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 πŸ™‚ 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


Have any questions? Post them in the comments below πŸ™‚
Like my blog posts? Please click on Like and Tweet, it keeps me going πŸ™‚

The Emiri announcement – Here’s what I’ve heard (UPDATED)

Image shared on Pinterest by Vera Campbell-Capriotti
First of all, thank you so much for your messages and comments saying that we’re a source you can trust. It really means a lot to us.

People saw this post by Al Jazeera titled
‘Qatari emir to meet ruling family members’


and a post on our sister site Doha News titled

‘Report: Qatar’s Emir to meet with ruling family members to discuss succession plans’ and then started to ask questions.

So here’s what we’ve heard.

When’s the announcement?
An announcement is going to be made at 4PM today 8AM on the 25th.

It might not necessarily be the change of power, rather the announcement that there will be a shift.

Is there a holiday tomorrow the 25th of June?
People have been sharing that tomorrow will be a holiday.

Everyone, just WAIT for the official announcement. Tomorrow MIGHT be a holiday, it would only be natural to give the country a day to celebrate.

Update: There have been posts on twitter quoting the EMIRI DIWAN and also from Al Arab Newspaper saying that the there will be a holiday on the 25th.
This does NOT mean that all businesses will have a holiday necessarily. It just confirms that government institutions will be on holiday.
Sources: @ahjh_althani and @alarabnewspaper and QatarNewsAgency

What to the Qatari people think?
I can’t speak for everyone, but those friends and family that I ‘have’ spoken to, trust in the Emir, trust in Sheikh Tamim, and believe that Qatar will always be protected, progressive, and with a strong vision.

Feeling patriotic? Here’s Qatar’s National Anthem with translation in english πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood Qatari,
Mr. Q

[Video] The Emir is one of the people

A great video created by Mohd Saad. The Emir decided to remove his ‘bisht’ and greet the crowd spontaneously during National Day 2012. This is why we love him. He is one of the people.

Different online communities / groups on I Love Qatar

There are loads of different online communities on iLoveQatar.net

Why not join one and help it grow?

β˜… Romanian Community –

β˜† Balkan Community –

β˜… Chinese Group in Qatar –

β˜† Japanese Society Qatar (JaSoQa) –

β˜… ILQ Indians Group –

β˜† Qatar Billiards Klub –

β˜… Global Pinoys –

β˜† ILQ Family Group –

β˜… Egyptian Community –

β˜† ILQ Photography Group –

β˜… Italian Community –

β˜† British Group –

β˜… ILQ Volunteer Groups –

β˜† Amigas de Habla Hispana –

β˜… Filipino Media Group –

β˜† ILQ Pakistan Group –

β˜… ILQ Tennis Group –

β˜† Indonesia Community –

Competition! Win 2 VIP tickets to see Akram Khan

ILQ has always been about the community. We have always loved showing what everyone can do to make Qatar a great place to work and live. With our new home at Katara, we were only just on the tip of the dunes (No icebergs as we are nowhere near a place that has snow :))

Katara has been buzzing over the past months with many activities, and they have partnered up with ILoveQatar for a giveaway. What could that be? How about 2 pairs of VIP tickets for Akram Khan Company’s ‘Vertical Road’ show as part of our ILQ sweepstakes? We’re giving two people out there a chance to win these highly coveted VIP tickets that puts you in prime seating to marvel at this show. You don’t want to miss this show, especially when it features music from acclaimed composer Nitin Sawhney (You’ll remember his performance from DTFF 2010)

How can you participate? It’s quite simple! We’re running this sweepstakes on Twitter.

