Social media was abuzz with photos of Qatar’s leader yesterday, who was seen dining at a popular restaurant at a hotel on the Pearl.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s public appearance came after Qatar handed in a response to its neighbors’ demands to end the blockade on the country.
Officials have not gone into detail about what the response entailed.
— Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Qatar (@MofaQatar_EN) July 2, 2017
But authorities have previously rejected all the conditions that have been put forth to end the land, sea and air closures it faces.
These include shutting down Al Jazeera, closing a local Turkish military base and paying an unspecified amount of compensation to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt for pain and suffering caused by Qatar.
Amid the political strife, Sheikh Tamim took some time to eat at Nozomi at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski Hotel.
When leaving, he greeted members of the public who had gathered to see him.
Qatar Emir was spotted in a restaurant an hour ago having dinner and taking photos with people.
— IstandWithQatar (@IstandWithQatar) July 3, 2017
— جابر الحرمي (@jaberalharmi) July 3, 2017
The dinner visit appeared to cheer many Qatar residents, who saw the Emir’s public appearance as a show of strength, humility and confidence:
Qatar’s leader has come under fire in the boycotting countries, with many people calling for regime change.
But the people of Qatar have been rallying around Sheikh Tamim over the past month.
— غاليـه (@gealabdulla) July 3, 2017
Images of his face have been plastered all over the country, including on buildings, cars and t-shirts. There’s even a large mural up in Al Gharafa that the public is welcome to sign.
Members of the ruling family have also been tweeting supportive messages of him in the run-up to this week’s deadline to respond to demands.
— جوعان بن حمد (@JoaanBinHamad) July 3, 2017
عاشت قطر في ظل قايدها تميم
— Al Mayassa Al Thani (@almayassahamad) July 2, 2017
Now that the government has handed in its response, the four boycotting nations will meet in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss how to move forward.