The Dress was everywhere, a mock ISIL video and the Palestinian issue

Sarah Khamis highlights the topics that are trending in the Arabic social media

It’s been a chatty week on Arabic social media. AFP
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The Dress – yes, that one – made it to the Middle East’s political situation and Dubai’s planned Museum of the Future got everyone talking about tomorrow’s world. Meanwhile, the relationships between GCC countries got a friendly look in. It’s been a chatty week on social media.

That Dress

I’m sure that everyone knows about The Dress by now, but in case you’ve been on another planet, it’s about optical illusions. Photographs of the dress – some see it as white and gold and some as blue and black – went viral all around the world.

Here too, but in a very special way. Hashtagged #TheDress in Arabic, the topic is still trending, mostly because it’s been linked to politics. So, several twitter-users put out a photo of a Palestinian woman whose clothes were covered in blood. @mohamed_mdn tweeted: “What is the color of the dress for this lady who is waiting next to the operation room, waiting for who is left alive from her family.”

There was black humour in a video, created by someone and tweeted by many, which incorporated the debate over the dress colour into one of ISIL’s brutal videos. The video, which can be found on YouTube shows a militant asking hostages what colour dress they see. When one says “blue and black”, he pulls out his knife but the prisoner manages to turn the tables by introducing doubt in the jihad’s mind about the real colour.

Many were not amused. Rotana magazine tweeted the link to the video and and asked: “How did ISIL hostages’ destiny become tied up with the color of the dress?”

@iPhoney_ad  used a photo that caricatured an ISIL fighter with a mannequin wearing The Dress, except that it is blood red. They tweeted: “ISIL specifies the color of the dress.”

Tomorrow’s museums

Dubai’s Museum of the Future has been getting a lot of attention in the here and now. The plan for a curving, oblong, futuristic complex of innovation labs that develop ideas and systems for tomorrow’s cities was praised by many.

Using the hashtag #museumofthefuture @Abdullkhaleq_UAE tweeted: “Dubai doesn’t just plan for the future but live it and the Arab world sees its future in the UAE.”

@KowkyAS said this was just one step forward and there were many more to come.

@atyaf_Q was quite simply amazed by the project, which is scheduled to open in 2017. She tweeted the simulation video released by the Dubai authorities, drew a friend’s attention to it by adding their twitter handle and said: “Museum of the Future is a new brilliant scheme in Dubai.”

She followed this with the frank confession: “These Dubai schemes amaze me.”

Best friends forever

In a re-run, if in a minor key, of a three-month old incident, Foreign Minister Dr Anwar Gargash took to Twitter to express sorrow at the impolite attack on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces by a former member of the Kuwaiti parliament, who’s a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Back in late December, soon after Mubarak Al Duwailah, attacked this country and its leadership, Dr Gargash tweeted prolifically to reject the allegations. Now, he has addressed the issue again but in terms of norms of propriety in our region. “This doesn’t represent Gulf people morals and this must stop,” the Minister tweeted.

“Freedom of speech doesn’t mean that you are allowed to attack UAE, Kuwait or any other Gulf country leaders, these insults have to stop and the UAE doesn’t accept such actions to its leaders,” he said in another.

A friendly hashtag #UAE_is_the_country_for_all has sprung up as a result.

Ebrahim, an Egyptian living here, tweeted: “If you have not lived in the UAE then you are missing out on a lot.”

@buFahood wrote to recall how the late Sheikh Zayed embraced people of all nationalities in the UAE. “Sheikh Zayed once said, they are all my kids,” he tweeted.

@iAlsa3di pointed out that 208 nationalities live here in peace and harmony. “UAE is an open country and fits for all.”

@SBAlketbi suggested that the “Brotherhood members tried to show themselves as patriots to gain trust but they failed that we belong to our country and the UAE is country for all.”

Sarah Khamis is The National’s social media editor

On Twitter: @SarahKhamisUAE