The Ugandan community in Qatar recently celebrated their 57th Independence Day with traditional fervor and colourful cultural and music events.
Over 200 people, mainly Ugandan expatriates, attended the Independence Day celebration at Magnum Hotel. The event was organised by Ugandan Community Qatar (UGACOQ), a community group that organises various get-together events for expatriates.
‘The Ugandan Independence Day Celebrations’ started at 3pm and continued till 11.30pm. It was a cultural and entertainment festival for the expatriates who marked the day away from their country. The event started with national anthems of both Qatar and Uganda and included comedy skits, cultural dances, music performances and a fashion show.
Noted guests on the occasion were namely: Derrick Smith, an official from South African embassy; Dr Eddy Kurobuza Tukamushaba; and Professor Dan Musinguzi, both from the faculty of Stenden University Qatar. The guests also attended the cake cutting ceremony.
The real hallmark of the event was a dazzling fashion show highlighting the traditional customs of Uganda. As many as 12 models – both male and female – took part in the show that showcased the designs of Yiye Mackaay Junior, a promising young model and designer from Uganda. The models treaded on the runway with elegance. The gathering took keen interest in the designs and fashion pieces that were deisgned for men and women.
Meanwhile, DJs kept playing electrifying and thrilling music to keep the gathering on their toes. People danced with the DJ on the tunes of the fast and loud music.
“There were also people from other expatriate communities. We have people hailing from countries such as Egypt, India, Pakistan, Ghana, Somalia, Nigeria, Cameron, Kenya, Bulgaria, France, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, and Gambia. People from different nationalities came together with the Ugandans to mark the special occasion,” Aliguma Saul Rayan, UGACOQ chairman.
He added: “We have been celebrating our Independence Day every year since 2016 when we formed the community group. The group provides us a platform to meet and greet each other. The occasion of independence celebrations is an opportunity for the Ugandans to know each other and establish relations in the long run. There are many Ugandans living and working in Qatar. We feel Qatar as a home away from home.”
Talking to Community, Dr Eddy, who was the chief guest on the occasion, said: “We as Ugandans are very happy to be hosted in Qatar. This is our second home. There is nothing that brings happiness and joy more than living in a group of people – community. It is nice to celebrate our independence together with our people.”
Associate professor tourism and hospitality at Stenden, Dr Eddy further said: “We in Uganda expect Qatari people to visit our country. We have got our embassy in Qatar now. We believe with this development we will succeed and work together for the benefits of both countries. I teach research methods in tourism and business. I also teach statistics. I find people in Qatar very nice and welcoming.”
Regarding the tourism scopes between the two countries, the university teacher said: “When I was in the country for a year, I wrote about Qatar Tourism in one of the tourism encyclopaedia. I see a lot of potential. I see a lot of development and I see a lot of hope. When I see FIFA World Cup 2022 coming to Qatar, I see a lot of hope.
“The beauty of Uganda is gifted by nature. Agriculture is backbone of the economy. I see a lot of tourism opportunities for the people in Qatar and other Middle Eastern countries to Qatar. Experiencing is the only sure way to understand a country. Qatar Airways flies to Uganda every day.”
In response to a question about the Ugandan community in Qatar, he said: “They are in different fields including education, medical, entrepreneurs, construction, security, hospitality I hope that we will explore more and more fields here. We encourage our compatriots to have spirit of co-operation and working together.”
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