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“THE State of Qatar has climbed the pedestal of grandiose achievements, produced something unexpected and thwarted all the systematic campaigns that tried to tarnish the image of Doha, and the image of the Gulf society as a whole. In just 28 days, it wiped clean the stereotypes about the Gulf people that Western media has become accustomed to, and that Arabs are just Bedouins who do not understand anything about civilization,” columnist Sattam Ahmed Al-Jarallah wrote for Al-Seyassah daily.
“Yes, Qatar has proven that it is capable, upon directives and blessings of its Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, are a faithful reading of the future, which from day one has been appreciated by more than five billion people on this planet, that we can keep pace with the times, succeed and are creative.
“Today, about a week ago or more after the end of the World Cup, the world is still talking about this unique event (the soccer extravaganza). The British and the French newspapers, which for the past ten years have been insulting Qatar, have accepted the crystal clear fact that has already emerged, especially what the British fans said that they were not subjected to any sort of harassment, as was the case during the previous World Cups, and the French praised the ban on alcohol in the stadiums which made watching the matches a pleasure.
“The smart gesture of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad by honoring the Argentine national team captain Lionel Messi a ‘bisht’ (a traditional Arab cloak), during the prize distribution ceremony is still the talk of the town. This incident set off a trend in South America, China and many other countries where bishts were sold like hot cakes. This was not just a festive appearance; rather, it was a smart marketing move for traditional Gulf clothing, and an indication of the meanings that this symbolic outfit carries.
“The millions of soccer crazy fans who visited the State of Qatar, along with the rest of the Gulf countries during the World Cup matches, realized that this region is not just sand and oil, but rather a story of centuries old civilization, and has its clear imprint on human culture, which is something we needed in the Gulf to respond to the abusive view of Arabs and Islam.
“In Qatar, the image of the tolerant, generous Gulf man appeared, who is able to deal with all peoples from a brotherly and humane point of view, and does not believe in any kind of racism, as well as the ability of this Gulf man to address people in their languages, and to know the limits at which he stops.
“Hats off to Qatar, the government and people, and its Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, deserves all the honor for making his tiny Gulf nation proud.”