Project Title The challenges to national identity in the context of the blockade crisis among the Qatari youth
LPI Azzam Amin
PIs Nawaf Al Tamimi, Ashraf Abdelhay and Youssef Hasan
Collaborations Qatar University
Funding Source QNRF- National Priorities Research Programs
Project Start Year 2019
Status Ongoing
Project Website
Abstract The Gulf region witnessed serious political and social transformations caused by the Gulf crisis, after imposing a blockade on Qatar since the fifth of June 2017. The blockade was enforced by three Gulf States (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates) and Egypt. The scholarly literature holds that in contexts of conflict and struggle, national projects of belonging can be either strengthened or weakened (Coser 1956). Our research hypothesis here is that the blockade of Qatar has consolidated the sense of Qatari national identity and belonging and resulted in a strong form of social solidarity. The central point of the project is to understand the ways in which the perceived threat represented by the blockade and the shared social representations about the blockade of Qatar affect the collective self-esteem and national attachment, and how these effects transform the focus of the concept of identity on the personal, familial, tribal, social, and collective levels. It also examines these changes on the psychological, social, and linguistic levels as well as its evolution over time. The project has the following set of objectives: 1. Assess the effects of the Gulf crisis on the national identity of Qatari youth. 2. Identify the scale of the transformations effected by the blockade and how they are reflected in the socio-political system of values of the Qatari youth. 3. Inspect the ways in which social solidarity is symbolically manifested in the observed social space. 4. Characterize the reactions, feelings and attitudes of Qatari youth towards the blockade crisis. We aim to answer the following research questions: 1. How do Qatari youth perceive the blockade crisis? 2. What are the attitudes of the Qatari youth towards Gulf identity, Arab identity and Qatari national identity? 3. How can the educational process play an important and effective role in developing constructive attitudes in the Qatari national identity? We hope to influence the cultural and educational policies through the above-sketched outcomes and output. More concretely, we intend to contribute to the shaping of the formal cultural policy of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education to foster an education system oriented towards the promotion of national identity and citizen responsibilities. This social project of belonging, whether to the nation (as in the case of the Qatari citizens) or to the state (as in the case of the residents and the Qataris) is promoted through a complex of social norms and ethics, and one of the aims of this project to inspect this normative system as it is related to the question of Qatari national identity in the context of the blockade.