In One with the Qataris
DOHA, QATAR. It is perfect timing that our visit in Doha coincides with the country's National Day (December 18). Qatar National Day is annually celebrated to commemorate their unification and independence. After finishing our dinner buffet in the Grand Regal Hotel, we immediately went out and walked to the only destination we had in mind that night: the Corniche. A promise of a grand fireworks display is waiting for us there and the promise is so good to pass up on since we are lovers of fireworks ourselves.
The streets are filled with cards donning replicas of their national flag and people snaking through the spaces between these cars. They are heading in the same direction that we are heading which made the walk easier as we only have to follow where the bulk of the people go and which made the walk easier as we only have to follow where the bulk of the people go and which made me thankful as well that we just opted to walk and not hail and Uber ride. As we go closer the Corniche, the traffic worsens and we see more and more people walking towards it. As we pass by Souq Waqif, some of the spectators are already settling down on a spot they think would given them the best view of the display. More beautiful cars zoom by as the Qataris find the National Day to be the perfect opportunity to show-off their drool-worthy possessions. For us, we still did not want to settle in Souq Waqif so we moved closer to the Corniche until we found a spot near the water.
At exactly 8 in the evening, the display commenced. For 10 minutes, the skies lit up while the city skyline served as the perfect backdrop of the spectacle. It was simply spectacular. Expressions of awe filled the silence at certain times. The crowd went rowdy when the fireworks fill up the night skies. They even roar their appreciation in unison! It has been fun to watch the display with the Qataris.
After the spectacle ended, we went to the nearby Souq Waqif to roam around some more and enjoy the beautiful market that everyone is raving about. The liveliness obviously crept towards there as it became an extension of the celebration. Qataris occupied the restaurants. The volume of the people caused congestion in the market's well-maintained inside streets that even I who consider it a daily occurrence in my home country got agitated for a moment but despite that, the cheerful atmosphere cut short the agitation I was feeling. It was at that moment that I came to prove that happiness has a non-dismissible magical power. Happiness does really spread fast and more than that, it is inclusive.