World Cup begins in Qatar with AMAZING opening ceremony at Al Bayt Stadium
Doha: On the evening of Sunday, November 20, 2022, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 began with a deeply moving opening ceremony, marking the moment that the entire world has been anticipating with bated breath for 12 years. The event was indeed launched spectacularly and dazzlingly at the Bedouin tent-like Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor.
The Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Father Amir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and numerous presidents, heads of state, and other world leaders were present to witness the beginning of history, the first-ever FIFA World Cup to be hosted in the entire Middle East and the Arab world.
In his opening address, the Amir, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, said the event gathered people of all nationalities and beliefs.
“From Qatar, from the Arab world, I welcome everyone to the World Cup 2022. How lovely it is that people can put aside what divides them to celebrate their diversity and what brings them together all at once,” HH the Amir said.
The major highlight of the night was the surprise package arranged in honour of Father Amir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
A historical video of HH Father Amir during his football playing days was shown to the admiration of the revered and respected leader. His Highness later autographed one of the jerseys of his football team back in the day as a heritage symbol and presented it as a gift to HH the Amir. All attendees received a replica autographed jersey of HH Father Amir’s former team as a gift.
The ceremony began with a video that took viewers on a heritage journey of Qatar 2022, focusing on the environment and sustainability, culminating with an incredible view and then the entrance into the Al Bayt Stadium.
Then came a spectacular Qatari traditional musical performance which took the audience down memory lane about Qatari culture and hospitality before the grand entrance of the American icon and Hollywood legend Morgan Freeman.
Freeman, together with FIFA World Cup Ambassador Ghanim Al Muftah, pricked the conscience of the world with their dialogue-like conversation on the importance of mutual respect, peace, and harmony.
“We were raised to believe that we were scattered on this earth as nations and tribes so that we could learn from each other and find beauty in our differences,” noted Al Muftah, whose story has served to amaze and inspire people by being a prominent and exceptional example for the youth and disabled people across the world.
“How can many countries, languages, and cultures come together if only one way is accepted?” Freeman asked before both agreed that “we can all live together under one big roof — the world” with tolerance and respect.
Immediately after was the Ardha Dance and then a FIFA theme song performance, which was followed by a tribute to all 32 participating countries with a runway-like jersey show. The world then witnessed the unveiling of La’eeb, the official mascot for this year’s FIFA World Cup, whose appearance was accompanied by dazzling fireworks across the 60,000-capacity stadium.
South Korea’s megastar Jungkook of BTS and Qatari singer Fahad Al Kubaisi took the ceremony to its climax with their stunning performance of “Dreamers,” the official track of the FIFA World Cup 2022, as the opening event of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 came to an end before the first match of the tournament between Qatar and Ecuador kicked off.
It was a promise delivered in spectacular fashion to the entire world and all those in attendance. While hosting the World Cup is often a once in life-time opportunity, given the global interest in hosting the Mondial, the world can give Qatar a thumbs up for delivering on its promises.