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Friday, February 26, 2021

For Qatar, a game of damah on the world stage

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The game of Damah
Men play the ancient game of Damah in Souq Waqif

From The Guardian:

In an air-conditioned room down an alley in the old market of Qatar’s capital Doha, enthusiasts of “damah” gather most evenings. The ancient board game, rarely played in recent years, is now being revived by local enthusiasts. It is, afficionados say, a contest of strategy and finesse – and thus an apt metaphor for the high-stakes manoeuvring by the tiny Gulf state and its hereditary leader, 59-year-old Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in recent weeks.

For a country the size of Belgium with a population of 1.7 million, Qatar has been playing an extraordinarily high-profile role. This weekend four Qatari fighter jets are set to join the allied forces already off the Libyan coastline. The combat deployment is the first by an Arab or Muslim-majority country and thus of critical diplomatic significance.

Read the full article here, with additional reporting from Doha News’ Omar Chatriwala and Shabina S. Khatri.

What do you think about the way Qatar has positioned itself in international affairs?

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