Is it true that the Qatar National Day used to be celebrated on September 3rd?

Is it true that the Qatar National Day used to be celebrated on September 3rd?

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

We are now very close to celebrating the Qatar National Day on December 18th. As preparations reach their final stages, there is excitement everywhere. However, did you know that until a few years back, Qatar’s National Day was celebrated a few months earlier — on September 3rd?

HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, while he was still Qatar’s Crown Prince, decided to switch Qatar National Day to December 18th. On June 21st, 2007, Qatar’s Heir Apparent brought out a decree saying December 18th would be celebrated as National Day (Founder’s Day).

So what was the thinking behind the change of dates? Actually, both of them are historically very significant for Qatar.

Historically, Qatar had been part of the Ottoman Empire. After its collapse, the British started to rule the country. On September 3rd, 1971, Qatar declared its independence from British rule and became a sovereign state. It had been celebrated as Qatar National Day until 2007.

Now, December 18th is an equally important date. It was on this day in 1878 that Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani succeeded his father Mohammed bin Thani as ruler of the Qatari peninsula.
He is deemed to have unified all the local tribes by combating external forces, such as the British. He also earned a considerable degree of autonomy for the tribes of the peninsula.

And that is how Qatar zeroed in on December 18th as its new National Day.

 

 

Cover image credit: Mohamod Fasil/Flickr

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