18 Dec 2022 (Qatar National Day) saw the most dramatic final in the world cup history which marks the culmination end of a journey that has taken 12 long years; a journey I have personally witnessed all its steady trail of transformative development; a journey that has brought the global society aboard to celebrate the world’s biggest football event in a Muslim country by faith, a cosmopolitan by culture and progressive by leadership. I was in a fan zone giant tent with a big TV screen at Souq Waqiff when the FIFA predecessor Mr. Seb Platter pulled the FIFA 2022 World Cup host nation out of that envelope on 2nd December 2010. When the name “Qatar” popped out, the crowd in the tent exploded with euphoria due to the triumphant success of such a landmark national achievement. Many might have challenged to locate the name of this unapologetically small and beautiful country in the global map, but emerged out of her geographical location as a shooting star, a defining moment of the sports culture in a region long was under the twilight of Wester dominated world of sports. The $ 220 billion worth investment in the country’s infrastructure development not only exhibits the structural transformation of the country but demonstrates the intrinsic culture of the Muslim people Viz. to make your home neat and clean prior to welcoming any guest into it.
Media Smear Campaign by the West
The hypocritical, double standards and politically orchestrated negative stereotypes against Qatar become an integral ingredient in the news bulletins of certain prominent Western Media. This media smear campaign has never been slowed down as certain people in the influence positions have even added their voices into it, but Qatar has seized the moral-high-ground to overcome it with strength and wisdom that eventually extinguished with the first kickoff whistle of what has been dubbed by FIFA’s incumbent president Giovanni V. Infantino to be ‘the best World Cup ever’ in the footballing history. Qatar is a Muslim country that equally respects the culture and values of the other global society, but this didn’t mean that they would place their sacrosanct values in checkmate where, perhaps the unethical exotic cultural values might simply attack, at this point the sensationalizing of the so-called LBGT+ values by certain Western countries with their football squads even aboard was totally erroneous. Every traveler washes his laundry at home before he travels to another country, in the same metaphor; if I ask you to wash your dirty stuff at home is not a crime.
At the spectacular World Cup opening ceremony, where the Qatari miracle boy Ghanim Al Muftah took the starring role with the prominent American actor Morgan Freeman, he sent a beautiful message quoting a verse from the Holy Qur’an (“O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you…). He demonstrated how Qatari people have stretched their arms to welcome the whole world into their home, and learn from each other with love and respect and how this would last longer.
Moral lessons learned
This world cup has many ‘Firsts’ the first in the middle east, first in a Muslim world, first saw a female referee, first held in a winter season and last but not the least first without alcohol at the play grounds. Morocco national squad, the first African Team ever reached semifinals has been the surprise team in this world cup with unique event showcasing the intrinsic familial bonds by kissing, embracing and entertaining their parents after every game they play. Kissing their parents on the forehead has sent a strong moral message to the whole world that in Islamic culture__ parents are the glowing orb for success. It was a deep feeling for many whose parents have been abandoned in the so-called OLD AGE HOUSES in the Western world. It was feeling that many young parents wished to have their foreheads kissed by their kids, a feeling that resonated across the world with love and compassion. Japanese fans were another good class who taught the world how cleanliness is a good part of the humanity, as they have been the last fans to leave the sports facilities after each and every game regardless their squad wins or loses.
The Takeaways from this World Cup
With all its ups and downs, Qatar has written a book which every nation should read a page; a book that hopscotches from the past to the present on how success could ever be achieved without challenges. They said Qatar is a very small country to host such a big event, but today the world realized that it’s not all about the size, it’s all about the kind of mind set and that a good brain amounts to a whole big country. They said it’s all about the kind of resources they have, but today we know that there are many bigger countries with much more abundance of resources but mired by institutional corruptive practices. And lastly, with all the negative stereo types by the Western media giants, we know that the role of the unconventional social media outwitted and exposed the truth about Qatar and this world cup.
If THANKS are just six letters to express goodness, million thanks to the host nation and everyone who contributed to this unforgettable history.
Happy National Day
Qatar has written a book which every nation should read a page