Qatar after one year of blockade

Just about a year back, Qatar with the population of 2.7 million was heavily dependent on Saudi Arabia and UAE for importing different commodities like poultry, meat and dairy products beside building materials and oil etc, most of it used to come across its border with Saudi Arabia. The Saudi and UAE exports to Qatar amounted to about $1.5 billion and $2.9 billion respectively. On June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties, withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, imposed land, air and sea blockade.

Qatar immediately felt the negative effects on its economy and financial markets as imports plunged about 40 percent from a year earlier. But very swiftly, the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas developed new trade routes to the existing and new markets and used its reserves in terms of tens of billions of dollars from its funds, to protect its banks.

Besides ensuring uninterrupted supplies of essential daily use commodities to its people, the Qatar government started developing their own resources to make Qatar more self-sufficient, within weeks of the boycott on war footings. Turkey and Iran were the first countries to step out in favor of Qatar and provided immediate relief in terms of food and diplomatic support.

Baladna is one of these outstanding examples which is a privately owned 100% Qatari company.

Baladna Farm flew in 3,400 cows on national airline Qatar Airways and developed fully in record time, and started the production of dairy products that meets the requirements of almost entire population. Baladna Farm also achieved the distinction of being one of the largest livestock and dairy farms in the GCC and Middle East.

In order to make the Gulf nation more self reliant in the face of blockade the government of Qatar has launched a five-year development plan.

The main objectives of the National Development Strategy for 2018-2022, are the development of renewable energy and raising self-sufficiency levels for farming and fishing production.

The holy month of Ramadan is just few days away and it will be one year of blockade of Qatar by neighboring countries. After all this testing time Qatar stands tall even more strongly and more confidently. The attempt to isolate Qatar from rest of the world failed miserably.

The entire population, both Qatari nationals and expatriates continue to show total harmony, loyalty and dedication among themselves. They carry on supporting, unconditionally the country and its leaders of unmatchable vision and wisdom.

Ramadan is a month of good deeds, prayers, fasting, to show restraint and to be kind to others. It is astonishing that the neighboring boycotting countries continue to show stubbornness in their attitude and exhibit no intentions to resolve the unjust issue.

It is expected that these countries would soon realize that the blockade of another peace loving and brotherly Muslim country is highly unfair and against the principles of Islam.

Khalid Kamal

Doha, Qatar