Qatar, the secretive Gulf State monarchy, has extended Levick's $88,500 monthly contract for another six months effective July 1.

qatarThe Washington PA shop provides research, strategy, opinion leader outreach and NGO support in regards to US/Qatari relations.

Levick works under the direction of Qatar's US Ambassador Mohammed Jaham Al Kuwari. The contract may be terminated without cause at any time.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Qatar's image has been "battered by allegations that it mistreats migrant workers, aids terrorists and bribed its way to hosting the 2022 soccer World Cup."

The Kingdom is now "trying something new: openness," according to the paper.

Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, who took over for his father in 2013, is responsible for the new policy, which is part of his move to make the emirate more strategic about its reputation and brand.

The monarchy has formed a new agency to craft its image abroad, staffing it with 23 young Qatari communications graduates from local campuses of Georgetown and Northwestern.

London-based Portland Communications works with the fledgling PR shop in an overseas image rehab campaign that the WSJ says "won't be easy."