'98% citizens happy with govt performance during siege' Feb 27, 2018 0 926 12345 QNADohaAbout 98 percent of Qatari nationals are satisfied with the government's performance during the ongoing blockade, while 88 percent believe that Qatar will be able to withstand this crisis for many years, a study by Qatar University (QU) revealed on Monday.The study was conducted in November 2017 through telephone interviews. A random sample of 889 Qatari nationals (18 years old and above), who are currently in Qatar, provided their points of view about Qatar's siege from a legal, political, economic and social perspective."The study provided a realistic analysis on the economic, social and political reality in Qatar after the unjust blockade. The announcement of the study's results in transparent manner shows that Qatari society lives in an atmosphere of pure freedom," QU President Dr Hassan al Derham said.As per the study, about 84 percent of Qatari nationals were positive about Qatar's business and trading environment, noting that the sentiment had improved compared to the feedback received during a study in January 2016. The expectations of Qatari citizens regarding the future of business and trading in Qatar were higher (96 percent) after the siege as compared to 72 percent before the siege. The study showed that 77 percent of Qatari nationals consider that there are many investment opportunities and 34 percent are planning to start an entrepreneurial project.It revealed that 31 percent of Qataris consider that the product prices are not high as against 27 percent who felt that they had gone up.About 88 percent of Qatari nationals say the quality of products in Qatar are very high, while 71 percent are positive about their availability. FROM the social perspective, the study noted that 75 percent of citizens have relatives in the siege countries, which highlights the deep social, religious and cultural bonds in the Gulf. While 70 percent of citizens were not able to see their relatives since the beginning of the crisis, 69 percent were able to meet their relatives in Qatar.It also observed that 52 percent of Qatari nationals were able to connect with their relatives in siege countries through telephone calls while 20 percent connected with them through WhatsApp and 10 percent did not connect at all, which reflects the negative impact of the siege on social and familial relations.Additionally, 47 percent of citizens confirmed that their relations with their relatives did not change despite the siege, while 26 percent said their relations have deteriorated. The study said this is due to the actions taken by the siege countries against Qatar such as cutting off the social relations that formed the basis for the rapprochement of countries. This played a role in destroying the social harmony and destabilising relations.The study further revealed that 67 percent of Qatari nationals consider it important to live in a democratic country. These results show an improvement as they doubled since a recent study conducted a few months prior to the siege put the figure at 34 percent.About 90 percent of Qatari nationals are interested in watching the news to get acquainted with the daily progress on the crisis.About 62 percent of Qatari nationals feel that Qatar should achieve full independence of regional alliances, which highlights the lack of trust in the regional environment. In this context, 86 percent of Qatari citizens feel that Qatar should explore alliance opportunities with new countries in the region.Meanwhile, the percentage of Qatari adults with a mobile phone is 98 per cent.