Saudi Twitter photo contest sparks global viral reactions amid coronavirus lockdown

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A Saudi photography contest on Twitter has gone viral, sparking local and international reactions with hundreds of thousands of people across the world under coronavirus lockdowns, including international stars, engaging in the fierce competition.

The competition which had two main competitors gained reactions from international sports stars, sports clubs, and celebrities.

It all began when Twitter user @MansHFC identifying himself as Mansour put out a tweet in the early hours of Monday saying that he would be giving out three prizes for three people with the best photographs, two of which will be determined by the number of likes while a third would be judged on quality.

The prizes were modestly set at 500 Saudi riyals ($133) for the top winner, 250 Saudi riyals ($66) for the runner up, and the third winner judged on quality. The contest was set with a deadline of midnight Saudi Arabian time on Monday.

The contest quickly became competitive between two users, one by the username @1KindofMadness identifying himself as “Abu Qaht” and another by the username @mrz_4l identifying herself as “Marzooqa.”

The female user’s photo showing her holding two iced coffees at a retro festival in Saudi Arabia received 650,000 likes while the male’s photograph of an Arabic coffee pot next to a bonfire garnered 468,000 likes with one hour left to the competition.

Regional celebrities and international sports clubs also weighed in on the fierce battle for the $133 prize money, with Italian club Juventus FC tweeting in Arabic to “Abu Qaht”’s photo saying that “When Dybala touches the ball! Let’s go football fans .. we want a "Rimontada" (comeback) here.”

Spanish professional footballer Cesc Fàbregas also weighed in on who he was supporting, simply using a fire emoji to show his support for “Abu Qaht.”

The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) also tweeted saying: “WWE superstar Kane supports Abu Qaht in this competition.”

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