MIDDLE EAST: Experiencing just a bit of the evil the Saudi-led Qarta blockade represents in real time – Tola Adenle

November 18, 2017

The Middle East


The iconic image of the futuristic architectural designs with the Gulf in front at Doha’s city center. It is interesting that several of these gems are government offices.  [SOURCE:  Global Data Base of the CTBUH] 

BELOW, (First) a closer view of a few dazzlers

SECOND, Blogger takes in the view.


The glowing monolith-type structure at center is, to me, the most interesting of the forest of architectural dazzlers on the Doha Waterfront. [Photo Credit: Depo Adenle, Doha, November 2017.]



[Photo Credit: Depo Adenle, Doha, November 2017]


The first (and only) time I had flown from Nigeria to the Middle East was seven years ago when my spouse and I traveled to Dubai. The Emirate’s buzz in Nigeria was so much that we planned a trip with a layover of a few days during the Ramadan season when hotel prices were so reduced that we were able to afford a very good booking with a view of the Gulf Sea.

For someone with a preference for non-stop routes across the Atlantic, the 6-hour-plus flight to Dubai was a near-hop from Lagos. Sights? Okay, I may be biased.  Having lived in Vegas for quite a while, the city-state was – shall I say – underwhelming, a mini Vegas, without the soul, pardon me.

Almost two weeks ago, we left Lagos by Qarta Airways with a stop-over at Doha, the best experience in an economy seat I’ve flown in over forty-seven years of air travel, and as good as a particular airline’s premium economy; I refuse to mention the airline. All that is not the purpose of this short essay.

It was not long after the flight took off from Lagos that I noticed the tracking map was showing names of Nigerian towns that I noticed when I flew on Ethiopian Airlines to Addis on the first leg of a flight almost two years ago. The earlier trip on Emirates to Dubai, a city in the [sort of] same neighborhood with Doha took about 6 ½ hours but not this time to Doha. With Saudi leading the Emirati States and Egypt – by the nose, if I may say so – “brotherly love” that Middle East Muslims like to proclaim, was absent in the commercial, air and sea blockade that would have paralyzed many countries.

And it’s not just the money from gas and oil but through the focused planning of the country’s leadership that Qarta seems to have been able to weather the battering.  The attempt to cripple the country seems to have opened its collective eyes to finding new opportunities, a situation that is also benefiting others.  I watched an English farming family on a TV program recently that was almost set, according to the couple, to give up on a farming business that had been in their family for longer than their generation. Now, they claim a link they’ve made with Qarta has kept their farm very busy again as their cattle sends supplies to the country.

While the Dubai trip took an almost-straight trajectory up the Nigerian land mass, the Qarta Airways flight kept flying eastwards, a route that took the flight path close so eastward that Juba, the South Sudan capital and Addis showed up on the flight map while it was not so on the way to Dubai which is south of Qarta’s Doha.

By the time the flight got out of the African continent, it had been over a bit of Northwest Somalia into the Gulf of Aden, miles up the Yemeni coast in a yet more eastward swing. I became riveted to the flight map as it made a westward (inland) swing – more like a dash – but only for a short while before flying out, another eastward swing took it back on to the Arabian Sea!

Qarta Flight 1408 then flew on the Gulf Sea for, perhaps, another thirty minutes after the flood-lit panorama of Emirati cities and towns to the left first appeared in the early hours of the day.

Then, the huge bird banked left towards its home port, a peninsular on the Gulf Sea with humongous Saudi that wants Qarta as a nation to, perhaps, disappear, not far South. Qatari “Rural areas”, towns and cities glistened under the usual Gulf States’ zillions of lights, and on the left lies one of its new and avowed enemies, “we-are-brothers but we’ll kill you unless you kill Al Jazeera” & throw away your dignity/sovereignty – Bahrain – separated by a narrow strip of the Gulf Sea.

Another three-quarters of an hour or so would have seen one through on a non-stop flight from Lagos to Atlanta, Houston or Washington, D.C.

The inhumanity that could produce this kind of evil in man is unconscionable!

FRONT VIEW OF THE NEW QARTA NATIONAL LIBRARY, another architectural beauty


Image result for images of Doha's new library

Inside the Qarta National Library at Doha; has a volume in excess of a million titles, not counting its rare maps and documents collections. Opened November 2017.

[Photo Credit for above two photographs: Qarta Gulf Times, November 8, 2017.


We had been in the air for closer to 10 hours than the 6 hours 50 minutes scheduled for the flight when we had made our reservations back in August, long before a kid – pardon me –  Saudi-throne bound prince with hegemonic dreams, principal among which is ruling over the whole of the Arabian peninsula, with Egypt as a go-fer in the evil plan. It’s a grand ambition that has seen thousands dead and dying in Yemen, and would have seen Qartar become – at best – a tiny country that can, but reduced to a has-been, and worse, a chattel in the hands of a mad scientist-type royalty gone wild.

The traveled route resembled a question mark resting on its long side.  Plant the tail of the question mark at Lagos and draw its long stem through the African continent with the wide top starting after – [below] the latitude of Addis below Djibouti – in a nearly-parallel line to the Yemeni Coast;  curve it slightly in the Gulf Sea but ignore the inland-and-back- to-sea mentioned above and curve it leftward around the coast of Muscat through the Gulf of Aden. What is normally the top of the question mark would have seen the flight through the strait of [Iran] Hormuz, ensuring it avoided being close to blood-y “brother”, Oman, towards the end of the inverted-type letter C at the top, down straight to Doha for a near-perfect “?” mark as viewed by Dr. Adenle.


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2017.  8:37 P.M. [GMT]






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