The Doha Hustle

On the world stage, Qatar sees its role as no less grandiose. Beneath the high-chandeliered ceilings of Doha’s five-star hotel lobbies, eager delegations from around the world make their case for support. Governments, political parties, companies, and rebel groups scurry in and out nervously, and then wait over hot tea to have their proposals considered by the relevant Qatari authorities. Which hotel the visitors stay in indicates their prospects for support. The Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton are old favorites; Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal has stayed at the former, the Syrian opposition at the latter. The W Hotel is a posh newcomer, mostly housing eager European delegations seeking investment or natural gas. The Sheraton — one of Doha’s first hotels — is by now passé; that’s where top Darfuri rebels stayed during negotiations with the Sudanese government. Everyone wants into the network, because as one Syrian in Doha put it, “Qatar has money and Qatar can connect money.”

via The Case Against Qatar | Foreign Policy

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About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
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