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Posted on Sunday the 07th of January 2018

By: Dr. Fredelito Don Joh A. Vallesteros

Succeeding a year of exciting assessment over its treatment of the rising but inclined low-income expat demographic, Qatar pursued to be inclusive this National Day, instituting a "One Love" which signifies the strengthening of the bond between the nationals and emigrants in Qatar. As part of the "One Love" events, Qatar stadiums held various concerts and community activities for families and single men. As many as 6,000 students participated in three venues from 18 schools that included MES Indian School, Pakistan International School, Bhavan's Public School, DPS Modern Indian School, Pak Shama School, Shantiniketan School, Ideal Indian School, Birla Public School, Noble International School, Sri Lankan Stafford School, Bangladesh MHM School and Rajagiri School, Philippines International School Qatar, Doha Modern Indian School, Olive School, Qatar Institute for Speech and Hearing and Philippines School Doha. The shows and performances of school students and community teams were held at Asian Town, Labour City and Barwa Al Baraha in Doha industrial area, Wakra Sports Club, Rayyan Sports Club and Barwa Workers' Recreation Complex in Al Khor as well as an inter-national cricket tournament in Asian town cricket stadium.

In Al-Rayyan Indoor stadium with the capacity of 3000 chairs beheld the performance of Filipino, Malaysian and Indonesian communities as well as the competitions between Philippine School Doha, Philippine International School- Qatar, Scholars International School, Olive International School and Doha Modern Indian School. The program started at 2:40 pm with the singing of Qatar National Anthem and followed by the thematic parade of the five participating schools underlining Qatari traditions. The PSD Glee Club sang "Flashlight" while the PSD Chorale performed the a Mindanao ethnic song "Kruhay"and an original composition "Home and Heart" written by Sherese Sonoria and Elian Bernales. The music was arranged by Alexa Paculanang, Rogsh Garcia, Kaye Anami and Leez Suarez. The groups were spearheaded by Ms. Maribel Lentejas and Mr. Mike Saratan (Glee Club Moderators) and Mr. Aris Madrid (PSD Chorale Moderator).

The entire Qatar community has also witnessed the lively folk and thematic performances of the different teams. The competition was divided into two categories: synchronized dancing and the thematic dance. Selected Junior High School and Senior High School students wore their Qatari inspired costume as they move with grace and enthusiasm in their 5 minute synchronized performance. It showcased the history of Qatar featuring the pearl diving, trading and colourful caravans. The use of colourful cloths, mixture of some Arabian steps exemplified in the famous Sword Dance with contemporary dance steps and dancers wearing professional and national costumes of various countries highlighted the theme of the celebration. The performances were choreographed and supervised by Mr. Lochlan Villacorte and Ms. Sarah Garcia. They believed that the group's experience will bring about dependability, responsibility, commitment, sportsmanship, discipline, creativity, and awareness of the value of the art of dance.
Under the headship of Office of the Students 'Affairs 'Vice Principal, Mrs. Melissa Montayre, PSD emerged as the overall champion in the competition. PISQ was hailed as Second-placed and Scholars International School which stood third. By participating in the said competition, PSD aspires to be a part in the dream of Qatar to build a nation with love and unity. "The mission of this competition has always been to strengthen the entire Qatar community. This event stressed the importance of the competition as a means of motivation for artistic excellence as it teaches emotional fitness through teamwork", Mrs. Montayre stated.

Various departments including Public Relations Department, Community Policing Department, Establishments and Authorities Security Department, Traffic, Civil Defence, Al Fazaa and Hamad Ambulance, Lekhwiya and Private Engineering Office took part in the events. Celebrating National Day is a unique event, which reflects the keenness of the people of Qatar to commemorate the Founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani, who made Qatar a unified, strong and independent entity, he added. The Minister highlighted that on this glorious occasion, sense of pride is embodied in the generosity of the forefathers, and it paints bright images of identity, unity, cohesion and loyalty to the nation and wise leadership.

Since the holiday was established by Emiri decree in 2007, National Day celebrations seem to be getting bigger and better every year. Qatar National Day is a public holiday that marks the historic date in 1878 when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani rallied the communities of the peninsula into a united people. Although the date does not indicate the foundation of a sovereign state - which only ensued in 1971 - it is intended to be the point in time when the notion of Qatari people was bent. Last year marked the last time Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani greeted his people as the country's Emir. This year, Qatar celebrates its new emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad. Long live Qatar!