Friday, 18 May 2018

Nawaf Bin Talal Al-Rasheed: The Qatari poet and my classmate who was kidnapped by KSA from Kuwait because of his last name

On May 12th, 2018 my colleague in Economic and Social History of Muslim World class has been arrested in Kuwait and extradited to Saudi Arabia although he arrived to Kuwait with a Qatari passport. This get weirder as we explain all the considerations of this extradition as it’s not normal at all and to be more precise it’s a conspired kidnap

My classmate
Nawaf Bin Talal Al-Rasheed is a tall guy with a very distinguished Hai ‘Lian accent. This accent led me to discover who he is first day I attended my Economic and Social History of Muslim World class in Qatar University as I looked up the names of students in my class and I was able to identify that he is the Emir Nawaf Bin Talal Al- Rasheed son of the late poet Talal Al-Rasheed since I am very aware of the history of his Family. He is a very humble guy and well mannered. He doesn’t have any political opinions. Only a young poet with no interests in politics who is loved by his tribe, family and friends. He wasn't a member of any oppositions. I remember the last thing I was seeing him excited about is the fact that the Mocha coffee was originated from the Arabic name of Mocha port in Yemen. Nawaf was supposed to graduate this June, few weeks from now but this apparently won’t be happening soon because the House of Saud doesn’t want so. 

His Family
Nawaf Bin Talal is a member of House of Al-Rasheed from Shammar (the largest Arabian tribe est. 12M people). Al-Rasheed is a historic Arabian House and the rulers of the Emirate of Jabal between 1836 and 1921. Nawaf possess the tittle of ‘Emir’ even though it’s not an official tittle but at least amongst Shammar, he is an Emir. 
 There is a historical rivalry between House of Saud and House of Al-Rasheed. Ever since the fall of Emirate Jabal Shammar in  Hai’l, House of Saud are linked to several assassinations to members of House of Al-Raheed as well as dropping the nationality of some like the case of the late Talal Bin Mohammed Al-Rasheed.
Nawaf is half Qatari and half Saudi as his family’s mother side are from Qatar. In 2014, Nawaf moved enrolled in in College of Arts and Science in Qatar University . Nawaf holds dual citizenship the Qatari and Saudi. This was before the current on going GCC crisis in 2017 which defeats the claims by Saudi Twitterbots that he moved to Qatar after the crisis. 

The jinx dinner
Nawaf Bin Talal Al-Rasheed was invited to a feast on his honor by the poet Abdelkarim Aljabbary who is a member of Kuwait’s Shammar. He accepted the invitation and traveled to Kuwait  on May 9th  many of his friends and tribe members traveled with him from Doha as well. He was welcomed there in the airport and there were no signs of security arrests. Nawaf was welcomed like a king by thousands of Shammar’s tribe. He was welcomed by everyone due to the prestigious place that Al-Rasheed’s family holds. Even Faisal Hmoud Al Malek Al-Sabah a member of Kuwait's ruling family and the governor of Al Farwaniyah Governorate (where the feast took place). Several visits in 3 days to Shammar’s sheikhs and dancing with swords with people from his tribe as they welcomed him and time to head back to Doha has arrived since he had an exam on Sunday May13th 2018 in Qatar University. Nobody actually knew more than what his family and friends stated on Twitter that Nawaf has been stopped by National Security of Kuwait as he was trying to board to his flight to Doha.


Conspiracy and betraying guests? Not so Arab. 
Next day, Badar Bin Talal Al-Rasheed, the grandson of Mohammed Al-Rasheed the last ruler of Emirate Jabal Shammar wrote this tweet that Nawaf was handed over to Saudi authorities. Bader Al-Rasheed is a credible source, and this took the Arab twitter by storm a speculations wouldn’t stop about Emir Nawaf’s destination.

Few hours later, the National Human Right Committee in Qatar published a statement that they received an official complain from Emir Nawaf’s family in Qatar. However, the statement didn’t mention Kuwait by any means and this is probably to not cause any diplomatic crisis between the two countries. The statement only condemned “The Saudi authorities’ arrest to the Qatari citizen Nawaf Talal Al-Rasheed”. This statement didn’t clarify anything. 

On May 13th’s evening Mohammed AlKhalifa the ex-parliament member in Majlis Al-Uma and Marzaooq AlKhalifa the current parliament member in Majlis Al-Uma. The summary of this press conference was four main talking points:
  •    Shammar in Kuwait and civil rights organizations do not know anything about Nawaf’s fate
  •   The excuses to extradite  Nawaf to KSA from some officials in state through unofficial means like Twitter are nonsense since the parliament (Majlis Al-Uma) never approved and refused this bilateral security arrangement agreement
  •    Nawaf’s arrest is against the law and a violation to the constitution
  •   24-hour deadline for the government to announce an official statement regarding Nawaf
d           AlKhalifa's press conference

The 24 hours passed without an official statement from the Kuwaiti government and several Shammar members and famous Kuwaiti human rights announced a peaceful protest next day May 15th, 2018.
On May 5th, 2018 afternoon the Kuwaiti announced through social media channels was extradited to Saudi Arabia based on the requests of Saudi Arabia claiming that it extradited a Saudi citizen neglecting the fact that he arrived and entered Kuwait with a Qatari passport.

The Kuwaiti civil rights organizations condemned this action and several human rights defender and politicians like Dr. Abid Al-Wasmi, Marzooq Alkhalifa, Muslim Al-Barak and many other protested later that evening.

The legal basis of this betrayal
None. To be more precise, this was a kidnapping by Saudi authorities with help of conspired Kuwaiti officials. 
1.      Majlis Al-Uma never approved the claimed security agreement arrangement and hence the arrangement goes null. Claiming that extraditing Nawaf based on it is a violation to an article 70 since this kind of agreements come into a force only when made by law and this never happened.

2.      The extradition is a violation to article 31 of Kuwait constitution as Nawaf was compelled to reside in a specified place other the place he originally resides in which is Qatar and was handed over against his will to Saudi authorities.

What is next? 

Apparently, an Arab person can never feel safe in Arab world. At any moment you can be extradited against your will because men in Basht in KSA wanted so and another man in Basht in Kwait agreed to it. Our values as Arabs for thousands of years are being violated and now we witness betraying guests instead of protecting them. An innocent Qatari person with no criminal records or charges has been extradited to KSA because the paranoia that his last name causes to Saudi officials. It's kind of unbelievable to witness this kind of things when there is no any considerations to national or international laws when all what can decide your fate is men in Basht's or Suits' mood

1 comment:

  1. Hello -- I'm a freelance journalist interested in speaking with people who know Nawaf al Rashid. If you would like to speak, you can contact me at Many thanks. Abby Sewell