Imaginative World Cup: The Discursive Construction of the Arab Community

Mounir Sanhaji


The utility of cultural encounters acquires a meaning that contributes to the understanding of the significance of cultural differences. The attempt to know certain people with their cultural specificities spares the embarrassment of misunderstanding cultural contexts whose topicality stems from the cultures and geographies of others. For the sake of achieving ideological purposes, however, textual and cultural encounters become a double-edged sword that works in complicity to produce different perceptions and value judgments about peoples and cultures. This situation is emblematic of Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup 2022, where the negation of the Arab land preoccupies different western voices that determine the process of constructing imaginative Arab space to draw a kind of exoticism to such a worldwide event. This imaginative space has become a western product that measures the mechanisms of understanding and constructing the Arabs. The effect of cultural encounters, in this regard, plays a vital role in determining one’s difference and undertaking an investigation of this western representation that is intervened by the presence of Western fans in Qatar to give it new dimensions and meanings from different positionalities.

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