Just follow these simple rules if you want a chance to win:
1. Participant must be a resident of Qatar.
2. You must be following @KataraQatar for your entry to count.
3. In addition to following, you must RT the giveaway tweet from @KataraQatar to enter into the draw.
4. You can also tweet about the sweepstakes, as long as it contains ‘@KataraQatar‘ and #AKC (We will be monitoring this hashtag for entries as well). This will count if and only if you have fulfilled (2).
5. The sweepstakes will last for 3 days.
6. Winner will be contacted directly via Direct Message and then announced on Twitter.
7. Winner must collect tickets 2 days after it is declared. Otherwise, another winner will be selected.
8. Employees of Katara and their families cannot participate in this sweepstakes.

What are you waiting for? Head over to @KataraQatar and follow them so that you can RT when they post it.

Let’s break a World Record!

I wanted to give you all a reminder on something fun we’re partnering with Luminescence events to put together. You’ve probably already seen all the tweets, posts, listings, and all that fun stuff, but since we’re getting so close to the event, it’s about time that we brought this back to the top of people’s minds.

There’s a lot of serious stuff in the world, so when Luminescence events told us they had this great idea, we had to be a part of it. It’s a chance for all of us to feel youthful again AND break a world record while we’re at it! It’s an attempt to break the world record for the largest game of Hide & Seek and it’s at Katara too! Isn’t that great? So come on down, and join us! Shout outs go to all the sponsors and partners including Katara, Qatar Red Crescent, and Stenden!

Hide & Seek Twitter
Hide & Seek Facebook
Event Listing on ILQΒ 

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 http://www.qatarthefuture.com

It’s twitter time! Three ILQ channels.

Sometimes it gets difficult following all these different sites. So to make life simpler for you Twitter users, all you need to do is follow one of these three twitter accounts that have been specially set up!

Looking for straight up ILQ stuff and some of my own tweets? Follow @iloveqatar

Looking for Qatar related news? Follow @qatarnews

Looking for the latest events in Qatar? Follow @qatarevents


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 hadΒ achievedΒ 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?

What Qatar Loves…

I decided to ask a question on Twitter and Facebook. A simple request. Tell me ONE thing that you love, anything random. (It’s fun to read people’s responses! Go ahead and leave your own response in the comments section below!)

Let’s see what people in Qatar said!


@Tal7a Car
@expatwifeinq my children
@keyalimayaga I love the absolute sound of music. β™₯
@ExpatCookie I love ‘Family’ πŸ™‚
@jaynieltorres i love dancing!
@b_noticeable the sea, Turkey Central, putting Xmas tree with my family, to write, yoga, red wine, different lands and cultures…oh, 1 thing?
@xtian001 i love my wife and daughter!
@Halawala I love airplane spotting and seeing construction of airports and infrastructure πŸ˜€
@fahadjuma I love Wisdom !!
@RamiJamal I love peace of mind.
@haniarif I love Pakistani Music
@a77med I love Qatar2022
@WesamSaid I love beaches
@TheRealNoof I love surprises.
@shadowqtr i love the rain
@bilaltaha I love Qatar
@roosnamla I love anything that involves salty water and a sandy beach


(removed last names to respect privacy πŸ™‚ ):

Majd i love qatar…

DeEtte I love good food, good wine, and good friends πŸ™‚

Mike I’d love a t-shirt of the upcoming Qatar Metro Network.

Alberto i love women ; p

Harris … not all people can love flipflops so it’s cool..

Ma I love my angels

Buhay I love the speech that you made in Refresh Qatar meetup because you mention our name there

Susie I love Jonathan πŸ™‚

Arwah I love me

Roxanne I love open minds and acceptance to change.

Burhan I love my wife and kids.

Bassam I love a certain someone……(not u Khalifa) :p

FranCis i Love poetry


Suzanne I love life

Shake.ah I love that when you pay it forward someone gets a helping hand.

Lynn I love all my family…

Geninna I love not having to wake up to the sound of my alarm πŸ™‚

Abdulla I like aston martin dbs

Jan the thing I love 3rd most (to avoid duplication): I love to travel

Bald Manchester United :o)


Judy the sound of the ocean when you wake up at the beach…

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.