As part of a series of ceremonial sessions held on the occasion of the National Day, the Qatari Forum for Authors hosted, in the first session, Ms. Shams Al-Qasabi and Mr. Khalifa Al-Sayed Al-Maliki. The session, titled: “What I Gave to Qatar: Writing as the Intellectual’s Gift to the Homeland,” was moderated by Mr. Hamad Al-Tamimi, director of Youth Programs, and was broadcast on Thursday evening via Al-Multaqa channel on YouTube.

Al-Qasabi affirmed that the feelings of patriotism and pride in belonging to Qatar are deeply rooted in Qataris and are not limited to a single day. They are carved in peoples’ hearts and are inherited across the generations. She said that the National Day does not manifest itself only in attire, chants and celebrations, but it is an opportunity to acquaint youth with the history of their nation and to encourage them to be active members of their society. She called on parents to reckon with these celebrations that enhance the sense of belonging and disseminate happiness in the hearts of children, and this day should be spent with children to consolidate such authentic values.

For his part, Mr. Al-Maliki recalled the first celebrations of this occasion, which were held at the beginning on a simple popular level by performing, for instance, Al ‘Arḍah (folk dance) and Al Liwa (traditional dance), but the celebrations developed over the years to create jubilation in the hearts of everyone. He said: “This year is exceptional, as the celebrations coincide with Qatar’s hosting of the Arab World Cup, stressing that Qatar has managed to preserve its identity thanks to the government’s decisions requiring adherence to Qatari dress code in schools, among other ways of preserving identity.