Social organization ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) is launching an anti-racism campaign today, Speak Out Against Racism (#SOAR on Twitter).
Khalifa Haroon, the group’s founder, says that the campaign is designed to encourage all members of Qatar’s community to identify and challenge racism when it occurs, and to appreciate the diversity of the community.
ILQ are releasing a series of videos linked in with the campaign, the first of which is called “Clones,” by Ramy Khalaf.
“We’ve “cloned” Qatari comedian Hamad Al Amari in the video” says Haroon.
“All he sees are versions of himself. It’s ironic because Hamad is a comedian, but in this world, he doesn’t smile. The message is that a world without diversity isn’t a world worth living in.”
Further videos will feature quotes from “the Quran, celebrities, and inspirational figures” explains Haroon, “in the hope of appealing to everyone.”
He’s keen to point out that racism in Qatar is a universal issue, and not restricted to issues between nationals and expats.
“There is clearly an issue with racism across the board” he says. “I’ve seen expats treat other expats badly based on nationality. I’ve seen businesses judge employees based on nationality, and I’ve seen people being treated BETTER because of their nationality too.”
Racist attitudes are certainly a regular discussion point on social media in Qatar. Several Doha News posts on the subject have sparked serious debate, including stories about discriminatory job adverts, unequal pay, and comments made about the relative “beauty” of different nationalities of domestic worker.
Thoughts? What do you think of the video?