Saudi Singers Take Jibe at Qatar

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Seven Arab singers, mostly Saudis, have poured scorn on Qatar in a song that has gone viral, prompting fresh rancor between the Gulf rivals as their three-month-old diplomatic spat drags on.

The five-minute music video titled "Teach Qatar", featuring five leading Saudi singers including Mohammad Abdo and Abdulmajeed Abdullah as well as two Iraqi artists, has so far attracted more than two million views.

"Our stabbing is in the face, not in the back," one of the artists sings, in an apparent swipe at Qatar’s foreign policy.

"Teach Qatar and everyone who stood by Qatar that our country is very patient. But when issues reach a dangerous state, then by God you will see the actions of its men."

Regional kingpin Saudi Arabia as well as the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of bankrolling Islamist extremist groups. Doha denies the charges.

The four Arab states have imposed an embargo on Qatar, recalling their diplomats and banning the emirate from using their airspace or ports. 

An adviser to the Saudi royal court composed the song, which was released by Rotana, an entertainment firm primarily owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Qatar officially dismissed the video as defamatory.

"We stick to our ethics and stay away from the minor acts, and let them slander using their media to disgrace others," Qatari foreign ministry official Ahmed bin Saeed al-Rumaihi tweeted.

The video has generated heated debate on social media, with citizens of both countries exchanging barbs.

"The propaganda war between the kings and emirs of the Arab Gulf now includes Arab poets and artists – just like old times," one person said on Twitter.