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Game of Thrones slow clap

Social media was abuzz with a new trending topic yesterday as residents and others reacted to a long list of orders given to Qatar by its neighbors amid an ongoing siege.

Many people are ridiculing the demands put forth by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt.

According to leaked documents, they include shuttering Al Jazeera, closing down Turkey’s new military base in Qatar and curbing ties with Iran.

Qatar has also been given 10 days to agree to compensate the boycotting nations an unspecified amount, stop funding certain political groups and submit to regular compliance audits for the next 10 years.

Qatar officials have acknowledged receipt of the list, and said it is preparing a response.

Its communications office hit out at the orders, saying they are not reasonable.

“This list of demands confirms what Qatar has said from the beginning – the illegal blockade has nothing to do with combating terrorism, it is about limiting Qatar’s sovereignty, and outsourcing our foreign policy,” said Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al Thani in a statement.

Reaction

Residents and Qatar supporters appear to agree.

Under the new hashtag #WeDemandQatar, users have been coming up with their own list of demands to highlight the presumed absurdity of the original conditions.

Not everyone is so amused, however.

Bloomberg reports the UAE’s state minister for foreign affairs as saying Qatar must take the demands seriously or face “divorce” from the Gulf.

In a series of tweets, Anwar Gargash said:

“The brother (Qatar) must realize that the solution for its crisis lies not in Tehran or Beirut or Ankara or Western capitals or in media outlets, but in regaining the trust of its neighbors.

It is not possible to accept that the brother continues as the Trojan horse” in the Gulf or as a funder and “platform for an extremist agenda.”

Thoughts?

Ahmed Bin Majed

Ahmed’s drawing

The Qatari artist behind the viral image of the Emir that has been plastered on cars, walls and t-shirts across the country said he is “grateful” his work is so popular.

“It’s my duty, the least I can do, as a Qatari creative artist to show my support and stand by the Emir,” Ahmed Almaadheed told Doha News, referencing the pressure the country’s leader has been under since the GCC crisis began.

Almaadheed revealed that the drawing had actually started out as car art for Qatar National Day 2016.

“Then, at the beginning of the Qatar crisis I recreated it on a canvas to translate my feelings about the current situation in Qatar,” he said.

‘Viral’ image

Almaadheed’s new drawing of the Emir has “Glorious Tamim” written in Arabic beneath it, and is now a popular way to express support for the Emir during these turbulent times.

Aware of this, Almaadheed has made his artwork freely available via his Instagram account, which has almost 50,000 followers.

Bosco Menezes (Big B Photography)

Ramadan Car Parade 2017

He told Doha News that he noticed soon after the crisis began that the portrait was spreading widely on social media.

“Many people had also printed the portrait on stickers which were being distributed all over Qatar,” he added. “This was all done by these people themselves, without any planned campaign.”

The image can now be seen on car stickers across Qatar, as well as on posters, video billboards and t-shirts.

Last week, Qatar’s national football team sported the art on their warmup jerseys to express their solidarity before a match.

They now face possible action from FIFA for the action.

This is because FIFA rules, “political, religious or commercial messages” are banned from being displayed on the pitch.

New stamps

Meanwhile, QPost has produced a patriotic set of new stamps entitled “Tamim Al Majd” (Tamim is glory).

“This initiative has been taken under (the) current political situation being faced by Qatar,” Q-Post Chairman Faleh Al Naemi told Peninsula.

QPost

New QPost stamps

He added that the stamps had been issued “to express solidarity and unity with the people, leadership, country and government’s decisions in current situation.”

Self-taught artist

Almaadheed owns Notion Media, a Qatari company that has produced designs for groups including Qatar Foundation, the economy ministry’s Consumer Protection Department and the Asian Cup.

Ahmed Bin Majed

Almaadheed alongside a video screen displaying his picture

He told Doha News that he had been drawing since he was a child, and that he was entirely self-taught.

You can follow Almaadheed on Instagram and Snapchat, or email him [email protected]

Stickers of Sheikh Tamim can be found at most auto repair shops, ordered online or picked up for free from bookstores or the Corniche during the daily Ramadan car parade.

Thoughts?

ILQ

I Love Qatar message

Social media users around the world have been encouraged to pick sides this week amid an ongoing Gulf dispute.

Those who support Qatar have done so via a variety of hashtags, including #iloveqatar, #qatarisnotalone and #istandwithqatar.

Arabic speakers have also been using  (people of the Gulf reject cutting ties with Qatar) and   (I won’t participate in Gulf boycott).

Users in Kuwait have also started a hashtag , (Eid Al Fitr vacation in Qatar), to encourage Kuwaitis to support the country by visiting during the holidays.

Regional support

The outpouring of support came after a shock announcement on Monday that Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE were severing diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.

In a bid to compel the nation to fall into line with regional politics, the countries have closed their land, sea and air borders and ordered the exit of all Qatari nationals.

Andrew Leber, a graduate student at the Harvard Department of Government, has been studying the hashtag use.

He told Doha News that while usage of both of the supportive hashtags has “dropped off pretty heavily” in the past day, they had initially been embraced by people across the region.

“The two solidarity tags I mentioned were almost certainly coming from Twitter users in all six of the GCC countries,” he said.

Anti-Qatar messages

But over the past few days, both the UAE and Bahrain have made it a crime to express sympathy for Qatar online.

This has discouraged residents of those nations to continue posting anything supportive of Qatar, for fear or jail time or fines.

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For illustrative purposes only.

When it comes to online detractors, there aren’t too many specific anti-Qatar hashtags, Leber said.

Most tweets against Qatar have been posted under  (cutting off ties with Qatar), a generic hashtag where people just share their views.

However, Leber added that he’s noticed hashtags in support of various countries’ rulers.

‘Buy local’

In Qatar, the Gulf crisis has created a swelling of nationalist support, amid expats and locals alike.

To show their solidarity, some people have been personalizing their Twitter profile pictures.

Community website ILoveQatar for example has created a Twibbon that people can add to their pictures, one of several options doing the rounds.

Residents and nationals have also been trying to encourage people to buy Qatari produce ().

The locally made products have become more important as Qatar seeks new food import sources.

New twitter accounts

As well as hashtags, a number of new Twitter accounts have also sprung up since the crisis began.

These include @IstandwithQatar, an account apparently being run by someone from Turkey:

And then there’s the satirical handle @dohaunderseige, which pokes gentle fun at some expats’ response to the crisis:

Have you been following the online conversation? Thoughts?