Hamad has been spreading laughter in and around Doha since 2011, and is much loved in the Qatar community among citizens and expats alike. His charismatic personality allows him to speak his mind, which is probably what draws most people to him. He is genuine and authentic, and much loved for his sense of humour.
He is Doha's very own stand-up comedian, MC, entrepreneur, thinker, storyteller, brand ambassador, ultimate family guy, football hooligan (in his own words) and an artist all around. He hasn't looked back since he became a comedian in 2011. He's shared the stage with comedians like Trevor Noah, Gabriel Iglesias, Maz Jobrani, Nemr, Omid Djalili, and making more people laugh at his side-splitting stories and comic routines. He's even done some writing that he hopes one day that he'll be able to turn into a book.
Hamad co-hosts I Love Qatar's famous show 'QTips' with Mr. Q - Khalifa, and is well known as 'The Qatari Guy'. Through the show, Hamad and Khalifa talk about Qatar's culture and its heritage.
We interviewed Hamad for an exclusive with I Love Qatar and got to learn more about Hamad the person, the comedian, and much more.
Hamad: I grew up in Ireland where I did my primary and secondary school years. That's why you'll often see me being referred to as a Qatari-Irishman! I moved back to Doha in 2004 and left for the UK soon after to study Biomedical Sciences at Cardiff University because I wanted to be an orthopaedic surgeon. I didn't complete that degree though because I realised medicine wasn't for me and came back to Doha in 2011.
Hamad: After a while, I realised I needed to find myself a job. My first job was with Al Jazeera Finance where I stayed for just over eight months. After that, I worked for a bank for a few years.
In 2011, I realised my calling as a stand-up comedian. I had my first comedy gig in a restaurant at the Pearl.
My friend Mohammad Kamal is a great comedian, and he pushed me to take this further. In fact, he invited me to his gig, and made it out like it would be the end of the world if I didn't show up. Things just picked up and I started flying from there.
Hamad: No, I didn't always know that. I did entertain my friends and family, but I did not know that I could do stand up comedy. People liked having me around, but I did not know that this was something I would ever get into.
Hamad: Comedy is a profession. At the end of the day, it's an art form and it's so underrated and under-appreciated, but it's also the only art form that gives you that instant gratification. And, you are really in control. There is no misunderstanding on stage. I'm on stage telling you a story and you're laughing because you like the story. You feel an affinity towards the story and that's what's making you laugh. This is skill no other art form has.
I believe art should provoke something in the viewer. You can do that with movies, music and with comedy, I am on stage. it's now. The moment won't repeat itself. It's exciting and debilitating fear at the same time. And, then you get one laugh and you know you have control over the whole room.
Hamad: I tried to build comedy clubs, but then realised it's not my thing. I did a lot for it, and worked with comedians, but then when there's an event and you have someone on your roster who doesn't show up and the tickets to the event are sold. It's a lot. People, perhaps, don't take it seriously. There was a time when I had to go on stage and perform for almost two hours because the comedian who was supposed to be on stage didn't show up. No other art form does this. And, if you're not doing well, your audience will let you know that, too.
Hamad: We met at an event and just got to talking and we became friends. We were like-minded people and we both loved Qatar. I became co-host of 'QTips' with him and through it, we were able to tell people more and more about Qatar, its value, traditions and its culture.
Hamad: Swalif is an exciting new show where I talk about everything from cooking to space to media with experts from all walks of life. The idea behind the show is to have a conversation with experts in a casual setting, and make the topics more fun and free-flowing, even if they are serious topics like challenges of the media, what is fake news, how is social media changing the world, and so on and so forth. Anyone can watch the show on the US Embassy Facebook and YouTube page. The show is LIVE in English, but later, we add Arabic subtitles, so everyone can watch it and learn something new.
Hamad: Legacy Sports is my baby; it's my first passion project, and I am currently trying to change its format with more optimized service offerings.
Hamad: I love football and I am a die-hard fan of the Liverpool Football Club since I was living in Ireland. I used to sometimes watch the game when I was outside from the shop windows because our TV at home didn't have any football channels and teletext, and that's when I became a fan of Liverpool. I grew up with football, at home and at school. I would call it football madness.
This is who I am in my eyes.
Hamad: I would like to be remembered as someone who had dreams and accomplished them; someone who always wanted to learn, so we could create stories and tell our stories, so we can give more to people who come after us.
Hamad: None. I don't think I have accomplished any of my dreams. I feel like there is still a lot to accomplish. I have made many mistakes. I've failed many business opportunities and been successful at some, too; lost money and made money, travelled; made lots of friends along the way; lived my life to the best of my ability.
Hamad: I don't consider myself a successful man. I'm not successful. I know what success looks like. I mean, I have had moments of success in my life, whether it's been winning a golf tournament, or killing it on stage in front of thousands of people. But these are all just stepping stones along the way. Success for me is measured on who's around me in the good times and the hard times.
Hamad: I'm lucky that I have the most amazing wife who supports me and is my foundation to building my empire. She is my rock. She gives me a lifetime of love and is responsible for my beautiful three kids: two boys and a girl.
Hamad: Patience. Patience with people and patience with yourself. They need to be able to deal with people because in this field you meet a lot of people, you work with a lot of people; you go to a lot of events. If things don't go according to your plan, you need to be able to figure out how/what/why you are going to do next because nothing in life goes as planned.
Authenticity. You need to know your stuff. You need to know who you are and keep going.
Awareness: You need to be aware of yourself and what's around you.
Hamad: Just do it. Grab a mic, write your stuff, find a place and go do it, then have patience!
Extracted from an exclusive interview with Hamad Al Amari
Cover image credit: HDigital
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