Qatar’s adventure into soft power



Amid widespread concern that Al Jazeera, the Doha-based news network, has been pushing an extremely partisan narrative that is too much in favour of the Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar is planning to launch AlAraby, a second Arabic language news station based in London. The new channel's function, it was reported yesterday in The National, is to serve as a "counterweight" to Al Jazeera and is designed to extend the reach of the soft power exerted by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the country's new emir.

Qatar has spent much of the recent past seeking to further this kind of influence – bidding for and winning the right to stage the 2022 Fifa World Cup, opening up a clutch of cultural institutions, expanding its portfolio of internationally recognised universities – but the jewel in its crown has always been the Al Jazeera network.

Since it began broadcasting in 1996, the channel has shaped arguments, framed news stories and radiated influence across the world. When the Arab Spring began to bite in the early months of 2011 – or the Arab Awakening as Al Jazeera insisted on calling the uprisings – it was reported that officials in the White House relied upon the network’s transmissions to monitor developments in Egypt.

All of this helped form the opinion that Qatar was a progressive society, a judgement that has been severely clouded by the country’s pro-Brotherhood stance. It is one that Doha hopes to correct with AlAraby’s “fairly anti-Brotherhood” standpoint, although this seems to be throwing money at a problem that would be better solved by dialogue.

Saudi Arabia regards the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation, a position the UAE supports. Qatar was also a strong supporter of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, gave a platform to Youssef Al Qaradawi, a leading voice for the Brotherhood, and supported Islamist movements in Tunisia and Libya.

It has done all this without explaining why it believes Islamism might be a political project worth encouraging and knowing it would place the country at odds with much of the rest of the Gulf. Rather than launch another adventure in soft power, Doha would be better served by offering an explanation to its neighbours and friends as to why it ever believed the Brotherhood was worth backing.

Under 19 Cricket World Cup, Asia Qualifier

Fixtures
Friday, April 12, Malaysia v UAE
Saturday, April 13, UAE v Nepal
Monday, April 15, UAE v Kuwait
Tuesday, April 16, UAE v Singapore
Thursday, April 18, UAE v Oman

UAE squad
Aryan Lakra (captain), Aaron Benjamin, Akasha Mohammed, Alishan Sharafu, Anand Kumar, Ansh Tandon, Ashwanth Valthapa, Karthik Meiyappan, Mohammed Faraazuddin, Rishab Mukherjee, Niel Lobo, Osama Hassan, Vritya Aravind, Wasi Shah

FIGHT CARD

Fights start from 6pm Friday, January 31

Catchweight 82kg
Piotr Kuberski (POL) v Ahmed Saeb (IRQ)

Women’s bantamweight
Cornelia Holm (SWE) v Corinne Laframboise (CAN)

Welterweight
Omar Hussein (JOR) v Vitalii Stoian (UKR)

Welterweight
Josh Togo (LEB) v Ali Dyusenov (UZB)

Flyweight
Isaac Pimentel (BRA) v Delfin Nawen (PHI)

Catchweight 80kg​​​​​​​
Seb Eubank (GBR) v Mohamed El Mokadem (EGY)

Lightweight
Mohammad Yahya (UAE) v Ramadan Noaman (EGY)

Lightweight
Alan Omer (GER) v Reydon Romero (PHI)

Welterweight
Ahmed Labban (LEB) v Juho Valamaa (FIN)

Featherweight
Elias Boudegzdame (ALG) v Austin Arnett (USA)

Super heavyweight
Roman Wehbe (LEB) v Maciej Sosnowski (POL)

How to join and use Abu Dhabi’s public libraries

• There are six libraries in Abu Dhabi emirate run by the Department of Culture and Tourism, including one in Al Ain and Al Dhafra.

• Libraries are free to visit and visitors can consult books, use online resources and study there. Most are open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays, closed on Fridays and have variable hours on Saturdays, except for Qasr Al Watan which is open from 10am to 8pm every day.

• In order to borrow books, visitors must join the service by providing a passport photograph, Emirates ID and a refundable deposit of Dh400. Members can borrow five books for three weeks, all of which are renewable up to two times online.

• If users do not wish to pay the fee, they can still use the library’s electronic resources for free by simply registering on the website. Once registered, a username and password is provided, allowing remote access.

• For more information visit the library network's website.

Company profile

Company name:+Dharma

Date started:+2018

Founders:+Charaf El Mansouri, Nisma Benani, Leah Howe

Based:+Abu Dhabi

Sector:+TravelTech

Funding stage:+Pre-series A 

Investors:+Convivialite Ventures, BY Partners, Shorooq Partners, L& Ventures, Flat6Labs

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Schedule

November 13-14: Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championship
November 15-16: Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship
November 17-19: Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship followed by the Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Awards

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Teaching your child to save

Pre-school (three - five years)

You can’t yet talk about investing or borrowing, but introduce a “classic” money bank and start putting gifts and allowances away. When the child wants a specific toy, have them save for it and help them track their progress.

