This is a repost from last year’s blog with some updates.
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!
I know I’ve been posting loads of videos, but that’s what I want see more of! Would love to see more Vloggers here in Qatar!
Alex Klim (@alexklim) is an ILQ user and he’s been making some great YouTube videos and inshallah many more for the iLoveQatar community too!
This vid was shot on a single Canon 7D, Editing, Color Grading & SoundFX done in FCPX.
It features Nina Heidenreich, Principal Second Violinist at Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. The short movie is a modern fairy tale about a young girl passing by a Music Store, getting attracted by a violin and falling into a dream, seeing herself as a talented violinist. Shot at several locations in and around Doha, State of Qatar, including the Cultural Village, The Pearl-Qatar, The Villagio Mall, Inland Sea and the Steinway Piano Gallery Qatar. Jules Massenet’s ‘Meditation’ from the Opera Thais serves as the main theme.
Quite a few people asked me “Didn’t we already have an Eid?” and it dawned on me that this might be a good time to explain the two Eids (Eid means celebration) that we have a year. The first one happens right after Ramadan. It’s called Eid Al Fitr which is translated as the Celebration of Breaking Fast. It’s a national holiday, shops will usually decorate for Eid, and family and friends gather together. Everyone dresses up in their best clothes and the kids go out singing songs and getting Eidiya (candy or money).
The second Eid is Eid Al Adha. Translated, it means the Celebration of Sacrafice. It’s also known as the Big Eid. The reason why this is such an important Eid is because this is the one that began the construction of Kaaba (the Black Square in Mecca). This is celebrated in the same way as Eid Al Fitr.
Here’s an interesting fact, in Malta, Easter is called Eid. (I thought that was quite cool).
Anyway! There’s going to be some great festivities, especially at Katara! Between 7:30pm and 10pm you’ll be able to enjoy Fireworks, Dancing Fountains, a light show, and laser show! Be sure to take your family and friends
So, now that you know that we’ve got two Eids, here are other blog posts which you might be interested in
Hey there everyone, I thought I’d take the time to go ahead and update you all on what I’ve got iLoveQatar sponsoring these next few months. For those that don’t know, ILQ spends profit made off of any advert banners you see on charitable causes and to support the local community. The goal at the end of the day is simple, to make Qatar a better place! Somewhere that everyone can be proud of
Filipino Movie for Tribeca Film Festival
A bunch of guys from the Filipino community put together a great Filipino film as a submission for the Tribeca Film Festival. When they got into a bit of a jam and needed some support, ILQ jumped in to help them finish the project. This is Qatar’s first Filipino movie and we’re proud to have supported Global Pinoys and to be a part of another great first
It’s called “I Love You Maam”, a story about a girl who fell in love with her teacher back in college. Two years later they meet up again, in Doha… In the same school… Both as teachers… That’s when things get complicated. My favourite scene is when they’re surfing ILQ
Global DJ’s contacted ILQ to help support their latest event. This time the Ministry of Sound decided that they’re stopping by Doha as part of their World Tour on the 29th of September at the Intercon Beach. I don’t really like simply sponsoring a project with funding. I think that it’s a bit… cold, so I prefer helping to ‘activate’ an event. We help get the word out, provide some gifts, fun giveaways, I(Heart)Qatar shirts and stickers, take photos, and of course no party would be complete without some ILQ beachballs thrown into the crowd. I’ll be giving away some FREE tickets! So stay tuned! More information here.
Now these guys are doing something that I’ve been waiting for, for ages. Not only is QSports supported by the Qatar Olympic Committee but they’re now supported by ILQ as well. We’ll be sponsoring teams who can’t afford basic entry fees or uniforms on a case by case basis Interested? Registrations is FREE. So what do they do? They organize sports tournaments that you can register to be a part of. Want to play football and don’t know where to go or even have enough players for example? QSports solves that!
They’re still looking for more sponsors in case you work for a company that might be interested! Visit qsportsleagues.com for more information or to sign up!
They’ll also be posting their latest events and sports related news in the Sports sections of our forums
Evo Sports Academy’s Super Sports Day
This one’s thanks to Bassam. Evo Sports Academy decided that they wanted to get people active in Qatar. They went to Bassam with a mission; they wanted to help youngsters in Qatar pick a sport they’re good at, perhaps one that they never thought of trying before. Bassam gave the Evo Sports team an excited grin and we were in. Imagine! Helping people live a more active and healthy life-style! Oh and did we mention that it’s free? Yep! 6-16 year olds can enjoy football, basketball, netball, dance, and karate! Just come on down to the Doha Rugby Club on Saturday September 17th from 9am to 2pm. There’ll be coaching sessions, live DJ, BBQ, giveaways, competitions, and a bouncy castle too! Oh and if you go on down, you can probably get a free sports shirts with the ILQ logo on it too! Visit www.evosportsqatar.com for more.
