The Ministry of Culture and Sports organised Sunday a lecture on the history of Qatar on the topic 'The year 1851 before and after: Events that have defined the Qatari character', as part of the events in the run-up to the National Day Celebrations.
The event at the Qatar National Theatre addressed the key and major events that have shaped and displayed the intrinsic characteristics of the Qatari people over the years.
Noted researcher Dr Ghanim bin Saad al-Hamidi was the speaker.
The session was moderated and introduced by Abdullah bin Ghanim al-Binali al-Mohannadi, editor-in-chief of local Arabic daily *Arrayah.
Dr al-Hamidi said that he deliberately chose the year 1851 as a key changing point in the history of Qatar as a nation, when the whole people of the country stood behind their leader Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani at the battle of Mesaimeer, abandoning their tribal allegiances for a united nation under one flag.
This was when the current flag of Qatar was adopted.
Accordingly, the people were able to ward off the invasion launched by Faisal bin Turki bin Abdullah (1785–1865), the second ruler of the Second Saudi State, defeating his forces although they outnumbered the Qataris.
From this moment on, the Qataris were able to formulate their nation, with their special characteristics.
Dr al-Hamidi summed up the general distinctive features of the Qatari people as forgiveness and solidarity, estimation of the value of time, dignity and justice, giving high value to hard work and mastery of work, and highly appreciating the value of knowledge.
He accordingly reviewed the key events in the country's history that helped in shaping and establishing each of these features, stressing that the Qatari people have always maintained their independence and sovereignty over their country, and have always successfully resisted any attempts to undermine these, both by their neighbouring states and the major powers that used to exercise their domination over the region in the 19th century.
The scholar also stressed that the Qatari people have a unique relation with the sea as a coastal nation; as a hardworking people, the country accounted to around 20% of the natural pearl trade in the region at the peak of the trade.
The country has also been able to contain the various troubles and attempts to undermine its endeavour to progress, develop and prosper, he added.