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Thursday, May 03, 2007

Newspaper editors and Al Jazeera

In a recent article in an Arabic (translated here on Memri) a Qatari newspaper editor focused on a major world injustice. No, not street children starving in India, or the raping and murdering of his Muslim brothers and sisters in Darfur, but the harsh treatment of Qatari newspaper editors who are being deprived of their rightful dues and swimming pools. Another newspaper editor explains why.

It’s very unfair that Al Jazeera employs non-Qataris and gives them more money than me. Why should they have a luxurious apartment, swimming pools and money when they are not Qatari? We have Qatarisation kicking out talented people in every other industry to make room for Qataris, why not in Al Jazeera too?

I mean look at it. What have these fancy foreign journalists got? Okay, so they are talented, determined, well-educated people who fought their way to the top in a competitive industry and have experience of working in world-renowned news networks. They are the best in the world at what they do, and some of them have risked their lives and liberty to do their job to the best of their ability. Between them they are providing the Middle East with a world class network, and giving the Middle East a voice it has never had before. But they weren’t born in Qatar!

And this is a crucial point – Qataris are special. We must be - why else would we be guaranteed cushy jobs for life and plenty of money when we pay Indians starvation wages to work 12 hours a day 6 days a week despite being the third richest country in the world?

Why are we special? It’s nothing to do with our education, for sure. It’s not our education, and its not our morality (you should see how some of us treat our employees).

Actually, I’m not sure what it is, but it’s definitely something to do with being born on top of a large pile of gas and oil. Surely that’s makes us special. So, you see, it’s not fair that some people earn more than me.

So come on. Kick out those journalists and give the job to me. And then hire some more journalists to do the work for me – just make sure I earn more than them this time!

Also see: Qatar moves into groceries

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