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Friday, June 12, 2020

Romantic ideas on a budget



Wazzup Pilipinas!

Meeting someone new is always an incredible feeling. Learning everything about them, understanding what makes them smile and laugh, and at the end of the day, wanting to show them how much you care about them. While some shower the people they love with flowers, romantic dinners or trips of a lifetime, that’s not always the most realistic route for all of us.

Despite popular belief, romantic gestures don’t have to rip a hole in your pocket and spending a large sum of money is not the only way to show someone you care. There are plenty of ways you can sweep your partner off their feet and truly enjoy your time together.

Candle Lit Dinner

A significant aspect of going out to fancy dinners is to enjoy the amazing food, but it’s also to be encapsulated by the ambience of the restaurant. The great thing about this is that dim lights, candles, flowers and soft music can all be easily brought and executed inside the comfort of your home. Create your romantic dinner date in your living room and jump online to find some great and simple dinner recipes to blow your partners socks off.

Buy an Adult Toy

Adult toys can be a lot cheaper than going on a romantic trip to Paris. However, it will surely take you to destinations you have not been before. When buying a sex toy, look for quality products like the ones they sell on noti. You are investing in personal pleasure for you and your partner that you can indulge in anywhere anytime.

Picnic

Picnics are an amazing way to make your partner feel extra special. Especially when you can both lie on a blanket and cuddle each other while eating delicious food. There isn’t a much better combination than that. Look for chips, dips, cheeses or meats and a beautiful view for you both to look over (if you can find something more beautiful than them). Sangria and chocolate-covered strawberries are a great addition and to top it all off, keep it a surprise!

Make Something

Gifts are a wonderful thing to give to someone to show how much you care for them, but gifts can get quite expensive. We often believe that material things like clothing, jewelry or watches will show your feelings, but making something for them can really show how much effort you are willing to put in to make them smile. You can bake something, make some art, make a puzzle or put a photo album together. Get creative!

At-Home Spa

We all get exhausted and from time to time we just want to relax. If you know your loved one is feeling this way, you can create an at-home spa for them. Draw them a bath, light some candles, give them a massage, prepare them dinner in bed and watch a movie until you both fall asleep. They’ll be so relaxed they won’t know what hit them.

Visit a Museum

Museums are a great way to learn something new and also enjoy some time out of the house together. Most museums have days where you can enter for free, so make sure to look up your local museum and enjoy a free day of education and beauty. You can even have some drinks beforehand to make it interesting.

Go Explore

Sometimes exploring new places is the best way to create amazing memories with each other. You can drive to a new town or city, go for a hiking adventure or even act like tourists in your home town. With this, you can experience new people and places, as well as learn more about each other. A win-win situation.

Karaoke Nights

If a bit of a party is what you are looking for, go out and find yourself a karaoke night. You can either watch amazing singers enjoy the spotlight or get some laughs out of watching someone do their best to hit the high notes of I’ll always love you by Whitney Houston. Either way, it’s an awesome experience and will ensure some great laughs. Make sure to have pre-drinks at home!

A romantic gesture doesn’t have to be an expensive one. Use some of the ideas above to create an amazing experience for you and your loved one!

Ross Del Rosario to Launch Wazzup Dog Food Truck


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Seriously, I've always hesitated to buy hotdogs knowing they are made from leftover meats and extenders. Thus, it has always been my last choice when ordering for food, but most of Filipinos would always cool spaghetti or "sopas" with hotdog as one of the "meat' ingredients.

So, it has always been a dream to make my own ideal hotdog that would give me the peace of mind. I do prefer it should be made with quality meat parts so my cravings will truly be satisfied.

Your Pambansang Blogger is soon to launch Wazzup Dog food truck - roaming around Metro Manila in a white van.

If you can't come to us, we'll come to you - to offer tasty gourmet hotdogs made not from leftover meat but from fresh and quality parts of pork, beef, and chicken!!!



We also have non-meat varieties in the works for our vegetarian friends who wants to remain fit and fab. Tofu, mushroom, banana peel, and more to come!

Never to forget the cheese, ketchup, and mustard, pickles, ..... plus your other choices of unlimited garnishing with many more to be added soon.

It's the ideal hotdog of your personal preference!

Tikman na ninyo ang hotdog ko. Mahaba, juicy at siguradong titrik ang inyong mga mata sa sarap, at sasabihin mong "Isa pa nga! One more time, sige pa, sige pa!"

Ayan na ang puting van! Balik-bayad kapag hindi kayo nasarapan.

Disclaimer: This is just a business concept. Not yet an immediate plan, but decided to put it up here to serve as a remembrance of this idea. Who knows, maybe I will do this in the near future.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Culinary Courier: Sheraton Manila Bay launch gourmet takeaways



Wazzup Pilipinas!

I'm sure many are missing dining out at their favorite restaurants and hotels. But since this Covid-19 pandemic is still posing a danger for everyone, many are settling for take-outs and deliveries. It's great news that many are already incorporating these options in offering their food so that we could still avail of their culinary delights, even if it means just eating them in the comfort of our own homes.



