Hear ye Hear ye! Our new Emir is here – Congratulations! (Now here are my thoughts)

With watery eyes, I had to write this while I watched His Excellency Sheikh Hamad’s address to the people. (I don’t even know what you call an Emir who has stepped down. I’ve never heard that before… Can someone tell me?).

On my mind, all I could think of was how fortunate the Qatari people are. Look at other Arab countries in the Middle East. How many are in the amazingly lucky position to have such a great leader? Someone who acts in the best interest of his people? Someone who treats his people with kindness. I would go as far as saying that his heart is so big, that his generosity has made some people complacent; lazy even.

When I had started iLoveQatar, I had many goals. To help make Qatar a better place. To give people reasons to love Qatar. To make my family proud. To bridge the gap between expats and locals. However in the context of this write up, the way I see it, it’s a civic duty. Sheikh Hamad has put a lot of burden on his shoulders to help bring peace to the Middle East (and help the world). All the while giving the nation a vision and a goal. Oh and let’s not forget, trying to turn the Qatari nation into an educated and hard working one. Has he asked anything in return of his people except to be the best they can be? No. So the way I see it, the least I can do is something, no matter how small, to lift the weight of responsibility from his shoulders.

All of a sudden I’m reminded of various lyrics from Hailie’s song “Sometimes it feels like the world’s on my shoulders… This boulder on my shoulder gets heavy and harder to hold, and this load is like the weight of the world and I think my neck is breaking. Should I just give up or try to live up to these expectations?” Yes Ladies and Gentlemen, this is probably the only write up you’ll read that has The Emir, Ali bin Abi Taleb and Eminem quoted together.

The Emir, although I’ve never had the honor of meeting him (and kissing his forehead), is like a second father. In 18 years we now have new airports, Qatar Foundation, Education City/HBKU, Exhibition Centers, Charities, proper infrastructure, new cities, malls, the beautiful West Bay, Katara, the Souq, QMA, the list goes on and on.
We thank him. We thank those who have supported him. We thank him for trusting others to help build Qatar too.

 

So what did his address say?
Translation summary of speech given by His Excellency Sheikh Hamad (going a bit by memory so forgive me if it’s not perfect).

Photo by Lornss Al Naimi

“Today I will be addressing you as we are coming into a new era of history for our country. I wanted to address the good people of this country because this is your country. God knows that I have not desired power for the sake of power and never for personal motives. It has always been in the country and people’s interest. I hope that I have been seen to have worked hard for my duties and this change means that I will still be serving my homeland and its people.

Quoting Ali bin Abi Taleb the Emir said, “Teach your children other than what you have been taught, as they have been born for another time.”

I declare that I will hand over to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

[Sheikh Tamim] I am sure you can handle this responsibility, remember to fear God, work hard, and always seek out the truth/knowledge.

Work hard always, be there for your country.”

 

So what’s next?
In the next few days, traditionally, senior officials and tribe leaders will visit the Emiri Diwan to show their support for the change.
This event is called a Mubaya-a.
Update: Al Jazeera has just uploaded a video of the process with Abdulla Al Athbah (@a_alathbah). Click here

 


“The time had come for a new generation to assume responsibility to progress this country.” – Sheikh Hamad
Sheikh Hamad was true to his words and obviously has proven that what he said was honestly from the heart. That was a quote from when he took over the reigns in 1995.

 

Congratulations to His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad who is now the Emir of Qatar.

God protect Sheikh Hamad, Sheikh Tamim, the people of Qatar, and everyone with a good heart.

What does this mean for Qatar? (A question I’m asked quite a lot now)

Honestly? We’ve got a roadmap. If anything it just means things will progress faster. We now have young energy. We all know that a young person (with ambition) wants to change the world (for the better). I’m excited to see what legislations will change, what measures will be taken to progress human rights, and what Qatar 3.0 will look like.

I don’t know why everyone keeps asking the question of ‘what’s he going to do next?’. How about we stop speculating and just wait to hear what he has to say.

Every ship needs its crew. Sheikh Tamim is at the helm and we’re all on the same boat. If we all do our part, we’ll get to our destination faster.
What do I think?

I think this is a day of happiness and sadness, but let’s not forget that Sheikh Hamad isn’t going anywhere 🙂 He’ll still be with his son, doing what any good father would do; giving guidance and support. Qatar is being a responsibly country. It is amazing that we have a transition plan, the Crown Prince (now Emir) has been in the process of shadowing his father for quite a while now. He doesn’t ‘know’ the Qatar Vision 2030, he IS the Qatar Vision 2030 now. This isn’t going to be an easy journey for him, but since when is leading any nation easy? As I’ve said before, just as I trust in Sheikh Hamad and Sheikha Moza, I trust in Sheikh Tamim.

I think that Qatar is setting precedence and making history by this transition alone. Did you know that Qatar is the first country in the Middle East to have had three leadership changes while all three leaders are still alive?

While countries are trying to build the World’s tallest, biggest, and fastest. Qatar is trying to build the best.

