Twitter erupted with opinions last night following Sheikh Tamim’s first address to the nation about the Gulf dispute.
Many in Qatar responded enthusiastically to the Emir’s call to use the crisis as a wakeup call to step up and diversify the economy.
But in Saudi Arabia and other boycotting nations, the speech was less well-received.
First Saudi response to Qatar emir speech from royal court adviser, calls it “empty rhetoric prepared by Azmi Bishara” pic.twitter.com/Qzy5ha9Id3
— Ahmed Al Omran (@ahmed) July 21, 2017
Sheikh Tamim shouldn't have spoken unless he had something to say! There was nothing worthwhile in his speech…
— Faisal J. Abbas (@FaisalJAbbas) July 21, 2017
— Khalifa BinHendi•خـليفة بـن هـندي (@KBinhendi) July 21, 2017
The polarized reaction shows that even though the quartet has downscaled their demands and Qatar said it is willing to talk, much damage has already been done.
Many cultural taboos have been broken during the boycott, including the big one of not shaming or criticizing each other publicly.
The fallout of expelling Qatari students studying in neighboring countries and forcing families apart will also likely not be forgotten anytime soon.
If and when the dispute is resolved, Qatar will still be pursuing legal compensation for these actions.
As one Al Jazeera journalist said yesterday:
15) One thing is for sure: the societal damage will last far longer that the #GCCCrisis (even if resolved soon, which is unlikely).
— Abdurahman Warsame (@abdu) July 21, 2017