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Tag: Doha
Catalans press for secession from Spain (November 3 2012) Catalans press for secession from Spain (November 3 2012)

Sam Bollier the American online producer and regular contributor for Al Jazeera English based in Doha, Qatar has published an article titled ‘Catalans press for secession from Spain’ as a regional parliament votes to hold a referendum as surveys show record high support for independence. Bollier states “Could Catalonia become the world’s newest state? The Spanish region – with a culture, history, and language of its own – faces high barriers to becoming a fully independent country. But that hasn’t stopped an emboldened independence movement from trying. On Thursday, the parliament in Catalonia – an affluent but debt-laden region in Spain’s northeast – voted to hold a referendum on independence after elections in November. Some Catalans have long favoured full independence, as opposed to the semi-autonomous status the region currently enjoys. But as Spain’s economy continues to stagnate and unemployment rates remain sky-high, more Catalans are questioning whether they would be better off on their own. …Pro-independence Catalans cite their region’s strong national identity, and note that Catalan taxpayers pay more to the central government than the region receives in return. Long one of the richest and most industralised parts of Spain, data from 2011 shows the region’s GDP per capita is 18 per cent higher than in Spain at large. The central Spanish government, however, is annoyed with the calling of a referendum on independence, even if it is non-binding. Spain’s deputy prime minister, Soraya Saenz de Santamaria, told a news conference that there were “legal and judicial instruments” to stop such a referendum, reported AFP. “And this government is ready to use them.” Given Spain’s precarious economic state, the timing rankled the deputy prime minister, who added on a radio programme that “this debate, at this time, is creating tremendous instability”.”


Inspired by Aljazeera image source Twitter

Cover up between shoulders and knees (July 25 2012) Cover up between shoulders and knees (July 25 2012)

Jenifer Fenton the American freelance reporter based in Doha UAE has published an article on her own blog titled ‘Cover-up campaign hits Gulf streets’ in which she discusses how Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are encouraging expatriates to dress modestly and respect the local culture. Fenton states “…the “One of Us” public awareness push, which hopes to educate expatriates about appropriate dress. …to cover up between the shoulders and the knees. …Most local women in Qatar and the UAE wear an abaya, a black garment that covers most of the body. The men wear the kandura, which tends to be ankle-length and a shade of white. The “UAE Dress Code” campaign … began out of disgust at the sight of foreigners dressed in what they deemed to be inappropriate attire …While the awareness campaigns are not focused on creating dress code laws, they are about respecting cultural norms. But modesty and taste are subjective and without clear laws, what is acceptable attire is often left to the discretion of the wearer. Article 30 of the UAE Constitution says, “Freedom of opinion and expressing it verbally, in writing or by other means of expression shall be guaranteed within the limits of the law.” But to what extent does “other means” cover clothing – or lack of it? There are also no laws that explicitly spell out the do’s and don’ts of dressing in Qatar.”


Inspired by Jenifer Fenton image source Linkedin

Daanish Faruqi a research fellow based in Doha, recently edited a book ‘From Camp David to Cast Lead: Essays on Israel, Palestine, and the Future of the Peace Process’. Farugi in an article released on Aljazeera discusses one of the book’s essays written by Professor Hamid Dabashi. Farugi concludes that “Art’s role … is to imagine the emancipatory politics of our impossibilities… The artists of the Arab Spring are tasked with simply igniting a spark, of reinjecting the radical imagination into Arab society, through envisioning the utopian possibility of hope and a better life undergirded by the basic dignity of the Arab people as non-negotiable and sacrosanct. Their aesthetic impulses must lead our revolutionary politics …  as signposts, not as overt political manifestos. Only under this rubric can the legions of brave Arab artists, painters and sculptors inspired by the Arab Spring truly make sense as purveyors of the region’s renewed collective consciousness…”


Inspired by Daanish Farugi image source Twitter

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