Category: International Relations

2022 FIFA World Cup Stadiums to be Finished Before End of 2021

On October 16th, 2019, H.E Hassan al-Thawadi, Secretary-General (SG) of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), announced at the Global Security Forum that all stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, will be ready by the end of 2021.

“Two stadiums are already completed and opened. One will be opened by the end of this year. Two more will be completed by the first quarter of next year. All the stadiums will be ready, tested and commissioned before the end of 2021,” declared the SG during the forum.

                                                                                   Doha Metro Red Line South

In addition, the SG noted that all infrastructure projects related to the upcoming mega-event will be delivered and completed on time.

In fact, the SG added the following about the topic: “The metro rail work is progressing very well. We started from scratch and it is almost complete and will connect the stadiums. The remaining metro system will be tested and commissioned by the first half of 2020. All the expressways that we need for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will also be ready on time,”.

Most importantly, the SG emphasized SC’s commitment to ensuring the operational fluidity of the mega-event, and that the legacy component unfolds accordingly. Specifically, this would entail that Qatar enjoys the long-term benefits stemming from the games. In fact, the SG noted the following about this aspect: “People will start enjoying the fruits of the tournament in 2025 or 2026. Individuals and companies will benefit in a big way.”

                                                       Secretary-General Hassan Al Thawadi

Subsequently, the SG affirmed that the Supreme Committee was effective in mitigating the initial challenges of the blockade in regards to preparations for the World Cup.

Lastly, given the scale of the World Cup, the SG expressed the importance of unity and solidarity that underpins the passion for football by stating the following: “The 2022 World Cup will be a catalyst for positive change. We are not using it for any political leverage as Qatar’s borders are not closed to anyone and everyone is welcome.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Image Source: Twitter – @HAlThawadi)

 

 

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Qatar Harvey Fund Donates $1.25 M to Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity

On October 14th, 2019, Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity received a $1.25 million grant from the Qatar Harvey Fund to build new homes in Refugio County, Texas. A total of 10 new homes are scheduled to be built and completed by the end of 2020.

The Qatar Harvey Fund was established and created as a result of the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.  The State of Qatar generously allocated $30 million for reconstruction and recovery initiatives to those affected by the storm.

Cynthia Stanley, President of Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity, said of the construction of 10 new homes made possible by Qatar’s grant: “The completion of these 10 new homes will bring to 40 the number of new homes Golden Crescent Habitat will have completed in Refugio County, along with the repair of 24 others. We began operations in Refugio County in September 2018, conducting 93 home assessments in 48 days, with over half qualifying for complete rebuilding. We are thankful to the Qatar Harvey Fund and the leaders of Qatar for enabling us to build homes for those in Refugio County most in need.”

Outside Refugio County, the Qatar Harvey Fund disbursed grants to Habitat for Humanity of Jefferson County and Houston Habitat for Humanity. The grants will be used to build and/or repair 64 homes in Texas.

H.E Sheikh Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Ambassador to the U.S. and chairman of the Qatar Harvey Fund, noted of the disaster relief projects in Texas: “Refugio County suffered some of the worst home damage in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, with an estimated 70% of homes damaged, many beyond repair. Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity stepped in to provide replacement homes, which are still badly needed in the area, and we are proud to support their continued efforts in Refugio.”

Qatar’s involvement in reconstruction operations in the Texas post storm Harvey, attests to the country’s commitment to being a reliable international contributor and collaborator in humanitarian assistance initiatives and disaster relief missions.

 

 

 

 

(Image Source: Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity)

 

 

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Qatars Efforts in Stemming the Impact of Climate Change – UNGA

On September 23, 2019, world leaders convened in New York for the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Prior to the start of the high-level debate, world leaders convened for the UN Climate Action Summit to discuss the damage that rapid climate change is causing on our ecosystems and societies.

 

Qatar’s Amir, HH Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al-Thani, participated in the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 – specifically, for the Climate Finance and Carbon Pricing Coalition session. At the session, the Amir was joined by foreign counterparts, such as President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Jamaica, Andrew Holness.

During the session, the Amir reiterated Qatar’s responsibility and commitment to confront and resolve the transnational threats emanating from climate change.

 

This was displayed by Qatar’s ardent support for the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015. At the national-level, the Amir declared that Qatar has implemented and pursued many measures to develop sustainable technologies. Qatar, under the Amir’s stewardship, has tackled clean energy, increased the overall efficiency in the gas and energy sector, aimed to improve waste-management and recycling processes, and to increase the usage of green technology in infrastructure. Many of these environmental policies and objectives are a part of Qatar’s National Vision 2030.

