Is Riyadh boycotting Kathem al-Saher for his Qatari nationality?

Is Riyadh boycotting superstar Kathem al-Saher for his Qatari nationality?
2 min read
22 Nov, 2017
Rumours surrounding the fate of Kathem al-Saher's career in Saudi Arabia have been squashed this week, after a source confirmed the cancellation of his concerts.
The Iraqi-born superstar also holds a Qatari nationality [AFP]
Iraqi superstar Kathem al-Saher, who is also a Qatari national, has had his concerts in Saudi Arabia cancelled, reports confirmed, after widespread speculation earlier this week.

Two planned shows in Riyadh and Jeddah were cancelled and the country’s Entertainment Authority removed all promotions from their websites and social media platforms, according to a source who spoke to Saudi-based news website, al-Arabiya.

"The source did not reveal the reasons behind the cancellation, however they confirmed that both concerts will not be held on the dates announced," al-Arabiya wrote. 

But as expected, the reports created quite a stir for thousands of al-Saher’s fans who were quick to speculate on the reasons for the cancellations, with many pointing toward the Iraqi-born singers affiliation with Qatar.

A political move?

Translation: “Please do not involve politics in art.”

Translation: “Unfortunately, some decisions have no sense or reason, but cause the world to laugh at us. I expect by 2018 we will have boycotted all artists.”

Translation: “Stupidity and backwardness! Is this a reason to cancel the show of an Arab, Iraqi singer who has more than one nationality - not just Qatari!”

Translation: “If the reason is his performances in Qatar then this is embarrassing”

Who's at loss here?

Translation: “Do you even deserve a Kathem concert? It is far too good for you :)”

Translation: “They have lost out, not you

Translation: “This is why he accepted to come and sing and we rejected him”!

Video translation: “I have a great audience which attends my concerts across the world and I am honoured by this. And of course, I am happy to decrease their travel costs, it is my duty to travel to them. I wish that all is soon forgotten. I hope that the people unite and politics stops dividing - the people are greater and their voices are louder.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and other states cut ties with Doha on 5 June and accused Qatar of supporting terrorism and being too close to regional-rival Iran.

The anti-Qatar alliance have imposed a land, air and sea blockade, and have commissioned a range of national artists to create songs slamming the tiny Gulf emirate to rally up support for the political move.