I do admit to being fickle but this is what I have found over my long life. When someone or something lets me down, there is always someone, or something, to replace them and the replacement is almost always better than the disillusioning person or thing. Perhaps it would be an appropriate moment to define fickle. It is changing frequently, especially as regards one’s loyalties, interests, or affection. That is Alexis McBride. And such synonyms: changeable, variable, volatile, mercurial, vacillating, fitful, irregular; inconstant, disloyal, undependable,, unfaithful, faithless; irresolute, giddy, skittish, erratic, impulsive; unpredictable, random; informal blowing hot and cold. Now I might blow hot and cold, could be seen as inconsistent mercurial and changeable but I am not undependable nor random nor giddy. If I switch my allegiances, so to speak, it is with very good reason. So here is the news coming from Qatar – it was a shock to my nervous system as I was once in love with Qatar, even going to the great length of having my face painted like the Qatar flag.
HOWEVER! Ill winds began to blow. This is the latest news “The Finance Minister arrested on corruption charges and has been releived of his duties. A paragraph from Reuters: “Emadi has been minister of finance in the wealthy Gulf Arab state since 2013 and sits on the board of its powerful $300 billion sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority.” There is a phrase which might well emanate from Saskatchewan: Somebody is not minding the store. The first paragraph of the Reuters article:” Qatar Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi was arrested over embezzlement allegations and stripped of his duties, officials said on Thursday.”
More from Reuters: He is also chairman of the board of directors of Qatar National Bank, the largest lender in the Middle East and Africa.Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told Reuters that the probe was related to Emadi’s capacity as finance minister, and not to his posts at either the sovereign fund or the bank.
This from the Washington Post. “Al-Emadi rose to prominence in the Gulf Arab emirate as the current emir ascended the throne and after overseeing the transformation of Qatar National Bank into the largest lender in the Middle East. One of Qatar’s most powerful officials, he also serves as chairman of the bank, on the board of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and as president of the executive board of long-haul carrier Qatar Airways. According to the Las Vegas-based Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, the Qatar Investment Authority holds assets of $295 billion.”
Talk about corruption! This blog has spoken of corruption. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely So the Finance Minister clearly had too much power, now he is proven to be absolutely corrupt. No one can argue with that.
This from Qatar owned and operated Al Jazeera: “Qatar has ordered the arrest of Finance Minister Ali Shareef al-Emadi as part of an investigation into alleged misuse of public funds and abuse of power, and relieved him of his ministerial responsibilities.Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported on Thursday that the attorney general had ordered the arrest after the review of documents and reports regarding crimes related to the public sector.’
So what does that say? Well banks can keep the man in check (so to speak) but the Emir of Qatar cannot? It does look that way.
Then this from the health minister of Qatar, speaking of the spiking and rise of Covid, reported in Al Jazeera.
“Like many countries around the world, we are now experiencing another wave of the virus.The increase has been driven by the spread of the UK and South Africa strains. The UK variant has been circulating in the community since March. Despite our strict quarantine policy that is in place for all travellers, the South Africa variant made its way into the community at the start of April.Both these strains are more infectious and cause more severe disease than the original strain and we believe they have had a significant impact on the rise in COVID cases.”
Further statements made by the Health Minister: Our quarantine policy for anyone entering Qatar has been one of the strictest of its kind in the world and was proven effective at delaying the introduction of new variants into Qatar at a time when many countries around the world were being affected by these new strains. Additionally, we continued to keep in place preventive measures to prevent the virus from spreading.”
But that is not the whole truth and anyone with any knowledge about the spread of the virus, coupled with a glance at the Reuters graph which reveals the dates of the sudden upturn will know that it was the HUGE celebratory parade and show of force on December 18,2021, where some, but by no means all of the crowd were wearing face masks caused this sudden spike. Then Dr. Al Khal tries to look like a good and responsible man. Dr Abdullatif Al Khal, the chair of the National Health Strategic Group on COVID-19 and head of Infectious Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) on the reason behind the spike and the authorities’ strategies to minimize the effects of the second wave.Our quarantine policy for anyone entering Qatar has been one of the strictest of its kind in the world and was proven effective at delaying the introduction of new variants into Qatar at a time when many countries around the world were being affected by these new strains. Additionally, we continued to keep in place preventive measures to prevent the virus from spreading.” How responsible of you???? Qatar’s vaccination rate is appalling as has been reported on this blog.
