Posted on August 29, 2017

Qatar University (QU) yesterday held a seminar to discuss the blockade imposed on Qatar by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE and its impact on the Gulf region’s security and stability and its socio-economic growth.

Themed “The Gulf Crisis and the Region”, the event is organized in collaboration with the Brookings Doha Center. It was held at the Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, Salwa Banquet Hall. Attendees included QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham, VPs, politicians, prominent figures, and a large number of academics, researchers, and representatives of the local and international media, as well as QU faculty, staff and students. The seminar was moderated by QU Gulf Studies Center (GSC) Director Dr Abdullah Baabood, and drew the participation of experts and researchers from Qatar and Kuwait.

The program agenda featured four sessions titled “the impact of the Gulf crisis on the Gulf Cooperation Council’s system”, “the economic impact of the Gulf crisis on the region”, “the impact of the Gulf crisis on the Gulf region’s system” and “the impact of the crisis on the Gulf region’s stability and security”. They were presented by QU College of Sharia and Islamic Studies Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Dr Nayef bin Nahar, Director of Research at Brookings Doha Center Dr Nader Kabbani, Professor of Political Science at Kuwait University Dr Shafeeq Ghabra, and Associate Professor at Doha Institute for Graduate Studies Dr Ibrahim Fraihat.

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In his remarks, Dr Abdullah Baabood said: “This is the first seminar that Qatar University organizes as part of a series of sessions, workshops, and researches that the University is going to conduct during the upcoming academic year for the purpose of understanding the current Gulf crisis and give QU students an opportunity to exchange their ideas with experts and researchers. This seminar reflects the mutual relationship between academic and research institutions in Qatar that aims at investigating the current Gulf crisis and its impact on the GCC countries and the region”.

Dr Nader Kabbani said: “The economic aspects of the crisis not only have political implications, but economic costs across all parties. This crisis draws attention away from impending strategic, economic, and security challenges that need diplomacy between the countries involved in order to find long-term resolutions”.

Dr Nayef bin Nahar said: “Since over 36 years, the leadership of the GCC countries meet annually to discuss regional and international issues but they are not acting as a cooperation. The GCC countries are not agreed on specifying their enemy which causes security conflict between them. There unavailability of a clear definition of security among the GCC countries. The biggest mistake that GCC countries committed during this crisis is not solving the conflict within the GCC house. Shifting the conflict from local to international level helps escalating the crisis in a negative way”.

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Dr Shafeeq Ghabra said: “During this crisis, we have realized that there will be no future for the GGC without having an effective mechanism to solve crisis with effective involvement of people. From my perspective, it is not logical when we revisit the crisis to say that Al Jazeera is the reason behind this crisis. This is nonsense. Al Jazeera causes no harm and negative consequences of the GCC crisis have been popped up when the blockading countries have imposed political and social monopoly over their nation. The reason behind this crisis in unknown yet but we may say that the existence of Trump in the region had escalated the crisis between the GCC countries. The current situation is not static and is changing continuously. Qatar is smart enough to take all the mediations possible to resolve this issue. The solution is to believe in the Kuwaiti mediation with a hope to solve this dilemma soon”.

Dr Ibrahim Fraihat said: “During the past years and since the invasion of Kuwait, the Gulf region depends on one component of security; the existence of the USA. Now, we have different and multiple providers of security, which have their own interests and agenda. This situation has its own threats and challenges and GCC leaders should be aware of the consequences of this situation before we turn the region into a battle field due to conflict of interests”.