Photos and videos of a Yemeni Jewish family reunion that took place in the United Arab Emirates prompted mixed responses by social media commentators, especially as official Emirati media outlets widely shared reports of the event.
The Yemeni Jewish family that has been separated for the last 15 years, with parts of its members living in the United Kingdom after leaving Yemen, was finally able to meet and hug each other in the Emirati capital. Family members expressed their utter happiness to have been able to meet each other again at last and extended their thanks to UAE officials who have made their reunion possible.
The reunion attributed to the UAE authorities was considered by many as "a great humanitarian gesture and a sign of Emirati promotion of coexistence between different religions." Among those celebrating the event was the Emirati Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan who retweeted it via his personal Twitter account.
Translation: "Nation of coexistence"
لم يبتكر #الشعب_الاماراتي الأفكار لتطوير دولته وحسب،إنما ابتكر منظومة"غير مسبوقة"لمبادرات تقريب الشعوب#الإمارات بكل شفافيّة هي الدولة الوحيدة في #العصر٢١ التي لا تزال تجاهد" لآخر رمق للحفاظ على ما تبقى من "العروبة" والأخوة بين شعوب #الأمة_العربية#الإمارات_وطن_الإنسانية https://t.co/vdH6sFBr6o— عائشة (@ayshaa_zay) August 9, 2020
Translation: "Not only have the Emirati people created ideas to develop its country, but also a whole unprecedented system of initiatives to make other nations closer. The UAE is clearly the only country in the 21st century to put every effort into saving what's left of pan-Arabism and brotherhood between Arab nations."
However, other commentators pointed at an "Emirati hypocrisy," saying that the country that is taking a major part in the war in Yemen "is only trying to portray itself as a humanitarian one while bombing thousands of people in Yemeni cities."
Some comments perceived the news of the family reunion as "a publicity stunt carried out by the Emirati official media to impress Israel and other western countries to cover-up for the killings they are responsible for in Yemen."
They also called on the UAE government to make similar humanitarian efforts by ending the war in Yemen, in order for them to prove their belief and dedication to human causes.
What is this? A paid AD image campaign?— G🇴🇲 (@GHarthy) August 8, 2020
You know what would be really cool! Stop bombing #Yemen
Oh land of the peaceful tolerance and Bla Bla
One Twitter user also questioned the Emirati commitment to human rights referring to a political prisoner, who have been jailed in the UAE since 2015.
إنسانية الإمارات فقط يبرز في اي شيء يخدم اليهود أينما كانوا، شردوا قرابة ٩ مليون يمني...و يفتخرون بجمع شخص واحد مع عائلته. https://t.co/Rh6yWYIqRe— othman Subaih (@OthmanSubaih) August 8, 2020
Translation: "The humanity of the UAE only appears in helping Jewish people wherever they are. They have displaced 9 million Yemenis and are now proud of reuniting one person with his family."
Translation: "Can the Emirati news agency report reasons for which Maryam Al-Blushi has been held?"
The war in Yemen was first waged by the Saudi-Emirati coalition in March 2015 against the Iranian-backed Houthi group that had controlled several Yemeni cities. According to Human Rights Watch, the war in Yemen has killed at least 17,500 civilians since 2015.
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