Qatar weathers the storm

Qatar and the Gulf Crisis: A Study of Resilience by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen to be published by Hurst in January 2020, £30

The World Today Published 5 December 2019 Updated 2 November 2020 3 minute READ

Burhan Wazir

Editor, Coda Story

For any resident living in Qatar, the dawn of June 5, 2017, would have seemed like any other morning during the month of Ramadan. But a little before 6am, as people began their commute to work, a statement from the Bahraini ministry of foreign affairs announced a severing of diplomatic ties with Qatar. About ten minutes later, Saudi Arabia said that the kingdom had done the same.

In what appeared to be a coordinated effort, around 6.30am, state-run news agencies in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt were echoing the announcements from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Residents of the Gulf, policymakers and international observers were largely taken by surprise. By mid-morning, Yemen’s government-in-exile had joined the diplomatic boycott, and by 2pm, Qatar’s only land border in the north was sealed off by Saudi officials.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.