Thousands gathered in central Doha to welcome back the emir of Qatar after his first foreign visit since the crisis began. Emir first visited Turkey and then went on European trip before winding up his trip in US.
Qataris and members of expatriate community gathered in Doha’s waterfront to greet the emir as his motorcade passed by.
“This is a very important moment for the people of Qatar,” Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra said.
“For them this is a show of unity and also a message to the international community that despite the fact that a blockade was imposed on the country, they continue to fight for what they consider to be a legitimate right to defend the sovereignty of Qatar.”
— Mohd Noor (@MohdNoorudeen) September 24, 2017
The show of unity was also aimed at refuting rumours from other Gulf media outlets that Qataris are looking for a change of leadership.
“This display of passion and patriotic fervour among the Qataris is really quite unprecedented,” Ahelbarra said.
Sultan Barakat, director of Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute, said it felt “as if half of Doha” was on the street.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in terms of traffic,” he told.
“Publicly, seeing the images today will push them [the blockading countries] to think twice about this particular issue,” he added.
“It’s been about 110 days or so and there hasn’t been any feeling of split in the society and it seems to me that everyone is very much united behind the emir.”