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Perhaps we should ask Qatar in the future to organize our sports events. In the European finals, the chaos of drug addicts and rioting crowds dominate the occasions and turn them into a tragedy and we have to ask: ‘Where will we take our children with us next time’? (A comment made in the London Telegraph, in a beautiful tribute to the Qatar World Cup)
Almost everyone believes, and they are right, that Qatar has deservedly succeeded in hosting the greatest sporting event in history, without any significant lapses, taking into account its small geographical and human size, and nearly lack experience in holding such big events, so congratulations to its people and its Amir. Some criticized the huge sums spent by Qatar on holding the World Cup, and asked if the occasion was worth it.
Wasn’t it more appropriate to direct the sum of two hundred billion dollars for various humanitarian purposes? Despite the legitimacy of the question, it includes a disgraceful simplification of matters, as what Qatar earned is much more than what it spent. Qatar will forever remain the smallest country ever to have hosted an event of this magnitude. It also has new stadiums, a new metro system, a semi-integrated infrastructure, a new airport, with the development of the old, hundreds of hotels and places of entertainment and amusement and the modernization of the country’s roads. Qatar has received more than a million tourists, and tourism will be a source of income, after its coasts have become better, with a series of luxurious and good restaurants, and the number of tourists will reach 6 million by 2030, compared to two million visitors in 2021.
Also, three billion people, at least, heard the name Qatar for the first time, and knew where it is located. For the first time, in many decades, an Arab and Muslim country has succeeded in changing the negative and stereotypical image of Arabs and Muslims. Qatar and its leadership have earned the respect and love of the world. Qatar benefited hundreds of thousands of families whose children worked in various professions for twelve years, to reach the World Cup for its first day, and for its closing ceremony. Its gross domestic product will grow more than three times this year from a modest 1.6% in 2021.
However, the most important achievement of Qatar was not represented in the propaganda aspect of the state, or in the political and economic aspects. Rather, it was represented, in my opinion, in its success in getting rid of the “foreigner’s complex”, which shackled many of our countries for years, and prevented us from opening up to the world, under the pretext that the West is against us and the world hates us, Colonialism and Zionism want to destroy our customs and our values, and that we must keep distance from the stranger, and prevent him from entering the house.
Qatar has succeeded in opening up to the whole world, embracing it, presenting it with our values that we cherish, and making it accept and be happy with it. This is the most important success, so when will we learn from it or will we remain silent and steadfast in our cocoon, refusing to get out of it and launch into the space of freedom, equality and broad brotherhood? Finally, if I were in charge of the state’s finances, I would not hesitate to spend two hundred billion dollars to break the alliance with the very conservative tribal and religious forces, and launch Kuwait towards the spaciousness of freedom and progress.
By Ahmad alsarraf