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Doha
Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Qatar community gathers to grieve, say goodbye to loved ones

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjR7y8HFvPA]

There were very few dry eyes tonight as hundreds of residents gathered at vigils around Doha to mourn and pay their respects to those killed in yesterday’s fire.

Aspire Park

Among those who attended the vigil at Aspire Park: Sheikha Hind, daughter of the Emir, Cultural Minister Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari and Jane and Martin Weekes, the parents of the 2-year-old triplets who perished in the fire.

The mother of Omar Emraan, an 18-month-old South African toddler, was also there.

A diverse crowd of residents also paid tribute, with many saying they were united under one umbrella of grief.

“I think we all need this desperately. No one knew where to put their grief,” said Erika Robertson, a 35-year-old South African resident who cradled her sleeping son in her arms. “In a community this small, it’s one degree of separation here.” 

Jennifer Diggins, a 44-year-old Malaysian resident, said, “Wherever we came from, we are all heartbroken.”

In addition to expressing their heartfelt condolences, many said they looked forward to seeing those responsible for the tragedy held accountable.

“We believe this incident could have been avoided if safety measures were taken seriously in a country that reaches 52C in the summer,” Fahad Juma, a 36-year-old half Qatari, half Bahraini resident said. 

“All of this will not bring the dead people back, but at least give us some kind of assurance. In Doha we all gather at the malls in the summer.”

Al-Kuwari’s daughter is the owner of Gympanzee nursery inside Villaggio, where the children died. When pressed by Doha News about her, he said she is today “the saddest person on earth.”

Church Mass

At Qatar’s Catholic church, hundreds gathered to mourn the death of four Spanish children, sharing memories and trinkets of the kids with each other.

On Twitter, users shared:

Pearl-Qatar

At the Pearl, Qatar residents lit candles and said a few prayers for those who were lost:

Did you participate in the memorial services today? Please share your experiences and photos with us.

Credit: Video by Ghazanfarulla Khan and Aspire photos by Shabina S. Khatri

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