Most notably, the Amir referenced the transnational and indiscriminate effects of climate change by stating the following:

 

“…The phenomenon of climate change is undoubtedly one of the serious challenges of our time. It is a problem that is continuously exacerbating and causing many problems which intertwine in their economic, environmental and social dimensions and have very serious negative repercussions on all forms of life including human life and on both developed and developing countries alike, especially on the tracks of the sustainable development which all peoples aspire to.

This serious phenomenon makes it incumbent upon the international community to cooperate and double efforts to confront it and reduce its repercussions.

 

Within the same context, the Amir mentioned the importance and exemplary role that the Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund has taken in combating climate change. The Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund is a founding member of the “One Planet” Global Sovereign Wealth Fund. The latter was established as part of an initiative with France’s President Macron. The fund actively promotes green investment activities and will seek to adopt low-carbon economic growth, which will complement the goals of the Paris Agreement and those of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Furthermore, as Qatar prepares itself to host the highly anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup, the Amir highlighted Qatar’s commitment the make the mega-event a carbon neutral tournament. This will be achieved via the use of solar-powered stadiums and the application sophisticated cooling/lighting technology that will be water and energy efficient.

Lastly, the Amir announced Qatar’s financial contribution of $100 million to support small developing island states and least developed states to tackle the challenges of climate change, natural hazards, environmental degradation, and to support state/institutional capacity building initiatives that focus on countering the destructive impacts/effects of climate change.

 

 

 

 

 

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QAI Launches FOCI Photography Competition

On September 16, The Qatar-America Institute hosted a launch event in New York City for its inaugural FOCI Photography Competition, a three-month long contest, that aims to broaden the cultural relationship between the United States and Qatar through the creative lens of Qataris, Americans, and other that have been to Qatar.

The FOCI Photography contest welcomes photograph submissions that creatively depict and interpret the theme of “The U.S.-Qatar Journey,” which is to say they highlight the intersection of American and Qatari culture through cultural and educational partnerships and joint ventures in the areas of healthcare, environment, and innovation.

 

Hosted at the historic Explorers Club, an institution with a long history of travel and discovery, the event welcomed guests of various creative and cultural backgrounds, influencers within the social media travel space, as well as tourism media.

 

While the primary purpose of the event was to bring awareness to the FOCI program, the event also served as an introduction to the cultural heritage of Qatar with the help of a gallery of Qatari cultural landmarks, select Qatari artworks, and a “virtual reality” experience that immersed guests into 3D depictions of the 2022 World Cup stadiums being erected in Doha, Qatar.

 

Present at the launch was the guest of honor H.E. Nasser Ibrahim Allenqawi, the Counsel General of the State of Qatar to New York, who gave remarks to the crowd about the importance of cultural programs like FOCI which allow people to share in the exchange of creative ideas and narratives that would not be as effective through alternative mediums outside of the realm of the arts.

 

Mr. Allenqawi went on to quote Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, who said that “in such a place [like Qatar] where many cultures intersect and people cohabit peacefully and in harmony, the value of cultivating an open mind is paramount.”

 

In addition to the strong cultural ties between the United States and Qatar, Mr. Allenqawi also went on to mention the established educational partnerships between the two nations, one being New York’s own Weill Cornell Medicine whose Qatar branch donated various giveaways to the event.

 

QAI was also grateful for the participation of Qatar Airways at the event who provided guests with helpful information should they be interested in making Qatar a travel destination in their future. The event concluded with a raffle where several lucky guests won a book on Qatar’s cultural legacy, as well as a Qatar Airways model Boeing aircraft compliments of Qatar Airways.

 

 

FOCI Photography Competition

 

 

 

 

 

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Mark Fahleson Discusses US-Qatar Relationship

Mark Fahleson, attorney and former Chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party, appeared on the John Fredericks Show, where he talked about his recent visit to Qatar. During his time in Qatar, he visited the Al Udeid Air Base, where he realized the significance of the tremendous presence the United States has because of the American air base and the 10,000 American troops.

 

He expressed how grateful he is for such a great relationship with Qatar, and pointed out the great benefits of the relationship for the US in combatting terrorism and promoting regional security. Moreover, Fahleson visited Education City, home of the campuses of several American universities, which he described as one of the most amazing educational facilities he has ever seen.

