Qatar Japan 40th Anniversary & today’s remembrance

Qatar and Japan are celebrating 40 years of friendship this year and there’s a lot of celebration going on. Qatar is doing a lot of events in Japan and Japan is doing just the same right here in Qatar. (By the way, if you haven’t checked out Takashi Murakami’s Exhibition called “Ego”, then you’re missing out!).

Japan is a country that I think Qatar has a lot to learn from. I could go as far as saying that I admire the country. Just as people sometimes refer Dubai to Las Vegas, I’d like people to compare Doha to Tokyo. As far out there as it may seem, there are a great number of similarities between the two. Japan has a great rich culture and has managed to rebrand itself at the world’s stage. Qatar is at the point where we’re trying to rebrand ourselves as well as shape our identity. When it comes to culture and taking the leap forward to modernity, Japan did that, and that’s what Qatar is trying to do. It’s not easy ensuring that you keep you’re heritage alive in a rapidly developing society. The two nations are also amazingly giving. Both Qatar and Japan have always been supportive of other countries when they were in great need. Go ahead. Google it. Just type in “Qatar donates” or “Japan helps” and check out the results.

I admire Japanese people’s work ethic, their strive for perfection, their focus, their incredible talent, and of course, how welcome they make foreigners feel. I want that. I want Qatar to be just like that.

Having said all of that, today is the 1st anniversary of the Tsunami and Earthquake that hit Japan. Just watching the videos of how people remember the day was very difficult for me. One particular quote I read that hurt my heart was from a 82 year old man who remembered the day the Tsunami struck recalling that he would never be able to see his wife again as she was swept away into the sea. I cannot imagine such pain.

iLoveQatar helped out by supporting a special event at Katara called “Aftermath – The Earthquake“. It was put together by people from the Japanese community and was a tour by a person known as Chonmage. We even had the President of Katara and the Japanese Ambassador visit.

To lighten people’s spirits at the time and to encourage people to donate to Japan we had sold tshirts with the words Love, Happiness, Bravery, and Courage in Japanese and Arabic. They were sold at different malls and it was a great experience. ‘Show support to the country that gave us Anime, Sushi, Robots and Land Cruisers’, I had posted on the community forums. You can find more here and here. Take a look at the Japanese Embassy’s website to see how many different schools and institutions rallied to show that Qatar loves Japan. If you’re interested in being part of the Japanese Society Qatar (JaSoQa) that started out of iLoveQatar as well just click here. :)

What I am incredibly proud of is that Qatar is one of, if not ‘the’ biggest donators to Japan. The Ambassador shows his appreciation to Qatar at every single public event here in Qatar. Qatar donated over 100 million usd on day one.

I’m so glad that Japan has a great ambassador here in Qatar. Mr. Monji really is a great person. Polite, friendly, and fun. So far he’s brought quite a number of events to the country including a Judo demonstration by Japan’s gold medalist, a Taiko drum performance at Katara (which he says is the best cultural act he’s ever brought to Qatar), and of course he’s also brought over the talented Gamarjobat silent comedy group to Souq Wagif. There’s loads more information about what’s to come at www.qatarjapan2012.com

Let’s hope for a bright future for both countries.

Mr. Q visits Japan – Episode 2 – Weird Shop Names

Japan is so 3ajeeb! Don’t forget to visit www.qatarjapan2012.com to see how Qatar and Japan are celebrating their 40th anniversary.

Mr. Q visits Japan – Episode 1

While I was in Japan, I decided to do a bit of Vlogging. Here’s my attempt :)

I’m away by the way (in Japan) and Jame’s Blunt is coming to Qatar

I guess I should have posted this a while ago but I’m currently away for a bit of a vacation. Chilaxing in Japan at the moment. So far I’ve been to Osaka’s Universal Studios for the New Year count down, Gifu for snowboarding and now I’m hanging out in Nagoya. In a few days I’m going to be heading off to Tokyo!

I’ve decided to try out Vlogging and hopefully you’ll like it! If you do, I’ll keep going! Oh and don’t forget to visit the ILQ YouTube channel as well as Facebook page. The team and I have added some great stuff!

Oh! Almost forgot, yes the rumors are true the Intercontinental, Alive and ILQ are partnering up to bring over James Blunt on February!
There’s loads more to share but I need to cut it short!

Ma3asalama!

Showing some love to Japan

Soon after the Big Day Out, we embarked on our next charitable project at ILQ. It was time to go ahead and show the country that gave us Land Cruisers that we appreciate them. Qatar without Land Cruisers just isn’t Qatar! We already did have a booth at the Big Day Out where we raised money for Japan (as well as gave out some awesome freebies like footballs with 2022 on them), but we wanted to do more. So we posted and tweeted that we’d be selling special t-shirts that were had writing in Japanese and Arabic. (I’ve never seen a t-shirt with those two languages before by the way). Our forum user, and the person in charge of the Japanese Society Qatar (JaSoQa), Daisy said that we should use the words Hope, Love, Brave, Happiness, and Peace. She even went as far as making sure that each color chosen was the right one.

 

 

Jim, one of the senior managers over at Landmark group went ahead and offered us space at Villaggio and Landmark (we are very thankful to them!) in order to sell the t-shirts; and it was with that we embarked on our mission. There were some fantastic people from ILQ and the Japanese community (thanks to Kasumi, Hiromi, Yoshiko, Joel and his friends, Kinimoto (who was dressed up as Naruto!), Ryan, Ellie, Joann, Zhan, Keiko and family, and Daisy) that manned the various booths.

So far, we’ve managed to raise over 16,000 QR selling the t-shirts and we’ve now been offered space at the Hyatt Plaza to do the same this Thursday and Friday as well. We’ll be giving the money to the Japanese embassy to do as they see fit.

I’d like to thank all of the kind souls out there that donated and helped us! I’m so very glad that everyone left feeling as if they had achieved something important with their time.

Now for my next ultimate challenge… find a someone to wash my car and guarantee it won’t rain the next day. Anyone?

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami relief in Qatar

Pedobear Donut launched at Mr. Donut in Japan!

Mr. Dooooonut.

Hanging out with Japan’s Team Nexus

I was at the Red Bull crashed ice event (pics and video will be up soon!) and then headed off to Carrefour (I hate that place) to grab some necessities. While at the check out, there were three Japanese guys who were right in front of me. We got to talking and they mentioned that they were over here for the Fencing Championships (which ends on the 12th of February btw!). They told me that this was their first time over here and that they were leaving tomorrow  night so I offered to show them around Qatar and show them a bit of the famous Qatari hospitality. We went off to the Souq, helped them pick out some souvenire’s, showed them a concert where some famous khaleeji singers were performing, took them for some fresh juice and shawarmas and my favourite sheesha place before dropping them home. I hope they left with a good impression of Qatar :)

Inshallah these guys will work hard and become champions. It’ll be great to see them on tv one day and be able to tell people I had a sheesha in the souq. Today was really one of those ‘only in Qatar‘ moments.

Here’s Japan’s Team Nexus.

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.