Browsing 'yemen' News

Qatar’s decision to offer Kuwait the Gulf Cup hosting rights is a goodwill gesture. It’s also an execution of sports diplomacy. While Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have been unbending in their resolve to isolate Qatar, Kuwait has steadfastly stood by the tiny, yet defiant Gulf State.
Had the prestigious tournament taken place in Qatar, where it was originally scheduled, nothing would have changed in terms of world opinion. Rather, Qatar would have received positive reception for maintaining its standards when it came to hosting international tournaments. And on the other spectrum, the standoff would have remained and Kuwait would have continued in its quest to find peace in a tinderbox that the region has turned into.

Sports diplomacy has the power to transcend political differences and bring people together, even at the Government level. It can revive hope where there was previously only despair. Qatar, by handing over the 23rd edition of the Gulf Cup to Kuwait, has shown that it is willing to share. Qatar has had the privilege to host multiple global sports events, but it also wants others in the neighbourhood to have equal recognition as sports hub.

Kuwait especially needed this tournament. The Kuwaitis have for long been deprived of opportunities to enjoy watching international football in the country. It has thrice been suspended by FIFA for political interference since 2007. Now, with the tournament set to kick-off on December 22 in the country, there is great anticipation and excitement. There is history attached to it. The first Gulf Cup tournament took place in 1970, and was won by the Kuwaiti team.

Qatar’s decision to forgo the tournament is aimed at leaving an impression on the Arab bloc, but they are likely to remain sceptical, which would be on expected lines. The blockading nations wouldn’t have joined in the tournament had it taken place in Qatar. So all’s well that ends well. The tournament will now see all the participating nations – Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen – come out in full strength and fight for the trophy. FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, has expressed gratitude, thanking Qatar for its laudable step and declaring it as a win for football lovers.

With the Gulf crisis as the backdrop, the tournament will be quite fiery, especially when the Saudis and the Emiratis lock horns with Qatar. Although the athletes don’t, and shouldn’t, really care about the political conflict that their respective countries are embroiled in, the Gulf Cup could see tempers flying. Good sense must prevail.

Hangda Zhang

Video still from ‘After fleeing’

A Yemeni woman who moved to Qatar to escape a civil war at home has opened up about her journey in a new short film.

Mariam Al-Dubhani is now a journalism student at Northwestern University in Qatar.

In the film, she explains to one of her peers that she started making films and music in Yemen as a way of expressing herself and defying constraints society put on her.

“Living in Yemen, where a girl isn’t allowed to do much, just because she’s a girl – it always pissed me off, and made me do things my way,” she said.

Missile attack

Al-Dubhani said that she decided to flee Yemen after a missile landed close to her family home, blowing out the windows.

“I just wanted to leave, I had no other thoughts in my head, I would have gone anywhere. I can’t be helpless, I can’t wait for things to happen.”

She eventually moved to Qatar with her fiance (now husband), after a Qatari woman she had previously worked with offered her a new job in Doha.

In the film, she said that she continues to live by her beliefs, which are to “never stop pursuing what you want, and don’t let anyone tell you to stop.”

Student filmmaker

The film was produced by 20-year-old Hangda Zhang, who is studying journalism and economics at Northwestern University in the US.

Last year, she came to the school’s Doha campus for five months, and used her time to make two films about young women she met.

Speaking to Doha News, Zhang said the five-minute video is part of her series on inspiring women.

Santiago Sanz Romero/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

After Fleeing shows the story of a married woman who fled from Yemen to Qatar and who possesses this courage and independence to face her life,” she said.

Zhang’s second Qatar film – which has not yet been released – will feature a Qatari woman who has started a global movement to unite young people through charity work.

She explained:

“I want to tell these stories to inspire other women, and to start conversations with the audience on issues seldom covered by media or discussed among people.”

Zhang added that she wants to become a professional documentary maker after graduation.

What do you think of the video? Thoughts?

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Diraalwatan / Twitter

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Three soldiers have died “while performing their duty” in Yemen, Qatar’s Armed Forces has announced.

The deaths of Mohammed Awad Salim, Mohammed Daoud Khayal and Mohammed Nasser Mohammed mark the biggest loss of life Qatar has seen since it first sent ground troops to Yemen in September 2015.

In a tweet, Qatar’s foreign minister extended his condolences:

Translation: Our brave soldiers sacrificed their souls and used them as shields (to ward danger). With their blood they wrote an epic of chivalry and courage in defending the oppressed and standing by the truth. May God have mercy on the souls of Qatar’s martyrs, the martyrs of the GCC and may they be given an eternal abode in paradise.

The nationalities of the soldiers were not specified. Due to the small local population, the Armed Forces also consists of soldiers from several other countries.

The soldiers were part of a Saudi-led coalition that supports Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s fight against Houthi rebels.

Yemen has suffered under the weight of the conflict, which began in 2014 been.

Since then, the UN said that some 10,000 people are estimated to have been killed. And 2.8 million more have been driven from their homes due to fighting across the country.

Rising toll

So far, at least one other Qatari soldier has died in Yemen. Last November, Muhammad Hamid Sulayman was killed there.

And several other men have been injured in the past year, including two soldiers last month.

In a statement carried on QNA late last night, the Armed Forces extended its condolences to the families of the newly deceased.

They will be buried in Qatar today, according to Al Sharq.

Thoughts?

Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the nationalities of the soldiers killed were not specified.