 

Lastly, Fahleson discussed the illegal blockade on Qatar, and pointed out the fact that Qatar’s economy has improved and the country is in a much better position now that it strengthened its relations with the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Fahlseon’s Remarks on John Fredericks


 

 

(Image Source: Rembolt Lawfirm)

 

 

 

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QAI Hosts Doha Debates Watch Party

On July 24, the Qatar-America Institute hosted a watch party for the Doha Debates forum on globalization. Doha Debates, a production of Qatar Foundation, is a series of discussions about urgent global topics such as refugee crisis, water scarcity, or gender inequality.

The debate on globalization featured three speakers with different perspectives: Sisonke Msimang, South African author and journalist focused on gender, race and democracy; Medea Benjamin, American co-founder of human rights group Global Exchange and peace group Code Pink; and Parag Khanna, Indian American author, journalist and founder of data-driven strategic firm FutureMap. The discussion was moderated by Ghida Fakhry, International broadcast journalist and award–winning presenter.

The panelists highlighted both positive and negative effects of globalization. A major theme throughout the debate was the fact that although globalization may have reduced extreme poverty globally, its positive impacts have not helped everyone. Some of the negative effects of globalization that were mentioned were its impact on the environment and on localities, and the inequality caused by corporate-led globalization.

The debate on globalization was held in Edinburgh, Scotland. Viewers around the globe were able to contribute to the debate using the hashtag #DearWorld on Twitter and vote online on the panelists’ positions. The next event will focus on climate change and water, and will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in September.

 

 

(Image Source: Twitter – @DohaDebates)

 

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Jason Emert, YR Chairman Breaks Down US-Qatar Relationship

Jason Emert, Chairman of Young Republican National Federation, appeared on the John Fredericks Show to discuss his recent visit to Doha as part of a delegation. Emert stated that Qatar is a great ally economically and militarily, and he is excited for the future of this relationship.

During his visit to Qatar, he met with US military leaders who told him how much they value the partnership with the Qatari military, and how important the partnership is for US national security. He also talked about the blockade, and pointed out how Qatar was able to adapt, and became a very successful economy by having a broad reach across the world and being dependent on themselves.

 

John Fredericks – Jason Emert 

(Image Source: Twitter – @JasonEmert)

 

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President Trump Gives a Warm Welcome to Qatar’s Amir

On July 8th, 2019,  the Emir of Qatar, H. H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and other high-ranking cabinet officials, such as Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, attended a dinner hosted by Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of Treasury, at the Treasury Department in honor of the Emir’s official visit to the U.S. The dinner was also presided by President Donald Trump.

At the dinner, Secretary Mnuchin acclaimed Qatar’s strategic partnership and efforts in the fight against terrorist financing by stating the following:

 

”I am pleased that you have joined us in the Middle East region to open the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center.  We are sharing intelligence and operational capabilities to ensure that our financial system is not used by those seeking violence… Our governments continue to work together on your counter-terror financing legislation, and we are grateful for your country’s commitment to uphold the U.N. counter-terror obligations.”

Furthermore, during the dinner, President Trump praised US-Qatar military-to-military strategic relations and cooperation by adding the following:

 

“I know everything is going to be very positive. You’ve been a great ally, and you’ve helped us with a magnificent military installation and military airport, the likes of which people haven’t seen in a long while.”

Instead, on July 9th, 2019, President Trump hosted  H. H. Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani at the White House for a bilateral meeting. At the White House, the President and the Emir discussed regional security in the Gulf region and their economic and military partnerships.

 

During the meeting, H. H. Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani highlighted and emphasized the close ties between respective countries by stating that:

“…our economic partnership has been more than $185 billion, and we’re planning to double this number…We have a lot of investments in the U.S.  We trust the economy here.  We do a lot in the infrastructure, and we’re planning to do more investments.”

 

Subsequently, the two leaders signed a commitment which includes, among other things, the purchase of Boeing Airplanes, the agreement between Chevron-Phillips Chemical Company LLC and Qatar Petroleum on petrochemical development in Qatar.

The Emir’s visit and the signing of the agreement illustrated the strength and vibrancy of bilateral and diplomatic ties between Qatar and the United States.

 

 

 

 

 

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Key Remarks by President Trump, HH Amir Al Thani, and Secretary Mnuchin

On July 8th, 2019, the Emir of Qatar was the guest of honor at a dinner thrown by Secretary Mnuchin, with both President Trump and Qatari Amir Al-Thani providing remarks. The following day, the Amir met with President Trump at the White House and both leaders proceeded to comment on the bilateral relationship between the United States and Qatar.

 

Remarks by President Trump and Amir Al Thani of the State of Qatar Before Bilateral Meeting

 

AMIR AL-THANI

“…our economic partnership has been more than $185 billion, and we’re planning to double this number…We have a lot of investments in the U.S.  We trust the economy here.  We do a lot in the infrastructure, and we’re planning to do more investments.”

