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Friday, August 6, 2021

Qatar cancels National Day activities in solidarity with Aleppo

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By Shabina S. Khatri and Victoria Scott

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Credit: QNA

Qatar’s Emir has ordered the cancellation of all National Day activities out of solidarity with the people of Aleppo, QNA reports.

Many are taking this to mean the parade on the Corniche on Sunday morning and the fireworks scheduled for the evening will no longer take place.

Additionally, plans are afoot to cancel Asian Town celebrations and there are reports that various tribes will longer be performing Arda dances at Darb Al Saai.

‘Shame on us’

This week, rebel forces lost control of Aleppo after government-backed soldiers moved in.

A destroyed neighborhood in Aleppo. Credit: Qatar Charity

Many people in the town posted heart-breaking messages on social media pleading for help and bidding farewell to all.

Yesterday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told Al Jazeera that the humanitarian situation in the war-torn city was “catastrophic.”

“We need to do something to protect civilians there. And the problem is, the international community’s response to that appears that it’s failed.

It’s a shame on all of us, that we cannot do anything and we find ourselves handcuffed, that we cannot deliver anything for the Syrian people.”

Precedent

This isn’t the first time Qatar has scaled back celebrations over regional politics.

In 2014, Katara and Souq Waqif canceled Eid Al Fitr festivities out of solidarity with Gaza, after more than 775 people were killed during an intense, 17-day Israeli bombing campaign.

And two years before that, culture festivals were canceled “against the backdrop of the current political developments across the Arab region.”

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