The Limits of Modern Traditionalism
This chapter explores the limits and implications of modern traditionalism in contemporary Qatar, how it enriches certain populations to the detriment of others. Because modern traditionalism is intended to fortify national identity, it may inadvertently sustain some of the social conditions it was designed to alleviate. Elite Qataris employ modern traditionalism for their own purposes and in ways the state does not necessarily intend. For other populations, there are limits to the narrative’s potential to address contemporary life in Doha. While there are signs of progress, Qatar’s leaders systematically restrict basic forms of expression. This includes censorship of independent news outlets, arresting journalists, and shuttering the Doha Centre for Media Freedom. Regardless, many Qatari citizens are optimistic about the nation’s future.
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