South Asia ‘shares blame’ for Gulf migrant abuses | ASIAN REVIEW | JUN 30, 2016

Amid growing concern about Qatar’s treatment of South Asian migrants building the infrastructure for the 2022 soccer World Cup, activists are warning that labor abuses are widespread throughout the Gulf, and that workers’ home countries share the blame.

Concerns have been raised over working conditions with Emir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar’s authoritarian ruler.

Amnesty International, a human rights group, said that almost all of more than 200 laborers it interviewed on two World Cup-related construction sites in Doha were being exploited by their employers.

However, Qatar is neither the top Gulf destination for South Asian migrant workers nor the worst alleged violator of their rights. Indian embassies received more than 7,000 labor complaints from Gulf countries in the 11 months to November 2015, mostly from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told parliament in New Delhi in December.



Revealed: Qatar’s World Cup ‘slaves’ | THE GUARDIAN

Dozens of Nepalese migrant labourers have died in Qatar in recent weeks and thousands more are enduring appalling labour abuses, a Guardian investigation has found, raising serious questions about Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup.

This summer, Nepalese workers died at a rate of almost one a day in Qatar, many of them young men who had sudden heart attacks.

The investigation found evidence to suggest that thousands of Nepalese, who make up the single largest group of labourers in Qatar, face exploitation and abuses that amount to modern-day slavery, as defined by the International Labour Organisation, during a building binge paving the way for 2022.



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Qatar: Profit and Loss | Counting the cost of modern day slavery in Qatar: What is the price of freedom?

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What else is Qatar doing with all that money? Investing in art and foreign business. Influence.


Qatar has been buying up about $1 billion worth of art annually ($1,000,000,000 / yr)

Why would a hardline Wahhabi government splash out billions of dollars to secular Western artists?



Qatari Riches Are Buying Art World Influence | NY TIMES

Qataris have used it to secure a host of undisputed modern and contemporary masterpieces by Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons.

Until Qatar’s 2007 purchase, for example, the most expensive Rothko ever sold at auction (“Homage to Matisse”) had drawn $22 million in 2005, less than one-third of the price Qatar paid.

$250 million for Cézanne’s “Card Players” from the family of Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos

 Sothesby’s | George Embiricos Tribute


What Are The Top 10 Al-Thani Family Art Acquisitions? | ARTNET

10. Damien Hirst, Lullaby Spring, $19 million | A pill cabinet with thousands of pills was purchased in the spring of 2007 at Sotheby’s.



9/11 wicked but a work of art, says Damien Hirst | THE GUARDIAN | SEP 10, 2002

The artist Damien Hirst said last night he believed the terrorists responsible for the September 11 attacks “need congratulating” because they achieved “something which nobody would ever have thought possible” on an artistic level.

Hirst, who is no stranger to controversy, said many people would “shy away” from looking at the event as art but he believed the World Trade Centre attack was “kind of like an artwork in its own right”.

In an interview, Hirst told BBC News Online: “The thing about 9/11 is that it’s kind of an artwork in its own right. It was wicked, but it was devised in this way for this kind of impact. It was devised visually.”

Describing the image of the hijacked planes crashing into the twin towers as “visually stunning”, he added: “You’ve got to hand it to them on some level because they’ve achieved something which nobody would have ever have thought possible, especially to a country as big as America.

“So on one level they kind of need congratulating, which a lot of people shy away from, which is a very dangerous thing.”


Qatar’s oil boom created the world’s most extravagant art scene—and also led to its demise | QUARTZ | AUG 14, 2016

“Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Naomi Campbell made their way through the VIP crowd, past the fleet of Bentleys, and toward the waiting helicopter.”

“As the rotor blades sprang to life and the unlikely trio was lifted into the sky, the South-Asian laborers working nearby stopped to watch the spectacle. They were being paid $11 a day to swing pickaxes in the desert sun and lay the groundwork for the new Qatar National Museum.”

The nation’s stark wealth disparity was also a source of tension. While QM’s offices offered panoramic views of Doha’s futuristic skyline, you only had to look to the streets below to see the South-Asian laborers who had made those skyscrapers a reality. Since the Qatari population barely numbers 200,000 and lacked the specialist skills—and inclination—to do any of this grunt work, plane loads of migrant workers started arriving to make up the shortfall. These were guys who had been shipped over with promises of big money only to have their contracts rewritten, their passports confiscated, and their wages slashed before being pointed toward the nearest construction site.



Qatar: The Shape of Tomorrow | BLOUINARTINFO

Qatar has taken a keen interest in Jeff Koons, and not just his artwork either. A frequent guest of the Qatari royal family, Jeff Koons has played a major role in the development of their billion dollar Museum of Modern Art.


Jeff Koons | International Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Director | RELATIONSHIP SCIENCE | ICMEC BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Jeff Koons donated contributed to Correct the Record | FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION

Jeff Koons donated $50,000 USD to correct the record, a political hit squad founded by David Brock, a close associate of John Podesta and James Alefantis.


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Dan Friedman passed away in 1995.
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Jeff Koons and Dakis Joannou are more than business associates. They have been good friends for decades.

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Guilty as Charged


Dakis Joannou | Joannou & Paraskevaides | International Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Director

Joannou & Paraskevaides is a Cypriot international building, civil and electromechanical engineering contractor with an involvement in the energy (oil and gas) and industrial sectors operating in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Asia.

