A number of Qatar’s iconic landmarks – Khalifa International Stadium, The Torch Doha, and Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel – have been illuminated with the colours of the Mexican flag on Thursday to mark Mexico’s National Day.
Described by Mexican ambassador Graciela Gomez Garcia as “a generous tribute to Mexico and to the Mexican community in Qatar”, the festivity is “a great opportunity to meet with our fellow nationals and to share our unique identity, full of values and traditions built and consolidated over time”.
“Last year, the pandemic prevented us from getting together as a community and therefore, todays’ celebration is even more special,” the envoy said.
The celebration of the ‘200th Anniversary of the Consummation of the Independence of Mexico’ in Doha also served as a symbol of unity and patriotism among Mexicans living in Qatar and the close relations between the two countries – particularly in the field of sports.
The event was the first time that a national day of a foreign country was celebrated in an official act within the Aspire Zone and Public Domain, and the first time that a country’s banner was lit in these famous venues.
Hundreds of Mexicans and their friends have gathered at the Qatar Olympic and Sport Museum esplanade to join the occasion as the envoy led the civic ceremony of “El Grito” the Cry of Independence and the singing of Mexico’s National Anthem.
“We receive this gesture of friendship from our host country with gratitude and humbleness. Thank you for such a precious gift. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, as well as the directors of Aspire Zone, Aspire Logistics and Public Domain, for their invaluable support to make it possible for the Mexican community to gather here at the most emblematic date for us Mexicans who live abroad and find ourselves thinking of our families and missing our country.
“Let us remember that ‘Mexico begins where a Mexican is,’ and here in Qatar, our country is present and it is being seen and heard as never before,” the Garcia said.
Dressed in green, white and red costumes representing the flag, Mexican families who attended the celebration enjoyed the choreographies “Me nace del corazón”, “El Jarabe Tapatío” and “El Son de la Negra”. It was performed by the Ballet Folklórico Latinoamericano, and directed by renowned choreographer Cristina Cobos, who has a long career in the promotion of Mexican culture through dance in Qatar.
Active in Qatar for 11 years, this dance group’s performance wowed attendees while the lady dancers’ colourful attires have energised the place despite the humidity.
Garcia said: “Dear friends, living outside of our beloved Mexico and in cultural contexts different from ours, we experience our Mexicanness differently, and we cherish the few occasions in which we can gather to express with all our emotion the love and joy we feel for our country.”
In line with the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, she said they are anticipating the Mexican National Team to have a wonderful performance in the prestigious tournament, which will be held in Qatar, “hence, the importance that we are gathering tonight at the football epicenter of Qatar, the historic Khalifa Stadium, amidst the true heart of 2022.”
The Embassy also kicked off its countdown for the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the event, which saw Mexicans taking photos and videos and sending it to friends in their home country.
The Embassy noted that it has been deeply engaged in a sports diplomacy strategy aimed at linking Mexico to Qatar through sports in general, and football in particular… especially with the 2022 FIFA World Cup around the corner and the 2026 that will be hosted by Mexico (including the US and Canada). As such, the Embassy added, the 2022 baton will be passed from Qatar to Mexico.
In addition, the Embassy said that Mexico is so far the number one sender of football fans for 2022, “so it’s very likely that Mexicans will be largest fan community in Qatar’s World Cup.”
The envoy also underlined the Embassy’s close collaboration with the Supreme Committee and Delivery, and several stakeholders in Mexico and Qatar, to ensure an amazing experience for everyone during the prestigious tournament.
Khalifa International Stadium, The Torch Doha, and Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel u2013 have been illuminated with the colours of the Mexican flag