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Friday, February 26, 2021

“Democracy should come to Qatar”

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“Democracy should come to Qatar.”

— Former Al Jazeera Head Wadah Khanfar on quitting, the Arab Spring, and Qatar’s role (The Atlantic)

Khanfar tells journalist Haley Sweetland Edwards that “supporting democracy, freedom of expression, and the people” was a core part of the news agenda he tried to set as director general of the Al Jazeera Network.

In regards to Qatar, Khanfar said, “I think in this region, no one will be spared the ramifications of democracy.”

But he also offered something of a disclaimer:

There are only 250,000 Qataris that have citizenship in this country and these people so far they have their own system of ruling themselves. So we may not see a democracy like multi-party elections, but we have something like political consensus. The tribal background plus the family background has created some sort of consensus.

Also mentioned: Khanfar, who is of Palestinian origin, was recently granted Qatari citizenship.

Credit: Photo by Steve Jurvetson

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