Posted on December 20, 2014

Attired in colourful costumes, children from Pakistani and Bangladeshi community schools participated in the Qatar National Day celebrations at Wakrah Stadium with impressive performances. Reflecting the theme of “One Love”, denoting the bond between Qataris and expatriates, the children presented a well-executed parade to kickstart the day-long celebrations, organised by the Ministry of Interior in collaboration with various community schools and organisations.

The day formally began with the schoolchildren singing Qatar’s national anthem. A two-minute silence was observed to pay respect to the victims of the Peshawar massacre in Pakistan that left 132 schoolchildren and 10 others dead on December 16. Soon after the national anthem, children dressed up in Qatar Armed Forces and police uniforms marched-past the podium where Lt Col Ghanem Saad al-Khayarin, Community Policing official, received the guard of honour from the marching students.

All participating schools’ children took part in the parade. A large number of people with their families, particularly members of the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, flocked to the stadium to witness the celebrations. Lt Col al-Khayarin officially welcomed them and congratulated the community members on organising such an elaborate function and participating in great numbers to make it livelier. The first morning session of the day witnessed multiple activities by children from Pakistan Education Centre, Bangladesh MHM School, Bhavan’s Public School, Shantiniketan and TNG Pakistani School.

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They presented songs, thematic and cultural shows and dances. Later, the school teams participated in different competitions such as football, tug of war, foot races and other games alongside teams from different companies and other community organisations. The songs competition included categories involving a general song and a Qatar song besides a thematic song competition between the schools. In between the performances from schoolchildren, music groups and singers from the two communities kept entertaining the audience with their performances.

In the morning session, the Pakistani community held cultural performances, including skits by comedians Masood Khawaja and Dildar Khan, English song ‘We Love Qatar’, Urdu song ‘Aay Qatar Payaray Qatar’, Qatar folk song in Sindhi, a folk dance, Pashto songs by Usman Bangash and an Arabic sword dance, besides performances by Balochi singer Akhtar Chanal Zahri. The Bangladeshi community in the morning session presented English, Arabic and Bangla songs by Tanjina, modern song by Ahmed Sharif, sword dance, orchestra songs and folk songs by Faruk, patriotic Bangla songs besides theme drama in English, Arabic and Bangla.

The venue was provided with arrangements for prayer areas, resting areas for families, emergency medical services and other necessary services for the public. Volunteers from both communities ensured the smooth flow of events. Free blood and diabetes checkups were also available at the venue. A variety of cultural performances by Pakistani and Bangladeshi artistes kept the audience entertained at Wakrah Stadium throughout the day. The schools winning the first, second, third and fourth prizes in the cultural festival were awarded QR7,000, QR5,000, QR3,000 and QR2,000, respectively. Similarly, the winners of other games were awarded cash prizes.