Sheraton Manila Bay is one of the hotels in the metro that now offers signature menus and local cuisine to go. Imagine ordering specialties to be conveniently delivered to our homes just in time for lunch or dinner. We get to taste their lip-smacking dishes while safe at home from the deadly virus.





I've had the opportunity to try some of their dishes, and I must say that we couldn't get enough of them. Though nothing beats eating at the lavish ambiance of the hotel, it is already satisfying to be able to fulfill some of our cravings for a good meal - from salad like their Mango Kani, to main meal like Pepper Roasted Pork Loin, and to dessert, or even a taste of their Ube Cheese Pandesal that is good not only for breakfast but anytime of the day.





Sheraton Manila Bay continues to be the world's gathering place as its seasoned culinary team assemble a delectable array of signature recipes, refreshing healthy options, and the comforting taste of authentic local cuisine to satiate diners and families at home.

Gourmet takeaways is available for pick-up daily from 9am to 6pm and will feature home-cooked goodness good for sharing, rice specialties, salads, pastas, sandwiches, breads, pastries and cakes. The home-cooked goodness selection includes Pot Roast Beef, Lengua Estofado, Pepper Roasted Pork Loin, Whole Spanish Roasted Chicken, and “Buchon” Pork Belly Roulade.










Power up with the tastiest and freshest sandwiches such as Beef Shawarma, Chicken Shawarma and our bestseller Pulled Pork A la Cubano. For healthy options, delight in a selection of four which include Mango Kani Salad, Vegan Aubergine Salad, Caesar Salad, and our new Caesar By The Bay.

Epicurean diners are in for a treat with Sheraton Gourmet Rice Box or Seafood Paella perfect to pair with side order of choice such as garlic mashed potato, ranch fries, rustic herb sautéed potatoes, Asian fried rice, and steamed rice. Foodies on the look-out for lighter variety may indulge in pasta specialties of Spaghetti Shrimp Scampi, Fettucine Carbonara, and Penne Puttanesca with Blackened Chicken.

Perfect for breakfast cravings are freshly baked Dark Chocolate Brownies, Homemade Banana Bread, Farmer’s Bread Loaf, Hand Crafted Doughnuts, Assorted Muffins, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Soft Rolls, Hard Rolls, and our newest creation Ube Cheese Pandesal. Make celebrations at home sweeter with pastries and cakes-to go including the hotel’s Signature Mango Tart, Dalgona Tiramisu, Dark Chocolate Supreme, and Mango Cheesecake.
Advance order is required. Please allow 45-minutes lead time for salad, sandwiches, pastas and rice dishes and 1-day lead time for breads, pastries, cakes, and home cooked goodness. Diners shall arrange pick-up with their courier of choice. Cash and credit card payments are accepted. The hotel will strictly implement a No Mask, No Pick-up Policy and has designated a pick-up point at the hotel main entrance canopy area to ensure social distancing measure are followed and health and safety precautions are met.

For a full listing of gourmet takeaways menu, please visit http://bit.ly/theculinarycouriermenu.
#DiscoverDeliciousDelivery and bring home the familiar Sheraton taste and flavors, from our kitchen to your tables. For orders, please call +632 5318 0788 or email sh.mnlsb.fnb@sheraton.com.

Sheraton Manila Bay is located at M. Adriatico cor. Gen. Malvar Streets, Malate, Manila. Like us on Facebook and Instagram @sheratonmanilabay and Twitter at @sheratonmnlbay.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

All the Anime Coming to Netflix in June 2020

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Every year is a prime year for the anime community. You never see a year where there have been more anime misses than hits. 

The year 2020 is the same for anime, despite the COVID-19 crisis acting as a roadblock for many anime studios, creators are still not letting us get our hopes down and have promised many new releases. 

Netflix has also jumped on the bandwagon and has promised viewers a few Netflix anime originals. 

But that’s not all. Some popular anime like The Seven Deadly Sins and Baki will be joining Netflix this summer 2020, as well. 

However, knowing the names of the anime titles coming to Netflix isn’t enough. Before you add any of these to your watch-list, make sure you are connected to a high-speed internet connection. 

If you reside in the U.S. and the buffering loop is a constant in all your streaming 
experiences, try getting the Cox unlimited internet by visiting here and it will bring a massive difference. 

Now back to the gist of our post, keep reading to find what anime are coming to Netflix and what other anime you can binge watch this summer. 

Anime Coming to Netflix in June 2020

 Baki: The Great Raitai Tournament Saga
 A Whisker Away 
 BNA

TBA Anime for Netflix
 The Seven Deadly Sins: Season 4
 Japan Sinks
 B The Beginning: Season 2
 Great Pretender 
 Aggretsuko: Season 3
 EDEN
 Pacific Rim 
 Spriggan 
 Dragon’s Dogma
 Yasuke
 Super Crooks
 Vampire in the Garden
 Magic the Gathering 

The Best Anime on Netflix Right Now

When it comes to anime, you don’t always have to stick to a certain genre. 

