By Usha Wagle Gautam
His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was interviewed by the famous TV host Charlie Rose for his 60 Minutes show aired by CBS News recently. The Nepali community leaders praised his ideas, which he shared during the interview.
Community talked to some of the prominent Nepalis in Qatar to get their thoughts on the interview.
Yubraj Sharma, Secretary of Non-Resident Nepali Association-National Coordination Council
I think Qatar should convert obstacles into opportunities. The current embargo is actually an opportunity for Qatar to rise and shine further in the region. The interview was exceptionally genuine. It is actually true when His Highness the Emir said that the difference between other nations and us during the Arab Spring is that we stood by the people. That made me emotional. There has been no significant change in Qatar before and after the blockade. The credit goes to the great leader. The drive to strengthen bilateral ties with different countries is a very good initiative. This shows Qatar wants live as a fully independent country and co-operate with different countries of the world.
Devraj Rai, President of Indigenous Society
Qatar is the second home to South Asian migrant workers. His Highness the Emir presented himself resolutely and talked against the blockade. I like the way His Highness the Emir is so conscious about the sovereignty of Qatar. There are 2.5 million immigrants in Qatar, and the government has not let anyone get affected by the blockade.
Hom Nath Sharma, Advisor of Non-Resident Nepali Association-National Coordination Council
I think Qatar is very fortunate to have a charismatic and strong leader like His Highness the Emir. The government has ensured that we do not feel any effects of the blockade. I think Qatar should be self-sufficient in many products and it also should diversify its imports. Deep within my heart, I would like to see the region united.
Kumar Karki, Member of Non-Resident Nepali Association-International Coordination Committee
“Our sovereignty is a red line,” this quote of His Highness the Emir is more than enough to understand what the country stands for. The quote exemplifies and represents the voice of common people of the country. I really liked his 60 Minutes interview. It showed that Qatar is confident in facing any challenges to serve its people. During this blockade, we expatriates also have a responsibility to stand by the State of Qatar.
H B Karki, President of New Family Association
His Highness the Emir has recently travelled to many countries including Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. He has talked with the leaders of the countries regarding co-operation in different sectors, including energy, mutual investment, tourism, sports and science and technology, among others. The blockade has already lasted for five months, but it has not made any significant impact. Currently, Qatar has diversified its imports from Turkey, Iran, UK, Oman and Lebanon. Qatar is also working to be self-sufficient in dairy products. It has been firmly standing against the blockade and has already completed 80pc work for FIFA World Cup 2022. Qatar has also assisted many countries, including Nepal, by providing jobs to their people. I think Qatar’s progress is incomparable in human history.
Mohammad Aziz Ali, General Secretary of Nepali Public Relations Coordination Committee
Qatar is a developed country that hosts hundreds of thousands of workers from the developing world. The embargo had created anxiety among the workers, but, due to the strong leadership of His Highness the Emir, the blockade has not impacted the country at all. There are around 450,000 Nepalis in Qatar. We thank Qatar for providing our brothers and sisters with jobs, and we really appreciate the strong leadership.
MP Pokharel, President of International Artists’ Society
Qatar has the highest GDP growth rate in the world. It has supported many countries by providing jobs to their citizens. One of the demands of the blockading countries was to close down Al Jazeera. His Highness the Emir rightly said that we want freedom of speech in the region. He said, “When you tell me to close a channel like Al Jazeera, history will write one day in 50, 60 or 70 years, how it has changed the whole idea of freedom of speech in the region.” This was simply remarkable. And then this quote was a gem in itself: “Nothing is going to be above our dignity and above our sovereignty.”
Rajan Sapkota, Bibekshil Society
His Highness the Emir is a proponent of world peace. It is so wrong to impose embargo upon a peaceful state. During the interview, His Highness the Emir confidently refuted the demands of the blockading nations and reaffirmed the country’s commitment to freedom of speech. I feel really proud to be in this country which has such a strong leader.
Hillary Raj Tamang, Secretary of Nepali Women Society
Qatar is becoming even stronger after the blockade. We are happy and proud to be here. During the interview, I loved it when His Highness the Emir said, “We like to end the crisis. If my brothers walk one metre, we are willing to walk ten thousand miles to solve this crisis.” We fully support the State of Qatar.
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