The Middle East is often regarded by the rest of the international community as a hostile region, characterised by war and social unrest. However, Dubai has been making moves to negate the stereotype, attempting to bring about peace and unanimity by introducing a new ‘tolerance’ handsign.
Weeks after the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai unveiled the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Tolerance, the hand sign of a dove (representing tolerance) was announced, along with the hashtag #tolerance_unites_us.
The renowned Arab television presenter Lojain Omran was also appointed as the ambassador for the newly launched Mohammad Bin Rashid Award for Tolerance, tasked to spread the culture of tolerance and promote the values of peace across the region.
The new handsign has generally received a positive response in the UAE, with some Emirates taking to twitter to voice pride in their country for taking steps towards adopting a more peaceful array of hand gestures.
However, most have simply pointed out the striking similarities between the new sign and the popular hand gesture adopted by American hip hop group, Wu Tang Clan. And to be fair, the parallels are indisputable.
In other news, Dubai just stole the Wu Tang hand sign pic.twitter.com/cR1YwPqVut— Iyad el-Baghdadi (@iyad_elbaghdadi) October 31, 2016
Dubai just appropriated the Wu-Tang symbol, basically. https://t.co/HRZKhVmNGp— Chillian J. Yikes! (@jilliancyork) October 31, 2016
With the Wu-Tang Clan having released seven gold and platinum studio albums with worldwide sales of more than 40 million albums, let’s hope Dubai’s message of tolerance reaches similar levels of popularity.
Al Bawaba has reached out to Wu Tang Clan for their comments on the hand sign appropriation.
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