Ranging from Shonen series to eerie horror classics, there’s something for every anime lover out there. 

Rewind back to a few years ago, you find yourself relying on your local cable TV provider to air classics like Pokémon, Naruto and Bleach. 

But with the age of streaming hurling global viewers towards it, you don’t have to wait for the clock to strike 5 P.M. anymore. 

With Netflix, you get to choose from a wide repository of Netflix originals and acquired anime series.

If we start counting each and every anime series and movie that is on Netflix then it will surely be painstaking. 

We understand it can be daunting to add new titles to your summer watch-list. But don’t fret as we have compiled a list of all the noteworthy titles you should give 
a watch this summer 2020!

Dorohedoro 

Anything is possible in anime. Yes, anything. You find magical girls, demi-gods on earth and even devils working as part-timers fast food restaurants. Dorohedoro is the same. 

Caiman, a reptilian-human, doesn’t remember how he transformed into the creature he is now. He heads to a journey to salvage his original form and find the one who put him under this curse. 

The story takes comical and glum turns with hints of violence throughout the series. 

Violet Evergarden 

The most beautiful anime ever created. That is exactly what Violent Evergarden has been deemed as in the anime community. 

The Kyoto Animation anime secured a spot for itself on Netflix quite sooner than most anime. That’s not all. You can even watch the anime’s OVA special and movie – Eternity and the Auto Memory Doll – on Netflix. 

Neon Genesis Evangelion

Neon Genesis Evangelion is an international favorite. With numerous movie sequels to its name, the original anime series is irreplaceable. 

You don’t have to stream the original show 
anywhere else when you can stream it in HD on Netflix. Neon Genesis Evangelion is a classic but to all the Zoomers who are new to the anime realm, it might have been shrouded under mainstream titles. 

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

If we ever create a list of all the anime we don’t want to see a remake of, we will add Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood to the top. 

The anime’s prequel, Fullmetal Alchemist, gained equal popularity but wasn’t true to the manga. Upon completion of the manga, Brotherhood saw its release and turned more heads than its original counterpart. 

After all, the gripping and intense 
moments in Brotherhood bring you closer to each character which the 2003 anime series couldn’t confer. 

Bleach

Most of you must remember the ‘Big 3’ of the early 2000s and yes, Bleach was one of the Big 3 as we know today. The anime ended in 2012, a lot earlier than Naruto and One Piece. 

What’s weirder is that One Piece is still airing and even hardcore fans of the anime 
would’ve forgotten on which arc One Piece is on. Coming back to bleach, Netflix plans to stream all 16 seasons on the platform. 

So if you were looking for an anime worthy of binge-watching, you know what to 
choose now. 

Devilman Crybaby 

This one is not for the faint hearted. Devilman Crybaby will reminiscence you of 90s anime where explicit and graphic visuals weren’t often censored. Limiting the anime to a certain genre won’t make sense either. 

The anime has its scary moments, violent scenes and action sequences but nothing feels out of place. Devilman Crybaby’s production is executed impeccably and no scene feels out of place. 

One Punch Man

One Punch Man has earned itself a spot in the list of all-time mainstream anime. Saitama wasn’t all the more motivated to become a part-time hero until Genos came along. 

Despite being a C-Class hero, all it takes is one punch for Saitama to defeat the most notorious of villains. Now that One Punch Man Season 2 has reached Netflix, you can watch both the seasons without having to wait for weeks. 

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Magical anime girls but with a dark twist? Well count us right in. Puellla Magi Madoka Magica starts slow and after every scene, it feels as if it will be your typical magical girl anime but as thestory progresses, you are proven wrong. 

Sometimes what you wish for isn’t meant to make you happy. Madoka puts her life at stake to get her wish fulfilled. In turn, she becomes a magical girl but it’s not an easy start for her. It’s only the start of many dark encounters in Madoka’s life. 

All in all

Japanese animated movies and TV shows have gained worldwide fame. With the emergence of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu, you will might as well see more indie and popular titles joining these platforms very soon!

Speech of His Highness The Emir of Qatar at The Global Vaccine Summit 2020

Wazzup Pilipinas!



In the Name of God, the Most Merciful,
the Most Compassionate


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I extend my thanks and appreciation to Mr. Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, for organizing and hosting this important conference.

COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge and threat to all humanity at all levels. In the absence of an effective vaccine or cure, some countries and societies have found themselves faced with the choice between two options both of which are bitter to swallow: either to seek prevention by lockdowns that may cripple the economy, or put the lives of people at risk by opting not to sacrifice the economy. Some countries have chosen compromising solutions by combining continuing to coexist with the pandemic and fighting it at the same time.

This crisis has shown that there is no alternative to international cooperation and exchange of experiences, which necessitate the redoubling of the joint efforts to eliminate COVID-19 with effective vaccines and cures, and preparations for confronting new epidemics in the long run.

The State of Qatar has spared no effort to enhance the rapid response to counter the serious repercussions of the crisis, and has
promptly taken all preventive procedures and measures to reduce its impact, and protect the citizens and residents on its soil.

