‘Qatar’s blockade reminds me of the Berlin Wall’
December 13 2017 01:49 AM
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Qatar-Germany Association managing director Jurgen Hogrefe (left) during the interview in Doha with Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka, Gulf Times Editor-in-Chief.

By Faisal Abdulhameed al-Mudahka/Editor-in-Chief

Qatar will emerge stronger out of the unjust blockade imposed by its neighbouring countries, Qatar-Germany Association (QGA) managing director Jurgen Hogrefe has said.
“The way people in Qatar are facing this problem and the way the government is managing this crisis is just marvellous and admirable,” the top QGA official told Gulf Times.
QGA is a non-governmental organisation based in Germany, which provides a platform for educational, knowledge, sports and cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Hogrefe, a former journalist and an experienced manager and consultant deeply rooted in politics, economy, culture and media, said that Qatar’s resilience in dealing with the siege would  serve as a milestone in the country’s history.
“In 50 years everybody (here) would say this is a very important point in the making of our nation, to define yourself as a nation with a national character and identity,” he stressed.
Hogrefe lamented the negative impact of the siege on  many families in the region and cites jealousy as a culprit – “a strong psychological motive” to impose a blockade on Qatar.
According to the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) of Qatar, more than 13,000 people have been directly affected by the unjust blockade since it was imposed on June 5 this year.
Female Qatari youth activist Dana al-Anzy also revealed earlier that politics was taking its toll on families and students’ lives, taking away their right to employment and education.
Hogrefe, who attended a conference about the blockade and the role of media, said he was touched with the speech of Qatar’s Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani before leaving for Kuwait for the regional Gulf summit.
“He gave a very touching speech, he said, adding we have a country we are proud of, we have achieved a lot, we have an open society and we are a well-to-do country and we want to defend this.” 
During the open forum at the event, Hogrefe observed that around 50% of the questions came from young female Qataris.
“This you will hardly find in any of the countries surrounding Qatar. This is a country that has a special and unique atmosphere and I feel that people are very close to their government and the crisis even brings them closer ,” he pointed out.
According to Hogrefe, the blockade also served as a good opportunity for Qatar to show to the world the real picture of what it is and its achievements within the framework of its National Vision 2030.    
“We (QGA) were telling stories about Al Shaqab, Aspire Zone, the Museum of Islamic Art, Education City, and the media, among others, (to the Germans and the German media) in the beginning of the blockade, and something has changed, amazingly,” he said.
“I think a majority of the Germans stand alongside the Qatari point of view. How come? We know what blockade means, as Berlin had to suffer from a blockade by the Russians in the late ‘40s of the last century, after World War II,” Hogrefre explained.
Following the war, the Berlin Wall was erected to divide Germany into two parts.
He said people have seen that the countries which imposed the blockade do not follow international rules and laws.
“Third thing, everybody knows that especially this part of the world, does not need another conflict. So these countries, Germany deals with all of them, should be partners and friends instead of becoming enemies,” the QGA official said. “People started to look into the case and suddenly discovered that Qatar is different from other countries in the Arab world and the Gulf as well.”
The blockade also witnessed balanced reports about Qatar coming out from legitimate media organisations, Hogrefe said. 




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