Qatar Investors Window
The team over at UCI International contacted us and let us know that they were organizing a partnership with the Qatari Businessmen Association. Their focus is to showcase investment opportunities Qatar has to offer, bringing potential investors to the region to share knowledge and discuss valuable business opportunities. Since winning the 2022 World Cup, there’s definately going to be a lot of people that get attracted to Qatar. It’s exciting to think about all of the change that’s going to happen in the coming years. We’re their supporting partners and as such I think I should it would be best to give you the more information don’t you think? It’s on the 21st of November at the Grand Hyatt and one their keynote speaker is James Caan, the CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw and one of the Dragons from BBC’s Dragons’ Den. Did you know that Peter Jones from the Dragons’ Den is also a partner of mine? More information at www.uciinternational.com
Humanisation of Cities of Tomorrow
We partnered up with Naseba many times in the past. We think we make a good team actually. Last year, ILQ also supported this event and we got a standing ovation since Bassam was a speaker. So what’s it all about? Well on October 4th and 5th, global city leaders, ministries and influential people will get together and share their insights and thoughts as to how we can all work together to build a better future. There’ll be different pavilions under different themes “Knowledge”, “Urban”, “Power”, “Well-being”, “Hospitality”, “Green” and “Infrastructure. I’m very excited about the summit and hope that some great change will come out of this. One of the things that Bassam and I often talk about is encouraging future businesses to focus on partnership models and coopetition. More info at www.cityhumanisation.com
Green Programme for Schools
I’m going to start to start this off by saying… I’m disappointed… This is a fantastic cause. The goal of GPS is to educate children in schools as to the importance of taking care of the environment. Sounds like a great cause right? Well why haven’t many people ‘liked’ their facebook page then? Look, it takes two seconds and it shows them that you care! Go on visit http://www.facebook.com/GPSQatar I’ll wait…. I’m waiting….. Done? Hope so!
Inshallah partnering and sponsoring these different events makes Qatar a better place. What do you guys think? Good job?
ILQ (partnered with Vodafone, Katara, and QF Radio) will be launching a fantastic new Ramadan site this year. It’ll contain a great events guide, a ramadan 101 guide, prayer times, special apps, and e-cards!
That’s not all! This time we’ve also got a MOBILE version and to make sure you don’t miss QF Radio’s 8pm show, an ‘on air’ button will light up!
Oh great, another “Festival” in Qatar, I thought to myself. I’m tired of seeing huge advertisements for events and then heading on over only to be disappointed by poor crowd control or the fact that there aren’t really any festivities at all. That being said, I was never more happier to be proven wrong. I drove through a giant ship’s helm at the East Gate of Katara (that’s just been opened. It’s where Aladdin’s Kingdom used to be) and was ushered through to the car park. I was happy with the fact that even though we were parking on sand, they cleared out the rocks and tried to make the parking lot a ‘real’ parking lot.
I walked on through passed the VIP tent and loved hearing the old Qatari sea chants on speakers and the tiny old traditional huts set up on the left. In front of me was a building shaped like a Dhow, some young staff sadly were more interested in chatting amongst themselves than guiding visitors sadly. Entering, I realized that it was like a museum, complete with a cave-like interior, glass tanks with sharks, hanging giant purple jellyfish and some interactive stations too.
I passed by one area where a kind guide asked me if I wanted to see something cool. I felt like I was being let in on a secret. He pulls out this giant armored crab. He tried to get me to carry it for a while and although kind of intimidated, I acted cool and said I was fine. I had to pull the “I don’t want my thobe to get dirty” line. It was either that or hike it up and run like a girl! After seeing how harmless it was (especially how it ran on the ground like a remote control car) I knocked on its shell. Oh yeah! That’s one point for the human and IN YO FACE for the crab.
Exiting the boat, I wasn’t sure where I was supposed to be going so I just followed the brick road. To my left was a childrens area, where you can find games, a live show, and some great educational.. umm.. fun stuff (alright my vocabulary isn’t excellent!). To my right was a sealions pool. That’s where we get to see some great tricks from one of the seas smartest animals. I wonder where they brought them in from?
