By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter
“One nation, one people, one Gulf ... the borders will not separate us” – this is the general feeling among Kuwaiti and Omani citizens spending their Eid al-Fitr holidays in Qatar.
More than 45 families from Kuwait and Oman are being hosted at Zubarah Boutique Hotel in Doha for the holidays. While enjoying the holidays, they have also extended moral support to Qatar in view of the ongoing blockade. The owner of the hotel, Abdulla al-Hamad al-Samit, had launched an initiative inviting Omani and Kuwaiti nationals to stay at the hotel for free for the three-day Eid holidays. Those wishing to extend their stay have been given special rates.
“We would receive a large number of visitors from the GCC countries —our brothers — during the Eid holidays. As I consider the GCC a united house, I did not want this practice to end due to the current situation. I also hoped to extend our invitation to the citizens of all other GCC countries, but unfortunately they could not join us this Eid,” al-Samit said.
He stressed that the hotel aims to send a message of unity by creating a “family atmosphere involving the brothers from other GCC countries”.
The hotel’s general manager, Omar Awad, said the initiative to invite Kuwaitis and Omanis was welcomed and appreciated on social media. He informed that all 45 rooms of the hotel have been given to Omanis and Kuwaitis, who have been keen to spend the holidays in Qatar with their families and friends.
Gulf Times yesterday spoke to several of the Kuwaiti and Omani visitors, who stressed their love for and solidarity with the Qatari people and government, expressing gratitude for their warm welcome, great hospitality and generosity.
Saleem al-Sinani, an Omani citizen, said he was familiar with Doha as he had come here a number of times in the past. Every time, he returned with the impression that Qatar is a country that all GCC citizens and Arabs should be proud of for its great achievements.
“I am really disappointed at what has happened —the blockade of Qatar. It should not have been done in the first place, as it harms both our common and individual interests as GCC citizens. Many Gulf citizens enjoy close family relations and have relatives in each other’s country. The blockade is harming us and we do not accept it,” he said.
Turki al-Metari, a Kuwaiti man accompanying his family, stressed that all Kuwaitis are proud of their leader’s efforts to resolve the differences “among brothers in the GCC region”. He pointed out that he and his family felt at home in Doha. Nasser Mohamed al-Utaibi, a Kuwaiti poet, emphasised that the blockade cannot go on for long and it should be resolved soon as the GCC countries are one family.
“We should all be proud of Qatar and its ongoing great achievements. It is the first Arab country to secure hosting rights for the FIFA World Cup, scheduled for 2022. I wrote some poems to express the feelings of the GCC people, who would never agree with such a blockade, stressing the unity and one destiny of all GCC countries,” he said.
He said in one of his poems, “Eid has come in Doha with joy among the generous, precious people. She called and I have to go and wish her peace. Doha, the city of glories, with the leader soaring to peaks of magnificence.”
Similarly, Abdelaziz al-Sidari, another Kuwaiti national, said the Gulf people would never approve of such a blockade because it amounts to the severing of “much-valued, deep-rooted family relations among the citizens”.
Udday Hozaifa, a young Omani man who has come to Doha with his sister and brother, said he has been a regular visitor to the Qatari capital since 2007. “Since then, massive developments have taken place in the country with everything getting better and better. I have always seen Qataris as gentle, welcoming and generous people, making me feel at home here,” he observed.
His compatriot from Oman, Ahmed al-Belushi, added that the blockade “has been completely rejected from a humanitarian point of view”, as the people of the region have always been one family with close relations. “The path of dialogue among the leaders should be open all the time and it is the only way to resolve the issue among the brothers,” he added.
Mefleh al-Sawqagh, a Kuwaiti, described his visit to Doha as brotherly and a declaration of support and solidarity with the country. “We are one people, one house and we are all proud of Qatar’s achievements and success. We cannot abandon our family and brothers here,” he stressed.
Lafi al-Metairi, another Kuwaiti, said he believes that all GCC citizens see it as a “temporary family dispute, which will be resolved soon for the best of all”.
The Kuwaiti and Omani visitors also said the list of demands given to Qatar was “completely impractical and unacceptable”. However, they expressed steadfast belief that the issue is only a “summer cloud that will pass soon, leaving the GCC countries more united than ever”.
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