Based on human solidarity we have provided medical assistance to more than 20 countries around the world in terms of supplies of medical equipment and construction of field hospitals, in addition to providing 140 million U.S. dollar worth of financial contribution for multilateral health care institutions working to develop vaccines and this context, we call upon the international community to work jointly to ensure fairness in providing necessary medicines and medical equipment to all countries.

The State of Qatar reiterates its support to the World Health Organization (WHO) for its coordinating efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and to promote global readiness to confront infectious diseases in the future.

I would like to announce a new 20 million dollar pledge from the State of Qatar to “GAVI” alliance.

In conclusion, I reiterate my thanks to the United Kingdom for organizing this conference, hoping that it will achieve its desired objectives.
May the Peace, Mercy, and Blessings of God be upon you.

Best Surfing Spots in Asia



Wazzup Pilipinas!

The world’s largest and most diverse continent, Asia boasts thousands of awesome beaches and places to enjoy water sports. White sands, turquoise waters, friendly locals offering a cold coconut as you trudge back onto a palm strewn beach… Asia has so many spots that could be considered paradise. But where do you start?

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best places to surf in Asia. Hopefully, it will help you to plan your next trip at a surf spot to suit you.

Siargao, Philippines

First on the list of the best surf spots in Asia has to be Siargao. Located just north west of Mindanao, this teardrop shaped island is the surfing capital of the Philippines. Cloud 9 Beach in General Luna is the island’s top surf spots and while there are several surf camps and schools, it never feels overcrowded or too tourist-oriented. There is great cuisine and plenty to see on the island on days when you may need a break from the waves too. The best time to visit Siargao Island for surfers is from July to November.

San Juan la Union, Philippines

Another of the best surfing spots in the Philippines is San Juan La Union… more specifically, Urbiztondo Beach. Widely regarded as the cheapest place in the world to learn to surf, you can find lessons for as little as P400 per hour. It’s a great place to learn to surf, and while you’re at it, why not try surf paddleboarding too? The waves are soft and welcoming for beginners. The best time to surf in San Juan is between November to March. So you could easily spend a July to November in Siargao before hopping over to San Juan!

Kuta, Indonesia

The island of Bali is popular with pretty much every type of tourist and traveller. And it’s no surprise really! As well as its stunning beaches, many temples, and electric nightlife, Bali offers great surfing. One of the best surfing spots in Bali is Kuta Beach - especially for beginners as there are loads of surf schools. The only downside of Kuta is that it can get very crowded, but there are quieter spots on the beach that just take a little effort to find!

Uluwatu, Indonesia

If you’ve had a bit of experience, you can skip Kuta and its surf schools and head straight on to Uluwatu. Located at the very southwestern tip of Bali, Uluwatu offers barrel waves, beach breaks, and long swells. The best months to surf are from April to August. Aside from surfing, Uluwatu is a great place to enjoy local life in Indonesia away from the majority of holidaymakers. There are lots of picturesque sights to see too, including Uluwatu Temple, which sits over the waves atop a steep cliff.

Weligama, Sri Lanka

Literally translated into English as sandy village, Weligama is a mix of a fishing village and resort on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It’s another cheap place to learn to surf, which is great for beginners. The beach break isn’t a big one, but it’s enough to give a beginner a rush! While surfing is great here all year round, the best time is between November and March. Other awesome surfing spots in Sri Lanka include Galle and Arugam Bay.

Kuda Huraa, North Male Atoll

One of the most exclusive destinations in the world, the Maldives is made up of 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean. While it’s popular with honeymooners, a few surfers make it here too. Kuda Huraa has amazing breaker quality - quite the challenge for an intermediate surfer. Kuda Huraa’s only hotel is the Four Seasons - so you’ll need more cash than for some of the other destinations on this list. However, if you’ve got it, it’s worth every penny - especially if you visit during the surf season of April to October.

Kata Beach, Thailand

Phuket is one of Thailand’s legendary party towns, and it’s pretty great for surfing too. Kata Beach boasts a number of surf schools which can help beginners catch their first waves. However, it’s pretty good for intermediates too, thanks to a mix of rough swells and soft waves.

Bai Dai Beach, Vietnam

Vietnam is a very long country with a very long coastline. So, just imagine how much space you’ll have on the longest stretch of beach in Vietnam! Bai Dai Beach in Nha Trang is one of the top tourist destinations in the country, and where the Vietnamese rich and famous spend their holidays. Nevertheless, surfing lessons with English speakers can be had for as little as $25 with board rental another 10. Best time to visit is between September and April.

Enoshima, Japan

While you might associate Japan with ultra-modern technology, bullet trains, and awesome food, surfing might not be on your radar. However, there are some incredible places to surf within an hour of Tokyo. Yes, really! Start your Japanese surfing in Enoshima, where there are loads of surf schools. If you’re happy to go further from the capital Tokyo, head to the Irino Coast. Not only is it great for surfing, but it’s also one of the most beautiful beaches in Japan!

