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Emirati woman arrested for being raped 18, May 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Emirates.
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In a horrific story usually confined to the Saudi justice system, an 18 year old Emirati has been charged with having sex outside of marriage after she reported that she was raped by six men. Seemingly, the fact that she was in a car with another man was enough for the psychic judge to decree that she was there to have sex with him. He seems not to care whatsoever about the other five men.

I am sure that this will not stand. Someone from on high either with a conscience or a sense of decency or after looking at the negative press coverage will make sure that this woman does not go to jail. This, though, is hardly the point. Once again the seedier, backward if not barbaric side of life on the Arabian Peninsula takes the headlines over the glitz and the glamor. At least on this occasion – surely – no Emirati can possibly counter that the Western press are ‘picking unfairly’ on the Emirates, their usual response to any news story that is less that wholly positive.

Praise must go to The National. I am sure that it must have been a tricky decision whether or not to print this story, especially being as the case is in Abu Dhabi itself.

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Israel reject Qatari offer to reopen trade office in Doha 18, May 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Qatar.
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Haaretz reports that the Israeli government has rejected two proposals from Qatar to reopen their trade office in Doha.

The Qataris suggested that in return for the reopening of Israel’s office Qatar would undertake several reconstruction projects in the Gaza strip, necessitating the importing of construction materials. The two states began talks some six months ago via the US, France and with direct talks. Also in the proposed agreement was a statement to be given by Israel “expressing appreciation for the emirate’s role and acknowledging its standing in the Middle East.” Something that were it to have transpired, would, I am sure, have caused not insignificant friction between Qatar’s Arab allies, not to mention Iran.

A second similar offer was made some two months ago. President Netanyahu was, it is reported, near to acquiescing to the agreement but balked at the amount of concrete that Qatar wanted to import to Gaza, fearing that some would be diverted to Hamas’ use to build bunkers and reinforced missile launch positions.