“There was a time when most French couldn’t place Qatar on a map. Now, Qatar – a small Gulf state with marginal ties to French culture – is a member of an international Francophone organization. Some have raised eyebrows at Qatar’s new Francophone identity since it has just expelled the director of a secular French lycée from its borders………….. Qatar became a Francophone country with a blink of an eye. Without fulfilling any of the conditions to become part of the organization, the IOF gladly obliged the emir’s request and officially inducted Qatar as a full “member-state” last month. This caused quite an uproar within the IOF and the French media, especially in light of the fact that Qatar was immediately accepted as member-state, without having to go through the “observer” stage that many of the new inductees had to go through. Some news sources reported that Qatar “created a pressure group within the IOF – particularly among some African countries – to support its membership bid.” Meanwhile, frustrated IOF officials pointed out that Qatar was not even a Francophone country to begin with to deserve directly becoming a member-state.…………..”
I believe that the languages spoken by an overwhelming majority of people in Qatar are Hindi and Urdu and Bengali (with some Tagalog and Persian and Pashtu). That is because some 80% or so of the people in Qatar are foreigners and a majority of these are Asians who are not speakers of Arabic (or French for that matter). Clearly the Qataris, who are focusing on investments in France, have bought themselves an undeserved but quick membership in the Francophone group. I wouldn’t b surprised to see the Al-Nahayan brothers who own and rule the United Arab Emirates (UAE) decide to join the Francophone group: they also have an overwhelming majority of Asians who do not speak Arabic. And they also have deep pockets.
Come to think of it: an overwhelming majority of people who live on the southwestern shores of the Persian Gulf are not Arabic speakers. How does the Indian Gulf sound to you? How does the United South Asian Emirates sound to you? How does the South Asian Gulf Cooperation Council sound to you?
Question: will we soon have French-ified names and titles for our Gulf potentates? Will Qatar be rule by L’Emir Hamad 1er? Will Bahrain be ruled by Le Roi Hamad WTF? Will Abu Dhabi be ruled be Les Frères Al-Nahayan? Better yet, will Saudi Arabia be ruled by Le Roi Abdullah et Le Dauphin Salman?
Finally: how does one say WTF en Français?