By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Editors Choe Nam-suk, Kevin Lee, Ms. Jenny Jang
A very impressive reception was hosted last night at Hotel Shilla in Seoul by Ambassador Khalid E. Al-Hamar of the State of Qatar in Seoul in celebration of the National Day of the counrtry.
The spacious Dynasty Ballroom of the hotel was literally filled with many important guests from the international community as well as the Korean government and other segments of Korean soceity as well as from the ambassadors and madams from the Seoul Diplomatic Corps.
Following the wonderful speech of Ambassador Khalid E. Al-Hamar and that of Miniser of Culture, Sports & Toursim Park Bo-gyoon, there were colorful art performances by the dancers and singers, which greatly attracted the attention of the Korean and international guests.
Also attracting the attention of the guests were many wonderful features of Qatar introduced through video showed on large sceens on the wall behind the stage.
From Korean society came, besides Minister Park, many important guests who included Chairman Park Young-sik of ARA Cosmetics, CEO Jun Yukwang of HMT (TyperManTechnology), Senior Execuive Chief Lee Jong-ho of ADEX and Professor Lee Hee-chan of Sejong University.
From the media came many publishers and editors as well as reporters who included Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media who came with Senior Vice Chairman Choe Nam-suk, Editor Kevin Lee and Editorial Writer Ms. Jenny Jang.
The State of Qatar is a very important country to Korea and this was well exemplified in the marks of President Yoon Suk-yeol.
Speaking with Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani of the Qatar in Seoul on August 18 this year.
Yoon met with Al Thani, concurrently minister of foreign affairs of Qatar, and said that Qatar has been a key cooperation partner in the Middle East, especially in the areas of energy and construction.
At the meeting President Yoon emphasized the importance of "expanding cooperation between the two countries to more diverse areas, such as food security and climate change."
DPM Al Thani at the meeting highly assessed Korean companies' contribution to the economic and social development of Qatar through infrastructure construction and other projects, and said that he hoped to further deepen bilateral cooperation.
President Yoon and DPM Al Thani also jointly expressed hopes that tourism, business, medical and other exchanges will increase between the two countries following the signing of a visa exemption agreement during Al Thani’s visit to Seoul.
Yoon also explained Korea's efforts to bring the 2030 World Expo to Busan, saying that he hoped it would serve as an opportunity for more Qatari people to visit.
Yoon then promised Korea's support for Qatar's successful hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in November. Mohammed expressed his country’s appreciation for Yoon and extended a letter from Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar which Yoon to the World Cup in Qatar.
The State of Qatar, known as the “Pearl of the Middle East,” is a peninsula located on the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a country about the size of Gyeonggi Province in South Korea, and it has a population of approximately 2.8 million (with Qatari nationals being about 300,000, 11% of the total population).
Despite its geographic size, Qatar boasts a huge economic power with the world's third-largest natural gas reserves of 25 trillion cubic meters and 77 million tons of LNG production and exports per year.
In preparation for a post-oil era, Qatar launched the “Qatar National Vision 2030” in 2008. Since then, Qatar has been working hard to improve people's lives by diversifying the economy concentrated in the energy industry and investing heavily in health and education.
Qatar is also well known for its role and various activities on the international stage. It has served as a mediator to promote regional peace, including mediating negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban, and mediating conflicts and crisis in Sudan and Yemen.
And Qatar established Al Jazeera in 1996 to strengthen the power of media and communications in the region and to enhance its own national brands. In addition, Qatar has been hosting international sporting events such as Asian games in 2006 and it hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup game for the first time ever in the Middle East. Qatar is showing its capabilities in various fields such as diplomacy, media and sports.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Qatar on April 18, 1974, the two countries have developed a relationship centered on cooperation in energy and construction.
Qatar is Korea's largest natural gas supplier and has been supplying natural gas to Korea for the past 20 years, and in June 2020, the contract was signed between the three biggest shipbuilder companies in Korea and Qatar, which led to securing the largest LNG ship construction space ever.
Qatar is also one of Korea's eight major overseas construction markets, and you can see Korean company's architectural masterpieces in Qatar. The Qatar National Museum, which has become a fascinating attraction with its unique design modeled after desert roses, and the Lusail Plaza Tower, which has become the landmark of the 2022 World Cup, are also works of Korean company.
Qatar and Korea are expanding their cooperation to new areas, beyond energy and construction. There were bilateral visits of leaders of two countries in November 2014 and March 2015, and H.H. the Amir, visited Korea in January 2019 and 15 memoranda of understanding were signed for cooperation in various fields, including security, health care, agriculture and culture.
In addition, the excellence of Korean medical services is known in Qatar, so Qataris' medical tourism to Korea is rapidly increasing. Also the interests in Korean culture, including K-POP, is increasing among young Qatari people.
According to a report by National Today, Qatar National Day is also known as Founder’s Day and is celebrated on December 18 each year. It celebrates the rise of Sheikh Jassem as the father and founder of Qatar. It is a day for the people of Qatar to celebrate the rebirth of their country.
Qatar is a wealthy nation and is widely recognized as a place for commercial activities in the new world. Qatar National Day celebrates such history and those who have worked hard towards making it what it is now. The country has kept its traditions and history alive over time, thus it is worth celebrating.
Qatar National Day was established by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (then crown prince and heir apparent) on June 21, 2007, to commemorate Qatar’s 1878 unification by Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, who created a manageable level of autonomy for the peninsular tribes and abated intruders such as the British. The holiday is also called Founder’s Day. It holds a high significance for the Qatar people and reminds them of their unity and core values: loyalty, solidarity, and pride.
Initially, this holiday was celebrated on September 3, which coincides with Qatar gaining independence in 1971, but it was later moved to be celebrated on December 18. The unification being commemorated entails many battles for survival and independence. Qatar was formerly dependent on the Bahraini Al Khalifas on the eastern seaboard of the Qatari peninsula, but hatred brewed and rebels rose against the Khalifas, who sent their naval forces to destroy the rebels in Al Wakrah in 1867, contravening the General Maritime Treaty of 1820. The British then responded diplomatically by reprimanding Bahrain and negotiating with Qatar, ruled by Sheik Muhammed bin Thani, whose dynasty continues till today.
According to Ambassador Khalid E. Al-Hamar of the State of Qatar, the relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Korea started since Qatar’s independence in 1974 but has only taken the present actual shape of development after the State of Qatar opened its embassy in Seoul in 1992.
Since then those relationships began to develop at a quick, regular, consistent and integral pace, as can be seen in the large and accumulative number of agreements and memorandum of understanding reached and signed between the two countries in various fields during the visit of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, "may God protect him" in January 2019.
The development of the Korean Qatari relations at that fast and steady growing tone is a natural result of the commendable efforts of their Excellency the successive Qatari ambassadors in Korea who alternated to develop those relationships.
Thanks to all these diligent efforts the Qatari-Korean relations have been moving at a solidly consistent manner and a progressive way toward reaching an effective strategic and mutually beneficial 44 years old partnership relationship.