Doc states Qatari emir handed 8 Al-Jazeera staff $1.85M reward
Egypt Today could not verify the authenticity of the document circulated on social media. However, it was set in a professional manner that suggests it belong to the channel.
The sums of money were given as annual incentives, according to the document, to Faisal Al-Qassem, a Syrian TV host; Jamal Rayyan, a Palestinian-Jordanian newscaster; Raw’aa Ishak, a Lebanese newscaster; Ghada Owais, a Lebanese reporter and presenter; Ola Al-Fares, a Lebanese journalist and newscaster; Mahmoud Mourad, an Egyptian journalist and TV host; Wajd Waqfi, an American-Jordanian correspondent; and Othman Farah, an Eritrean TV reporter.
An allegedly-leaked document dated February 12th, 2020 showed that the Emir of Qatar has granted eight of the well-known figures at the Qatari state-funded Al-Jazeera channel huge sums of money as a reward totaling $1,850,000.
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar since June 2017, accusing their neighbor of funding terrorism and harboring fugitives. The four states demanded that Qatar closes Al-Jazeera channel, as part of a list of demands issued to Doha in order for relations to be restored. The boycott is believed to be led by Saudi Arabia. Since then, Egypt has blamed the Qatari channel of spreading fake news about Egypt and hosting extremist figures, mostly Egyptians, with the aim of harming national security.
These huge rewards, which were distributed on the eight figures unevenly, according to the document, come despite remarks by Egyptian TV host Mohamed Al-Baaz, where he asserted that the 23-year old channel is suffering from a severe decline in the funding.
The funding provided for Al-Jazeera totals $5 billion, including $2 billion from the state’s treasury, Baaz said. Egypt Today, however, could not verify the data about the total fund received by the channel. According to Baaz, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad decided to stop the $2 billion fund from the treasury for political reasons.
The regime found that the 23-year old channel cannot implement the regime’s plan any longer and decided that the money be given to other Qatari allies in London and Turkey, Baaz claimed, adding that the Doha-based channel will lay off 600 employees, most of which are Egyptians, as a result of this decline.
CAIRO – 16 February 2020: TV presenter Mohamed Al-Baaz, known for attacking the Turkish and Qatari regimes, during his program “90 Minutes” reported an alleged severe decline in the funding of Qatari state-funded broadcaster Al-Jazeera, citing unknown sources as saying.