In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, To turn plastic pollution awareness into change, we must act, Every one of us should refuse what we can’t reuse

A roundup of global commentary for the June 18, 2018 weekly magazine.

Naseem Zeitoon/Reuters/File
A mosque along a coastline in Doha, Qatar, on June 15, 2017, 10 days after the beginning of the now more than one-year-long land, sea, and air blockade imposed on the wealthy nation by its Arab neighbors, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt.

Al Jazeera / Doha, Qatar

In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade

“When the blockade was imposed on Qatar on June 5, 2017, few expected it to last as long as it has,” writes Sultan Barakat. “One year on, what started as an expression of frustration with, and attempt to change, Qatar’s independent foreign policy, has, in fact, deepened the political divisions and, if anything, made it more difficult to envisage a return to Gulf unity. Today, nobody can deny that overall the blockade has had a negative impact on all concerned, including Saudi Arabia, which ironically ended up diminishing the very same Gulf security it professes to protect from an expansionist Iran.... Qatar has demonstrated an impressive ability to turn the crisis into an opportunity in terms of improving food security, social cohesion and economic sustainability....” 

The Manila Times / Manila

Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace, not spurn, Al Jazeera

“In an expansive article in The Manila Times [June 5], Ambassador Ali Bin Ibrahim Al-Malki of the State of Qatar wrote that his country has weathered one year of the blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt on June 5, 2017...,” writes Francisco Tatad. “Even the blockading countries will have to agree with this assessment. It’s time for the Arab Quartet to lift it.... Despite the provocations, Qatar refused to retaliate.... With respect to Al Jazeera, which is now the No. 1 Arab news channel, reaching more than 140 countries ... there is no chance Qatar will consider shutting it down.... Gulf countries should share it as a common resource to help them deepen their understanding of the world around them....” 

Tehran Times / Tehran, Iran

Iran’s #MeToo moment begins

“Following a schoolmaster’s sexual misconduct at a private school in western Tehran some Iranians started using the #MeToo on twitter since [May 30], sharing their experiences of harassment and assault,” writes Maryam Qarehgozlou. “On May 27, some 40 parents filed a complaint against a schoolmaster who has allegedly displayed some sexually harassing behaviors at a private school in district two of Tehran. The schoolmaster was soon detained and the school is shut down, maybe for good.... The fact that the Tehran school scandal has prompted some Iranians to recount their traumatic experiences of sexual assaults and harassment, which mostly had happened during their childhood, is a baby step towards responding to this violence more effectively by taking timely measures and adopting more restrictive laws.” 

Deutsche Welle / Bonn, Germany

To turn plastic pollution awareness into change, we must act

“People seem to finally be waking up to the global issue of plastic pollution – it was the focus of this year’s Earth Day, and also World Environment Day in 2018 has the theme beating plastic pollution,” writes Sonya Angelica Diehn. “The unfortunate recent end of a whale in Thailand provides a timely illustration of the problem. It died with 80 plastic bags in its stomach.... Despite bans on plastic bags in some African countries, and a planned ban on other single-use plastic items in the European Union, the sad truth is that the world is probably still pretty far from ‘peak plastic’.... [C]an the growing momentum around the topic be harnessed to transform this trend into real change? Well, that depends on you.” 

Jamaica Observer / Kingston, Jamaica

Every one of us should refuse what we can’t reuse

“Anyone who read the United Nations (UN) report released [June 5] in observance of World Environment Day and was not stunned by the data must either be extremely callous or not human at all,” states an editorial. “The report provides bald facts about how human beings are, as the UN so succinctly put it, choking the world on trash.... We note that several countries in the Caribbean and Latin America are using taxes, bans and technological innovation to restrict the production and consumption of plastic bags.... However, it should not have had to come to this, as every resident of every country should consider it his/her duty to heed the UN’s appeal to ‘reject single-use plastics’ and ‘refuse what you can’t re-use’.”

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to In many ways, Qatar has benefited from its neighbors’ blockade, Qatar’s Arab neighbors should embrace Al Jazeera, Iran’s #MeToo moment begins, To t...
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Global-Newsstand/2018/0616/In-many-ways-Qatar-has-benefited-from-its-neighbors-blockade-Qatar-s-Arab-neighbors-should-embrace-Al-Jazeera-Iran-s-MeToo-moment-begins-To-turn-plastic-pollution-awareness-into-change-we-must-act-Every-one-of-us-should-refuse-what-we-can-t-reuse
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe