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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Qatar’s Souq Waqif, Katara scale back Eid plans to show Gaza solidarity

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Souq Waqif

Updated on Thursday, July 24 with Katara’s announcement

Two major venues for Eid celebrations in Qatar have announced that they are canceling planned activities out of respect for the crisis in Gaza, where more than 600 775 people have been killed during an intense, 17-day Israeli bombing campaign.

Souq Waqif was the first to say that it is canceling many of its Eid events for next week. In a statement sent to QNA, the souq’s Eid Al Fitr festival organizing committee said:

(We have) announced cancellation of the Eid al-Fitr musical, entertainment activities and other programs at Souq Waqif. The cancellation comes due to the Israeli brutal aggression against the Palestinian people in Gaza Strip and the latest developments in the region. Souq Waqif will only hold children’s programs during Eid festivities.”

On Wednesday, Katara Cultural Village followed suit, saying in a statement posted on QNA that “what is happening (to) the Palestinian people is reflected on everyone.”

https://twitter.com/kataraqatar/status/491943465719054337

The move comes as restaurants at Katara and Aspire Zone have said they will donate all revenues from their restaurants on Thursday to Palestine.

Katara and the souq’s events were part of a seven-day festival being organized by the Qatar Tourism Authority to woo visitors here during the Eid holiday season.

However, when asked about Souq Waqif’s sudden scaling back on festivities, a QTA spokesman told Doha News:

“The Souq is an independent entity, and doesn’t report back to QTA. All decisions made are theirs, with no order from us. We actually found out about the cancelation today through the news like everybody else.”

Officials at the souq were not immediately available for comment.

So far, other venues for celebrations have not changed their plans, and activities are expected to take place at the Pearl-Qatar, Al Lusail shooting range, Dosari Zoo and Game Reserve, Aqua Park Qatar, Sealine Beach, Heritage Village and several malls around Doha.

Past cancellations

This is not the first time events in Qatar have been scrapped as a way of paying respect during times of tragedy.

In 2012, the Museum of Islamic Art Park canceled a concert by Emirati singer Hussain Al Jasmi, citing “critical circumstances some Arab countries are going through currently.”

Also that year, a five-day music & culture festival that was scheduled to kick off at Katara Cultural Village was also called off.

In a statement at the time, Katara said the second edition of the Music & Dialogue festival was cancelled “against the backdrop of the current political developments across the Arab region.”

And the souq itself came under pressure in 2011 to cancel its Eid events, when thousands of Qatar residents took to Twitter and Facebook to express solidarity with Muslims suffering in Libya, Syria and Somalia.

What do you think about the souq’s decision to scale back festival plans? Thoughts?

19 COMMENTS

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PlanetCitizen
PlanetCitizen
7 years ago

This is not right, Eid festivities should take place by promoting and intensifying humanitarian solidarity among the Palestinians…

greg
greg
7 years ago

on the contrary, they should do it to support the Palestinian and try to raise money to help them

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
7 years ago

Instead of cancelling they should do what katara and many other places have, continue with the celebrations and give a % of the earnings to people who need it inn gaza.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

I could not agree more. Use the opportunity to highlight the plight of the people in Gaza.

Kingpin
Kingpin
7 years ago

Exactly. Cancelling it does nothing.

Mayette
Mayette
7 years ago

People associate solidarity with silent moments. Last few years they were the same complaints from locals that there shouldn’t be music, celebration etc because of mourning the dead.

So scaling back instead of completely removing it is good

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
7 years ago

I still remember the harsh opinion piece that was published in the local newspapers in 2012 that led to the cancellation of future concerts at the Museum of Islamic Art:

Our Arab world is strange and full of contradictions, wonders,
surprises, miracles and impossibilities. Is there anything
odder than the contradictory conditions that our
young girls and boys live in today?
The children of Homs and Baba Amro are being slaughtered
like sheep. Their men are being killed and their bodies cut into
pieces and the women are being widowed. Their homes are
destroyed and they are terrorised by the thugs of the corrupt
regime and Arabism and Islam traitors just to cling to power.
On the other hand, the girls in Arab Idol TV programme are
swaying with the flutes and young people are raising high their
voices singing love words while their voices are highly praised
by the jury as wonderful Arabic sounds and as being the next
upcoming stars of Arab art. Everyone is waiting the flow of millions
of votes for this and that singer as if the Islamic nation
lacks stars that bring it down to the bottom, and as if the Islamic
nation waits for those stars to bring back its lost glory while
the Arabic nation is screaming in pain and calling for anyone to
protect it and restore its prestige.
On the other hand, when I entered an Arab restaurant I found
groups of enthusiastic young people and girls loudly screaming
from the right and left side, I cried also out of joy thinking that
Jerusalem has been liberated or Al Assad’s corrupt regime has
fallen or the deposed leader has been handed to justice.
Do you know the real reason for these shouts, cheers and hugs?
Yes, because Real Madrid scored a goal and one of them shouted
proudly: Ronaldo, O my dear!!!!!
The Museum of Islamic Art, supposed to represent the values
of Islam and solidarity with Muslims’ pain and sadness,
announced the organisation of a concert by a famous Gulf singer.
I question whether the musical concerts was suspended in Souq
Waqif and launched from the platform of Museum of Islamic
Art? Only if this singer sings for the wounds of the nation and
its grief?
Has the Islamic nation fallen to this extent in these days where
the innocent people are being killed, tortured and mistreated
everywhere?
Have the wounds of the Islamic nation become cheaper than
the sweat dripping from this artist and that player?
Many nations mock of our nation’s grief! O nation, you have
become a puppet among other nations! O nation, you have become
a wonder of nations!
How long the programmes of Arab television will broadcast
such trivialities at a time when the nation desperately needs to
awaken up the spirit of Islam and remember the ancestors like
Khalid bin Walid, Abu Obeida and Saad bin Abi Waqas!
How long our youth and our girls in the world of wanders
remain unfortunately lost and scattered between the channels
of serials, movies and dirty reality shows.
We call all people living in Qatar not to vote for any male or
female singer in that programme who does not appreciate the
feelings of our nation and the suffering of our Syrian brothers
and sisters. We appeal to them to keep away their malicious TV
programmes, for our land is preserved by the Almighty and our
adherence to our religion and traditions.
As for you, O Museum of Islamic Art, we say to you: Fear
Allah and retreat from what you are doing so you get the reward!

