New hashtag on Qatar sparks online debate about country’s merits

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Ziad Hunesh/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A new trending hashtag about Qatar on Twitter has sparked an online debate, with many participants expressing their love and support for the country, while others attacked the nation and its foreign policy.

The Arabic hashtag قول_كلمة_لقطر#, or “say a word for Qatar,” launched yesterday, and includes hundreds of tweets from Qataris, Doha-based expats and people living abroad.

It remains unclear how the hashtag got started. But speaking to Doha News, one of the participants, Abdel Latif Al Jassem, said many people who commented wished to express their gratitude for Qatar.

Translation: By Allah, I love you Qatar, we praise you nation.

Translation: I visited it a few times and found only civilization, development and respect for their guests (tourists)…Thank you Qatar.

Others said they believed the hashtag was created to give people from around the region a chance to speak their minds about the Gulf country.

Translation: We are not (your) slaves.

Other comments were more light-hearted, poking fun at the country’s small size and population of two million people, which includes 755 districts and eight municipalities, each with its own distinct name.

Translation: Did you know that the two litter bottle of Pepsi is banned in Qatar, because if it foams over, (the people of Qatar) will drown.

Translation: Qatar is the easiest country to count its population, through this device (referring to the abacus in the picture).

Foreign policy

Many of the tweets focused on Qatar’s foreign policy, specifically toward Arab countries such as Egypt.

Qatar was against the military ousting of former Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood-backed Muhammad Morsi in 2013.

This has caused tension between the country and its GCC neighbors, as well as Egypt, who previously accused Qatar of supporting the Brotherhood – which many countries view as a threat to their own governments.

Translation: Distance yourself from the deviated ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. What’s your business with the Brotherhood’s ideology?

But not everyone lambasted Qatar’s foreign efforts:

Translation: $50 million to support the Rohingya (Muslims) in Indonesia. Reconstruction of Gaza after the Zionist occupation. Supporting the Syrian Revolution…Thank you Qatar.

Translation: Qatar is a country we love and we love its people; if there are political differences, we won’t allow them to cause a rift between us as the people.

What would you like to say for Qatar? Thoughts?

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