Sunday, December 18, 2011

Qatar National Day

(CORRECTION to an earlier post: the correct pronounciation is “KAHt-tur” NOT “Ka-TAR”)

December 18 is the day Qataris celebrate the founding of the country with a full day of great, grand festivities ( Decorations, disco ball, camels, parades...and car wrecks?:

National Day commemorates the day in 1878 when Qatar achieved national unity under Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed Al Thani, first celebrated in 2007.

...Watch out for decorations going up, flags, banners, stickers and more going on sale, and even camel sightings in the lead up. Military drills and parade formats are practiced...a giant disco over the Corniche. Also, tradition comes to the fore, with camel dressage competitions, falconry demonstrations, and more...

This is the time of year when people paint their cars with the flag and images of Qatar and the royal family, and drive up and down the Corniche, often sitting on top of their vehicles or hanging out the windows. It’s great fun if you want to join the parade, but just make sure the driver keeps their eyes on the road: National Day is no time for car wrecks! ...the Corniche and the areas around it will be jammed. Although the full schedule of events isn’t usually released until just before the event, expect fireworks, parades, and more. It’s also a national holiday, so expect bigger than average crowds at public spaces like restaurants, malls and cinemas as everyone gets the day off work.

Due to the high likelihood of TRAFFIC, Bob is not attending National Day events.  If fireworks light up the sky near his apartment perhaps he’ll take pictures – from his balcony - and share.  If so, will post.

Please forgive this short message as Katie, Kimber and I prepare to head east, hours and hours over land and sea to join Dad and hubby for Christmas and the New Year. I will endeavor to supply more detailed information about this interesting place as the week goes on.  J

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