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Saudis in Qatar try to readjust following severing of ties

Cars drive on a road leading to Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar on Monday. (REUTERS)

JEDDAH: Saudis living in Qatar have 14 days to leave the country effective Monday, following the Kingdom’s decision to cut relations with Qatar.
Some students are sitting their finals until June 22, which marks the end of the academic year in most private schools and universities in Qatar.
Saudi academic Hatoon Al-Fassi, who teaches at Qatar University, told Arab News that the situation is still unclear.
“I woke up to this news… Do I need to pack up all my stuff?” she asked, adding that the only source of information is the government statement. She had not yet received a statement from the university.
The UAE and Bahrain have also banned their citizens from vising Qatar, and are demanding that residents there leave within 14 days.
The three Gulf countries have told Qataris to leave within the same period.
The Kingdom said the move is due to “security reasons and as a precautionary procedure,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Al-Fassi said she hoped things will become clearer in the next few days, or that there will be an extension of the 14-day period.
She pointed out that there are Saudis who are married to Qataris, and questioned what they and their children will do and whether they will be separated.
There is also ambiguity regarding people’s work and businesses. Al-Fassi wondered if people will be compensated for the expenses of moving country and getting new homes. “I see this as a nightmare at a people’s level, regardless of the dispute between countries,” she said.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry posted an infograph on its official Twitter account directed to the people of Qatar, describing it as “a letter of affection and love after severing relations with Qatar for our national security.”
The infograph states: “Saudi Arabia will remain supportive to the security and stability of the people of Qatar. Saudi Arabia is committed to providing services and Haj and Umrah facilitations to Qatari pilgrims.” It added that Qataris are “an extension to their siblings in Saudi Arabia.”

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