Christian groups urge ‘matriarch of modern Qatar’ to use influence to help free hostages in Gaza

A couple with children looks at portraits of Israeli hostages held in Gaza since the October 7 attacks by Hamas terrorists, on billboards in Jerusalem.
A couple with children looks at portraits of Israeli hostages held in Gaza since the October 7 attacks by Hamas terrorists, on billboards in Jerusalem. | JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images

Christian groups have launched a campaign urging Moza bint Nasser, the mother of Qatar’s Emir, to leverage her influence for the release of hostages in Gaza. A billboard featuring bint Nasser and an Israeli infant hostage appeared in Times Square, New York City, bearing the plea “It’s in your hands” and “Release the hostages.”

The initiative, driven by ItsInYourHands, an informal coalition of Christian leaders and organizations, has been active since October 2023 in supporting hostage families. The group’s efforts, including a video appeal by American television host and singer Kathie Lee Gifford, highlight bint Nasser’s potential role in mitigating the hostage situation, despite her complex public image and Qatar’s controversial stance in Middle East politics.


Moza bint Nasser, 64, is recognized as a significant figure within Qatar, holding numerous influential positions, including the chairwoman of the Qatar Foundation and the Qatar Luxury Group. Her public persona as a humanitarian contrasts with criticisms regarding her silence on the hostages’ plight, including eight Americans who are among the 136 still being held captive in Gaza.

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Despite Qatar’s relationship with the United States, including hosting the largest U.S. military base in the region, the country’s support for Hamas and control over Al-Jazeera, known for its anti-American and anti-Israel content, complicates its international image.

Following the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, bint Nasser’s social media activity, particularly an Instagram post on Oct. 8, has been scrutinized for endorsing Hamas propaganda. It raises doubts among experts about her willingness to intervene on behalf of the hostages.

Jonathan Schanzer, a Middle East scholar, expressed skepticism regarding bint Nasser’s involvement in efforts to secure the hostages’ release, noting her focus seems to be on preventing catastrophe in Gaza rather than addressing the broader conflict, as reported by New York Post.

“Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar presents herself as a champion of humanitarian causes, but beneath the surface lies a troubling reality,” ItsInYourHands says on its website. “As the mother of the Emir of Qatar and a prominent figure in global philanthropy, Sheikha Moza’s influence extends far and wide. However, her involvement in the plight of hostages, including eight Americans, held in Gaza reveals a stark contrast to her public image.”

It adds, “While Sheikha Moza touts her efforts in promoting education and women’s rights, her silence on the issue of hostages in Gaza speaks volumes. Despite her vast resources and connections, she has failed to use her influence to secure the release of these innocent individuals.”

An online petition launched by ItsInYourHands has received more than 5,250 signatures as of early Sunday. Its goal is to get 7,500 signatures.

Douglas Murray, an associate editor of The Spectator, recently criticized Qatar’s longstanding support for Hamas, highlighting the luxurious lifestyle of Hamas leaders in Doha, funded by international aid intended for Palestinians in Gaza.

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