Sports is a cultural public diplomacy tool for Qatar to embed and endear itself at multiple layers of the international community. To achieve that however, it has to be seen as a forward looking 21st century state rather than a wealthy energy producer that adheres to no longer acceptable concepts of human and labour relations.
With the absence of labor rights in the Gulf under fire as a result of Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, Gulf states are likely to take heart from a recent study that asserts that authoritarian regimes in the oil-rich Middle East and China have contributed more to the eradication of global inequality than Western nations.
Krisna Upadhyaya and Gundev Ghimire, British nationals of Nepalese origin, vanished in Doha as they were about to leave for the airport. They were in Qatar to investigate labour rights on behalf of the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), a Norway-based group with alleged links to the UAE.
Just over a week ago, Philadelphia Weekly published a cover story about a local musician named Jordan White, premised on the notion that White -- an earnest singer-songwriter type -- was some sort of stealth superstar in the Philadelphia music scene. The headline in the print edition was insistent in pushing this zingy notion: 'Jordan White may be the most famous local rock balladeer you've never heard of.'