Qatar has prudently handled and overcome the blockade imposed by some neighbouring countries, a Swiss student currently studying in Doha under an exchange programme has said.
Lukas Sagur, an undergraduate student in international affairs from the University of St Gallen in Switzerland, said he did not feel there was a blockade at all.
“I did get whatever I wanted in the initial days of the blockade. Everything was very normal. People do not feel that there is a blockade. Qatar has managed the situation in a very prudent and mature manner,” Sagur, who has taken up an exchange programme at Qatar University, told Gulf Times.
Sagur also thinks that Qatar is a unique country, especially in view of the kindness and hospitality of its citizens and residents.
Sharing his views on the unjust blockade, Sagur said: “If there is a problem, you have to discuss the issue and sit at the table for negotiation and dialogue. There is no dialogue so far from the blockading countries, which is sad. It suggests that they are not ready to solve the problem.
"May be they don’t want to solve the problem and they might feel it is not important for them to solve it. It looks like that the blockading countries do not have the intention to solve it."
Sagur also spoke about how the exchange programme materialised.
“When I thought of an exchange programme with a foreign university, my first thoughts were to go to any of the prestigious universities in the US or some other leading universities around the world. But then I met a Qatari gentleman named Sheikh Abdullah bin Fahad al-Thani through my uncle in Switzerland, and everything changed thereafter,” Sagur said.
“My interaction with Sheikh Abdullah gave me a different perception about Qatar and other Middle East countries. So, I thought of doing my exchange programme in Qatar, and Qatar University - being the national university - was my first choice. It was a long process and I started it through my friend. I came to Qatar and completed the entire process just a few days before the blockade,” he said.
Over the past few months in Qatar, Sagur found that people in the country were "very kind and hospitable".
"Everyone is ready to help you and they all take special care of you. Qatar University follows the American system, which was new to me. But everyone helped in overcoming the difficulties. Additionally, in Switzerland, you are not very much connected at the university but here you are known to all the teachers.”
Sagur was all praise for Qatar for its vision for development and promoting its culture and traditions. Qatar is "developing very fast and they are building new things all across the country."
"The economy is very robust and the country is embracing everyone without any segregation. I live with the local people in Umm Salal Mohamed and can understand the culture of the people. I spend a lot of time with the local people and understand the whole culture,” Sagur said.
“As an Aramaic Syriac, I have my roots in the Middle East. My father migrated some 35 years ago from Turkey to Switzerland. Hopefully in February 2019, I will complete university and graduate. Once done, I will aim for my masters. I also plan to get into some business between Qatar and Switzerland at a later stage.”
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