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'Our joy is one': Saudi World Cup win sparks rare Arab unity

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Saudi Arabia's unexpected World Cup victory over giants Argentina triggered a rare moment of joint celebration across the fractured Arab world including among Qataris -- less than two years after a seething regional dispute.A caravan of Qatari cars, horns honking, paraded through the streets of Doha after the Saudis' famous 2-1 win over the South American champions, one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history.Such scenes would have been unthinkable during the nearly four-year, Saudi-led blockade that cut Qatar's diplomatic, trade and transport ties with its closest neighbours over disputed claims of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran.Complicated regional relations were forgotten as Tunisians, Moroccans, Egyptians, Lebanese and Jordanians joined the throng of Saudi fans that partied in the Qatari capital."This is a historic victory for Saudi Arabia and a great victory for all Arabs," 24-year-old Jordanian Ahmed Al-Qasim, his country's flag draped around his shoulders, told AFP at a Doha fan zone."I may not support the Saudi government's policies but I am pleased with this great football victory," he added, in a hushed voice.The triumph was Saudi's biggest since its World Cup debut in 1994 and the first for a Middle Eastern country in this year's tournament, which is making its debut on Arab soil.The outpouring of joy followed a series of bitter human rights disputes that drew angry responses from the Qatari organisers, including accusations of anti-Arab racism.Some Qatari fans raised the conservative kingdom's flag alongside their own, and even Qatar's emir watched the game draped in a Saudi scarf -- days after the de facto Saudi leader donned Qatari colours."There was a political dispute between the two

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