My Mideast Punchlines: from Midnight Excess to Midnight Express…

On August 20 last year, I wrote a blog entitled ‘why Qatar gets up my nose….’ In it, I wrote of the rumour that Hamas leader Khaled Maashal was about to be expelled from Qatar. Well, it looks as if it’s finally happening, folks. Mashall is expected to leave his base in the Qatari capital of Doha and relocate to Turkey, Turkish press reports indicated on Tuesday.

Qatar has reportedly been under pressure from the international community to cease serving as a host of organizations considered by the West to be terrorist groups. The ruling family in Doha has been accused of providing financial and political support to Hamas and other extremist groups in the Middle East.

Small FistSo Mashaal is finally getting up Qatar’s nose, and vice versa. Now he’ll be forced to quit his luxury 5-star hotel life in Doha, and head for Sultan Erdogan’s sumptuous Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. No doubt a harem will be made available to him by the Turkish ‘dictator’, as well as a wad of complimentary tickets for the Bosphorus waterbus services. Personally, I should have preferred to see Mashaal given 5-star treatment in Istanbul’s Four Season’s Hotel, a euphemism for the city’s  notorious Sultanahmet jail. I have a sneaking feeling that, if he upsets Erdogan, then that’s exactly where he’ll find himself. From Midnight Excess to Midnight Express. It couldn’t happen to a nicer fella.

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