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Sunday, September 19, 2021

PHOTOS: Qatar residents gather to protest bloodshed in Gaza

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All photos by Chantelle D’mello

Nearly 200 residents of Qatar gathered at the Palestinian embassy in Doha last night to vent their frustrations about the ongoing Israeli bombing campaign of the Gaza Strip.

So far, more than 200 people have been killed as the campaign enters day eight.

The rally began shortly after 8pm and lasted for two hours, drawing men, women and children from all over Qatar.

Palestinians, Qataris, Sri Lankans, Indians and others from various countries waved Palestinian flags, raised banners and chanted slogans calling for an end to the ongoing violence and bloodshed in Gaza.

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Speaking to Doha News before the event began, organizer Mohammed Adwan explained that the rally was called “to give people a space to sit and talk about topics like the occupation… Even if one person comes and hears our message, then we have succeeded.”

The solidarity event began calmly as a peaceful sit-in, but quickly grew more emotionally charged, with attendees shouting for justice and raising their fists for emphasis.

“One, two, three, four, occupation no more. Five, six, seven, eight, we don’t want your Zionist state,” shouted one attendee.

The heavy media presence appeared to spur protesters on; some climbed onto chairs and sofas, holding signs and raising their flags high for the benefit of the numerous photographers that had gathered to cover the event.

Meanwhile, children sitting on the shoulders of adults held up signs reading “Save the children of Palestine” and “Stop (the) indiscriminate killing of innocent lives in Gaza.”

Palestine rally

Two police patrol cars were stationed outside the embassy, but did not interfere with the rally, or seek to quiet the crowd.

Political protests in Qatar are rare, and typically require government approval before they can be held.

However, because this event took place on the embassy’s grounds, no permission was needed, the Palestinian ambassador previously told Doha News. He added however that the embassy had not organized the event – it was simply hosting it.

Chanting for Palestine

Yesterday, there was a brief hope that the Israeli government and Hamas leaders would reach a ceasefire brokered by Egypt. However, Hamas rejected that idea, saying they had not been consulted about the terms of that agreement – and continued to fire rockets aimed at Israel.

Since then, Israel has stepped up its bombing campaign, as relief organizations on the ground decry the blow to the infrastructure in Gaza and the loss of innocent lives.

Frustrated with the developments, protesters at last night’s events chanted:

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Other chants in Arabic drummed up Palestinian patriotism and sentiment:

“Gaza, up you go! Rise! Lions were born on your land!” said one, while another said, “Our freedom is not for sale! Down! Israel will fall! There will be resistance. We will defeat the sons of the devils. Name your voice, don’t let there be silence.”

Attendees from Sri Lanka and Southern parts of India also shouted slogans in their languages.

Abdullah Darwish, a 17-year-old Qatari student at the American School of Doha, said he attended the protest with his friends to support the Palestinian cause.

“We read about the event on Doha News, and decided to attend. It’s the least that we can do. We’re all brothers, and we need to show our support for them in these trying times. It’s amazing to see people from so many different communities gather here to do the same.”

Yousef Mahmoud, an Egyptian expat, echoed a similar sentiment, saying more such demonstrations were needed because “this is not just an Arab issue, but a humanitarian one.”

However, others said they had expected more from the rally. Ghina El Aker, a 20-year-old Northwestern University in Qatar student, called the event poorly organized.

“It began during Isha prayer and lasted throughout taraweeh. People only knew it was happening a day before. I’ve been to a protest (in Doha) a few years ago where there were hundreds of people marching on the streets, whereas this was contained.”

After around an hour of steady chanting and protest, the event lulled, as people started to file out. A few stayed behind to sit, talk, and catch up with friends who had also gathered for the rally.

Palestine rally

At around 9.30pm, the Palestinian Ambassador, Munir Ghannam, arrived and thanked the crowd.

Speaking to Doha News after his address, Ghannam lauded the Qatari government’s efforts to abate the current crisis.

“The government, and, especially the Emir, have been coordinating with relevant parties like the Turks, Egyptians, UN, and the United States in order to explain that the bloodshed has to stop. We hope that their efforts will have a tangible impact.”

However, he added that an solution to the problem was highly unlikely unless the occupation of Palestinian territory ceased.

