Wouldn’t you think these celebrations would want lots and lots of observers, helping celebrate? So . . . where and when is the camel dressage? (I really, REALLY want to see that!) Which day is the parade? When are the fireworks?
Announcements like this are tantalizing, and hard information often difficult to come by.
Gala planned for National Day
Web posted at: 12/7/2009 1:27:32
Source ::: The Peninsula
BY HUDA N V
DOHA: Qatar is set to celebrate National Day, which falls on December 18, on a grand scale this time. A series of exhilarating programmes have been lined up for the week-long celebrations starting six days ahead of the landmark date.
Beginning from December 12, various competitions, symposiums, parades and other events meant for family and children would mark the celebrations. The first day would witness two traditional Qatari sporting events — the Masseela Horse Race and Pure bred Arabian Camel Race.
Highlighting the country’s penchant for Arab horse racing and camel dressage, the National Day Masseela Horse Race will take place at the Darb-a-Saai Camp in Rawda Umm Rouman (Al Rayyan).
The horse race will be organised in the traditional Qatari way, whereby pairs of riders will challenge each other in a test of courage with the winning rider advancing to the next round.
The Masseela Horse Race, featuring both Arabian horses and Qatari riders dressed in the traditional attire of the ancestors is an apt way to introduce the young generation to the traditions of their ancestors.
Arabian camels from Qatar’s leading stables will compete in two contests — camel dressage and ‘Best Behaved Camel’. In the dressage, a camel has to complete a routine within a specific time and it is to be judged on the way it has been dressed up.
The ‘Best Behaved Camel’ competition will judge a camel on its ability to overcome obstacles and distractions such as water and food. Other events include a poetry competition for Qatari men and women focusing on their recitation skills. Various Qatari tribes will also showcase the traditional sword dance — Ardha — accompanied by music composition using traditional musical instruments. A symposium will also be held on the occasion.
Al Dawha satellite Channel, which was launched during the National Day in 2008, will be on air again this time with documentaries highlighting the progress, history and culture of the nation. On day, the Corniche will witness a huge military parade and a colourful rally. The 5km stretch of will be bejewelled in light. The grand finale of the week-long celebrations would be marked by a spectacular pyrotechnic.
Qatar University will also celebrate the occasion. Over 500 students have signed up for various activities to be held on December 16. A huge parade showcasing the history of Qatar, the visions of various rulers right from the first to Qatar Vision 2030, some of the greatest events in Qatar such as the Asian Games and the Qatar’s World Cup bid 2022 will also take place.
After lunch and a good visit, my friends were leaving. Sauntering to the car, the very few small raindrops didn’t even touch us, but we were exhilarated by the joy of these first drops, the first we had seen after long, dry months.
“Rain lashes Doha!” one of the quipped, parodying the local press, exaggerating the tiny things while leaving out major crimes. They danced toward their cars, yes, it’s a western compound and once in a while you might find one or two of us dancing in the street, we wild women of the West.