Final Thoughts on the Best Surfing Spots in Asia

There you have it. Those are ten of the best surf spots across Asia. Since they’re all located in different countries, there’s something to suit different tastes, budgets, and travel styles. For more news, information and travel tips on Asia (and especially the Philippines) check out Wazzup Pilipinas.

DMCI Homes offers healthy condo building designs



Wazzup Pilipinas!

Long before a "new normal" lifestyle came about because of the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), health experts around the world had advocated for a change in living conditions to reduce the risk of contracting diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) for one has long underscored the importance of natural ventilation in living spaces to reduce lung-related illnesses by up to 20%.

WHO in its website states that buildings should have adequate ventilation to improve indoor air quality and reduce risks posed by trapped or stale air which include allergies and asthma to name a few.

Good thing for DMCI Homes’ unit owners, half the work has already been done with their condo units that are designed to maximize the benefits of natural air and sunlight.

As early as in the late 2000s, the Quadruple A developer had started implementing a design technology for high-rise buildings that allows sunlight and cross ventilation inside condominium units.

This design innovation called Lumiventt® Design Technology - from the words “lumen” meaning light and “ventus” meaning wind - takes advantage of natural light and air by having three-story high openings dubbed as Sky Patios as entry points to make this possible.

With this design technology, natural light and air enters the sides of the building and pass through landscaped atriums which are built in every five floors of the building.

Winds passing through and around the structures with the help of breezeways and vents in both sides of the building create areas of positive and negative pressure thereby supplying fresh air to the units while pushing stale or hot air outside of the structure.

Coupled with meticulous placement of doors, windows, and balconies for the unobstructed flow of air and sunlight throughout the units, the build-up of moisture, odors and harmful gases are minimized resulting to long-term health benefits for building occupants.

It also helps that most DMCI Homes condominium units have an open-space layout. This free-flowing and functional design means the building requires less walls and dividers, which in turn encourages air and natural light to flow within.

With regular cleaning and disinfection, condo-dwellers get to have all these health benefits while enjoying a comfortable and relaxing vacation lifestyle in all DMCI Homes condominium units.

Monday, June 8, 2020

To The New Arab: Kuwaiti efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis continue



Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Qatari Assistant Foreign Minister and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lolwa Al-Khater, affirmed the continuation of Kuwaiti efforts to resolve the Gulf crisis, reiterating Qatar's position, which is always welcome to heal the rift, as long as this is within the framework of mutual respect between countries and within the framework of international legitimacy.

In response to questions from The New Arab, via e-mail due to the precautionary measures taken to confront Corona, Al-Khater said, "The siege countries that have caused the crisis are continuing to create more other crises, perhaps because they believe that what they created of instability was not faced strictly by the international community”.

At a time when Al-Khater did not disclose the content of what was carried by the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Nasser Al-Muhammad Al-Sabah during his recent visit to Qatar, within the framework of Kuwaiti mediation to resolve the Gulf crisis, Al-Khater reiterated the State of Qatar’s adherence to the conditional dialogue on certain foundations and pillars to solve the Gulf crisis, the most important of which is mutual respect that Preserves the sovereignty of states and ensures that independence of decisions is not infringed.

Al-Khater also denied again the desire of the State of Qatar to withdraw from the Gulf Cooperation Council and said that "talking about any withdrawal of the State of Qatar from the Gulf Cooperation Council is just rumors circulated recently by people, perhaps because there is a state of restlessness on the popular level of the feasibility and effectiveness of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s organs with regard to the continuation of the Gulf crisis which entering its fourth year”.

The following is the text of the interview of The New Arab with the Qatari official:

The Gulf crisis is entering its fourth year ... has it become an unavoidable reality?

- Since the beginning of the crisis, the State of Qatar indicated that the siege countries are trying to normalize this crisis, making the current situation and its consequences from separating joint families, obstructing and preventing Hajj and Umrah from the Qataris, and other unlawful practices, as a normal and natural matter, but the same countries that caused the crisis continue to create more other crises, perhaps because they believe that the instability they created was not faced strictly by the international community. Despite the fact that the crisis is a reality we live in, the State of Qatar has exceeded its consequences on several levels, and what remains of concern to us is the rupture of the social fabric of the Gulf society and the repercussions of the crisis on the collective security of the region.

It is known that a dialogue was held between Qatar and Saudi Arabia to resolve the crisis, which ended suddenly at the beginning of this year from the Saudi side. What is the point at which the dialogue stopped? Are there results achieved?

- As you know, the State of Qatar has always called for dialogue to resolve this crisis, as dialogue is an integral part of the State of Qatar’s diplomacy and its approach. It is the country that managed to achieve an agreement to bring peace to Afghanistan, which we hope will be a beginning on the right path for the brotherly Afghan people. Is it possible that we work to solve the problems of other countries through diplomatic channels, and then we do not make this our approach to preserving the unity of the Gulf Cooperation Council? However, it must also be said that this dialogue is conditional on certain foundations and pillars, the most important of which is the mutual respect that preserves the sovereignty of states and ensures that there is no infringement on the independence of decisions. It is worth mentioning that stopping the dialogue was not from our side. Today, there are appreciated efforts lead by the sisterly State of Kuwait, our response, as before, was positive in the direction of returning to the path of dialogue, in accordance with a set of principles that the State of Qatar has affirmed on more than one occasion.


