Noor Mohammed (Noor) from Qatar : Qatar marked its national day with a huge celebration featuring military parades before Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and with the attendance of Turkey’s Defense Minister HulusiAkar. All units of armed forces such as land forces, air force and naval force, the Air Defense Force; the internal security forces (Lakhwiya), the Amiri Guard and the security departments of the Ministry of Interior and all the military colleges affiliated to the Ministry of Defense and the Interior participated in the national parade. This year’s celebrations carry the slogan “As long as it was proven by our deeds, Qatar will remain free” combining a verse from Qatar’s national anthem and a verse from the founder. The large military parade featured armored vehicles and radar equipment purchased by the Qatari armed forces from various Turkish defense firms. The parade also included the well-known Turkish Armed Forces Mehteran Unit.
Qatar National Day was celebrated amid an ongoing blockade by neighboring countries that appears to have created a sense of unity among nationals and residents in the Gulf country. The celebrations took place in different cities and towns across Qatar, namely Doha, Al Wakra and Al Shamal. A one-day holiday was announced to celebrate the occasion.
“I congratulate the people of Qatar, citizens and residents on National Day,” Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said on Twitter. “I pray to God to perpetuate our country’s great blessing in security, safety, and stability, and to fulfill the aspirations of our people for greater strength, dignity, and prosperity”, The Emir added.
It is the second year Qatar celebrated its National Day amid the blockade that has been imposed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt. Despite the difficulties of the blockade, Qatar managed to turn the crisis into an opportunity, according to its 2018 economic performance. Official figures indicate that the economic situation has improved, as the blockade forced the Gulf nation to diversify its economy and increase self-sufficiency. Aside from oil and gas, Qatar’s exports have increased with a significant rise in the industrial sector.
Hundreds of thousands of Bangladeshi Diasporas under the banner of Bangladesh Community – Qatar (BCQ) participated in seven different theme parades namely Sandwip, Brahmanbaria, Cumilla, Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet and Khulna team besides participating in various cultural activities competing with other various expatriate community teams. An appreciation letter & a memento were given to each participating team by the Ministry of Interior as a token of appreciation. BCQ was applauded by Qatar authorities for its thematic & comprehensive activities. Engineer Anwar Hussain Akond, the convener of BCQ thanked all Team-leaders, role-players, participants, spectators for their individual and collective roles to make the events successful.
The writer is our Qatar Bureau Chief and a columnist.