All About Qatar National Day – A day to feel pride

Qatar is building on the number of events to celebrate National Day year on year. There are a number of huge milestones and events that have lead up to this as well. Qatar’s definitely in the spotlight thanks to mega event after event (World Cup, COP18, Arab Spring involvement, Katara expansions, etc… etc…) and Doha will continue to shine bright as long as changes keep happening.

Why are Qataris so proud? Well we haven’t had that much to be proud of for a long time. Our Emir has brought so much change and development to Qatar that it’s something to almost brag about. A typical Qatari will gladly sacrifice a lot for his country. The Emir has done so much to make our lives better, so why don’t we lift the burden off of his shoulders a bit and try to help?

So whether you’re Qatari, American, British, Indian, Philipino, Japanese, Korean, Lebanese, Pakistani, Chinese or any other nationality (let’s face it, Qatar is a melting pot of diversity), please celebrate National Day with us! Let happiness flow through you like a rush of energy. Think positive and have hope for a fantastic future. Think of each firework that goes off on December 18 as the sound of the country’s heartbeat. WE are Qatar.

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 about National Day (from QatarNationalDay.qa):

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!

This year, the country is making an extra effort to thank the expat community here too for all their hard work to make Qatar a better place :)

We’re working hard on www.qatarnationalday.qa again this year (5th year now?) so you can find all the events and great content for National Day.  Until then we’ve got a temporary list going, click here for Qatar National Day event list 2013

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Have an event or activity you want to make sure is listed? Drop the team an email at contact@iloveqatar.net


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 QatarNationalDay.qa)

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!


Qatar National Day 2010 is coming!!

I’m sure that this national day is going to be a big one! With us winnning the 2022 World Cup as hosts, Qatar will probably want to show how awesome it can be.
Be warned though, if you are anywhere near the corniche, you’ll be stuck for a good couple of hours as people drive down on packed lanes, dancing, cheering, and waving flags.

Usually the westbay area has huge led screens showing different shows and arab celebrities (for those stuck in traffic and unable to watch the show on tv), trees are lit up with in themed colors (last year was purple and yellow), signs drip with led lights, banners and flags are waved all over the place and people parading to enjoy the festivities.

Around 6pm is when you should get on the corniche. That’s where you can see the sound and light show and enjoy the fireworks display. If you are lucky, you’ll also be able to get a table at Al Mourjan and enjoy some delicious food, desert, and if you’re partial to it, have some sheesha.

It’s going to be cold as usual, so make sure you come wearing a jacket. Last year was so amazingly cold and since the corniche is by the sea, I can assure you that you’ll regret not bringing something warm to wear.

So if you’re looking for a great guide to the events around Qatar (not just the official ones), visit http://www.nationalday2010.com You’ll find a bit of information about the history of Qatar, various events, some downloads, and you’ll also find some funny videos made by Qatar’s first Qatari comedian (and ILQ Ambassador), Mohammed Kamal! Thanks to Vodafone for helping ILQ put all this together. (To other companies, if you’re willing to partner up with ILQ and help us do other awesome stuff, please drop me a line!!)

Don’t forget to sign up to the ILQ newsletter. Registration on the site!

Ramadan Mubarak everyone!

Ramadan Mubarak! I hope that people will have a great experience of Ramadan this year.

If you’re interested in reading up a bit, then be sure to check out this threads and posts:

Ramadan in a nutshell

Ramadan isn’t just for Muslims

Luxurious Ramadan

Saying Ramadan Kareem

Ramadan Opening Hours Guide 2010

Garangao – A Child’s Dream (The 14th day of Ramadan)

ILQ will be launching a fantastic new Ramadan site this year and it’ll be used every year to let you know what’s going on in Qatar and as a useful guide :)

Top 10 Websites in Qatar

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now. Qatar Happening dropped us a line to let us know that ILQ was ranked number 8 on  xmarks’ top 10 sites about Qatar. That’s pretty awesome! ILQ’s been going strong for a year and 11 months now and it’s become one of the fastest growing sites related to Qatar! It really is an honour! I hope that with the development and changes to the site, we’ll see the forums grow even more and become one of the best websites about Qatar!

Update: 25 April 2010 – iLoveQatar.net is ranked number 5 now! We’ve moved up one rank a month! Check out XMarks!

However I thought I’d go and create a list of the top 10 websites in Qatar based on our opinion and general knowledge. However this Top 10 list isn‘t going to be in any particular order! I know I know, how can it be a Top 10 if it’s not in order. I’ll leave it up to you to decide :)

1. Qatar Shares - It’s an arabic website, but it’s community is probably one of the most well known for Qataris

2. iLoveQatar.net – I had to include iLoveQatar.net in here. It’s a community that has the latest developments and skyscrapers, latest events, latest news, and so much more! Help it grow!

3. Qatar Visitor – I really love Qatar Visitor. The admin is honest, tries to remain unbiased and really tries to provide great insights into Qatar. It’s definitely a gem of a website.

4. Hukoomi – Pay your speeding tickets, renew your visa, check the govmn’t calendar, and more. This website has made tedious stuff so much more simpler.

5. Qatar Happening – Looking for some great interviews, photographs, events in Qatar then you’ve got to visit their site. Qatar Happening also has a magazine which you can pick up in stores now!