Now THIS is the part that made me go wow. It involves Pearls, mermaids, oil, robots, bouncing animals, and lots of dancing.
Walking on down further there was a giant stage that we were guided into. I sat down and waited for a show to start. Bare in mind that I was kind of confused and didn’t know what to expect. Under my seat was a bag that had a gold colored metal helm and a few guides. I wrapped my ghitra around my neck to keep warm. The wind was blowing strong and the weather was getting quite cold.
After a few introductions we’re told that we’re going to watch “Secrets of the Sea” and the lights fade out. Now this is a bit of a spoiler so scroll down if you don’t want to know what happens! Disney-esque music starts and we embark on the journey of Qatar’s history. It’s about a young girl who’s being told a story about Qatar’s development and how the country went from an uneducated poor country to a society that survived on pearl diving to the discovery of oil to the focus on education. It was a beautiful story and I loved it. Be warned though, parts are in arabic and there isn’t any translation, but I believe that they did such a great job that whether there was translation or not, people will understand it all.
I loved the use of colors, imagery and when it came up to the discovery of oil part, I loved how a woman’s long flowing abaya represented the flow of oil. Throughout the whole show as well, you’ll notice that the quality of the dancers clothes improves to represent how the country gradually became richer.
You know what? I’ll end it at that. I don’t want to ruin too much of the story, especially since I’ll be uploading some snippets of videos soon.
So what’s there besides the show? There’s seals shows, ball games, beach football, a carnival (parade at the venue!), animation and scientific workshops, a visual arts symposium, sailing and rowing classes, a dancing fountain, raffle draws, puppet shows, marine magic, feature films, I’m getting tired just writing all this stuff down! Do yourself a favour.. check out the Qatar Marine Festival’s schedule here. It ends on the 26th so you better hurry up!
It’s a great festival and whats even more amazing is that its all free. Thank you Qatar for doing something so great for everyone in Qatar.
If you’ve been a part of putting together the QMF, drop me a note and let me know. I’d like to include the names of the people/companies that helped out because I’m so proud of the hard-work put into this.
So I was invited over by Samsung and Forbes Associates, to visit the Samsung booth over at the Asian Cup Fan Zone at Aspire park. I was quite excited, and honored, that they wanted Mr. Q to check out what they had to offer. I was already familiar with their fun apps (see http://blog.iloveqatar.net/2011/01/asian-cup-apps-and-other-fun-stuffs/ ) and didn’t really know what to expect from the booth itself.
I was greeted by some people from Samsung who had flown over from Korea for the next two weeks and they started to take me on a tour. They first wanted to show me their Galaxy Tab. Of course I didn’t mention the fact that I’m actually an iPad user, but I had to admit that I was always interested in the Galaxy Tab. It’s about half the size of the iPad, also quite thin, and runs off of Android. There’s one CRUCIAL difference though. It plays flash. I was told that with Flash running constantly that it would get a battery life of around 6 hours (but who runs flash constantly). The average battery life was 10-12 hours (nice!). I could definitely see people buying this because of its portability. They had this Q&A game on it that I was asked to play. (I scored 3/5 ) but got a nice little pair of blow up ‘sticks’. I was told that in Korea they bang them together while watching a match and it sure did make a loud noise!
I was then asked to do a little interview on camera where they asked me what I thought about Samsung. I explained that I was always a fan of Samsung products, my father loves their dual sim phone, and I used to almost exclusively use them for a period of time. (I love their Ultra series of phones. BRING THEM BACK SAMSUNG, I LOVED IT!). In fact, I was actually just thinking about the Samsung U100 recently ( picture here ) and wished they’d make a new one.
They then showed me their Shouting booth. You go into a room, select the country you are routing for and then scream your lungs out to support them! The best person (I think) wins a prize! After participating you get a horn as a gift.
They then have a set up for you to take a picture in front of a green screen so it looks like you’re with one of your favourite teams. I took a picture with the Qatari team (of course), and when finished, they printed it out, and put it in a picture frame that looked like the Galaxy Tab. I thought that it was quite awesome!
Basically with everything you participate in, you get a small gift to take home. It was very fun and the staff there were all having a fun time themselves. Anyway Samsung, thanks for inviting me to hang out, thanks for sponsoring the Asian Cup, and thanks for all the cool stuff you guys make! Now I wonder if the Samsung Qatar team are as cool as the Samsung Korea team.
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.