– H H Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

July 2019

 

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP

“We have a great operation — military operation — right now in Qatar.  They built one of the great military bases, I would say, anywhere in the world.”

– President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump
July 2019

 

 

 

Remarks at Dinner Hosted by the Secretary of the Treasury  in Honor of the Amir of the State of Qatar

 

SECRETARY MNUCHIN

“We appreciate your support with us in the fight against terrorist financing and your support for our strategic military presence … I am pleased that you have joined us in the Middle East region to open the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center.  We are sharing intelligence and operational capabilities to ensure that our financial system is not used by those seeking violence… Our governments continue to work together on your counter-terror financing legislation, and we are grateful for your country’s commitment to uphold the U.N. counter-terror obligations.”

– Secretary of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin
July 2019

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP

“I have to say that the investments that you make in the United States — one of the largest in the world — but the investments that you make are very much appreciated.  And I know the planes you’re buying and all of the other things you’re investing in.  And I view it differently; I view it as jobs.  Because for me, it’s jobs…”

“I know everything is going to be very positive. You’ve been a great ally, and you’ve helped us with a magnificent military installation and military airport, the likes of which people haven’t seen in a long while.”

“…I understand there’s been another $8 billion invested [Al-Udeid Air Base]. Thank goodness it was mostly your money, not ours. In fact, even better — it was all of their money, not ours. That’s even better.”

– President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump
July 2019

 

AMIR AL THANI

“Qatar and the U.S. are working together to eradicate terrorism and its financing, wherever it may take root, to ensure a more peaceful and secure world.”

– H H Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
July 2019

 

“We continue our mutual commitment to remain closely invested in both military and security alliance, as we are expanding Al Udeid Air Base to accommodate U.S. troops and their families… And our political cooperation in the wider region creates stability so that economic development can flourish.”

– H H Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

July 2019

 

“Together, our two countries continue to seek more investment opportunities to further enhance our common prosperity.  Qatar is one of the fastest-growing economies in the Middle East, and American companies are a treasured part of Qatar’s success and development.  We have a long history of exchanging expertise and resources, and oil and gas, to make both countries top energy exporters.”

– H H Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

July 2019

 

“Our partnership also growing in many non-energy sectors.  One being the exciting back-to-back World Cup 2022 in Qatar and 2026 in the U.S.  This year, our mutual economic partnership is estimated at $185 billion — a number which we both intend to grow.  This has already created more than half a million American jobs.”

– H H Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

July 2019

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US Chargé d’Affaires says US-Qatar Ties Have Never Been Better

On July 8, 2019, William Grant, the Chief of Mission in Qatar and US Chargé d’Affaires affirmed that the strategic partnership between the United States and Qatar has reached historic heights on every level. Mr. Grant stated that the Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s repeated visits to the US are a representative to the strong and rapidly growing bilateral relationship between the two countries.

 

HH the Amir has just arrived back in Washington, D.C. on yet another one of the mentioned trips. Upon his arrival, HH the Amir was greeted by and met with Acting Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper.

 

Tomorrow, July 9, 2019, HH the Amir will meet with President Trump and other senior US officials to discuss the relations between the United States and Qatar that will cover topics such as trade, military, and the illegal blockade. Qatar is host to roughly 11,000 American troops that are based out of Al-Udeid Air Base.

 

The US and Qatar share goals of counter terrorism, regional security and stability, and to combat criminal threats. In regard to this, Grant has applauded the cooperation of the US and Qatar on human trafficking, money laundering, and countering terrorism financing.

 

The US and Qatar have strong trade relations, which will be a focal point of the talks between HH the Amir and President Trump. Qatar Petroleum and Chevron Phillips Chemical recently announced a partnership to develop the region’s largest ethane cracker in Ras Laffan, which will open in 2025.

 

Mr. Grant recognized the increasing number of Qataris that visit America for vacations, education, and professional reasons; He stated that “we recognize the ever-growing people-to-people ties between Qatar and the US. Thousands of students from Qatar choose to pursue their higher education at more than 3,000 colleges and universities in the US which are consistently ranked as the top performing schools in the world.”

 

Mr. Grant stressed that resolving the regional dispute has lasted too long and it is in the interest of the entire Gulf region and in the interest of the United States as well. And he added praise over Qatar’s generous aid to needy families in Gaza. He went on to state that “now more than ever, it is imperative that the GCC is united against regional threats. We have important work to do together.”

 

 

 

 

 

(Image Source: Twitter – @USAmbQatar)

 

 

 

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