All photos by Nada Badawi/With reporting from Riham Sheble
With less than a month to go before Qatar National Day (QND), stands for the annual parade are already starting to come up on the Corniche.
Several hotels, shops, restaurants have also been getting ready for the holiday, which is on Dec. 18.
It marks the date in 1878 when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani rallied the tribes of the peninsula into a unified people.
A nation can't progress unless its people come together, abiding to basic values to meet the aspirations of its founders. #QND2016
— اليوم الوطني لدولة قطر (@NDQatar) November 20, 2016
Just last week, QND’s official social media accounts were revived after a year-long hiatus.
They are now working to foster Qatari pride and encourage community members to take part in upcoming events.
And this year’s theme has been set to reflect the changing times: It is “We are tamers of difficulties,” according to QND’s website.
Al Sharq reports that the slogan is derived from a saying by Sheikh Jassim, who once said in poetry form:
“He who obeys and observes God is obeyed by all people, And all matters, from the lives of kings to severest difficulties are tamed and overcome.”
Around town, several shops are already selling Qatari flags and other items.
This includes merchants at Souq Al Dira and Souq Al Jabor (across the road from Souq Waqif), as well as at Al Rawnaq near TV Roundabout.
There, Qatari flags are selling for QR105 to QR400, depending on their size.
The shop is also selling a range of merchandise with Emir Sheikh Tamim’s face. Additionally, many items in national colors are on sale, including wigs, ”I love Qatar” wrist bands, jewelry, key chains, scarves, hats and car bumper stickers.
All items cost between QR2 to QR100.
And more QND-related items are on the way, a Rawnaq salesperson told Doha News yesterday.
Darb Al Saai
Over in Al Sadd, preparations are well underway for the opening of Darb Al Saai. Several tents have been erected, while other construction remains ongoing.
The grounds typically kick off QND festivities about 10 days before the actual holiday.
According to Al-Sharq, festivities should commence Dec. 8 to Dec. 20.
Darb has been used as a way for visitors to learn more about Qatar’s past, with farm animals, food and other items on display and for sale.
Are you excited for the holiday? Thoughts?