There was a surprise on Twitter when Russian president Vladimir Putin unexpectedly announcing earlier this week the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria. This news was followed by an attack on a bus in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar that claimed the lives of over a dozen people. There was also excitement over The Queen, a new television series that aired on Dubai TV on Tuesday.
Vladimir Putin’s announcement to pull out troops from Syria shocked many, while others said that the move was expected. Whatever it was, the development kept Twitter users debating the situation in Syria.
User @SimaDiab believed that the withdrawal made Russia look good in the eyes of the international community, although the Russians seemed to have the last laugh.
The American magazine @ForeignPolicy tweeted that “the Russian withdrawal from Syria could set the stage for Assad’s exit”.
Journalist @HalaJaber was more sceptical, as she believed that the move was well-calculated and carried out following an agreement with the Assad regime. However, @samirsinh189 was not surprised, saying that it’s typical of Mr Putin to “keep the world guessing”.
Scores of people were killed and dozens wounded when a bomb ripped through a bus carrying Pakistani government workers through one of the main commercial markets of Peshawar.
The city of Peshawar has long been a target for attacks by the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups. A statement attributed to the banned group Lashkar-i-Islam claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in revenge for death sentences passed down by a military court for 13 men convicted on terrorism charges.
Condemnation poured out on Twitter immediately after the incident. Many users expressed sympathy for the victims and their families.
User @gabeeno called Pakistan an “an extremely insensitive nation”, while user @NaheedNSafdar criticised the country’s media for paying too much attention to cricket. User @Palwasha_Abbas also shared a similar opinion saying that the media devoted too much attention to cricket and too little to the tragedy.
User @Neelkhan0209 tweeted: “We live in a time when cricket is more important than safety-awareness campaigns.”
While @Izhar2u shared a photograph of a man with this comment: “My heart goes out for this elder Pashtun whose son died in today’s blast.”
Criticising the terrorists’ ideology, user @DrHussainQadri tweeted: “I condemn the savage and inhumane act.” He criticised the Pakistani government for failing to protect citizens. User @SenFaisalAbidi also expressed similar frustration with the government.
Emirati singer Ahlam stirred controversy with her new television show, The Queen, that is being aired by Dubai TV.
The reaction on social media over the programme ranged from praises for Queen Ahlam’s confidence and carefree attitude to criticism of the programme for celebrating Ahlam’s bizarre antics and the portrayal of her fans as slaves, willing to do whatever it takes to win her heart and trust.
Some of those who praised the show included user @alhagri3li who tweeted: “Om Fahed, you did great and this is an evidence of your success. Turn your back to your critics and keep going.”
User @AlsaeedFajer expressed support for Ahlam, saying: “I enjoyed your interview on Al Arabiya TV and I hope that no one is going to attack you. You presented a new show in an unusual way.” User @iBinThaleth quoted the tweet of an Emirati woman who has eight sons serving in the UAE military, which read: “This woman who raised and guided her kids well is the real queen.”
Another user @ramadhani6336 thought that the show did not respect the audience. “Please respect the audience and their families and remove the scenes of humiliation and insults of the participants,” he tweeted.
User @tmoo777 urged tweeters to criticise “the queen” in a respectful manner, although @nooraa didn’t like the show at all and thought it was an abuse of power. “Simply a disgusting show of an idiot with money and idiots ready to be slaves for her money,” she commented.
On Twitter: @SarahKhamisUAE