Expats and Qataris congregated en masse last night to call for the ouster of embattled Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad.
The demonstration, which local media reported swelled to some 4,000 people, was sanctioned by the Ministry of Interior, and took place in a Qatar that saw government-approved protests against Libyan and Egyptian dictators earlier this year.
Qatar Tribune reports:
Participant Hesham al Mahmood from Damascus in Syria said, “We are here to echo the screams of our people being slaughtered by the oppressor Bashar al Assad. The only fault of the victims is that they crave for basic human rights and freedom to live with dignity.”
…Salim al Shahri, a Qatari national said: “We have taken part in the demonstration here in support of our brothers and sisters in Syria and their just cause. This is the least that we can do. People are sacrificing their lives for a better future which they well deserve.”
The demonstrators chanted slogans like, “Step down Bashar al Assad,” “Death is preferred to humiliation,” and “Our tanks should be in the Golan, not in Hama.” They also sang the songs of the Syrian signer who was gunned downed by security forces in Hama during protests.
Last month, Qatar shuttered its embassy in Damascus and recalled its ambassador amid attacks on an Al Jazeera bureau there over coverage of the Syrian government’s crackdowns against protesters.
Other Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait have followed suit, recalling their ambassadors and further isolating Assad and his government.
Following is an account of last night’s events via social media. Check it out and tell us your thoughts!
Did you attend the protest?
Image courtesy of Facebook demonstration page.