Friday, December 18, 2009

National Day

On the 18th of December, Qatar celebrates its National Day in commemoration of the historic day in 1878 when Shaikh Jasim, the founder of the State of Qatar, succeeded his father, Shaikh Muhammad Bin Thani, as a ruler and led the country toward unity. The event is considered as an opportunity for all Qatari nationals and expatriates to recognize and celebrate what it means to live in modern day Qatar. Qatar National Day activities are organized by the State National Day Celebrations Organizing Committee (SNDCOC), whose vision is to Strengthen Solidarity, Loyalty and Pride in National Identity.
Courtesy of Qatar National Day website

You know when the news portrays Arabs waving their flags & mobbed together, which frightens many Americans? My guess is that they probably shot the footage on their National Day. In other words, picture the 4th of July in the USA, but with a different flag and different clothing, and there you would have Qatar's National Day. I enjoyed seeing the patriotism throughout the city during the week leading up to National Day.

Flags lining the roads.

Pictures of the Royal family on cars (sometimes even on the windshields)

Cars with Qatari flag hearts all over them.

Tents being set up along the roads for festivities

A few things I regrettable do not have pictures of:
1) Guys selling flags in almost every roundabout you drive by. (You can see a couple in the background of other pictures)
2) Women with abayas embroidered FOR National Day (Qatar flag colors along the edges and the word Qatar)
3) People wearing long, thick Qatar scarves in 80 degree weather because they are Qatar national colors
4) A huge gathering of men waving swords and dancing around across the street when we came out of church on National Day. (This one I tried to get a shot on the drive by, but the shot delay missed the moment).

We saw some of the rehearsal or the parade the day before, but since National Day fell on Friday (the Sabbath), we didn't attend the parade this year. A friend went and took 2300 pictures. She said it was great, and her pictures are fantastic, so we have something to look forward to next year.


  1. I'm still waiting for a post to hear about how you celebrated Christmas. I enjoy reading your blog even if I don't post many comments. Leoni is getting so big. It is fun to see all of the pictures.

  2. I love these posts. All the differences and interesting things from Qatar.

  3. So why haven't I been reading your blog? I heart it. I love reading about your little family (especially that beautiful little Leoni), and I really love learning about Qatar. So amazing.

    And we only wrapped the presents because we knew that paper was all she really wanted for Christmas.

    Seriously. :)

  4. You're only contributing to my promise of finally getting a passport this year.

    I hold you solely responsible.