J&P has built several airports in the Middle East, including Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan & UAE. airport20projects


They also build roads, tunnels, bridges, islands etc.

The story above about foreign workers being abused in the Middle East applies to this company.

The company was founded by his father Stelios Ioannou along with his partner George Paraskevaides.

Mr. Paraskevaides founded the Cyprus Kidney Association, the Surgical and Transplant Foundation and the Cyprus Heart Association.


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Distinguished Artists to Join Curators, Art Collectors and Museum Directors at the New York Times ‘Art For Tomorrow’ Conference | NY TIMES | JAN 20, 2016

Artist Marina Abramović, Art Basel global director Marc Spiegler, UNESCO’s Francesco Bandarin among diverse mix of art-world leaders to appear in Doha March 12-15

The invitation-only event, organized under the patronage of Qatar Museums, will expand its exploration of the myriad global influences shaping the creative infrastructure of nations and cities. The conference will be introduced by Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, chairwoman, Qatar Museums, and Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., chairman and publisher, The New York Times Company.

Speakers include:

Marina Abramović | artist
Jeff Koons | artist
Francesco Bandarin | assistant director general for culture, UNESCO
Dakis Joannou | collector
Jeffrey Deitch | curator and gallerist, former director, MOCA
Gail Lord | co-president, Lord Culture Resources

Sotheby’s and QNB are the headline sponsors for the Art for Tomorrow conference. Qatar Tourism Authority is the destination sponsor. The host sponsors are Jaidah Group and W Hotels.

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Enter PodestaGroup – Owned by you guessed it, Tony and John Podesta

Lobbyists Set to Fight Royalty Bill for Artists. | NY TIMES

Sotheby’s hired the Podesta Group. This same auction house is selling hundreds of millions of dollars in art to Qatar including a “Cezanne” that sold for $250 million


Tony Podesta is quite the art trader. | WASHINGTON LIFE MAGAZINE

“Go inside power lobbyist, philanthropist and contemporary art collector Tony Podesta’s Kalorama home…”

“He regularly opens his house to casual pizza parties co-hosted by his friend James Alefantis, the owner of Comet Ping Pong. Over 200 pies emerge from the outdoor pizza oven as guests wander through the house and garden while studying his art collection.”

Some of his favorite artists are mentioned: Louise Bourgeois, Andy Warhol, Marina Abramovic.


Tony Podesta owns entire collections of Damien Hirst pieces. The same Damien Hirst that the Qataris are fascinated with. | http://www.nga.gov/content/dam/ngaweb/press/exh/4843/4843-list.pdf


PODESTA GROUP, QATAR PETROLEUM and HALUL ISLAND EXPORT TERMINAL

Anthony “Tony” Podesta began lobbying in late 2013 on behalf of a company co-owned by ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum aiming to export liquefied … | WIKILEAKS

Brother of Hillary Clinton’s Top Campaign Aide Lobbied for Fracked Gas Export Terminal Co-Owned by Qatar. DESMOG BLOG

Podesta Group’s lobbying for expedited permitting for LNG export terminals paid dividends.

During the same quarter Tony Podesta began lobbying for Golden Pass, President Obama hired John Podesta in December 2013 as his top counselor on climate change and energy issues. | GLOBAL RESARCH

On March 26, 2014, a week after John Podesta made his remarks about the environmental movement and fracking, Tony had a meeting with the White House. On April 4 and August 4, the logs show, Tony Podesta met with John Podesta in the White House. | WIKILEAKS 


Qatar: The Shape of Tomorrow | JUN 19, 2016

Doha: Plastic and ready-made, it’s a city built for Jeff Koons.

“I love the readymade because of the idea of acceptance,” Koons tells me, “that everything is in play and that everything is perfect in its own being.” It’s little wonder that he is attracted to Qatar. The mini-state’s boom mirrors the artist’s own rise to fame. Two decades ago, Doha had no skyline. It was just a smattering of one- or two-story edifices on the desert coast.

In Qatar, Koons could never exhibit “Made in Heaven,” his collaboration with the Italian pornography star Ilona; the racy sculptures ”Woman in Tub” and “Fait d’Hiver” wouldn’t fly, either.

“My idea of participating and of art having a moral responsibility, I think, comes from my experience of growing up,” he said, “in that first you have a concept of self and of transcendence of the self, and then you become aware of your place within the community and your responsibility to the community, and that just gets played out on larger scales later in life, depending upon your desire for participation.”

This legitimately sounds like someone who was abused as a child, accepted it, justified it, and repeated it as an adult.

Next year, Marina Abramović will conduct a series of lectures and performances, and exhibit at Al Riwaq.


Ambassador Maura Harty | INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Former Ambassador to Romania under Bill Clinton

Why is she so obsessed with foreign adoptions? | WIKILEAKS 05BUCHAREST1173_a


ICMEC HOME PAGE 2012

BOARD MEMBERS | APR 2004

BOARD MEMBERS | JAN 2005

BOARD MEMBERS | OCT 2006

BOARD MEMBERS | AUG 2007

BOARD MEMBERS | JUL 2011

BOARD MEMBERS | MAR 2012

BOARD MEMBERS | MAY 2013

BOARD MEMBERS | JUL 4, 2013

BOARD MEMBERS | DEC 8, 2014

BOARD MEMBERS | JULY, 2015


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“Guilty”

Jeff Koons designed yacht “GUILTY”. Owned by Greek art collector Dakis Joannou