-and-qatar-provides-a-face-saving-concession/

It Starts and Ends With You

Original Writing

I wish we could live in an apartment
In New York City
Where the sun always shines in the morning
Sometime in the middle of summer
And the extraordinarily large windows
Illuminate the room with positivity,
Or even in the winter
When the glass frosts up
And we huddle under the covers
To stay warm
Whilst watching the world resume
It’s daily activities.
Yellow taxis
Bright colours
Big lights.
That’s the dream.
And it starts
And ends
With you.

FERGUSON

Original Writing

The officer who shot Michael Brown was not indicted on the grounds of self-defence.
Michael Brown was shot six times.
Michael Brown had his hands up in the air when he was shot.
Michael Brown did not provoke the officer.
Michael Brown was shown to be significantly agressive with a shopkeeper, and shoplifited a packet of cigarettes.
Michael Brown should have been appropriately prosecuted and remanded for this.
Michael Brown should not have been murdered.
Not for this. Not for anything.
Lives matter. Black or white or of any colour.
There is no justice in America, if a police officer can walk free after murdering a teenage boy.

– Luke Dillon, Lament

Quotes

“Don’t tell me that. I’ve lived in hell for the past thousand years. I spent a thousand years wishing I’d never been born. She’s the only thing that’s made my life worth living and if that’s all I get, a few months with her- a few days, it’s more than I’ve ever hoped for. Do you really think God would forgive me for the blood on my hands, even if my soul was free? I’m going to hell no matter what happens. Let me have my pathetic hopeless love while I can. Just- let me pretend it will turn out alright.”

– My absolute favourite novel when I was a 13 year old; Lament, by Maggie Stiefvater.

Maya Angelou; 1928-2014

Quotes

My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humour to lighten the burden of your tender heart.

– Maya Angelou

‘You Dreamer’

Quotes

Bring me all of your dreams
you dreamer,
bring me all your
heart melodies
that I may wrap them
in a blue cloud-cloth
from the too-rough fingers
of the world

– Langston Hughes