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MBC has canceled tomorrow’s Arab Idol auditions in Qatar after an online campaign against the program gained momentum among the local population.

The channel quietly removed the Doha audition listing from its website and a receptionist at the St. Regis Doha, where the auditions were to be held, confirmed to Doha News that the event has been canceled, referring all questions to MBC.

The channel did not respond to immediate requests for comment.

Qataris who found the program distasteful congratulated each other online today for successfully keeping the auditions out of Doha, circulating an Al Sharq article about the cancelation. 

Many thanked officials for their help and said the campaign was proof that their voices could be heard.

Tweeting under the hashtag #عرب_أيدول_في_قطر, netizens had previously told Arab Idol “you are not welcome in Qatar and we do not want to see u here” and asserted that the show’s presence would tarnish Qatar’s reputation as an intellectual and scientific community.

Not everyone, however, opposed the show. On Twitter, other Doha residents had expressed plans to turn out for auditions.

Thoughts?

Credit: Cartoon by Mohammed Abdul Latif

An online Twitter campaign to stop popular musical talent show Arab Idol from holding auditions in Qatar next month is gathering steam.

The show, which is coming to the St. Regis Doha on Nov. 15, is holding auditions for young musical talent across the Middle East, but its aim does not mesh well with the “local sensitivities and traditions” of Qatar, campaign organizers told Al Sharq.

They add that an online poll asking people if they support the show has found that most Qataris do not, the newspaper said.

Similar disapproval has been expressed in Saudi Arabia and, to a less extent, the UAE, according to a YouGov poll conducted earlier this year, with 70 percent in KSA and 46 percent in the UAE agreeing that it is inappropriate for Muslims to take part.

Arab Idol, originally launched as Arab Super Star, is similar to American Idol in that contestants between the ages of 16 and 28 perform musical numbers on stage and receive audience votes via SMS to win. 

Dancing and singing in co-ed environments is frowned upon in Qatari society, which adheres to Islamic traditions.

Tweeting under the hashtag #عرب_أيدول_في_قطر, netizens have told Arab Idol “you are not welcome in Qatar and we do not want to see u here” and asserted that the show’s presence would tarnish Qatar’s reputation as an intellectual and scientific community.

Gulf News translates:

“Our society does not have the slightest inclination to take part or be involved in the show,” another blogger wrote, while a Qatari national tweeted that “the Western world is breaking all records while Arabs are still dancing.”

Not everyone, however, is sour on the show. Other tweeple expressed excitement and said they plan to turn out for auditions.

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of Wikipedia