National Day: A celebration of Qatar’s values and priorities

The Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington D.C. held, on Tuesday December 6, 2016, a reception, in celebration of National Day, at the National Portrait Gallery.

Mr. Ali Al-Hajri, Charge d’Affaires and members of the Embassy welcomed over 1000 guests to the reception. Ambassadors and diplomatic corps members, as well as congressional representatives- such as Congressman Andre Carson, Congressman Ralph Abraham, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congressman Ted Yoho, and Congressman Steve Cohen- and other distinguished guests, attended the event.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Al-Hajri asserted that Qatar is strongly committed to working with the United States to build and sustain peace and prosperity in the Middle East.

Mr. Al-Hajri emphasized the importance of education and empowering the youth in Qatar as well as others in the region. He pointed out Doha’s Education City, which is composed of six American Universities educating thousands of students across a range of disciplines.

During the event, Congressman Andre Carson spoke of the shared interests that bind the US and Qatar. He added that the United States believes in a “strong Middle East, free of terrorists and instability, which is why Al-Udeid air base is one of the United States greatest military bases”.

Representative Ralph Abraham from the fifth district of Louisiana also wished Qatar a happy National Day. He spoke about the cooperation between Qatar and the United States in fighting terrorism and regional instability, which he described as “phenomenal”, adding that it will “continue to grow” over time.

Mr. Jeff Shockey, Vice President of the Federal Legislative Affairs Government Operations Office at the Boeing Company, thanked Qatar for “strengthening the ties between the US and Qatar over the years.” He added that the large presence of attendees is a “true testament to the deep relations between our great countries.”

Finally, Ms. Kim Sajet, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, spoke about the growing partnership between the Embassy of the State of Qatar and the Smithsonian museum, congratulating Qatar on supporting arts and culture. Additionally, she wished Qatar a happy National Day.

During the event, the Embassy collaborated with five Qatari organizations, each presenting a unique take on the enduring relationship between Qatar and the United Sates. Qatar Airways, Qatar-US Business Council, and Qatar Diar highlighted through various creative presentation the growing economic partnership between the US and Qatar. Qatar Foundation International highlighted the growing strides made in education, through the strong US-Qatari ties. Qatar Tourism Authority, offered a unique outlook on what the sights that could be seen in Qatar.

In celebration of Qatar’s unique history and heritage, guest got a chance to experience Qatari culture, from Qatari cuisine, to henna, to  taking photo booth pictures against a backdrop displaying key sites in Qatar, and learning how to write their names in Arabic.