Beyond Schlock and Awe: Qatar's New Worldview.
Queen's Quarterly 2003, Summer, 110, 2
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QATAR has been in the international news so often in the past several months that most Westerners are now familiar with its location on a small desert peninsula that juts out from Saudi Arabia into the Persian Gulf. They know too that Doha, its only city, is situated about halfway up its eastern shore, not far by air or sea from Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. Although the United States' troubled relationships with Turkey and Syria were factors, it is especially Qatar's proximity to Iraq and its central location in the Arab world that critically determined the coalition forces' decision to establish an air base and military camps in the area. Central Command's media centre is still here, but only al-Jazeera, the Arabic satellite television station, has now renewed its contract, the other news agencies having packed their bags and moved on. During the course of the Iraq conflict, foreign news anchors used Doha harbour and the wafting palm trees of its semi-circular corniche as a backdrop for their programs. The contrasts between the casual exoticism of this vista and the horrors of the war occurring just up the gulf were strong but characteristic of this region, which is now in the throes of coping with two conflicting lifestyles, the traditional and the modern. Qatar is not a war-ravaged state like some of the others, but al-Jazeera is involved in a media war over control of the production and dissemination of information and images that determine how the Gulf countries are perceived by the rest of the world. Both Qatar and al-Jazeera are trying to show the West -- and particularly Europe -- that in the wake of the "shock and awe" military strategy of the US and its allies there is indeed "awe" here, but awe associated with progress and truth from within this society.
- 2,99 €
- Category: Performing Arts
- Published: 22 June 2003
- Publisher: Queen's Quarterly
- Print Length: 9 Pages
- Language: English