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Israeli soldiers dancing on patrol in Hebron 6, July 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
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Who says war or patrol needs to be dull?

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Qatar’s AA rating upgrade 6, July 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.
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The FT reports that Qatar has been upgraded to a AA long-term rating by Standard and Poor.

Exactly as the article says, this is of no great surprise given Qatar’s riches. Huge investments that Qatar made in its Gas industries decades ago have been coming to fruition in recent years. Given the ‘popularity’ of gas as a cleaner alternative to oil, Qatar’s staggering supplies thereof and an ever more thirsty world, their long-term future is secure, barring, of course, some sizable black swan.

Executive MBA to begin in Doha, Qatar 6, July 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.
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Paris’ celebrated business school, HEC, is to open a campus in Doha, Qatar. They plan to teach at least an MBA as well as an executive MBA.

They will not open their campus in Qatar’s Education City or indeed be directly under their aegis. They are the first business school to open under Qatar Foundation’s Management, Education and Research Centre (QF-Merc) and will be situated, I believe, in or near Doha’s downtown, nearer their prospective clientele.

QF-Merc hopes to attract other business schools too.

The FT article points out the HEC Paris is not the first business school to open in the region. London Business School and City University’s Cass school have programmes in Dubai and INSTEAD is based in Abu Dhabi.

At the moment there is a lack of post-graduate study in Doha. Given the demand and the relative costs of companies being forced to send their employees to Europe for courses or degrees for their continued development, HEC Paris has, I believe, essentially a license to print money in Doha. The first institution to offer Masters degrees related to the oil and gas industry will similarly make a fortune too.

Al Jazeera sues Egypt’s Al Ahram 6, July 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Al-Jazeera, American ME Relations.
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The perpetual battle between Qatar’s Al Jazeera and various other Middle Eastern media outlets has taken another twist.

A Qatari daily reports that Al Jazeera has filed lawsuits against Egypt’s Al Ahram for “false and distorted reports” relating to coverage of the resignation of five Al Jazeera female presenters. They are demanding £5 million damages.

Memri further reports that Al Ahram’s owners along with other Egyptian papers criticised the story in an attempt to fend off Al Jazeera’s suits, to no apparent avail.