Few would argue that channelling hard work and talent into building a good career and securing home ownership isn’t commendable. Yet something deep down tugs at the conscience for many for whom hard work and talent weren’t all there was. There was that time when, fired from that temp job or struggling under that artist internship, Mum shouted you lunch before slipping you a brown envelope containing two week’s rent, whispering ‘let’s not tell Dad about this.’ That next week Dad took you shopping for an interview outfit, assuaging your guilt with the words ‘keep this from Mum.’ Then, during the interview, the boss and yourself learnt you both went to the same school and made snide jokes about your ancient, socks-with-sandals-wearing Latin teacher – which probably helped you get the job. Last year, when you participated in that newspaper article celebrating young homeowner ‘good news’ stories, you failed to mention how Mum and Dad helped pay the loan deposit and acted as guarantors, which buffered you during the hit and miss first six months with the new baby and enabled you to make the monthly mortgage payments.
On June 5, Saudi Arabia and the UAE led several of their Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies in implementing a trade and travel blockade against Qatar. They claimed the small country, also a member of the bloc, was funding terror groups in the region and encouraging political instability through that and other means. Stian Overdahl, who writes frequently on issues related to the MENA region, outlines the background to the ongoing crisis, and whether he thinks the current stalemate can be broken to Sarah.