On Thursday Princess Hend Al Qassimi, a member of the royal family of United Arab Emirates, called out a series of “Islamophobic posts” on Twitter Thursday by a user named Saurabh Upadhyay.
Upadhyay, who has since deleted his Twitter account, targeted Muslims over the Tablighi Jamaat incident that many people have said resulted in the rise of COVID-19 cases in India. He even claimed that Hindus had built cities like Dubai from scratch – something, he claimed, had been acknowledged by the ruling royal families.
Princess Hend Al Qassimi, it appears, has become the new crusader against hate speech on Twitter. Responding to Upadhyay’s tweets, she said that such behaviour would not be tolerated in the United Arab Emirates.
“Hate speech is the beginning of genocide. Gandhi once said: “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” Let us learn from the bloody history we have now documented and in pictures and film. Understand that death begets death & love begets love. Prosperity starts with peace,” she tweeted.
While the Princess misquoted the Mahatma (the line is actually from the Sir Richard Attenborough biopic starring Sir Ben Kingsley), she received a lot of praise for the tweet.
But who is Princess Hend Al Qassimi and when did she become famous?
Growing up years: Her father is a doctor and her mother, a school principal in the United Arab Emirates
Multiple qualifications: According to her Wikipedia page, Princess Hend Al Qassimi studied architecture, project management, entrepreneurship, Management, Marketing, Communications & Media, and etiquette across various institutions across the world.
Career as a journalist: She has written for various publications and is also the editor-in-chief of a lifestyle magazine. She has written a book titled ‘The Black Book of Arabia’
Marriage and separation: She was married to Prince Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar in 2006. They even had a son, but later separated amicably. In an interview, she said that Prince Al Thani. She was told that if she left him, she would have no rights. She agreed and surrendered everything that was part of dowry given to him during the wedding. She then moved back to UAE with her son.
Return to Qatar: The Princess moved back to Qatar after she alleged that the Emir took her son away from her. She has been in Doha since, and has been in a constant struggle to get custody of her son. She had even put out a video on social media with an appeal. Currently, the Qatari administration is yet to issue a passport for her son so he can return to UAE with her.
Anti-meat eater?: On April 8, she shared a video of a woman eating a live turtle saying, "Anything that crawls, flows, walks, slither, barks, howls, meows, calls, wails, lives or moves is edible according to some."