By Azmat Haroon/Doha
Multitudes thronged the Corniche on Sunday to welcome HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani following his return from a visit abroad.
Qatar residents and members of the multinational community waved flags and banners as the Emir’s entourage passed through the Corniche.
His Highness surprised everyone by stepping out of his vehicle many times to interact with the people, some of whom had camped since the afternoon just to catch a glimpse of him.
“As an expatriate who has been born and brought up in Qatar, I am very fortunate to be witnessing the reign of a leader who never hesitates to stand for what is right, no matter the odds,” Nawal Mohamed Hafeez said.
“I was deeply touched by how our beloved Emir expressed his pride in us in front of the whole world! Indeed, his arrival today is no less than a national celebration and the people of Qatar have proved that we all stand with our Emir,” she added.
“It was a glorious opportunity for expatriates and Qatari nationals to witness the overwhelming welcome of our beloved Emir. From today's reception it is evident to the world that the Qatari nation and all expatriates living here are standing side by side with Qatar, and the Emir has complete support and affection of his people,” said Manateq project manager Arshad Hussain Hashmi.
Many hailed the Emir's speech at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York last Tuesday, calling it a landmark achievement for Qatar and the Muslim world.
“His Highness the Emir is perhaps the only leader who has highlighted the issues of the Muslim world in great detail at the UN General Assembly,” said Mohamed Sarfaraz Khanzada, a former ambassador of Pakistan to Qatar. “No other forum, including the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Co-operation), the GCC Council, and the Arab League, was able to raise issues faced by the people in Syria, Iraq, Libya as well the persecution of Rohingya in Myanmar the way His Highness the Emir did at an international platform.”
“The issue of Rohingya Muslims is a serious concern for Muslims around the world, including Pakistan, because currently around 250,000 Rohingya Muslims are settled in Pakistan,” the former ambassador said, adding that the Emir’s speech at the UN General Assembly adds another feather in his cap as he strengthens his position among world leaders today.
The international address by the Emir was his first since the June 5 siege imposed on Qatar by the neighbouring countries of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain.
Some also expressed their pride in the dignity and maturity with which His Highness was able to present Qatar’s stance at the UN as well among the leaders of international community.
“Qatar followed all diplomatic norms while presenting its stance on the ongoing Gulf crisis. Despite the fact that the neighbouring countries imposed an illegal blockade on Qatar, His Highness the Emir offered open negotiations to the blockading countries of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain,” said Gulf Lifa Company chief operating officer Afaque Haleem. “He agreed to sit across the table with these countries so as to resolve the issue amicably, and with that he showed great maturity as a statesman, unlike some other leaders.,
Haleem stressed that Qatar’s diplomatic policies have successfully prevented the country from isolation.
“After the recent trip of His Highness the Emir, Qatar has won significant partners from Europe. Additionally, Qatar was able to neutralise the issue, which has even pushed the US to adapt a more balanced approach in dealing with the Gulf crisis,” he added.
What also touched the hearts of many residents here is the confidence with which the Emir represented the people of Qatar.
“Clearly, His Highness the Emir’s speech and confidence reinforces the trust people have in Qatar’s government to overcome the crisis,” said TNG School director Riaz Ahmad Bakali.
“Qatar is our home and the way His Highness interacted with the community at the Corniche really touched our hearts. Being a sportsman, I’m really excited to see FIFA 2022 World Cup take place in Qatar. All of us will play our parts to ensure that it’s a successful event by overcoming the hurdles being created by outside forces,” said executive Qatar Veteran League member Mohammed Sabir.
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