Posted on December 19, 2014
Patriotic fervour hit the pinnacle while Qatar's rich cultural heritage came to the fore at the impressive and colourful seventh National Day parade taken out along Doha Corniche yesterday, said Gulf Times. HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, HH the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, HH the Emir's Personal Representative HH Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani and the sons of the Father Emir were among the dignitaries who witnessed the parade.
HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE the Speaker of the Advisory Council Mohamed bin Mubarak al-Khulaifi and his deputy, as well as a number of sheikhs, ministers and guests along with heads of diplomatic corps accredited to the State and a number of senior army officers and senior officers of the Ministry of the Interior, in addition to thousands of citizens and residents were also present on the occasion.
The parade started with the rendition of the national anthem and an 18-gun salute to mark the National Day, followed by a recitation of verses from the Holy Qur’an. Contingents from the Army, Navy and Air Force, Emiri Guards, Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), Civil Defence, Heritage Police, coast and border security, traffic and personnel of police college and national service and students of Qatar Leadership Academy were part of the parade.
Students belonging to schools, the Shafallah Centre, Al-Noor Institute for the Blind and children dressed in Emiri guard uniforms, classic vehicles and vehicles belonging to Hamad Medical Corporation also took part in the parade, taken out along the nearly 2km route between the Qatar National Theatre and the Emiri Diwan. The colourful cavalcade of thorough-bred Arabian horses and camels was among the other attractions. Parachutists belonging to the Armed Forces and Lekhwiya thrilled the onlookers. The event also included a procession of armoured vehicles and equipment, a fly past by air force fighter jets and helicopters and a naval parade and a display of paragliding.
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Battle tanks, personnel carriers, rocket launchers, mine detectors, anti-aircraft guns, fire extinguishers, infantry vehicles, anti-pirate frigates, interceptors, monitoring sensors, surveillance equipment, propellers and coastguard vessels were among the attractions. While the parade was progressing on its regular course, several local dhows, including some of those equipped with advanced facilities sailed across the Doha Bay. A number of patrolling vessels of the coastguard also joined the celebrations.
At least two hours before the parade began every inch of its route was filled by crowds, who flocked to the area from across the country, starting from the early hours. Men and women, old and young and people of different nationalities waved flags from the sidelines and cheered the soldiers all along as they marched to the tunes of patriotic slogans and songs. The musicians from the armed forces entertained the crowds with an array of songs, popular among the citizens until the start of the parade.
The sorties over the parade zone by Airforce helicopters sporting Qatari National Flags and aerial journeys by para jumpers were loudly cheered by the multitudes of the spectators. The scintillating aerobatics of the fighter planes across the Qatar skies and their deafening sound left them awestruck. As the parade got over HH The Emir and HH The Father Emir moved along the route in a convoy of vehicles and waved at the spectators along the Corniche.
Qatar celebrates December 18 as its National Day to commemorate the country's founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani assuming its reins in 1878. The country's history attributes the bringing together of different tribes and sub-tribes to Sheikh Jassim before his army won a decisive victory against the Ottomans in a battle somewhere near Al Wajba, in 1893.