Not only was the final between Argentina and France played today, today also happens to be Qatar National Day. The day is generally marked with a parade in the Corniche after flag hoisting. Most spectators would be expats like us with our schools partaking in the celebrations with cultural programmes. This year probably there has been a change in the scheme of things considering the world cup. But what a fitting crowning glory to the World Cup FIFA Football 2022 twinning with Qatar National Day celebrations. We couldn’t have hoped for a grander finale! All the buildup culminated in this wonderful finish on a landmark day. Historic moment for Qatar, the gracious hosts. I wish I was at the stadium. Some friends went for the final playout at Lusail iconic stadium and they were posting videos and pictures in social media – live feed. Festive airs for more than a month now in Qatar and it will take time for us residents for our euphoric feelings to subside! Yet I have to say, the affairs were low key somewhat. Boisterous to the right degree never overdone, CLEAN fun, quality time and friendly atmosphere it was all to put it into a nutshell. The metro stations were bursting at seams and the metro trains had added compartments. Humanity filled every single little space with every colour and creed from all corners of the globe. Truly a mega event and a grand salute to Qatar for making it a grand success. Seven stadiums within a radius of 30 km from each other, with guests running into hundreds of thousands, even I was wondering and waiting to see how it would work out. Most visitors were accommodated in the desert camps that were comfy and transported to venues in shuttle services. The metros are at very convenient points. Very thoughtful of Qatar to have planned every single detail about guest accommodation, playing teams, etc. Impressive performance from all fronts including hospitality, security, transport services, stadium management, electricity and other amenities etc. Concise coordination when teams worked in tandem to make this possible for Qatar. Excellent security and a general genial environment when everyone was waving at everyone cheerfully which is becoming a rarity these days. The way the entire world cup was handled has put the tiny nation in spotlight. Crowds are especially new to Qatar. The entire country can be summed as Greater Doha. So imagine to what extent efforts must have been put to pull the remarkable feat. So grounded are the natives, shying from limelight. I love and respect the aspect that nothing was commercialized about the world cup here in Doha, something even the first world nations of the west cannot resist. There were no hoardings, no contests or lucky draws or marketing of merchandise etc., etc., to sell out the world cup. So organized was everything that as residents of Qatar, we found that our normal routine life was left undisturbed by unraveling of a global event of such a magnitude in our midst. Excellent streamlining and management of services. In a country where expats like us outnumber the native citizens many time over, volunteers play a major role in holding and ensuring of implementation and execution of any major project. Qatar to us expats is a second home. Fifteen years and on here and I can’t imagine settling down for good in India and never be able to set foot in Qatar again after our retirement. The very thought brings a lump to my throat. Extremely grateful to govt of Qatar for making this possible for us expatriate residents working and living here in Qatar to participate and rejoice at a major world sporting event and making it memorable for us to cherish for a life time. This is the greatest gift we have received from Qatar other than the good life we have thanks to this wonderful generous nation. Qatar will go down in history for the way the world cup FIFA 2022 was conducted in such an orderly fashion silencing critics. Nothing flashy, nothing vulgar, nothing untoward – it was all a show of grace and class out and out. God bless you dearest Qatar. Wishing and praying for your eternal prosperity and growth and happiness and peace!