Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Thank you Qatar - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

The Lebanese state achieved a significant global victory at the Paris III international donor conference as both donors and lenders pledged three times what Lebanon received at the Paris II international conference held in 2002.

considering that event as a victory for Lebanon brings us to the state of affairs taking place on the ground in Beirut today, namely the desperate attempts to drag the country backwards, by taking control of it by force, pushing it towards a civil war and damaging its economy all on the behalf of several foreign parties and groups affiliated with them.

In spite of the huge allocations, what was remarkable about the Paris III conference was the absence of Qatar’s financial support for Lebanon.

What is also remarkable is that after the end of the 30-day Israeli war against Hezbollah, Qatar contributed to the construction of an entire Hezbollah village. At that time and during a visit to some of the areas most affected by the war, the Qatari Emir made a famous statement, saying what Hezbollah had achieved was “a long-awaited victory!”

At that time, the Arab street was excited and sentiments were at their peak. Of course, there are many that excel at manipulating popular sentiment and on that day they managed to capitalize on the moment.

However, a few days ago in Paris when the international community offered support to Lebanon, Qatar offered no financial donations, grants or loans.

Was the Doha donation after the 30-day war intended for the Arab street and playing upon sentiments, bearing in mind that Qatar, or those affiliated with it, had the Lebanese media outlets publish and broadcast unprecedented advertisements saying “Thank You Qatar” following the donating to rebuilt the Hezbollah village?

Or was the Qatari donation at that time in support of Hezbollah against the Lebanese state, which enjoys international support? To advocate a party against a state constitutes an odd position for a state like Qatar that presents itself as an active civilized member of the international community.

The Qatari absence was noticeable, particularly when we take into account the pledges made by Saudi Arabia of $1.1 billion , the United States with a pledge of $890 million, the European Investment Bank with $1.25 billion and others, including the UAE, which pledged $300 million. The absence of Iran from Paris III is justifiable in view of the fact that they only donate “clean” money to Hezbollah, but the absence of Doha is unjustifiable.

But if the reason behind Qatar’s failure to pledge a donation to the Lebanese state was because Riyadh’s pledge was large enough for both countries, then I say to our loved ones in Doha, “Thank You Qatar”.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

More Posts