Only 27% of Americans see Qatar as ‘US friend or ally’: Arab News / YouGov poll

Updated 06 August 2017
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Only 27% of Americans see Qatar as ‘US friend or ally’: Arab News / YouGov poll

LONDON: Just 27 percent of Americans consider Qatar a friend or ally to the US, while many associate Doha with accusations of terror financing, an Arab News/YouGov poll has found.
The survey of 2,263 US citizens, conducted in July, also found that 31 percent of Americans consider Qatar to be unfriendly toward or an enemy of their country, while 43 percent either do not know or are unsure about how to classify the relationship with Doha.  
The Arab News/YouGov poll on how the US views the Qatar crisis was carried out to mark the 60 days since the start of the diplomatic rift between Doha and its Arab neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
It found that 71 percent of Americans are aware, to various extents, of the diplomatic row. It also found that those who are aware have a good understanding of the reasons behind the crisis, with 67 percent correctly identifying that Qatar had been accused of supporting terror groups and meddling with the internal affairs of regional countries.
“Two months into the crisis, and given the US government’s keenness to mediate, it was important to gauge the sentiment of the American people with regard to this issue,” said Faisal J. Abbas, editor in chief of Arab News.
Stephan Shakespeare, CEO of YouGov — the globally renowned online polling company — noted that the American public “is not usually characterized by its high interest in foreign affairs, rather the opposite. However, this latest poll shows the current tensions between Qatar and its neighbors is gaining some significant attention.”
The poll also sought to measure public opinion regarding the US military base in Qatar. The Al-Udeid air base currently hosts more than 11,000 American soldiers. However, 49 percent of Americans say they are unsure if it is best for the base to remain there, while 20 percent thought that it should be moved somewhere else. Only 31 percent said the base should remain in Qatar.
The study also revealed several findings regarding the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera news network. At one point during the crisis the Anti-Terror Quartet (ATQ) — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt — called for a shutdown of the network over its editorial guidelines, which allegedly permitted terror-related content.
According to the Arab News/YouGov poll, more than six in 10 Americans are aware of Al Jazeera — but many of those have negative perceptions of it. Half believe that Al Jazeera has a negative influence on the US image abroad. A majority of those with an opinion on the matter also believe the network gives a platform to terror groups linked to Osama bin Laden — with 44 percent agreeing with that statement, and only 18 percent saying the opposite. The rest of the US respondents — 38 percent — were unsure.
When asked about their general perceptions of Qatar, the poll found that 50 percent did not have enough information.
Of those who did, the greatest proportion of US citizens — 34 percent — associate Qatar with accusations of terror financing, compared to just 16 percent who cited the Gulf state’s controversial hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

• For full report and related articles please visit : YouGov Qatar Poll


Egypt’s ‘beach of death’ claims its latest victim

A photo taken on September 9, 2017 shows a river boat sailing in the Nile past the Temple of Luxor in the eponymous southern Egyptian city. (AFP)
Updated 21 min 42 sec ago
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Egypt’s ‘beach of death’ claims its latest victim

  • About 1.5 million people visit the waterfront during the holiday seasons
  • The beach has 23 lifeguards, two supervisors and three jet-ski operators to cover a 1,850-meter stretch of beach

CAIRO: No one knows the reason for the high number of drowning cases in Palm Beach, Alexandria — a popular city waterfront that some have called the “beach of death.”
More than 20 people have drowned at the beach in recent months, with two deaths in the past week.
The latest victim, 27-year-old Ibrahim Saad Ahmed, was a worker from Egypt’s Dakahlia province.
Ahmed’s father said that his son was swept away by the strong current and drowned.
A student drowned at the same beach late last week, but his body has not been recovered.
Palm Beach, which was built by Egypt’s armed forces as a resort for its officers, “is one of Alexandria’s most beautiful beaches, but it is the most dangerous,” according to Salma Al-Jundi, a doctor who owns an apartment there.
Ahmed Essam, an engineering student and a member of the association that runs the beach, has called for an increase in the number of lifeguards as well as warning signs on suitable hours for swimming.
Some vacationers swim at times when swimming is prohibited, such as dawn and after sunset.
Essam believes that the large number of drowning cases can be explained by the fact that many beachgoers are not Alexandrians, and are less experienced swimmers.
Meanwhile, officials at the beach deny there is a problem. Brig. Mahmoud Abdel Hamid, a member of the board of directors of the October 6 Association, which runs Palm Beach, said that about 1.5 million people visit the waterfront during the holiday seasons.
The association is committed “to providing all means of safety,” he said.
The Palm Beach administration posted news of the recent drowning cases on its Facebook page, and urged people to swim only during allotted times.
The Alexandria governorate also issued a warning, with the governor, Sultan Sultan, saying he would consider closing the beach after the rise in the number of drownings.
The beach has 23 lifeguards, two supervisors and three jet-ski operators to cover a 1,850-meter stretch of beach. They work from 8 a.m. to sunset.