“We came together to send a message that the world can no longer tolerate this. But the problem is occupation, regardless of what is happening now. All that our people do, on all fronts, are acts of Palestinian resistance to the occupation…

Even if the Israelis throw roses on us, they are still the aggressors, and we the victims because they are on our land. Once that it is over, all our troubles will end.”

Thoughts?

20 COMMENTS

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Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
7 years ago

The pictures seem to convey it’s more of a party than a protest.

Restie
Restie
7 years ago

A protest, inside the Palestinian embassy? They might as well have protested in their own living rooms and saved themselves the trip.

I guess it’s a step up from Facebook activism, though the pictures look more like a multicultural suhour party.

Someone
Someone
7 years ago

Well maybe you Internet activists should’ve attended the protest last night rather than criticising the people that actually turned up.

ingeniero
ingeniero
7 years ago

I hope this ‘indoor’ rallies will give a lot of strength to Palestinian people and Israel will stop killing innocent kids after checking out all these photos…

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Can someone explain to me why it is always Hamas run Gaza that israel attacks and never the West Bank?

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Lots of likes but no one can tell me the difference. It was a a serious question.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

too busy building new colonise in the west bank

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Why does fatah not fight back or are they complicit?

Israel are no different to Isis or al Qaeda, trying to recreate something that hasn’t existed for thousands of years.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

depends many opinions on fatah, some say they are traitors, others say they have simply given up and some say they only gave up on any form of military victory and instead try to focus on other means to stop the continued occupation and colonisation

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago

If that is true then If I were Palestinian then I’d rather follow Fatah than Hamas. Hamas is getting its men women and children killed.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago
Reply to  BBCA

id probably do the same, however fatah international efforts havent done much as the UN has not done anything despite israels occupation and constant building of new colonise far beyond the borders given to them by the UN. while hamas has managed to get back gaza (or at least managed to take credit for it)

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago

Maybe this would be considered the idea of an ignorant child but why couldn’t Gaza and Israel exist as one state together sharing the land in peace. They could coexist and create a stronger economy and eliminate the violence. Why is this not possible in this day and age. so sad!

Ann
Ann
7 years ago

it is all Indians. couldn’t find any palestinians

BBCA
BBCA
7 years ago

At this point I am not sure that Hamas cares about the people. Please forgive me If my statement are ignorant and uneducated. I really want to learn and understand both sides of this conflict. But If Palestine is the more disadvantaged organization and Israel has offered a Cease fire but Hamas tells them to go to hell and Hamas continues to fire on Israel… How is it possible that Hamas cares about its people. That does not seem like the type of organization that I want to follow. Organizations that make decisions like that are not organizations that I want to trust to keep my family safe. Why not take a cease fire and reorganize to figure out how you are going to talk to your opposition. It is obvious that you are far less able to wage a war against Israel so why not for the sake of your people take the olive branch and take some time to figure out another strategy? Please someone help me to understand what I’m missing. I feel so sorry for those people and I don’t see the sense in all of it.

Luciano Salvatore
Luciano Salvatore
7 years ago

only 200 Hamas supporters??

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago

What an odd collection of nationalities… proves the saying that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”.

Rapha31
Rapha31
7 years ago

Stop all the missiles from both sides!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeBQty_YaxY

hamas is the problem
hamas is the problem
7 years ago

It’s a shame that Hamas brings the killing of children in Gaza.

Israel is the country with the most humanitarian army in the world. Any other country recently was erases all of Gaza from years ago.

Israel Defense Forces yesterday allowed to bring food, fuel, diesel and even cement (cement Hamas builds tunnels with explosives).

Gaza has no electricity – why? That missiles hit Hamas sends high voltage lines. Israel is responsible for Gaza power, if they sent technicians to fix the problem, Hamas will try to kill them!

The whole world must know that Hamas is the main problem in this area, they have no mercy, they do not care residents from a terrorist organization that works! Israel Neva does not harm the citizens of Gaza, but Hamas is using civilians as a shield for them

sameer
sameer
7 years ago

Israel can only attack weak, they dont have courage to attack india or pakistan,,,, i am unfriending all my jewish friends on facebook

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago
Reply to  sameer

Oh wow… THAT will REALLY show them, won’t it?… What are you, 9 years old?!? Get real, and try to act like an adult on this forum if possible.

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