An occasion for celebrations, parties, barbecues, sparkles and fireworks, Qatar National Day is the most significant day in the country and an unabashed expression of patriotic pride. ‘Al-Yawm al-Wa?ani li-Qa?ar’ in Arabic, it is the national commemoration of Qatar’s unification in 1878. Celebrated annually on December 18, it was established on June 21, 2007 by a decree brought by then Heir Apparent His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Qatar National Day honours the historic day of December 18, 1878 when Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani succeeded his father Mohammed bin Thani as the ruler of the Qatari Peninsula. He is deemed to have unified all the local tribes by combating external forces. This day also honours the heroes, the leaders and the people who built this beautiful country. It is also a chance to reflect on the principles on which Qatar was founded, including truth, justice, friendship and brotherhood and to remember the values of generosity, loyalty responsibility and sacrifice which are key to its success today.
Until a few years back, Qatar’s National Day was celebrated a few months earlier — on September 3. Qatar gained independence from British rule on this day in 1971 and declared itself a sovereign state.
Whether you are a Qatari national, or born and raised in Qatar, or have made the beautiful nation your adopted home, one of the first symbols of our country’s heart that we learn to recognise is its national flag. A strong symbol of Qatar’s identity, pride and dignity, it has a name. In Arabic it’s called ‘Ladaam (Al Adaam)’ which means ‘to the Qataris, since ancient times.’ The maroon shade of the Qatar national flag represents the colour of the banner of Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani, the founder of Qatar. It also has its own official Pantone shade (Pantone 1955 C). The nine-pointed, serrated edges signify Qatar’s inclusion as the 9th member of the ‘reconciled Emirates’ of the Persian Gulf at the conclusion of the Qatari-British treaty in 1916. In 1971, the Qatari flag as we know it was raised for the first time in the wake of the abolition of British Protection, and when Qatar joined the United Nations.
The celebrations are on. It’s the perfect time to proudly wave our maroon and white. It’s the perfect time to celebrate the spirit called Qatar!
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What is the motto of the Qatar National Day 2018 celebrations?
‘As long as it is proven by our deeds ... Qatar remains free’. The motto blends a verse taken from one of the poems by the Founder, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani, with a phrase from the National Anthem.
What is the importance of ‘Limonium axillare’ to Qatar?
It is the scientific name of ‘Qataf’ or Sea Lavender, the national flower of Qatar.
Qatar’s flag is the only national flag in the world with length more than twice its height. What is its aspect ratio?
It is believed that the name ‘Doha’ came from the Arabic ad-dawha. What does it mean?
The big tree. The reference might be to a prominent tree that stood at the site where the original fishing village arose, on the eastern coast of the Qatar peninsula.
Why were the Qatar National Day festivities cancelled in 2016?
In solidarity with the people of the city of Aleppo, Syria.
Which popular political protest was organised this day in 1773 by ‘Sons of Liberty’ at Griffin’s Wharf, believed to be near the end of Hutchinson Street which is now named Pearl Street?
Boston Tea Party
Name the popular “colonel” who opened his first restaurant inside a gas station and once sued Kentucky Fried Chicken for $122 million. He died this day in 1980.
Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC.
What was Project Blue Book, started by United States Air Force in 1952?
It was one of the series of systematic studies of unidentified flying objects (UFOs).
Name the prime minister of Australia who vanished in a mysterious circumstance while swimming near Melbourne?
Harold Holt. He disappeared on December 17, 1967 while swimming at Cheviot Beach, Victoria, in rough conditions. His body was never recovered, and he was declared dead in absentia; his disappearance spawned a number of conspiracy theories.
The lady below was barely able to walk when she made her screen debut as a toddler. She retired from films at the age of 22. As an adult, she was named United States ambassador to Ghana and to Czechoslovakia, and also served as Chief of Protocol of the United States. She remains the youngest Oscar honoree. Identify her.
(Answer to last week’s photo-quiz: Rolls Royce.)
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