A glorious day when Qataris solidified and united together showing sincere loyalty to Sheikh Jassim bin Muhammad Al Thani, the founder of the State of Qatar. They believed in their leader, who had been distinguished from his youth with piety, courage, spirit of redemption and wisdom of leadership. He made every effort to take care of the interests of his people in one of the darkest times this region went through.
The celebration of Qatar National Day is on the eighteenth of December of every year, when Sheikh Jassim bin Muhammad Al Thani assumed power in the country in 1878.
In fact, Sheikh Jassim had a deep understanding of the noble human values, firmly convinced of the necessity of achieving justice and eliminating injustice. Not only about his Qatari people, but also about the oppressed peoples, whoever and wherever they are. In addition, Sheikh Jassim bin Muhammad was attached to science and knowledge since his youth, and considered them among the basic values that he should pay attention to and care for. For instance, he made of Doha a beacon of knowledge and cognition for students. Furthermore, he brought many leading jurists and judges from the Islamic world to Doha. His care about knowledge reached its peak when he used to bring from India and Egypt huge quantities of copies of the most important books, that he bought with his own money or printed them at his expense, to distribute them to scholars and their students in Qatar and its vicinity.
Sheikh Jassim believed that he and his country had a mission related to the shining of the region in the religious and scientific level. He also believed that the combination of religion and science unites all mankind, and helps societies to avoid injustice and intolerance.
Sheikh Jassim remained an example of a leader and a wise negotiator. As a matter of fact, what happened between him and the Ottomans was the best evidence of the political and military skills that Sheikh Jassim had. In March 1893, Sheikh Jassim persistently refused all the Ottomans’ attempts to increase their influence in Qatar, despite the pressures and the difference in power and number between the two parties. Sheikh Jassim persisted and prepared to fight the battle of Alwajba that was imposed on him. In fact, he fought until he and his people had a victory. That war represented a turning point in Qatar’s modern history. This victory demonstrated the unity of Qataris and their belief in their leader together with the independence of the Qatari decision.
The reign of Sheikh Jassim was marked by security, justice and prosperity during which the country witnessed a comprehensive renaissance and prosperity in all life and economic activities. This was evident in the pearl diving business and its trade, as Qatar became one of its largest exporters and dealers.
Sheikh Jassim, may Allah have mercy on him, passed away on July 17, 1913, after a busy life and a fragrant memory. His son, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, took power after him.
Many generations came after that era, they kept the same spirit of hard working to complete the process of construction, development and prosperity under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the country, may Allah Almighty protect him.
In conclusion, we must emphasize that our pride in our national day requires us to work on documenting our history and our heritage, which is the collective memory of our nation, as well as the need to make use of modern technology to preserve this memory and make it available for the successive generations.