x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai-based British diplomat bombarded on Twitter Q&A

Diplomat Rosemary Davis, was hit with 295 questions from about 50 tweeters, many relating to the UK's reaction to the political situations in Bahrain and Kuwait.

DUBAI // A British foreign office diplomat was bombarded with questions about the region during a Twitter Q&A session yesterday.

Rosemary Davis, who is based in Dubai, received 295 questions from about 50 tweeters, many relating to the UK's reaction to the political situations in Bahrain and Kuwait.

The session, using Ms Davis's @RDavisFCO Twitter account and the hashtag #MiddleEastQA, generated more than 300,000 online impressions, reaching an audience of more than 77,000 followers, according to www.hashtracking.com, a Twitter analytics site.

"It was very intense," Ms Davis told The National after the session. "This was my first time doing a live question and answer session like this."

She offered 23 answers in both English and Arabic to questions, which covered the future of Syria, the situation in Bahrain and political reforms in Kuwait.

"It was very good and I had a lot of questions. I was not able to answer all the questions as some of them were commentary that I had no answers for," Ms Davis said.

She added that the large volume of questions and comments about Bahrain were set in the form of a campaign.

Tweeters from Bahrain focused on the British government's reaction to the protest ban in the Kingdom and the clashes between activists and the government.

In response, she tweeted: "We support reforms under way in #Bahrain and urge the Government to show more urgency in implementing them."

Regarding Kuwait, tweeters claimed that about 470 protesters and activists had been detained over the past six months and called for the British government to condemn this.

"Kuwait now is in the midst of a political crisis, but will continue to be one of the oldest countries in the region in terms of the freedom of political participation," Ms Davis said.

She added that she hoped to conduct another session in the near future, but she wants it to take a more organised form so she can respond to all questions.

amustafa@thenational.ae