By Arun Ranjit
Every year on December 18th, the people of Qatar celebrate their National Day to commemorate the historic day. This year also Qatar and Qataris spreading around the world celebrated Qatar National Day with joyful and remarkable activities on Wednesday (18th December). In Nepal too, the National Day of Qatar was celebrated in capital on Monday (16th December). Ambassador of Qatar to Nepal Yousuf Bin Mohammed Al-Hail hosted a reception where Vice President of Nepal Nanda Kishor Pun was the Chief Guest at the function. A large number of people from various walks-of-life attended the celebration event.
The celebration of National Day indicates that Qataris did not and will not forget the great sacrifices made by the Founder and ancestors to achieve unity. Yes, National Day contributes to the consolidation of the values of loyalty to the country embodying the solidarity and cohesion of the citizens feeling pride of belonging to the country, their love, sincerity and loyalty to the (wise) leadership and homeland.
Qatar National Day marks the date of succession (December 18, 1878) of Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammed Bin Thani, the founder of the State of Qatar, who ruled Qatar during 1878 – 1913.
During the rule of Sheikh Jassim Qatar earned its independence on September 3, 1971. Prior to a decree in June 2007, Qatar National Day was annually celebrated on September 3, marking the day of Qatar’s independence in 1971. But afterwards, Qatar begins to mark national day on December 18.
Sheikh Jassim Bin Mohammed Bin Thani was a military leader possessing both gallantry and magnanimity. He fought many wars to defend Qatar.He also upgraded the harbors and shipbuilding to support the pearl trade as Qatar has biggest source of pearl in the region. Thus, heestablished commercial relations with various countries that had created employment opportunities for Qataris which led to improve their living standards. Also, during his reign urbanization concept was expanded and that made easier for people’s activities.
The relations between Qatar and Nepalis strengthening day by day. The features of development have been clarified through high dignitaries’ visits and meetings of the high officials’time and again.The bonds between the Nepali and Qatari people are inseparable and bilateral relations between the two countries have been growingsteadily.
Building of modern infrastructures have changed the scenic beauty of Qatar. The most important thing accomplished by Qatar today is an investment in education for Qatari people and healthcarealong with development of communications and technological sector. Jumping out from the GCC, today Qatar, through soft diplomacy, has established a network of strong external relations with most countries of the world. It also has tied upin economic and commercial activities that upgraded Qatar’s image into great importance in the regional and international forums. Today, Qataris have expanded their activities across all continents.
The most important lessons to be learned from national day occasion is that the celebrations allow youth to learn about the hardship faced by ancestors and the sacrifices they made in order to pave the way for future generations. Yes, due to the blockade, Qatar has been facing many external dangers from neighbouring countries who tried to tear apart its unity and infringe on its sovereignty. But the visionary leader motivated Qatari citizens to unite against the aggressors feeling pride of their nation to defeat, as in the past, enemies’ attempts to control the state and its wealth. Looking to the history, Qatar has made great progress in various fields. The country has achieved one of the fastest economic booms in modern history. Its GDP jumped from about 10 billion QR in 1975 to more than 600billion QR today. Currently, Qatar is the largest producer of liquefied gas in the world. Besides, it also has an advanced industrial sector, especially in the field of petrochemicals, iron, steel and aluminum, thus enjoying the highest per capita income in the world, in addition to having one of the strongest sovereign funds in the world.
The achievements were not limited to major economic boom; it extended to urban developments throughout the country as a result of the insightful vision of the leadership. During the past decade, the country has been able to modernize its infrastructure and establish extensive and modern networks of traffic-roads, rail-roads and bridges. Additionally, Doha is also becoming popular destination for modern-equipped hospitals, advance research centers, and top universities, best seaport, airport and airline in the region.
Despite all challenges including overcome the unjust blockade imposed (which is nearly 30 months) by neighboringcountries, Qatar’s national achievements is being continued, the report of World Bank stated.
Qatari Ambassador to Nepal Yousuf Bin Mohammed Al-Hail always stressed that despite blockade Qatar has become stronger than before due to the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the combined efforts of all the authorities and the support of the state to all sectors.“It has also enlightens Qatari people to be unified for the sake of nationalism,” Ambassador Hail used to say. Qatari economy is even stronger today than it was before the blockade. According to the Qatari State Bank, the state budget is currently experiencing a surplus after it had a deficit. Furthermore, the current account balance of payments is also witnessing a large surplus, which reflected positively on the international reserves and liquidity in foreign currency, reports Qatar Central Bank.
International reserves and liquidity recorded at the end of October of this year was about US $54.2 billion exceeding what it recorded before the unjust blockade when it was US $45.7 billion at the end of May 2017.
Regarding the efforts that come within the framework of the implementation of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the current National Development Strategy 2017-2022, Qatar has launched the Second Strategic Plan for Financial Sector Regulation focusing on strengthening financial sector supervision and regulatory co-operation, developing financial markets and promoting financial innovation, maintaining the integrity of the financial system, promoting financial inclusion and developing human capital.
Celebration of National Day could be said as the embodiment of the values of loyalty to the homeland and the attachment of the citizens towards the country.
Within short period of time, under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has made Qatari people easier in moving toward the development of country and the building of its promising future. Today, Qatar has undergone remarkable transformation and enjoys full security and safety.
Yes, Qatar occupies a prominent position among the most secure countries in the world. Doha is said to be an international floor. This has proved with hosting of large range of internationally importance meetings, seminars, cultural and sports events. Besides, those all now Qatar is preparing to host FIFA World Cup 2022 with history-written game. This has clearly indicates that Qataris ready to play an influential role regionally and internationally. Definitely Nepal, being one of the very good friends of Qatar, would like to congratulate the State of Qatar and its people on the auspicious occasion of the National Day. May history will record the clarity of vision and unity of goal between the leadership and the people to achieve the noble goals of pride, delight and determination, with security, stability, tranquility and lofty aspirations of the ancestors. Long Live Nepal-Qatar Friendship.