Kuwaiti Efforts:

There has been circulation of information recently about the desire of the siege countries to reach a solution to the Gulf crisis, has any contact been made with Doha on this matter?

- Yes, there was a visit by the Kuwait Minister of Foreign Affairs to the State of Qatar in Ramadan, during which he conveyed the continuous efforts of the Emir of the brotherly state of Kuwait to resolve the crisis, and an exchange of views took place between officials in this context. We affirmed our always-welcome position to heal the rift as long as this was within the framework of mutual respect between States, and within the framework of international legitimacy.


The Kuwait Foreign Minister visited Doha this May. Does this visit signal the resumption of Kuwaiti mediation efforts to solve the Gulf crisis?

- The brotherly state of Kuwait has spared no effort since the first day of the Gulf crisis in an attempt to resolve this crisis and bring views closer. We communicate with the brotherly state of Kuwait in this regard; cooperation and coordination are ongoing and have never been interrupted. In this context, we affirm that the State of Qatar responded every time there was an initiative or invitation from His Highness the Emir of the State of Kuwait, at all levels, even at the grassroots level, as we will not forget the call of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad from the National Assembly to a commitment to the ethical approach in speech. Therefore, the response of the State of Qatar was immediate through a number of official statements that emphasized this approach.


What is new that the Kuwait minister carried regarding ending the Gulf crisis? What is the nature of the Qatari response to it?

- The unremitting Kuwaiti efforts from the beginning were always looking for common spaces and this is not specifically related to this visit. On the one hand, the State of Qatar, our assertion has always been linked to the higher interest of the region as a whole, and to the security of its people. We have repeatedly stressed during the past three years that all of these differences have channels through which they can be resolved, and build on common areas without violating international and regional laws and customs, and the privacy and sovereignty of each country. The State of Qatar remains welcome in the efforts of dialogue within these frameworks.


Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC):

Is one of the options for Qatar to withdraw from the Gulf Cooperation Council, in order to close the file of the Gulf crisis? Did Qatar really waved this option?

- Talking about any withdrawal of the State of Qatar from the Gulf Cooperation Council is just rumors circulated recently by people, perhaps because there is a state of restlessness at the popular level regarding the feasibility and effectiveness of the organs of the Gulf Cooperation Council regarding the continuation of the Gulf crisis and its entry into the fourth year. There is no doubt that activating the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council is a necessity that is not only Gulf but regional, this activation requires looking at the challenges facing the Council

Seriously, honestly and aware of the critical historical stage the region is going through, it’s good to note the technical cooperation that is currently present in the crisis of Covid-19 between the ministries of health in the GCC countries. Such circumstances may be a reminder to everyone that cooperation is more beneficial than nihilistic discord. In this context, we commend the statement of the Secretary of the Gulf Cooperation Council that the Council faces unprecedented challenges that require collective thinking and joint action.

Has there a solution to the crisis in the social aspect and the family relations extended between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council?

- This crisis has torn apart the ties of extended Gulf families, making it difficult and even nearly impossible for family members to communicate with each other as before. Traditionally, Qataris travel on holidays to greet their families and vice versa, this became almost impossible with the current situation. In addition, the inflammatory media discourse greatly violated this social structure, so we fear that the new generation, which has not experienced moments of cooperation between the GCC states, will forget what the historical, religious and social unity among the people of the region means. Here, we affirm that we are continuing the approach and directions of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, which has always emphasized authentic Islamic and Arab values ​​and principles, and not to focus on the issues of the homeland, but rather support all just Arab, Islamic and humanitarian issues.


Are there Qatari detainees in detention, in light of the crisis in any of the siege countries?

- There are many reports of the National Human Rights Committee in the State of Qatar showing various violations, the most recent of which was the report issued recently on the third anniversary of the siege. We also recall the report of the technical committee of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in which it monitored all violations, and confirmed that the nature of the measures taken was not limited to the government in the State of Qatar, but rather systematically affected its citizens.


Legal cases are continuing:

What about the issues that the State of Qatar has submitted against the siege countries and the demands regarding compensation resulting from the siege damages ... Is there anything new in this regard?

There are a number of cases pending in several international bodies, some of which represent the State of Qatar and some of them represent the private parties affected in the State of Qatar, including for example the crime of piracy of BN Sports channels, not mentioning the thousands of those affected economically as a result of preventing them from accessing their property and rights in the countries Concerned. According to the Qatar National Human Rights Committee, there are about 10 thousand cases related to compensation and more than 4000 cases that were brought before international jurisdiction. In this context, we recall that the International Court of Justice approved in July 2018 the requests of the State of Qatar to implement a number of interim measures, such as the right to litigate and the inclusion of joint families and to allow students to enter the UAE until the decision of the case brought by the State of Qatar. This is an implicit acknowledgment of the occurrence of violations against Qatari citizens, especially since the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has documented many violations in its report on the Gulf crisis. State of Qatar continues to follow the legal path before international organizations and bodies to restore the rights of Qatari Citizens, those affected by the procedures of the siege countries, believing in international law, conventions and international treaties to which the State of Qatar is bound by them.


