[LETTERS to the editor]Middle East’s hub is Doha, QatarLee Chang-kyu claimed in his column on Oct. 29 that the hub of the new Middle East is Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Nah: it’s Doha, Qatar. Here are three reasons why:
1.The 15th Asian Games will be held from Dec. 1 to 15 in Doha in 2006. North and South Korea can compete as one team in as many as 39 sports. Over $2.8 billion has been invested in making the Doha Asian Games “the sporting event of the 21st century.” Doha Sport City, home to 11 sports facilities and 12 residential towers with more than 8,000 accommodation units will welcome 10,500 athletes and officials from 45 countries across Asia.
2.The United States and the European Union want to enhance global prosperity through trade and move the Doha round of trade negotiations forward. The trade talks are now focusing upon issues such as agricultural subsidies and tariffs. U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman outlined on Oct. 10 a U.S. proposal to the World Trade Organization agricultural negotiations that would require the United States to cut substantively farm subsidies and other countries to improve substantively market access for U.S. exports.
3.There are amazing Qatari women, in particular Her Highness Sheikha Mouza, the Consort of His Highness the Emir. She has directed most of her attention to educational, scientific and sports matters. A keen observer of the news will notice that she has familiarized herself with modern educational programs, with the aim of adopting those aspects which do not contradict Islamic teachings and social principles. She already has brought five components of leading American universities to Doha.
For the above three reasons, (drumroll) make the hub of the new Middle East age (dramatic pause): Doha, Qatar!
by Richard Thompson