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Posted On: 18 December 2008 02:57 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

A nation celebrates

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Qatar’s National Day celebrations today will showcase the country’s past, present and future in a grand way befitting the achievements made by the country since its birth. “We want to bring our identity and history, our rich heritage, our values, ideals and visionary aspirations, and our achievements to the rest of the world,” said Salman Almass Al Qubaisi, director of administrative and financial affairs and state bureau; and a committee member of The Qatar National Day Organising Committee. “But more importantly, we want to give or impart to the Qataris of this generation and the next, a knowledge of the country’s culture, traditions, history and values,” said Al Qubaisi. Al Qubaisi said Qatar went all-out in its preparations for the National Day this year and contracted highly qualified foreign companies to assist with different aspects of the preparations to make the day a success. “We have never done something this grand for the National Day and so we decided to give this preparation our best,” he said. December 18, 1978 marked a turning point in the history of modern Qatar. On that day, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammad bin Thani was proclaimed Emir of Qatar. He is remembered in the history of the Arabian Gulf as the tribal ruler who stood against the Ottomans at the battle in Wajba in March 1893 and achieved statehood for Qatar. He died on July 17, 1913. According to Al Qubaisi, it took him and the other organisers of the event – which include Salah Ghanem Al Ali, chairman of the committee; Abdullah Al Muftah, committee member; Abdul Aziz Al Emadi, committee member and secretary/manager; and Khalid Mansour Al Khater, committee member – five months of preparations to ensure a memorable day for the people in Qatar. “Of course, number one on our list of preparations is the safety of the public and providing them all means of security and comfort to enjoy the festivities. We have appointed security forces along the Corniche to ensure the people’s safety and the smooth flow of traffic,” said Al Qubaisi. Al Qubaisi said a specially set up 1,000-seat stadium will be reserved for individuals with special needs, the Drima’s Friends Club, the elderly and some of their family members, to witness the military parade. “There are two stadiums set up at the Corniche. One is the VIP stage or the Emiri stage, where the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani will be seated, and the second will be for people with special needs so they can watch the event comfortably,” he said. He said five medical emergency sites and sites for missing children will also be set up for the event. Among the important events that will be held along the Corniche is a military parade that will feature Qatari camel riders in their traditional uniforms, in addition to the vehicles of the Qatari Armed Forces, the Ministry of Interior, Internal Security Forces “Lekhwiya” and the Emiri Guard. “Aside from the parade, there will also be an air show where the members of our Air Force will fly jets along the Doha Bay, and the Navy will be present as well, and all of these can be witnessed along the Corniche,” said Al Qubaisi. An exciting light and water show and a giant fireworks extravaganza will light up the sky over the Corniche. Giant screens on buildings and water screens positioned in Doha Bay will feature slide shows of Qatar’s cultural past. A pyrotechnical musical extravaganza will also light up the sky over the Corniche and Doha Bay. The Corniche area will be closed in preparations for the military parade from the morning till the end of the parade. There will be a ban on parking at the Corniche.