Our flag is a symbol of our dignity

 14 Jun 2016 - 1:57


Recently there was an incident involving open mockery of the Qatari flag by two US soldiers at the US base in Qatar. It shocked everybody — nationals and residents — as the video footage went viral on social media and people reacted to the horrible action which took place, despite the historically strong ties enjoyed between Qatar and the US. The action also became a topic for discussion started by some media traitors who tried to defame Qatar in a way that betrayed hatred, as they promoted themselves in a cheap way to make their ilk happy.
I am not here to count the stupidities of some media personalities who tried to insult Qatar, because dogs bark but the caravan moves on. I would rather stress the strong stance of our leadership we are familiar with — that the leadership does not and will not compromise or allow by any means any person to insult the nation or the national flag, which is protected by our law.
Still, we kept up diplomacy. The Foreign Ministry, under young Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdurrahman Al Thani, summoned the US Ambassador to Qatar, Dana Shell Smith, and lodged a protest and demanded an explanation for the very irresponsible behaviour of the US soldiers. Dana Smith offered an official apology, and in a tweet, apologised to Qataris. It was not an apology at the local level. The spokespersons of the US Department of State and the Pentagon also apologised for the shameful act. The state accepted the apologies. But the offenders must be punished so that others learn a lesson. Qatar knows how it should be done.
There will be no compromise with regard to the national flag which is not mere colours on a piece of cloth. It is the pride of the state, the symbol of Qatar’s history- of the blood that had been spilled in the past- of people willing to sacrifice their lives for others. In his addresses at local and international forums and events, Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani frequently emphasises the independence of Qatar’s decisions. My beloved country continues to move on to new heights and towards further prosperity, ignoring petty matters. Qataris’ achievements in all areas, including humanitarian, social, economic and cultural, are clear for anyone to see. Thanks to my fellow citizens and residents of our philanthropic nation for their quick response to the insult to our symbol of dignity.