Mr. B
7 years ago
Reply to  Michael Fryer

As I read that, the summary seems to be: “We were better off in the past; better retreat from the modern or else.”

Hardly an inspiring piece. The past is gone; that’s it’s nature. Beyond that, pan-Islamism is bunk.

Oracle
Oracle
7 years ago

It is a normal practice to reduce (or hide) elements of public joy during difficult times. This is a sign of solidarity, which is being exercised by many countries around the world.

In my view, this decision should be applauded.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago

That is such a fantastic idea!! I think that would accomplish much more than essentially doing nothing.

Grantley
Grantley
7 years ago

It’s a knee jerk reaction which is common place here. It’s very frustrating because if they just stopped to think for a moment, we could send a very loud and clear message about the atrocities in Gaza.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago

What was basically done was the open and live music concerts were cancelled

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago

Wow, gotta love one-sided reporting. This article reminds me of when I lived in Japan and went to the Edo Tokyo museum. Great museum, went through about 400 years of Japanese history. Anyway, when I get to the section about WWII it literally said something to the extent of “of the sudden those Americans started bombing us”. REALLY??! All of the sudden? No mention of Pearl Harbor to been seen anywhere.

Then I look around me an see a large group of school children and I was saddened that this is the version of events they are being told.

As they say, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it; learning from a one-sided perspective does not benefit anybody. Shame…

MS
MS
7 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

I’m baffled by what is this “one-sided reporting” you are talking about? All DN reporting is some cancellation of some music programs due to some tragic incidences in the surrounding country. What is one-sided about it?

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago
Reply to  MS

Using working like “due to the Israeli brutal aggression” etc. Thought it was a pretty self-explanatory statement.

Touhid Anwar
Touhid Anwar
7 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

If we had a conflict where 50 Israelis and 150 Palestinians died, one would expect a more balanced phrase to be used. However the israeli actions in this campaign, including bombing refugee camps and hospitals, shooting kids playing football and shooting unarmed men walking with media, are such that brutal aggression is actually more of an euphemism.
I think I’ll pre-empt the response I know may be coming, i.e. Hamas is to be blamed for all the deaths as they fire rockets. Sorry, but playground rockets (IMO they are pointless) which kill one Israeli every 3 months should never bring about a campaign that has killed 800 people so far including 200+ children.
Just as the Japanese are taught a less than accurate version of history, same applies to westerners. The underlying message, that has shaped the mindset over the years was to view Palestinians as less than human while every Israeli soldier is a vibrant person with dreams, ambitions, a doting mother and a loving family.
The good news though is that this has changed over the last 2 decades and now apart from the US, the conflict is viewed accurately in most western nations

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago
Reply to  Touhid Anwar

Don’t get me wrong, I think it is terrible what is happening over there. I really saddens me and I feel extremely sorry for the Palestinians. I cannot imagine what it would feel like to have leaders (Hamas) who intentionally WANT their own civilians to die by telling them to not evacuate and intentionally storing rockets in schools, hospitals and mosques.

Their refusal to stop shooting rockets at Israel and their arrogance at refusing to come to terms with a cease-fire is knowingly signing the death warrants of their own civilians.

If I had leaders that cared that little about my life and the lives of other civilians I would be completely devastated. I do not view the Palestinians as “less than human”, I know each one of them has hopes, dreams, fears, ambitions, and love for family, the same way every human being does. This is why I feel so sorry for them having leaders who view their lives as cheap and meaningless, and they are being used as pawns by their leaders who do not care one bit about them. Very sad 🙁 and I truly hope this ends soon.

Touhid Anwar
Touhid Anwar
7 years ago
Reply to  Expat Girl

The ‘fact” about them storing rockets in schools and hospitals comes from the Israelis; and we all know their “word” is as good as untrue.
The reason they did not agree to a ceasefire is because nothing would change. There had been “ceasefires” previously, which the Israelis did not honor and continued their killings.
Israel does what it wants, it does not care about conventions, ceasefires, treaties, etc. We all know how Israel has continued to build settlements in the West bank in spite of having agreed not to do so.

Expat Girl
Expat Girl
7 years ago
Reply to  Touhid Anwar

There is excessive propaganda on both sides of this one. You and I clearly have differing opinions about which propaganda we choose to believe and which propaganda we choose to think is BS. I know I will not be able to change your opinion, the same way you will not be able to change mine, so I will respect you and not waste your time trying.

But I think we can both agree that civilian casualties are ALWAYS a tragedy, regardless of the circumstances.

I think all human beings fundamentally want the same things, to live in safety and security, and to be able to take care and provide for their families, and to experience love and happiness. I wish people could put their differences aside and remember that as human beings our basic desires are not that different. But some scars go too deep, especially in cases like this.

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