As if that were not enough to cause repudiation of Qatar along comes this, also from Al Jazeera. “Footballers are staging on-field protests in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers to highlight Qatar’s treatment of migrant workers and its human rights record that have been under the spotlight since it was awarded the hosting of next year’s tournament. A media report published earlier this month alleged that 6,500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar since 2010 when the country was awarded hosting rights of the 2022 tournament”
But wait: talk about a cold-hearted and inhumane response!!! Qatar responded by saying that “the mortality rate among these communities is within the expected range for the size and demographics of the population”
But the fabrication continues. Then Qatar went on to say: “Since construction [of stadiums] began in 2014, there have been three work-related fatalities and 35 non-work-related deaths,” a representative said. “The SC [organising committee] has investigated each case, learning lessons to avoid any repeat in the future.”
This is fabrication: the action or process of manufacturing or inventing something: It has powerful synonyms: So many synonyms: concoction, piece of fiction, fiction, falsification, falsity, lie, untruth, falsehood, fib, deception, made-up story, trumped-up story, fairy story/tale, cock and bull story, barefaced lie; (little) white lie, half-truth, exaggeration, prevarication, departure from the truth; yarn, story, red herring, rumor, myth, flight of fancy, figment of the imagination; pretense, pretext, sham, ruse, wile, trickery, stratagem; informal tall story, tall tale, whopper; British informal porky, pork pie, porky pie; humorous terminological inexactitude; vulgar slang bullshit
Earlier this month, Qatar’s Government Communication Office (GCO) told Al Jazeera the country “has made substantial progress on labour reforms and it continues to work with NGOs… to ensure that these reforms are far-reaching and effective”.
“We have improved health and safety standards for workers, strengthened the capacity of labour inspectors… increased the penalties for companies that violate the law,” a recent GCO statement said.
I would say, and no intelligent person would differ, that the Qatar Government Communication Office is doing a dismal job of communicating.
I remember clearly something previously reported on this world famous blog. There was a statement by Qatar officials, a downplaying of the number of migrant deaths. The blog reported this perhaps a couple of months ago. Amnesty International stated what is the utter truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. (That is from an oath taken in USA courts.). I was a bit ‘taken’ with’ Qatar at the time and chose to ignore this – blinded my eyes to the truth. I shall not do that again, Qatar,
I continue to be positive and upbeat about this situation. Now there is a very good reason to turn down the invitations to Qatar – so much competition for me would have made the visit awkward. Two days ago, a call from Qatar, received among the bubbles in my bathtub.
He/She: I miss you!!!
Me: I do not miss you! I am in the bath tub and need to be left alone. Please tell your father this.
I suppose the father has some control over his children, he would be the only person that might. But it doth appear that he has other problems on his hands.
But in my optimistic, good natured manner, look at it this way, I got the best of Qatar. The inflatable unicorn, gifted by members of the the Royal Family of Qatar led me to an obsession with unicorns. So much fun.
But there is another gift. I now feel safe. I did learn through conversations with the Family, that the Royal Family of Qatar is constantly surrounded by body guards as there is a fear that rogues will kidnap a treasured family member and demand ransom. So they are protected. I an convinced that I have had subtle guards following my acquaintance with the family and then naively spoke of it. But I now say. Call off the guards – I prefer death over the ransom that might be paid. Death. So go away forces of evil. It is not that I despise Qatar as there are those who I love who live there. But I cannot do this, it took all of my strength to maintain relationships and for nothing.
No photos but go to Instagram and visit my bravery as I managed to sit on my patio rather than the confines of my apartment. It was brief but it is a step and I shall survive. Not only survive but thrive. Alexis Janice Dryburgh McBride weeps, not knowing if they are tears of sorrow or of joy. All praise to Allah.