Middle East

'It's a Qatarstrophe' - social media reacts to Gulf row

Mood Image copyright Twitter/@Aamer_alrashdi
Image caption Many social media users tweeted this photo to show their stupefaction at the turn of events

Qataris, Saudis and Emiratis as well others in the region have been reacting to Qatar's increasing diplomatic isolation.

The hashtag "severing ties with Qatar" has been tweeted almost a million times after Arab countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties, accusing Qatar of destabilising the region.

As well as posts for or against, there have also been expressions of surprise, humour and concern for families that could now face separation.

This Saudi news outlet tweeted a picture of King Salman looking at his watch and suggested time had "run out" for Qatar.

Image copyright Twitter/@KSA24

Many of the Saudi users were jubilant and supportive of the blockade.

User @fdeet_alnssr thundered: "The emir of Qatar did not heed the advice, he did not get the message, he did not learn the lesson… that when this man [King Salman] gets angry… nations and rulers will quake."

Image copyright Twitter/@fdeet_alnssr

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Mona al-Marri, head of the Dubai government's media office, meanwhile tweeted: "I wish Qatar was wiser than this. I wish Qatari foreign minister apologised instead of stubborn stances in an unwise personal reaction."

But some Saudis urged their fellow citizens not to confuse anger at Qatari policy with anger at Qatari people themselves.

"I've visited Qatar twice. God bears witness that the Qataris gave me everything. State policies aside, this generous people is being put at a disadvantage," tweeted Yasser al-Shomry.

Image copyright Twitter/@IIYaserSh

Qataris meanwhile rallied under the hashtag "We are all Tamim" - referring to the country's Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani - and many changed their profile images to his.

The hashtag "Gulf citizens against severing ties with Qatar" was also popular, with user @muhmad251990 saying: "I wish those three countries [Saudia Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain] would show as much unity in boycotting Israel or Iran as they do in bycotting Qatar."

Some social media users saw the funny side. Youssef bin Mohammed depicted the country of Oman - which has traditionally kept out of Gulf disputes - as a man relaxing and watching other people run around.

Image copyright Twitter/@y_0787

Lebanese comedian Jad Bou Karam meanwhile described the situation as a "Qatarstrophe".

But there was concern too about the impact that closing the borders between Qatar and other Gulf countries could have on families.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain have given all Qatari visitors and residents two weeks to leave their territory. The three countries have also banned their citizens from travelling to Qatar.

The Saudi authorities say an estimated 18,000 Saudis are living in Qatar, mainly as a result of intermarriage.

Image copyright Twitter/@tmathir
Image copyright Twitter/@hxneen
Image copyright Twitter/@myr_naj

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