Manama: Qataris have launched an online campaign to reverse a decision to host an audition of the Arab Idol talent show in the country.
The campaign on the microblog site Twitter claimed that the spirit and purpose of the show were against local sensitivities and traditions and should not be promoted or tolerated in a conservative society like Qatar.
Organisers of Arab Idol have scheduled an audition session on November 15 in a hotel in Doha.
Those behind the campaign are of the view that the show is “trivial” and “does not contribute to elevating the status of culture”, Qatari Arabic daily Al Sharq reported on Monday. They said that their drive not to allow the audition in their capital city was launched after they polled Qataris on their views regarding the pan-Arab show and found that it was not supported.
One blogger said that Doha should not host the screening session “because no Qatari national would join it”.
“Our society does not have the slightest inclination to take part or be involved in the show,” another blogger wrote, while a Qatari national tweeted that “the Western world is breaking all records while Arabs are still dancing.”
Yet another blogger called for Arab Idol to be disallowed arguing that it neither boosted the intellect nor promoted science.
Other cities scheduled to host audition sessions this year are Luxor, Alexandria, Cairo, Casablanca, Tunis, Amman, Irbil, Dubai and Beirut.
Thousands of Arabs have applied every year to join the music show which was originally launched as Arab Super Star and aired for the first time in 2003 on Future television, a Lebanese station. Selected contestants perform on stage and people are given time to vote for their favourites by SMS. In 2011, the show’s name was changed to Arab Idol and auditions were held in Cairo, Casablanca, Dubai, Kuwait City, Amman, Tunis and Beirut. London hosted a special audition.
Judges ultimately selected 20 people aged between 16 and 28, from nine countries with Egyptian contestant Carmen Sulaiman, 17, declared the winner after nine weeks of competition.