The portrait ‘Tamim Al Majd’ became a popular phenomenon because of people’s love for His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, according to the artist behind the famous portrait.

Three years ago when four regional neighbours imposed an illegal siege on Qatar, a sticker with a portrait of His Highness the Amir started appearing on social media platforms. The portrait took the country by storm and soon it was seen everywhere – be it bumpers, glass skyscrapers, T-shirts, shop windows or private homes of people. It inspired a patriotic fervour and people stood in long queues to write messages of support for their leader on ‘Tamim Al Majd’ posters and billboards.

The portrait, comprising a black and white silhouette of HH the Amir’s profile and the slogan ‘Tamim Al Majd’ (Tamim the Glory), was drawn by contemporary Qatari artist Ahmed bin Majed al-Maadheed.

“The painting was an expression of my feelings about the unjust blockade of Qatar. I was not surprised by the reaction of the people. The reality is that people love His Highness Sheikh Tamim, and the overwhelming response to ‘Tamim Al Majd’ portrait was a result of that.”

Ahmed believes that ‘Tamim Al Majd’ became a channel for Qataris and expatriates to express their solidarity with Qatar and denounce the blockade.

Speaking about the siege and how it affected him personally, Ahmed said that the blockade was an act against humanity. “When it happened to Qatar I was shocked. Qatar is my family– it’s everything to me. And what happened… you don’t expect it from your neighbour. It was like someone stabbed me in the back. I felt the pain of the people around me.”

Ahmed added that the blockade made Qatar a stronger country as it united everyone.

“We are thankful to His Highness Sheikh Tamim for everything that he has done for Qataris and the expatriates. Despite the blockade, we continue to succeed and prosper because we believe in our nation.”

The original ‘Tamim Al Majd’ portrait currently resides in the National Museum of Qatar.