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Qatar withdraws from Yemen mediation 15, May 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, Yemen.
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Qatar has officially withdrawn from its role as part of the GCC mediation in Yemen, seeking to winkle President Saleh out of power.

Saleh has castigated Qatar on numerous occasions recently as an interfering power. So while the Qatari reason for its departure is that it is angry at the lack of progress – a perfectly valid point – it might help pave the road for Saleh’s exit.

The GCC mediation in recent weeks has picked up somewhat as Yemen has come ever closer to exploding. Their myriad of problems – Houthi rebellions; intra-tribal strife; chronic water shortages; a profound lack of jobs and economic development; Al Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula; a staggering youth-bulge; and an absolute lack of the most basic democratic structures – are finally becoming un-avoidable for the GCC. Though it must be noted that they have, to this point, avoided Yemen’s fundamental problems studiously and with great will power to date (Qatar aside).

Ministries to hire Qatari drivers 15, May 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.
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The Qatari Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Art, Culture and Heritage will soon be hiring Qatari nationals as drivers. While to those not familiar with Gulf politics this may seem like the very definition of a non-story, this really is news for Qatar.

Traditionally Qataris shun ‘menial’ jobs like these. They are often looked down on as work only fit for expatriates from, say, the sub continent.

These jobs are specifically being aimed at Qataris will little or no qualifications who even in Qatar’s highly skewed work place cannot not get a job.

Good stuff. Here’s hoping this is the first inkling of a change of pace here in Qatar. Having said that, I’d not like to be the VIP waiting at the airport to be picked up…