“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/

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Tim Willcox and Freedom Of Speech

Original Writing

Recently, I tweeted my disgust at the prospect of Tim Willcox losing his job over commenting on Israelis killing Palestinians in Gaza. He was interviewing a Jewish woman on BBC News, and as she was comparing the Paris Shootings to the Holocaust, Willcox commented on the fact that innocent Palestinians were being killed and persecuted just as the Jews were in the Second World War. Of course, 6 million Jews and 1000 Palestinians is not equal in number, but the devastation is just as horrendous to contemplate. Now, I am in no way belittling the events of the Holocaust, but to compare the two events is just pure ignorance, and exaggeration. You are, in fact, insulting Jews by comparing both events.

I tweeted my opinion last night on Twitter. And unfortunately, some people cannot accept the freedom of speech they were fighting for only last week.

Please do not be this person. Do not be racist when challenged. Do not fight passive arguments with aggression. Attacking someone for their opinions goes against everything the world has been fighting for since the shootings in Paris.

tweets 1

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I Am Me.

Original Writing

Likes boost our self confidence and naked pictures prove our love and desire for one another. We accept a love we think we deserve – perks of being a wallflower, no? Girls follow the intense beauty rituals of a wealthy, sickly sweet inspirational figure in an attempt to look good, no matter the cost. Boys will follow vigorous exercise rituals in an attempt to achieve that perfect body. But who defines ‘perfect’? There is no such thing as perfection and there is no stopping us once we reach our goal, because we are driven by obsession. 

The art of communication is lost because we’re too busy looking at our phones instead of each other. Facial expressions are replaced by emojis. Love letters replaced by sexts. As our generation develops and progresses on, we lose the values and virtures of the previous ones, the ones we ought to hold most dear. 

I miss being a child, you know why? I didn’t know what pressure was. I didn’t have to look good for him or her. I didn’t have to adopt a certain character to fit in, nor did I have to conform to anyone or anything. The only stresses I experienced were deciding what game to play with my dolls that evening. Although I am incredibly proud of the person I’ve become, the writer I’ve become and, hopefully, the future poet I will become, I miss being in touch with my naivety and youthful happiness/negligence. Mental health issues were a myth to me. Love only existed in fairytales, and heartbreak was non-existent.

Growing up is tough, and I can admit that still, at the age of 18. But luckily I can also say that, at the age of 18, I have already made it. I have accomplished what I never thought possible. 

I am exactly who I want to be. And I am not a product of my time or society’s offspring.

I am me. Anisah Hamid. 18. Somewhere between an artist and a writer. And a poet.