6. Qatar Living – Qatar Living has been going for 4 years now? It’s a great website for it’s bustling Classifieds and a very awesome photographic community.

7. The Qatar News sitesGulf Times, Peninsula, Qatar Tribune, Al Jazeera, Al Raya, Al Sharq.

8. Qatar University - This site gets a ton of traffic and is the source for many students to debate, talk , and just roam the halls of the internet.

9. DSM – Another site that I visit regularly. It’s now called the Doha Exchange and it still needs a bit of a face lift but I check the site regularly when updating my portfolio.

10.  MOI - I don’t really have much to comment, but it’s just another useful site like Hukoomi.

Qatar Visitor also wrote their own Top 10! Click here to view their opinions :)

What are your favourite sites? Which blogs and sites do you visit most often in Qatar?

What is fuelyoursenses.qa?

I for one liked the new colorful billboards around Qatar with something that had one word and then the website.

Now I’m the type of person that if I dont know what something is, it’s not my top priority to go and investigate. However the third time I saw the billboard I figured, ‘why not?’ and went to fuelyoursenses.qa

At first I tried with my iPhone (but since it doesn’t have flash support I had to wait until I got to my pc). To be honest most sites should always have an html alternative just in case. After entering the site it looks fun and colorful. Enter your name, and then it asks me if I want to use my ‘voice’ or ‘webcam’. I have to pass on that since I dont know what this is for.

After it finishes loading, I just see a count-down and little box that displays whatever I type in an animation. No explanation as to what to do. Clicking on Help says that this is top secret….

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So… does anyone know what this is about? I know that .qa is only for government sites.

Ramadan in a nutshell

nutshellIt’s Ramadan and you thought that you’d try fasting! (if you’ve never done it before). Perhaps you wanted to just learn a bit. Today’s lesson is all about the correct way to fast. OOoooooh, you say?

Fasting begins from sunrise and it’s time to eat during sundown. (You can find out times at the Ministry of Interiors website, Islamweb, or even receive free daily texts from Vodafone to find out.)

It’s purpose is to purify and to teach appreciation.
No bad words, no food, no water, no sexual thoughts (or actions), and no rudeness.

You’re supposed to be kind, gentle, pure, and appreciate the fact that you are lucky in life to have food and to think more about those who have less in life in order to be giving.

Once you’ve gone through that for the day, it’s time to eat! The cannon blasts into the sea (the boom sound signifies it is time to eat), don’t go gorging your face! You’re supposed to eat three dates. Wait 30-60 minutes and then start eating.

Why three dates? Because that’s what the prophet ate. A more scientific answer is that it is just enough in quantity to kick start your metabolism, has enough sugar to keep you going for a bit longer and out of that hunger phase, and just like pringles, one is not enough.

A day to be proud of

Qatar National DayLast year, there wasn’t much going on for National Day in Qatar. In fact, there were more decorations for Christmas than there were for Eid or ND. It was that issue that sparked a lot of complaints from Qataris asking why nothing has been done. It was with that, Qatar decided to do a huge event this year. There are other factors included 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, and the launch of other huge developments for example. Qatar’s definately in the spotlight and Doha will continue to shine bright as long as changes keep happening.

Why are Qataris so proud? Well we haven’t had that much to be proud of for a long time. Our Emir has brought so much change and development to Qatar that there’s something to almost brag about. A typical Qatari will gladly sacrafice a lot for his country. Look at ILQ for example. The company was formed as a way of making Qatar a better place. The Emir has done so much to make our lives better, so why don’t we lift the burden off of his shoulders a bit and try to help?

So whether you’re Qatari, American, British, Indian, Philipino, Japanese, Chinese or any other of the many diverse nationalities on this small Earth, please celebrate National Day with us! Let happiness run through you like a rush of energy. With each firework that goes off on the 18th of December, smile. Let it represent the sound of the country’s heartbeat.

One common question I’m asked is how can your National Day be changed? Well it’s not an independence day, so it’s never changed. National Day is the day of the country and has been changed to reflect a major change in Qatar. A new direction. A new day.

Garangao – A Child’s Dream

Tomorrows the day to celebrate Garangao [Ga-ran-ga-oh] (or sometimes called Gir-ga-oon)

Garangao, celebrated on the 14th day of Ramadan, is special to the Gulf region , particularly Qatar, and is believed to have its roots in the pearl-diving tradition of the region. Over the years, the festival has gained more popularity with several expatriates joining the celebrations.

This evening, children, clad in their traditional clothes, will come out of their homes and knock on every door in their neighbourhood, which will be ready to receive them with sweets and nuts. They collect the goodies in the special cotton bags, hanging loosely from their necks. Kids will be seen wandering around the streets until late into the night singing the special Garangao song.

Now people are not just interested in buying the goodies, but they go for the specially designed packets and bags decorated with popular cartoon characters and other symbols dear to the children. So shops are vying to offer new and attractive designs. The prices of these packets range from QR5 to QR50, according to the size and varieties of the goodies.

Several Qatari clubs and organizations, which are instrumental in popularizing the festival, have come out with a variety of cultural events to mark the occasion, as in the previous years.

I remember when I was young, we’d all go around singing songs to the different homes and filling our bags with sweets! It was great! I encourage all nationalities to enjoy this festive occassion :)

From http://iloveqatar.net/forum/read.php?8,3826

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.