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


We’re finalists for ‘Best Digital Creative Campaign’ !

I’m so honored! Vodafone and iLoveQatar.net teamed up this year again to put together www.ramadan-kareem.net . (If you don’t know what it’s about click here). We worked really hard to make sure that we took what we did last year and take it to the next level. This is the 4th time we’ve done this now and the 2nd time we’ve teamed up with Vodafone. Special thanks to Jonathan Donovan for putting in so much hard work to make this happen.

Anyway! So the award is for Best Digital Creative Campaign in the Middle East! You can view all the people short listed as finalists for the different awards here http://www.terrapinn.com/2011/the-internet-show-awards-middle-east/awards.stm

*Smile*

Ramadan Kareem Everyone! Here’s a quick 101

Ramadan Kareem Qatar! 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 these 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 (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!

We’ll miss you Grahame. Qatar. loves. you.

I wanted to write this blog post in honor of Grahame Maher, CEO of Vodafone Qatar. I find that the best way to get my emotions out is by blogging it. Sadly he passed away last night by suffering from a corniary and stroke at the same time. Now this guy was healthier than I was. He ran marathons, went on tour de france style bike rides, and he was an amazingly positive person. So why did this happen? In Qatari, we don’t question why. We accept that this was written by God. It’s in his plan and with every action there’s some good reason. Grahame has left a legacy. Every single person in Vodafone feels for him.

Walking around the Vodafone halls you see people hugging, red eyes trying to focus on monitors, and people talking about what he did for them. Individually.

Grahame has been one of those that was a driving force behind what what me and the team at (iloveqatar) ILQ do. I wrote a post about my Grandmother as a reason for why ILQ exists. Well Grahame is another person who picked me up from when I had lost all hope in trying to change Qatar and gave me that extra push.

He spoke to me before he passed away. He said, “I’m so proud of you and Bassam (Al Ibrahim, my partner) and everything you are doing with iLoveQatar. Don’t let anyone stop you.” I wont. It’s a public promise now.

What’s he done? This is the guy that helped sponsor and support ILQ when we needed to support the community. When the Qatar volunteers society needed water, he gave them 8,000 bottles of water; when ILQ needed support with the small groups of people wanting to join different sporting events, he helped fund the entry fees; When we needed a booth to put up at the different fun events he made sure that was sorted; well, he basically managed to send ripples through society and help people. Even if they didn’t really know who did it.

The irony of it all was just yesterday we had a comedy festival. He was so excited to go, and had arranged for Vodafone support in under a week. Perhaps that was his gift to the people. A chance to get people from ALL nationalities under one roof. No boundaries. All laughing together. One final smile from Grahame.

So what can we do to respect him? Remember him as a guy who brought a lot of happiness to the people around him. Remember him as the guy who lead competition in the country. Remember him as the guy who helped connect you to friends and family. Remember him as visionary. or my favourite, remember him as just some guy who cared enough to make a world of difference to all the people of Qatar.

A lot going on this Friday

You heard me, there’s no excuse not to do something this Friday (unless you’re not in Qatar like me).

So what’s going on?

1) Red Bull’s Double Kick in partnership with Vodafone – Besides some great music, fun and games, you’ll also be able to grab some fantastic freebies! Be sure to stop by the Vodafone and ILQ booth!

2) Global DJs present DJ Goldfinger in partnership with iLoveQatar.net

3) Gold Circus

4) Got a few moments? Vote for Nouf and help support Qatar! Philadelphia Cheese has a small competition going and it would be great if you could help support Nouf! Visit http://www.spreadphiladelphia.com/story.php?id=98

If you’ve got something going on this Friday, let ILQ know!

Celebrate Bahrain Grand Prix

Well guys, it’s Grand Prix time! And since I’m quite sad that I’m not in Bahrain (to enjoy my favourite dinner and shisha place called Don Vito), the closest thing I have is the fact that I can call Bahrain for a great rate.

Wow! What a segway there! Anyway, I was just told that calling Bahrain on Vodafone for the Grand Prix costs QR 0.69  per minute (so that’s the 12th to the 14th).

RedBull Double Kick

Interested in some fun on the beach? Well Red Bull in partnership with Vodafone and support from the InterContinental and iLoveQatar.net are bringing you a fun event called Double Kick.

Teams will be competing to scores goals on the beach and the fancier the trick, the more points the team gets.

Besides that, there’ll be food, drinks, music, and some fantastic ILQ and Vodafone freebies!!

Stop on by!

More information here http://iloveqatar.net/forum/list.php?27

Last night for BlackBerry on Vodafone!

If you’re a BlackBerry user then you’ll want to quickly head on over to http://www.vodafone.com.qa/go/en/getstarted/blackberry and register!

They’re giving 1000 people the BB service for FREE until the end of May! Don’t say Mr. Q didn’t tell you!

‘We’ love Qatar

And here you go! iLoveQatar.net’s teamed up with Vodafone for another fun event to make Qatar a happier place. What better a team than two companies who just want to make Qatar a better place! In fact, I think it’s quite suitable for me to use this japanese smiley face —>   ^_^

So for today, at the W hotel and Marriott, all guests will be greeted with a rose and a message from our hearts. On the 18th of February you’ll find ILQ and VF on the Corniche and at the Pearl. So come and claim your rose!

I wonder how many people will be able to take some awesome shots since there are so many photographers in Qatar.

iLoveQatar.net – Live Love.

Donate to charity!

donateSome people may have notice, but there’s now a little donate box on the left side of ILQ courtesy of Vodafone. (Right underneath ILQ’s Labour force donation button). They’re making it easy to donate to charity and all you need to do is select how much you’ve got to spare!

So if you’re feeling generous, go ahead and donate! Just visit http://www.iloveqatar.net and share a little :)

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.