Qatar, Al Jazeera, and the Arab Spring
The leader of al-Nahda movement, Rachid Ghannouchi, made his first visit to a foreign country after the first post-revolution Tunisian elections. His choice was the State of Qatar. Analysts see many messages in this gesture but some Tunisians are troubled by the invitation he had extended to the Emir of Qatar. Although many do not want any foreign leader present during the opening session of the constituent assembly, some Tunisians are singling out the ruler of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, as a persona non grata. They see him as a bully who is using Al Jazeera and his huge wealth to push an agenda that is not necessarily in the interest of their country.