Gulf crisis: Latest Twitter war conjures up genies

Social media goes otherworldly after the creation of a hashtag accusing Qatar of “dealing with genies”.

Dylan''s genie
Social media users sarcastically responded to the accusations with pictures and videos from popular children's movies [Getty]

The latest Twitter war surrounding the crisis in the Gulf has taken a supernatural turn after a senior correspondent with a Saudi Arabia-based news network accused Qatar of witchcraft.

Hundreds of social media users over the weekend sarcastically hit back online under the hashtag “Qatar deals with genies”, created after Al-Arabiya’s Khalil Walid Abajoud posted a series of tweets accusing Doha of conjuring spirits to assist it in its dispute with neighbouring Gulf countries. 

“Sorcerers from Senegal and Mauritania get millions of dollars after sheikhs in Qatar offer to bring down spirits and harness genies to solve the crisis,” wrote Abajoud.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar on June 5 over allegations the country funds “terrorism” and is too close to Iran – allegations Qatar has repeatedly denied.

The Saudi-led group offered to end the blockade last month in return for Qatar’s compliance on 13 points, including to shut down the Al Jazeera Media Network, to scale back ties with Iran and to close a Turkish military base.

Qatar has rejected the demands as an attempt to limit its sovereignty, while human rights agencies have accused the Saudi-led group of attempting to curtail press freedom in the region.

Twitter users, many of them displaying Qatari flags in their user profiles, responded to allegations of sorcery and witchcraft with humour. 

Several Twitter users suggested it was time for Doha to open its own branch of the famed Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter book series.

Others posted pictures and GIFs of the character Albus Dumbledore, head of JK Rowling’s Hogwarts school, showing evident exasperation. 

One Twitter user posted a GIF of the character “Jafar” from the children’s movie Aladdin, implying evil Qatari genies had been enraged over the accusations.

Nour al-Mohanadi posted a GIF of a line of ghosts merrily punching in for a day at work, writing: “Just another day at work in Qatar.” 

Others posted videos and photos of witches hiding.

Amr al-Nasser posted a photo from the popular American cartoon The Simpsons, poking fun at a strange group photo taken with a mysterious glowing orb during US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia in May.

Source: Al Jazeera