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A Global Media Organization In Al Jazeera

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On December 10, 2010, a major political event began in the Arab world, started in Tunisia and spread to other Arab countries. In January, demonstrations began in Sana’a on 27 January 2011 and spread to the whole country.

A global media organization based in Qatar, Al Jazeera, took a very early position, supporting most of the revolutionary movements in the Arab world through positive coverage. In the shadow of its director, Wadah Khanfar, Al Jazeera transferred images of Arab revolutions across the borders, made media stars of many new activists, and placed youths in a positive position. 86 it can be said that Al-Jazeera, was an independent institution with a little influence by Qatar’s policies and it has own impact on the Qatari policies at the same time. However, this was far from what Wiki leaks explained; that Al-Jazeera was used as a tool in Qatar’s negotiations; the case studies of Somalia and Palestine in this research project showed how Al-Jazeera’s leaders influenced Qatari policies.87 During the Arab Revolts, Qatar also strengthened its control on Al-Jazeera, where Khanfar was replaced by Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohammed al-Thani who is belong to the ruling family, in September 2011.88

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Al Jazeera’s virtual line to the events in Yemen has angered the ruling party but has also made Qatar closer to the opposition that is demonstrating in the streets.89 Many observers in Yemen, including members of the opposition, have said they have “created” several opposition figures. Such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Tawakul Kerman. In some cases, local observers claimed that Al-Jazeera would delay the filming and invite Ms. Tawakul to the demonstrations and was waiting for her to come.

Some may argue that the first contacts between Qatar and Islah party were created through the informal channels mentioned above. However, while mutual understanding is increasing, there was a relatively strong link before the GCC began its negotiating attempt in April 2011. It provided an occasion where Saudi Arabia and Qatar were drifting back toward each other. The relationship between Saudi Arabia and President Saleh had cooled after the Saudi intervention in the last Houthis conflict. Saudi Arabia felt it had been manipulated in the bombing of Muhsin’s headquarters. The general was the first who provided the strongest protection force for Yemeni young protesters during the revolts. Qatar was not essential to the negotiations that led to the removal of President Saleh; however, it was crucial to strengthen the view within the GCC that Saleh had to leave the presidency.

The original GCC plan, presented on April 10, did not include this point directly. Stated that Ali Abdullah Saleh surrendered power to Vice-President Abed Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi, and did not directly require the president to leave directly, only “disengaging himself from power,” opening the possibility of remaining in office as the force surrenders. This point was also critical in rejecting the opposition, as the latter feared that President Saleh would use any official position to maneuver again in power. Qatar’s prime minister automatically ditched Qatar with opposition forces when he claimed that Saleh should quit publicly in an interview. Saleh responded strongly and publicly; asked Qatar to distance itself from the peace process. Qatar sent a delicate letter from the prime minister to Saleh’s foreign minister, Qurebi, who probably justified the move, but made it clear that he expected Saleh to step down eventually. 95 at the same time, Qatar has re-dealt with Yemen but with other actors than before. The Qatari High Command has made links with the opposition as part of the GCC’s bid.

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