QATAR: Mixed feelings of joy and sorrow …

Qataris watch the live broadcast of a television programme at the Halul restaurant on the Corniche following the announcement of HH Sheikh Tamim as the new Emir of Qatar yesterday.

As dignitaries and prominent citizens flocked to the Emiri Diwan to pledge their loyalty to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, many Qataris expressed mixed feelings in their views about the “unprecedented” event that took place yesterday.

Like most of the other Qataris, Hamad al-Karrani said he had mixed feelings about HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani handing over power to his son HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

“I feel sad to say goodbye to [HH] Sheikh Hamad, but at the same I’m happy to say hello to [HH the Emir] Sheikh Tamim,” al-Karrani said.

He said he believed that HH Sheikh Tamim would follow in his father’s footsteps and continue to build Qatar’s stature in the world.

“Qataris really love both the leaders, which is why they are going through some mixed feelings on this day,” 63-year-old Abdul Wahed al-Mawlavi said.

“No-one will ever forget [HH] Sheikh Hamad for what he did for his people and the country, which is why we feel sad that he will no longer be the Emir,” he said.

“But at the same time we are also very excited about [HH] Sheikh Tamim becoming the next Emir, especially because we know he is the son of a great man, Sheikh Hamad,” Mawlavi added.

When HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani took over from his father HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani on June 27, 1995, he told his people this was not for any “love” for power.

“No, by God I have not. It is a grave responsibility, and trust, which I pray to the Almighty God to enable me to carry out. It is the necessity for the country’s sake and its interest which is my goal and aim, second only to the gratification of God, before whom I vow and pledge myself to spare no effort to work for the high standing and progress of this country and the welfare of its citizens,” HH Sheikh Hamad had said .

Qataris believe that his unprecedented action yesterday proved to them that he really meant what he had said 18 years ago.

Essa al-Najjar, a 42-year-old financial analyst, said that this was a historic moment in Qatar and everyone should be proud of it. “Sheikh Hamad had always said that he never desired power for himself and became the Emir only to serve the country. That’s why I’m very happy for Sheikh Tamim and the decision that Sheikh Hamad took to make this unprecedented move.”

Source: Gulf Times

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