Archive for December, 2011

Qatar – History and Future

This great video was but together by Abdulla Al Ansari. This comes at a great time (around National Day). These students put together this great look at how Qatar has changed (for better or worse).
Visit his site at

A day to feel pride – National Day

Qatar is building on celebrations year on year. There are a number of huge milestones and events that have lead up to this as well. Look at the launch of the Museum of Islamic Art, The Media Expo, Qatar Media Freedom Center, the involvement in Philipines resolutions, advancement in Human Rights, the launch of other huge developments for example, winning the World Cup, and the list goes on. Qatar’s definitely in the spotlight and Doha will continue to shine bright as long as changes keep happening.

So whether you’re Qatari, American, British, Indian, Philipino, Japanese, Chinese or any other nationality, and let’s face it, Qatar is a melting pot of diversity, please celebrate National Day with us! Let happiness run through you like a rush of energy. Here’s a thought to make you smile. Think of each firework that goes off on December 18 as the sound of the country’s heartbeat.

One common question I’m asked is how is it that Qatar changed National Day’s date? It never changed. They’re thinking of Independence day, which is on the 3rd of September. Here’s some more info on National day (from

On 18 December 1878, Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed bin Thani succeeded his father as the ruler of Qatar. With that, Qatar became a country with a vision… a country that would find unity, grow rapidly, and reach toward ever higher heights.

National Day, also known as Founder’s Day, celebrates the rise of Sheikh Jassem as the father and founder of the State of Qatar. And yet this holiday is a mere two years old: it was founded in 2007 to give people an occasion to honour the history and identity of their country, and to commemorate those who have worked and continue to work to make Qatar a great nation.

The 18th of December is a special day – a day of unity for the people of Qatar. We want you to be a part of it!

A special Qatar National Day site for 2011 and new Qatari talent!

For the past three years (well this is the third year) we’ve put together a very special National Day event site. It started in the end of 2008 (when we officially started working on iLoveQatar) and then we got the support from Vodafone to turn the experience into something prettier. I didn’t want to simply give people an events listing page and figured that with all the traffic going to the site (last year we had around 20,000 unique visitors in around 10 days) we should be doing something helpful!

So we started promoting Qatari talent. In 2009 we promoted Rayana, an amazingly talented singer. A small girl with a big voice. In 2010 we promoted Moh’d Kamal, Qatar’s first Qatari stand up comedian. This year we’re promoting a bunch of Qatari cartoonists, each with their own style! So far we’ve got @fatoomworld @wse7en @iba7r and @mana_qtr . Many of them contribute to

So if you’re looking for some quick info on what National Day is all about, a great events guide, and want to check out some great Qatari talent, then check out (yep we’ll be using that domain from now on so bookmark it!). Oh and guess what? You’ve got a chance to also win 10,000 QR from Vodafone! Head on over to the National Day and click on the competition tab to find out more 🙂

See also:

A day to be proud of

Qatar National Day 2010 is coming!

Al Sadd is doing so well! Now they’re up against Barcelona! (updated)

I had to share this.. Al Sadd is doing so well! As many may know, Al Sadd won the AFC Champions League. That’s kind of a big deal. They won it in time to get in the latest editions of football video games like FIFA 2011 and Winning Eleven! Check this picture out.

Anyway, Al Sadd recently won 2-1 over Tunisia’s Esperance at the Club World Cup today to set up a dream semi-final against European kings Barcelona. That’s awesome! It’s Al Sadd vs Qatar Foundation’s Barca.

Barca take on Al Sadd on December 15 in Yokohama with the final of the seven-team tournament at the same venue three days later.

Al Sadd Sports Club Profile:

The past
One of the oldest football clubs in Qatar, Al Sadd is the only team from the small Gulf nation to have won the AFC Champions League, a feat it first achieved in 1989 when the competition was known as the Asian Club Championship. The Doha-based giants have a local pedigree to match, with over 30 domestic titles to their name.

The present
Some 22 years after their first continental triumph, Al Sadd made a dramatic return to the top of Asian football when they were crowned 2011 AFC Champions League victors courtesy of a skilfully selected blend of experienced veterans and talented youngsters.

So whether you know the team or not, I hope you can show some support!

 Update: We lost against them in the match in Japan, but we’re all still proud that a small team could get so far 🙂

Qatar’s new license plates

This isn’t really a topic that’s of super importance. It’s not like there aren’t better things to talk about, but I just wanted to share my views on the new license plates.

The reason we’re told that the plates have changed is because of an agreement that the GCC had to unify the look of the plates. Sadly, I don’t really see that because the only thing that’s similar is that they’re now in English. The overall design varies greatly from GCC country to country.

Now let’s get the first thing out of the way. Yes I know that the number system that the west uses is actually Arabic and that us Arabs decided to shift over to using Hindi numerals. I still don’t understand why we did that, but that’s the way it goes. You could argue that shifting over our license plate numbers back to the original numbering system is our way of claiming back what’s rightfully ours in a passive agressive sort of way, but trust me, you’d be thinking too much.

Back to the topic, here’s a quick image of how the licnese plates in Qatar have evolved. Check out for more.

In 1983, the license plates were actually quite similar to the ones in Bahrain.

Then we changed them in 1997 to what we all became accustomed to. It was quite special because the plate looked organized and used Arabic (Hindi) numbers.

On our facebook page ( we asked “Which GCC country do you think has the best looking car license plates?” to our 18,000+ page on Nov 9. We actually didn’t know the plates were going to change. What a coincidence! It was a 50-50 split between people voting for Qatar and UAE. Click here to see a dubai plate

Qatar then changed the new plates to look like this:

It kind of makes me feel uncomfortable… It’s like an inverted Qatari flag, the numbers are not centered, there’s a tiny hologram on the side (why… were people making fake plates or something?), and ‘Qatar’ is written in two styles.

I feel like it’s not organized anymore. It’s also sad that we don’t have the Arabic (hindi) numerals, it was a way of possibly educating a predominantly expat population. It probably wasn’t that easy to put together a design (perhaps one of the readers can show us how it’s done ), but I feel like UAE’s one now look’s much nicer 🙁

What do you guys think of the new plates?


Freedom of Expression

    Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which the Qatari Government is a signatory of states: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any medias and regardless of any frontiers.

    The Emiri Decision Number 86 of the year 2007 on the establishment of the Doha Free Information Centre marked yet another step towards establishing a State of rights and freedom of speech. The decision stipulated that the Centre be a non-profit organization, headquartered in Doha City, and have the authority to establish other affiliated centres inside and outside Qatar. It is worth mentioning that His Highness the Emir issued a decision in 1998 annulling the ministry of information, giving birth to a new era of freedom of speech where censorship was removed from local media.