The real Qatar

Recently, Qatar has been in the news, specifically involving its alleged funding of terrorism.  I would like to share with readers my observations of the country, where the government owns the citizens.  I have experience in the region going back over 20 years and have some knowledge of Arabic and the regional culture.  I made friends and dealt with a number of Qataris while there.  Qatar has two ideas about the U.S.: friendship and suspicion. The worst encounter that I had was in visiting the Defense Ministry.  There our group, representing the U.S., was treated very disrespectfully.  Our basic run-of-the-mill logistical concerns and wishes were shrugged away.  They put us in a little room and then made us wait for a long time.  As I remember, we met with no one important, very little that we wanted was allowed us, and we were treated very suspiciously.  There was an American working there, but our minder got upset when I spoke to...(Read Full Post)