*Minister of Culture and Sports presents QND's vision

The Organising Committee of the Qatar National Day (QND) celebrations unveiled on Wednesday the activities, which will take place from December 12 to 20.

HE the Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanim bin Nasser al-Ali, the chairman of the Organising Committee, presented QND's vision at a press conference.

The vision is based on enhancing loyalty, unity, and pride in Qatar's national identity. He also highlighted the logo of QND this year: "As long as it was proven by our deeds", a verse taken from one of the poems by the Founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani, and the accompanying slogan which is 'Qatar Remains Free'. This means that 2018 QND's logo and slogan came from one of Founder's poem's verses and the national anthem.

HE al-Ali said that all societies and nations face difficult challenges at different periods of their history in which they test their abilities to confront them and strive to create what meets their needs. The only difference between steadfastness of nations and their progress or between their inability and delay is in the availability of responses that go beyond surface reaction to achieve pride.

He added that "the challenges are the secret of the renaissance of nations. Otherwise, civilisations would not exist and will not continue their progress. Qatar and its people are no exception from this fact in their honourable history."

The minister spoke about the various stages of Qatar modern history and how the ancestors struggled to maintain its values and independence, stressing that throughout such difficult times, the founders of Qatar were only defending their country and never initiated an attack against others.

"Today, we are at the crossroads of a decisive stage in the history of this free country. The first lesson is the need that the sons of the country must work hard to achieve self-reliance in science, industry, agriculture and the development of all the elements of the renaissance of their country," he pointed out.

General supervisor of Organising Committee Hassan bin Rashid al-Ajami talked about the main events of the celebration such as the national parade which will be held on December 18 in the afternoon on Doha Corniche. Large live streaming screens will be placed in different locations. The total seating capacity on Doha Corniche will be nearly 25,000.

Al Ajami said Darb al-Saai events will be in the same location as last year in Al Sadd and will be open during December 12-20. The opening hours will be 9am to 1pm and 3.30pm to 10pm daily, with huge participation from governmental and other entities.

The official aid there are other events for communities and expatriate workers taking place at the Industrial areas of Al Wakrah, Dukhan and Al Khor, with a an expected participation of 125,000 persons. In addition to the communities' parades with the participation of cultural organisations, there will be companies' parades and students' parades.

He pointed out Sanad Qanoony, aimed at raising public awareness about legal matters and procedures, is the new activity for this year as part of the educational sector activities, which has been adopted by the committee to comply with the values of the national day which is participation, inspiration, creativity and transparency.

Brigadier General Ali Khejaim al-Athbi, head of the security committee for the national day celebrations, stressed that a security plan is being prepared in co-operation with the security departments and entities concerned to ensure a successful conduct of the events.

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