from the desk
It has been a scary time for residents of Qatar. It’s not pleasant to wake up in a foreign country (even if it has been your home for several years) that overnight has been placed under siege, especially when you have no skin in the game and no control over how this plays out. The severity of the blockade left many in a blind panic, rushing to grocery stores to stock up on food that they believed was running out; sending their savings home, worried that they might not get another chance; and wondering whether they should postpone their scheduled holiday out of fear that they may not be able to return. But once this panic subsided, the expat community admirably rose to the occasion, voicing their support for Qatar, for HH the Emir, and standing shoulder to shoulder with their Qatari friends. Loving your country is sometimes difficult because you tend to obsess over its flaws and rough edges; you sometimes don't give your own country the same benefit of doubt or leeway you give other nations. Because it's a harsh love – a love driven by the need to feel pride, feel inspired, feel like you represent it and it you. In comparison, it's much easier to love your home. All it needs is to be safe and comfortable and plentiful. Qatar has been all that for the 2.3 million expats within its borders. And when the time came they showed their appreciation and gratitude in full measure. In addition to our detailed coverage of the Gulf crisis, in this issue of QatarToday we examine how China is forging new relationships in the GCC focused on trade and development and how its much vaunted OBOR initiative might impact the countries in the Arabian Peninsula. Apart from this we have several insightful interviews that shed light on a range of topics, from consumer electronics to aviation broadband, in addition to our usual team of expert columnists who deliver the best analytical pieces on events and trends that are shaping businesses and societies in Qatar. Happy Reading!
Several residences and commercial buildings in Doha flew the national colours to express support for Qatar during the blockade