The trick of the weak:

How would you describe the ongoing social bot attacks on Qatar on social media, which almost never stop, and what messages do the siege countries want to deliver?

- Most people have taken good notice that this cyberspace will constitute an alternative space for people of opinion and thought, and other peoples, away from the influence of governments, transcontinental companies, and capital that only reflects material values ​​and does not necessarily reflect today's human challenges. This matter has taken a new direction not only in the Gulf crisis, although it is one of its heights, but in many other regions in the world.

We began to see the manipulation of public opinion through electronic armies and the transmission of falsehood as a fact, and the artificial and poisoned values ​​as an organic and natural product of society while millions of dollars are paid behind it for some companies that specialized in directing public opinion and not reflecting the facts as they are.

It is striking that what happened during the crisis from the exploitation of electronic armies and from the cyber intrusions behind the countries of the crisis was found in the front pages of the global media, as it interfered with a number of political files in those countries. The reader also does not miss that "Facebook and Twitter" both announced the closure of thousands of accounts belonging to these countries. Despite all these attempts to overturn the facts, but it does not go beyond being a distraction to the people from what is more important or covering other problems. On the other hand, these cyber attacks are a trick for the weak when they cannot use logic or etiquette of dialogue.


Are there indications that the current year will witness the fold of the Gulf crisis, or is it still too early to say?

- The endeavors remain, and if there is a new thing in the matter, it will be announced in time.


Corona crisis:

We have not seen any cooperation between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Corona virus crisis, except for a meeting of health ministers in the Gulf states that prevented the Qatari Minister of Health from attending it, and remote meetings that citizens in the Arab Gulf countries did not touch their results, do you think that the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council has ended?

- Although the technical cooperation that existed in the Corona crisis could have reached more effective horizons, we do not want to reduce these existing efforts especially that some technical committees continue to coordinate at different levels, for example meetings and coordination between ministries of labor. The State of Qatar will never be a reason to block any of these efforts or attempts to politicize it, and this is what we hope to see from others.


Qatar assistance:

Qatar provides assistance to many countries to cope with the outbreak of the Corona virus, this assistance has been appreciated by these countries. How large was this aid and how many countries were sent to it, and what messages did Qatar want through the provision of this aid?

- In implementation of the directives of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the country - may God protect him - and the belief of the State of Qatar in the global responsibility and obligations, the State of Qatar was quick to provide urgent medical assistance that countries and medical teams need, in order to contain and control the pandemic outbreak. Qatar Fund for Development provided this urgent medical assistance to 21 brotherly and friendly countries, the volume of this support amounted to about 200 tons transported by Qatar Airways, which in turn transported more than 1.8 million persons stuck due to the closure of most of the world's airports to their home countries. Qatar Airways also provided 100,000 free tickets to health workers around the world, and provided an estimated 30% discount for shipping medical and humanitarian materials to everyone who wants to transport such materials. State of Qatar has donated two field hospitals to Italy. There is also ongoing cooperation with NATO to transport medical and humanitarian supplies to a number of countries in need, the United Kingdom is also involved with NATO in this process. One of the paradoxes in this context is that the State of Qatar is making all these efforts and its national carrier fly through the world to relief different countries at a time when the siege countries have tried to isolate it and impose restrictions on its airspace.

These restrictions have already prolonged these trips and increased the costs. Would it not have been more beneficial for the crisis countries to cooperate with us to support these efforts instead of restricting them? The State of Qatar does not live in isolation from the rest of the world, we believe that the responsibility lies with all of us, especially in times of crisis. Therefore, it is important to make all possible efforts to reduce the consequences of crises and its negative impact on countries and peoples.


How do you see the international relations after the Corona pandemic crisis, do we need in the Arab countries and the Gulf Cooperation Council a new approach in this regard?

- The whole world after the Corona virus is not the same as before it, and this includes the Gulf Cooperation Council, but it is still too early to say for sure what these changes are. In general, the State of Qatar has repeatedly called for the need to reconsider the system of joint Arab action and the importance of a political contract and a new security perception that lays down a set of constants and lays definitions of important questions, foremost of which is the concept of danger and what are the threats that continue to pervert in the structure of the Arab state collective level.

As for the level of international relations, this pandemic revealed the structural problems of the international system and multilateral organizations, which were always emphasized by His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar in his recent speeches to the United Nations General Assembly, and despite the skepticism of many in the effectiveness of multilateral action, the current crisis has demonstrated that the nature of our modern and interconnected world in its systems necessitates the existence of this joint collective action, as one part of the world cannot survive this pandemic without the other part. The question remains: How can we turn this ordeal into a grant that will cause us to restructure this global system in the interest of man?



