Your guide to Qatar National Day 2020
One of the most awaited special occasions in the country, the Qatar National Day (QND) is here.
While this year’s celebrations may be tuned down a little in the context of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the spirit of unity, national pride and patriotism remain at an all-time high!
Here’s everything we know about QND 2020:
Qatar National Day
Qatar marks its National Day on December 18 every year. It is an opportunity to introduce the efforts of Qatar’s founders who faced hardships and braved through several challenges to unify their nation.
This special day signifies and emphasizes the identity and history of Qatar and represents the ideal and aspirations adopted by the State to strengthen the unity, solidarity and pride of Qatar national identity.
The day also marks a significant occasion to display love, pride, and gratitude to the Qatari people, who took part in the solidarity and swore an oath of loyalty and obedience to their leader, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani.
This year’s slogan is another verse from a poem written by the founder of the modern State of Qatar, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani.
The slogan translates as: "We praise You, O, the Lord of the Throne. We accept your judgment in all actions.”
The story of the QND 2020 Slogan
The QND Organizing Committee states on its website:
“Like all great nations in history, and despite the hardships, they have endured, the Qatari people have shown their utmost commitment to human dignity in building themselves a civilized society
Noble traits were passed from generation to generation. It started with the founding members of this great nation who bravely fought for its unity and did so through their devotion to faith, education, and hard work.
With every challenge, Qataris of all ages, men and women, have proven to be courageous enough to persevere against all odds and rise to the occasion of building a secure future for their country.
Since the very beginning, and despite the good and the bad, Qataris have paved their way toward a brighter future. It started with the battle of Damsa and continued with defining events like AlHazm, Khanour, AlWajba, and many more.
Their faith in God and their immense gratitude is what got them through all the tough battles. They were always thankful for the patience and strength God bestowed upon them time and time again.
With every turning point in history, Qataris were able to face all kinds of economic, political, and military challenges with grace. They put everything on the line leading Qatar towards a prosperous future.”
QND 2020 Events
National Day Parade
One of the most-awaited events of Qatar National Day is the National Day Parade, which showcases different wings of the Qatari Armed Forces and various other officials.
The parade is held along the Doha Corniche and is a spectacular sight to see, charged with an atmosphere of immense pride, unity, and patriotism.
A rehearsal of the parade was held on December 11, 2020, which saw the participation of healthcare workers at the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle.
Location: Doha Corniche
Time: 9.00 am
Another attractive and mesmerizing feature of QND celebrations is the fireworks at the Corniche.
The fireworks usually draw large crowds of families, children and individuals at the Corniche, however, this year is expected to be slightly different in line with precautionary measures in place to protect the health of all amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Location: Doha Corniche
Time: 8.30 pm
Darb Al Saai – no activities this year
No Darb Al Saai activities will be held on the occasion of Qatar National Day this year, the Organizing Committee for Qatar National Day celebrations had announced.
In a tweet on its official page, the Organizing Committee said that the decision has been made taking into account the current circumstances pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Darb Al Saai is usually set up at the same location (in Al Sadd) every year. It opens a few days before the National Day and runs for over a week featuring various cultural events, activities, and stalls celebrating Qatari heritage.
The celebration ground is filled with festivities in an atmosphere charged with emotions of patriotism, pride, and national identity.
Darb Al Saai means ‘Route of the Messenger,’ used by delegates whom Qatar’s founder would entrust to deliver his instructions and directives. These men were known for their outstanding character traits such as loyalty, obedience, courage, and insight on account of which they were chosen to play such a sensitive role in those difficult times.
Doha Festival City - QND celebrations
Qatar National Day festivities at Doha Festival City will run from December 14 to 18, between 2 pm and 10 pm with a range of family-friendly activities.
Messages of gratitude will be placed throughout the Mall, while shoppers will get the opportunity to participate in a series of unique festivities and enjoy the celebratory atmosphere of the Mall.
A giant declaration of love for Qatar will be displayed at the Atrium Node on the ground floor through a 3D ‘I Love Qatar’ interactive display, available for guests to take pictures whilst enjoying the art piece and relishing in memorable moments.
Visitors to the Mall are also invited to share their appreciation for Qatar by placing messages on the ‘Message Wall’, installed at the Market Corridor on the ground floor.
Doha Festival City invites Qatar residents to share their congratulations messages and wishes on the Mall’s website via the QR code. These messages will be printed and posted on the Message Wall. Submissions are open until December 17.
An augmented reality ‘Selfie Mirror’ will be placed at the Centre Court on the first floor on December 14, 15 and 16. The installation is composed of a photo booth with a sensor placed on top of the screen – guests who would like to take pictures will be invited to stand in front of the booth that will automatically snap their photos, with no touching involved.
Visitors will have the chance to don traditional Qatari attire for their photos and change the background virtually by waving with their hand from afar.
Guests’ photos will be shared with them via email, and the best picture will enjoy an iphone12 prize from the Mall, to be announced on the Doha Festival City Instagram page on December 18, 2020.
Qatar National Library - QND-themed events
Qatar National Library (QNL) has something for everyone for the month of December as it celebrates Qatar National Day with its biggest-ever roll call of lectures, discussions, and interactive forums.
On December 16, the Library will explore the poetic diwan of Sheikh Jassim the Founder, and the different themes in his poems, including religion, politics, courage, and power.
On December 17, children and their families can enjoy “Qatar Through My Five Senses” by learning through a variety of fun activities for Qatar National Day. Adults can help spread the word about Qatar by taking part in the Wikithon, where they’ll edit articles and topics on Wikipedia related to the country.
On December 20, patrons are invited to join a virtual lecture looking at the history of Qatar on maps. Qatar has been identified on European maps for around 2,000 years and was even represented as a peninsula on some 16th-century maps, but then disappeared completely for over 200 years. This talk will discuss this history and how these maps can provide unique information about the history of Qatar.
For more information, click here.
Mall of Qatar (MoQ) - QND activities
The Nation’s Mall will shine bright with its spectacular decorations and artistic light displays.
From December 17, MoQ will present the "Flag Museum" which documents Qatar's Flag progression from its birth until its current state. Visitors can visit the Flag Museum on the ground floor next to Pari Gallery.
On 18 December, fans will gather onsite to watch the final match of Amir's Cup taking place at the adjacent Al Rayyan Stadium - one of FIFA 2022 stadiums. For those who don't have the chance to watch the match in the stadium, Mall of Qatar will broadcast the match live on the giant screens at the Oasis Stage.
A weekly raffle draw of “Pick and Choose” shopping festival will take place on Thursday evening on a BMW 320 car, the raffle draw for the second grand prize will be held Friday, December 18 at 4:00 pm with one lucky winner will drive away with a luxury BMW X7.
Looking for more places where you could participate in QND festivities? Take a look at this article.
Amir Cup Final
The joy of Qatar National Day will be two-fold this year as the country will see the launch of the fourth match-ready FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadium.
The Al Rayyan Venue will be the stage for the Amir Cup final between Al Sadd and Al Arabi on December 18, 2020.
The inauguration of the stadium located in Al Rayyan will take place exactly two years before the country hosts the FIFA World Cup final.
With excitement building up for the official launch of the Al Rayyan Venue, here are five key facts about the stadium set to leave fans with a memorable experience.
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