Celebrating under the motto: “Our Unity is the Source of our Strength”

Edited by Anna Popper

Every year on the 18th December, the people of Qatar celebrate the National Day, also known as Founder’s Day, to commemorate the historic day of the country’s unification in 1878, when Sheikh Jassim Muhammad Bin Thani, the founder of the State of Qatar, succeeded his father. The celebrations are meant to uphold the values of the National Day and to enhance loyalty and belonging to the country, pride in Qatari identity and in faith upon which the country was founded. Qatar is a proud land with a rich legacy that became an independent sovereign state in 1971.

On the occasion of Qatar National Day 2022, H.E. Mr. Abdullah bin Falah bin Abdullah bin Nasser Al-Dosari, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Hungary, hosted a grand diplomatic reception at the Budapest Marriott Hotel, which was attended by senior government officials, the Dean and members of the Diplomatic Corps in Hungary, representatives of the business circles, cultural and academic spheres, and Qatari nationals.

The event started with the national anthems of Qatar and Hungary, and continued with greeting the invitees, including the Guest of Honour Mr. Gergely Gulyás, Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office, and was followed by the opening remarks of the Ambassador of Qatar:

“First of all, I extend my sincere thanks and gratitude to all of you for your participation with us in celebrating the National Day of the State of Qatar, which is considered a dear occasion that reflects the unity, solidarity and cohesion of the people of Qatar, and in which the meanings of love for homeland, loyalty to the ancestors and fathers and  their unforgettable sacrifices.

It is the day of pride of the wise leadership of H.H. Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, may God protect him. The slogan of Qatar National Day 2022 is “Our Unity is the Source of our Strength” quoted from a speech by His Highness the Amir of State of Qatar.

His Highness the Emir and his wise government make great efforts to raise the country to international standards in all aspects of life, and work to boost the status of the Qatari people and secure all the basic requirements for a decent life, as it provided free of charge education at all stages, treatment inside and outside Qatar, comfortable housing, electricity and water.

The celebration of Qatar National Day is particularly important this year as it coincides with Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Both events are an opportunity to highlight the unity and culture of the people of Qatar to the world. During this period, visitors to Qatar learn about the bright aspects of our history and culture, and test our belief in civilized interaction with other cultures, and our respect and pride in our Arab and Islamic values.

As we celebrate the National Day of the State of Qatar in the land of friendly Hungary, we must refer to the cordial and close relations that bind us to this deep-rooted country. These relations have been established through mutual visits of senior officials in the two countries and through many bilateral agreements in various fields. I have no doubt that the bonds and relations between our two friendly countries and peoples will be strengthened to higher levels in light of the remarkable interest shown by the leaders of the two countries and their endeavours in this direction.

I would also like to praise Hungary’s policy in supporting Qatar to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where an official statement was issued by the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament, stressing that politics should not be involved in sports affairs, athletes should not be forced to take political positions and commended all the efforts Qatar has made to successfully organize and conduct the biggest football event in the world.

We draw attention to the visit of Hungarian Prime Minister Mr. Viktor Orbán to Doha to watch one of the semi-finals and to attend the final match. We consider this visit as a positive official Hungarian position in support of the State of Qatar. We are grateful for the support and praise for our success in organizing this great global football event, and we affirm that this unique and inspiring experience belongs to all humanity.

In 2010, under FIFA terms, the State of Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. At that time, there was no objection to that. Some expected that Qatar would retreat after 5 years, but months and years passed and Qatar did not back down from hosting, rather Qatar went on to fulfil all the requirements necessary to organize this world championship.

Qatar welcomed everyone from all countries of the world and from all cultures, races and religions to enjoy this global football event. Qatar did not impose any particular characteristics or ideas on the visitor and the guest, only demanded that the laws and customs of the host country be respected, which is applicable in all parts of the world.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar brought people together and unified feelings, affirming that the world can be united to face the major challenges that threaten all humanity.

As a trusted international partner, the State of Qatar believes in supporting collective initiatives and multilateral actions. Qatar always responds proactively to global crises, such as food security, energy security, the Covid-19 pandemic and others.

Unfortunately, however, and coinciding with the approaching opening of the tournament, we witnessed a sweeping media attack against the State of Qatar, the likes of which had never been launched against any country that had previously organized the World Cup. The attack was cited by some civil society organizations and international media without justification or evidence about allegations of violating workers’ rights. Then we came to impose values that we cannot accept. We did not listen and did not pay any attention to those voices, we have completed the construction of stadiums and infrastructure, and noticed that the closer the World Cup date, the greater the pressure on Qatar. Everyone who came to Qatar, including players, administrators, fans, visitors and those who watched the tournament on TV, praised the high-level organization and advanced infrastructure, which cannot be bettered in the past or in the future. We recently saw that the countries that attacked us, along with civil society organizations and the media, turned 180 degrees praising the good organization and infrastructure, and we think that’s a good thing, and backtracking from the mistake is a virtue.

The State of Qatar seeks to open up to all cultures and civilizations of the world and has come a long way in this regard. Qatar affirms its adoption of noble human values and morals based on a tolerant Islamic law, and its commitment to relations based on mutual respect, and calls for the consolidation of security, peace and brotherhood among the countries of the world and dialogue between followers of different religions.

Qatar calls for resolving political issues and disputes through peaceful means and direct dialogue between countries. It supports development and stability projects in various countries. Qatar’s mediation in Sudan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Chad and others has paved the way for building peace, stability and development not only in those countries, but also at regional and international levels.

Qatar firmly believes that peaceful means are the best way to resolve conflicts and end wars.

In addition, Qatar contributed greatly to mitigating the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic by distributing vaccines to poor countries free of charge, and Qatar Airways played a distinguished role during the epidemic in transporting world citizens to their countries, including Hungarian citizens as well, after Air traffic stopped and land and sea borders between countries and continents were closed.

In closing, I extend my best wishes to the honourable audience and friendly Hungarian people on the occasion of the upcoming Christmas and New Year holidays, wishing everyone a New Year filled with joy, love and peace.

I repeat my sincere thanks to the honourable audience and enjoy with us this occasion that is dear to our hearts.”

After concluding the official part of the event, the guests were offered fine specialities from the Qatari and international gastronomy.

Source: Embassy of the State of Qatar in Budapest