Doha - Anwar Al-Khatib

In the Gulf, political disputes prevail over the needs of the people



Wazzup Pilipinas!

Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohamed bin Abdel Rahman Al-Thani looks back on the crisis with Saudi Arabia and its allies, three years after it started, and says he is ready "to discuss a long-term solution".

Since June 5, 2017, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have placed Qatar, which they accuse of complacency with regard to the Islamists and Tehran, under diplomatic and economic embargo. On the occasion of the three years of this crisis, Mohamed bin Abdel Rahman Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the emirate, reflects on the consequences, at a time when all the countries of the Gulf are confronted with the epidemic of Covid -19.

Last fall, we saw some signs of relaxation between the players in the Gulf crisis. And then this rapprochement ceased. Where are we today?

Unfortunately, the efforts of the past year have not worked, although there has been progress. It seems that the other side did not want to engage in real negotiations. However, mediation efforts by the Emir of Kuwait and the United States continue. We remain ready to discuss a long-term solution, as long as it does not infringe on our sovereignty and does not violate international law. But it must be understood that this crisis was manufactured from scratch, with a smear and propaganda campaign against Qatar, which had no justification and continues to this day. If there has been no breakthrough in the negotiations, it is because the fabricated aspect of the crisis has never been recognized.

The United States is working to resolve the air aspect of the crisis, by pushing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to reopen their skies on Qatar Airways aircraft. How determined is Washington?

No progress has been made yet. But we remain in close contact with the Americans. This story has been illegal from the start. Our case is before the International Criminal Court and the International Civil Aviation Organization and we hope to recover our airspace.

In the debate on the next world, what is Qatar's position? What must be changed so that a health crisis like the one we have gone through does not repeat itself?

No country can feel safe anymore, this is the novelty. Previous epidemics, like those of SARS, had not really spread to regions other than those in which they had emerged. But the Covid-19 pandemic has reached all of us. So the first lesson from this crisis is that every country in the world needs a resilient health system that can cope. Second, there is a need to strengthen multilateralism and international cooperation, to ensure that countries have a unified platform for exchanging views and experience. Finally, we must guarantee the protection of supply chains, so that we can meet our domestic needs, but also the needs of other countries.

Can the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, the cooperation structure of the six monarchies of the Arabian Peninsula) overcome the divisions of its members to help them cope with the post-Covid economic crisis?

The blockade of Qatar damaged the GCC. We hoped that in this period of global crisis, wisdom would prevail and that the challenges we faced would revive regional cooperation. Unfortunately, the GCC remains paralyzed. During the pandemic, a meeting of the health ministers of its member countries was organized in Riyadh. Unfortunately, our minister was not allowed to fly to Riyadh until the meeting ended. This shows a lack of seriousness to deal with the crisis. Political disputes prevail over the needs of our peoples. The blockade mentality is stronger.

With a view to the 2022 football world cup to be held on its territory, Qatar has repeatedly promised the abolition of the Kafala (the system that chains migrant workers in the Gulf to their employers). But despite progress, the effective revocation of this system is still pending ...

We have made a lot of progress in the area of workers' rights. We are completely abolishing the Kafala.

Workers no longer need to obtain an exit visa to travel. But the certificate of no objection is still required, and without this document migrants cannot change jobs freely ...

Migrants who want to change jobs and who are illegally refused by their employer can appeal to the labor claims office. The lifting of the no objection certificate should be in place soon and a minimum wage will soon be introduced.

What lessons can we learn from the fiasco of Khalifa Haftar, this dissident Libyan marshal, who has just lost the battle of Tripoli, against the forces of the national agreement government of Faïez Sarraj?

We say, since the Skhirat agreement in 2015, that the conflict in Libya must be resolved by a political process and not by coups and military aggression. Haftar has always preferred violence. He is only interested in the political process when he looses a round, only to come back in force. If there is a lesson to be learned, it is that the international community must comply with the political process, within the framework of international law and UN resolutions. Doing so would have saved many Libyan lives and saved the country’s significant resources.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may announce the annexation of part of the West Bank in July. This project is almost unanimously criticized. But there is no agreement on how to react. What do you recommend?

We reject this initiative, which amounts to planting the last nail in the coffin of the peace process. The annexation of these territories will bury any possibility of settling the conflict in the future. The security, economic and social implications will be catastrophic for the entire region. Many states share this position. But the reality is that we do not see agreement among the international community on how to enforce this position. It’s something as old as the Israeli occupation.

Qatar welcomed the signing of a historic peace agreement between the United States and the Afghan Taliban in February. Since then, several attacks have taken place in the country. What can be done to preserve this treaty which seems to be on the verge of collapse?

There is no collapse. This agreement has always been seen as a first step. True peace will only come when the Kabul government on the one side and the Taliban on the other speak together. We hope that this inter-Afghan dialogue will start soon.




By BENJAMIN BARTHE

Le Monde
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