Early childhood (six - eight years)

Replace the money bank with three jars labelled ‘saving’, ‘spending’ and ‘sharing’. Have the child divide their allowance into the three jars each week and explain their choices in splitting their pocket money. A guide could be 25 per cent saving, 50 per cent spending, 25 per cent for charity and gift-giving.

Middle childhood (nine - 11 years)

Open a bank savings account and help your child establish a budget and set a savings goal. Introduce the notion of ‘paying yourself first’ by putting away savings as soon as your allowance is paid.

Young teens (12 - 14 years)

Change your child’s allowance from weekly to monthly and help them pinpoint long-range goals such as a trip, so they can start longer-term saving and find new ways to increase their saving.

Teenage (15 - 18 years)

Discuss mutual expectations about university costs and identify what they can help fund and set goals. Don’t pay for everything, so they can experience the pride of contributing.

Young adulthood (19 - 22 years)

Discuss post-graduation plans and future life goals, quantify expenses such as first apartment, work wardrobe, holidays and help them continue to save towards these goals.

* JP Morgan Private Bank 

MATCH INFO

Serie A

Juventus v Fiorentina, Saturday, 8pm (UAE)

Match is on BeIN Sports

Profile of RentSher

Started: October 2015 in India, November 2016 in UAE

Founders: Harsh Dhand; Vaibhav and Purvashi Doshi

Based: Bangalore, India and Dubai, UAE

Sector: Online rental marketplace

Size: 40 employees

Investment: $2 million

The specs: 2018 Ducati SuperSport S

Price, base / as tested: Dh74,900 / Dh85,900

Engine: 937cc

Transmission: Six-speed gearbox

Power: 110hp @ 9,000rpm

Torque: 93Nm @ 6,500rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 5.9L / 100km

England's all-time record goalscorers:
Wayne Rooney 53
Bobby Charlton 49
Gary Lineker 48
Jimmy Greaves 44
Michael Owen 40
Tom Finney 30
Nat Lofthouse 30
Alan Shearer 30
Viv Woodward 29
Frank Lampard 29

Pathaan

Director: Siddharth Anand 

Stars: Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham 

Rating: 3/5

Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier

From September 18-25, Abu Dhabi . The two finalists advance to the main event in South Africa in February 2023

Group A: United States, Ireland, Scotland, Bangladesh
Group B: UAE, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea

UAE group fixtures:
Sept 18, 3pm, Zayed Cricket Stadium – UAE v Thailand
Sept 19, 3pm, Tolerance Oval - PNG v UAE
Sept 21, 7pm, Tolerance Oval – UAE v Zimbabwe

UAE squad: Chaya Mughal (captain), Esha Oza, Kavisha Kumari, Rinitha Rajith, Rithika Rajith, Khushi Sharma, Theertha Satish, Lavanya Keny, Priyanjali Jain, Suraksha Kotte, Natasha Cherriath, Indhuja Nandakumar, Vaishnave Mahesh, Siya Gokhale, Samaira Dharnidharka

WHAT IS 'JUICE JACKING'?

• Juice jacking, in the simplest terms, is using a rogue USB cable to access a device and compromise its contents

• The exploit is taken advantage of by the fact that the data stream and power supply pass through the same cable. The most common example is connecting a smartphone to a PC to both transfer data and charge the former at the same time

• The term was first coined in 2011 after researchers created a compromised charging kiosk to bring awareness to the exploit; when users plugged in their devices, they received a security warning and discovered that their phones had paired to the kiosk, according to US cybersecurity company Norton

• While juice jacking is a real threat, there have been no known widespread instances. Apple and Google have also added security layers to prevent this on the iOS and Android devices, respectively

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cyl
Transmission: 8-speed auto
Power: 300bhp (GT) 330bhp (Modena)
Torque: 450Nm
Price: Dh299,000 (GT), Dh369,000 (Modena)
On sale: now

Know your camel milk:
Flavour: Similar to goat’s milk, although less pungent. Vaguely sweet with a subtle, salty aftertaste.
Texture: Smooth and creamy, with a slightly thinner consistency than cow’s milk.
Use it: In your morning coffee, to add flavour to homemade ice cream and milk-heavy desserts, smoothies, spiced camel-milk hot chocolate.
Goes well with: chocolate and caramel, saffron, cardamom and cloves. Also works well with honey and dates.

Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Nausea
Vomiting
Swollen glands
Rash

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures