There are societies in which intellectuals are encouraged to express their ideas in either poetic or literary form. Alas, that is not the desire of Emir Sheikh Hamad in Khalifa al-Thani who prefers the court jester as the symbol of intellectualism. A Qatai poet, Muhammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami wrote a poem, and for some reason this did not capture the interest of the all wise and all good ruler of his land. Among the lines that upset the Ruler was: “we are all Tunisis in the face o repressive authorities.”
Mr. Ajami was charged with insulting the All Wise Ruler and thus had to be sent to prison for life. This will provide time to write new poetry which explains why “repressive” is a word of praise, not an insult. Isn’t it wonderful that Qatar is an ally of America in the war to spread democracy in the world??