The ruler of Dubai has taken to verse to urge Qatar to concede to the demands of Saudi Arabia and its allies for an end to the crippling embargo. Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, is the latest in a long line of world leaders to turn to poetry to convey their message.
In the poem, posted on Instagram late on Wednesday, Shaikh Mohammed urged Qatar to abandon its independent foreign policy and return to the Gulf fold. “Of one origin, people, existence/ one flesh and blood, one land and faith,” he wrote. “”Yet Qatar returns to the nearby stranger, to the weak,” he added, alluding to Doha’s refusal to join the Riyadh-led boycott of Tehran. “Now is the time to unite, one heart/ to protect one another beyond hate”.
The poem garnered 80,000 likes overnight. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and its allies Egypt and Bahrain severed all ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of support for extremist groups–a claim Doha denies.