If you’d like to read a bit more click here for my other blog post. (Qatar gets ready for a leadership change)

 

Finally, I wanted to share a quick message to the expat community.

Dear expats,
Thank you for helping to build Qatar. With these announced changes, Qatar will continue to develop, we’ll see even more growth, and I hope you continue to see Qatar as home.

I know (and hope) that most of you share the Qatari people’s excitement. These are exciting times and you are a part of history.

Inshallah Qatar will make you proud and become an admired country.

Take care,
Mr. Q
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari

 

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  • Tracie

    I appreciate your point of view. Thank you for sharing it. Also, thank you for the nod to the expat community and our part in helping to build Qatar. I love living here, wish only the best for Qataris and their new leader and hope that things continue to progress and prosper for everyone.

    Congratulations Qataris on your new leader. May God bless him and give his wisdom and a good heart.

  • Pinoy Expat

    Long live to the new Emir Tamim bin Hamad!
    We have a great Emir Hamad, who leads by example, inshallah we will give our best to make Qatar a great nation. I’m an Expat and proudly serving this great country Qatar and its people.

  • Peter Draper

    What a nice blog! Well written and well thought out. I have lived here 2 1/2 years and LOVE this country, I think of it as home. I have nothing but love for Sheikh Hamad and I wish his Son, our new Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani all the best in what will be a difficult but rewarding journey, mabrouk Sheikh!

  • edgar

    I hope I am still in Qatar to witness and be part of this historical moment. Wish all the best for the Qataris. May you serve as an inspiration to other countries. Kudos to your new Emir….

  • elabiz06

    May the whole world continue to support the initiative of Qatar to bring peace and hoping that the whole community in Qatar support the new Emir continue all the aspirations of his father.

  • imran

    i love u qatar

  • Suzanne Grant

    All the best Qatar #muchlove <3

  • Bernette

    I had the great opportunity to visit Qatar in the spring of 2011, since I have a friend who’s an expat. I found my whole trip to be a wonderful experience. The Qatari people seemed a loving, warm, caring people who happen to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I was awed by the dress (never having visited an Arab country until then) and the beauty (of Doha and the sourounding desert). I hope I can return one day and spend more time in this amazing place.

  • jamie

    Im praying for the new Emir Tanim Bin Hamad…he came from a very respected family.his father was so good and his mother was brave and strong im pretty sure he will gonna be such a good leader in qatar…

    to you.MR.Q i salute you for acknowleging us being an expats here in your beloved country..i my self was truelly proud that im part of the success of your nation. all i can promised is for me to stay honest and be a good servant of your beloved nation..i wish nothing but the best to all qataries..specially for the new leadershift…May Allah be with all of you..VIVA QATAR….

  • Jun Maximo

    congratulations to the new Emir. hope the good Emir will abolish the sponsorship system for the expats and lessen the working ban here.

  • Jasmin

    I had the chance to experience for a while the spirit of Qatar and for sure it was a blessing! Of course, I noticed that Qatar is trying to protect their cultural heritage but at the same time they are open for the future. But I have to criticize one important point. Even though Qatar has a powerful News channel a lot of aspects about Qatar can not be found online. So even though I am interested to be updated about Qatar while I am outside Qatar, it is impossible! For the future I really hope that the new Emir of Qatar is supporting the freedom of speech. Also compared to Dubai, Doha is not taking into consideration how important it is to appear in the the various media channels.
    While you can find on youtube several reports, video blogs, etc. about Dubai – Doha is not really existing! Either people in Doha are not interested to share impression or is life really so boring over there??? Anyway, may god bless the new Emir of Qatar and may the new social media generation step up to represent Qatar, because it is time for Qatar to shine!

  • Tinkerbell

    A well written piece! It comes from your heart and I was touched as I read it…:) Ive seen 3 generations of Rulers like many expats and I feel lucky to be a part of it. Ofcourse I guess it is but natural for anyone to wonder ‘What Next” but as you say why speculate and why not wait and see What Next. Well said..:)

    Once again Congratulations to the people of Qatar from an expat who has made this her home for the last 17yrs…:)

  • Babes

    The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Let the wisdom and knowledge be upon the new reigned Emir of Qatar. I pray that God will bless all the work of your hands and you will live longer to serve your people. Prosperity, riches, wealth and good health be upon you. God bless Qatar.

  • Summer Flower

    Very nice piece. I was once a stranger to Qatar. All the news I’ve heard about the Middle East were not so good. And then I landed in Doha and was surprised by the beautiful places, with every corner as a good photo subject. The Emir’s pictures were everywhere too. Even on my first day in Qatar, I could say that the Emir must have done a really good job why people love him so much. My whole 2 years in Qatar, in my mind, everyday I thank the Emir for being such a great instrument in making our lives good and safe. He’s a hero not only for Qataris but also for expats and all the countries he has helped over the years.

  • Myke Dsp

    Thank you Mr. Q. Long live the new Sheikh!

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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.