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Woman Woman/Facebook

Wonder Woman

The popular blockbuster superhero film Wonder Woman has been banned in Qatar, according to local cinema companies.

The movie received critical acclaim at the box office following its recent release. But it has also drawn controversy because it is headlined by an Israeli woman.

Earlier this month, Lebanon and Tunisia banned the movie. However, it is currently playing in the UAE, Oman and Bahrain (though the Gulf dispute may make it harder for fans to travel to see the film).

Wonder Woman was initially scheduled to premiere in Doha yesterday.

But it is no longer appearing on any Qatar cinema websites, including at theaters in Villaggio, City Center or Lagoona malls.

When asked whether it was banned, Vox answered affirmatively on Twitter:

Novo Cinemas has also confirmed to movie-goers that the film will not be screened in Qatar.

Support for Israeli army

The movie’s superhero is played by Gal Gadot. Her compulsory Israeli army service coincided with the 2006 Israeli war in Lebanon.

Gadot also expressed support for the IDF during the 2014 Gaza conflict. 

On Facebook, she sent her “love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens. Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children…We shall overcome!!!”

Jan Slangen/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Gadot’s support of Israel has caused many people around the world to wrestle with whether to support the film.

In an opinion piece for Al Jazeera, one US-based professor said he himself wondered what all the fuss was about until he actually saw the movie.

After watching it, he concluded:

“If you are utterly enjoying this particular Wonder Woman as a role model for your daughters in a theater near you and could not care less about a young Palestinian girl mourning her family in Gaza whom the woman portraying your superhero helped kill, then all the power to you.

You need not bother to know that in this film Gal Gadot does not just personify Wonder Woman, but alas Wonder Woman disappears into Gal Gadot.”

Banned movies

This is the third movie Qatar has banned in the past year and a half. In October, authorities told cinemas not to run psychological thriller The Girl on the Train.

Trailers for the film show sex scenes, and the story revolves around the main character’s drinking problem.

Universal Pictures

The Girl on the Train

And in January 2016, The Danish Girl was withdrawn from cinema listings after residents complained on social media about its “moral depravity.”

The British film portrayed the life of a transgender Danish artist in the 1920s who undergoes one of the world’s first known sex reassignment surgeries.

Thoughts?

Giphy

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?