Expats on blockade…
June 05 2020 01:30 AM
Azim Abbas, P K Mathew, Bosco Menezes and Ashan Perera
Azim Abbas, P K Mathew, Bosco Menezes and Ashan Perera

Qatar has a clear vision

Azim Abbas (President–Indian Business and Professionals Council)

The completion of the third year of the unjustified blockade is a time to introspect and acknowledge the resilience of Qatar and the clear vision of its leadership. The annual economic growth rate has remained positive, the maritime borders have shrunk and the shipments from the subcontinent and Far East are reaching Qatar much faster than before. Qatar is also producing food locally and various sustainable schemes have been introduced.

In terms of engineering products, the “Made in Qatar” programme championed by QDB has started yielding results and this will further make Qatar self-sufficient. It is commendable that during this ongoing unfortunate coronavirus pandemic, Qatar was one of the first countries in the region to announce an economic package for the private sector worth QR75bn. On the sporting front, Qatar hosted several prestigious international tournaments ensuring it maintained its status as a great sporting hub. Then of course there is the World Cup in 2022, Qatar’s dream project, which will further enhance the country’s standing globally.

Sport is a vehicle for peace

Ashan Perera (chief operating officer/ high performance coach, Stallions Sports Services WLL Qatar)

Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed an illegal blockade on Qatar three years ago but despite that Qatar’s graph has risen in every sphere of human activity. Qatar won the Asian Cup beating Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Japan along the way and after that successfully hosted the Arabian Gulf Cup, the Club World Cup, the IAAF World Championships and the first ever World Beach Games. I am not a political expert but I believe sport is a vehicle for peace. Sometime through sport we can achieve much more than through politics. Qatar leadership ensured we didn’t succumb to the pressure put through the blockade. It is said a crisis brings the best out of people and Qatar did exactly that. We have opened a new page in our lives.

I’d like to thank each and every one who contributed to Qatar’s cause.

Blockade unites communities

Bosco Menezes (founder, Bigbfotografi)

The blockade has brought communities together, ensuring that the human zest for life has not faded. Speaking on a personal front, in my line of publishing and media I metamorphosed from doing a 9 to 5 job into an entrepreneur that gave life to Qatar's popular Community initiative called #bigbmeetup. The blockade has brought about a lot of change in people's approach and action. Qatar winning the Asia Cup in UAE was a feather in our cap as was Mutaz Barshim winning the the gold medal at the World Athletics. I hope the blockade comes to an end especially taking into account the coronavirus pandemic that we are in. We should all bury our differences and huddle together for the good of humanity

Qatar continues to flourish in the sporting arena

PK Mathew (Captain, Qatar Golf Lovers)

Qatar continues to flourish in the sporting arena despite the 3-year-old blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia and its allies. The country has hosted several high-profile sporting events, some for the first time and some regular ones such as the annual Qatar Masters, which is a European Tour golf tournament held in Qatar since 1998. The country's resilience in dealing with the blockade has been impressive and I don't expect Qatar to give up on its sporting ambitions, no matter what obstacles come its way.

As the Captain of the Qatar Golf Lovers, one of the largest & oldest Golf societies in Qatar, I have been happy with the way we have continued our golf activities unabated during the 3 years after the blockade. Thanks to the great support from the management of the Doha Golf Club, we have organised more golf tournaments during these 3 years, compared to the 3 years preceding the blockade. We have arranged coaching for many new golfers, enrolled more members and we have seen many of our members participating and winning major tournaments in Doha Golf Club and Education City Golf Club in recent times. True to the prevailing spirit of the golfing fraternity in Qatar, we have fought back with greater enthusiasm to ensure our activities are not affected by the blockade and I find the success that we have achieved very commendable. Now that we have proven that we can not only survive but also flourish amid adversities, our Golf Society will continue its efforts to get bigger & better.

This year also saw the Education City Golf Club host the Qatar Masters for the first time and this proved to be a second great championship venue in the country. Qatar has proven it is capable of not only surviving but also thriving in all aspects of life including sports, come what may.

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