By Rooda Al Neama (@ThinkDubai)
As the World Cup announcement was proceeding on FIFA’s online streaming services, I felt my blood rush through my body as if it was the finals of the World Cup itself. As a proud Qatari, I wanted Qatar to be written on the card inside the envelope, which already decided the country to host the 2022 World Cup. Leading up to that moment I had mixed emotions on what it means for Qatar to win the bid. The odds of Qatar winning seemed on the low side, and creating an unforgettable World Cup would surely take a vast amount of resources to accommodate for such a drastic change. With those thoughts in mind on the days leading up to the bid, I found myself absorbed in the presentations, the reports, and analysis on the World Cup bidders, and when the time came I was as anxious to know the verdict. At that point, whether Qatar got the bid seemed irrelevant because the hopeful and passionate presentations introduced to the audience made everyone rooting for it proud.
The shock and burst of emotions as the FIFA president announced Qatar to host in 2022 was almost too much to process! The happiness and pride filled the country, but the thoughts of the vast amount of work ahead and how Qatar will pull it off were immediately criticized all over the world. The work ahead of Qatar is undeniably massive but anyone that has lived in Qatar for the past 12 years knows how much it has transformed. It is possible, but most importantly, it will be possible because of the proud Arab youth that want to be a part of this once in a lifetime experience.
If the United States won, what would that do for the world? Will it inspire a whole generation? Will it create a change in a region? Sheikha Moza said it best in the Qatar bid presentation “When?” if Qatar did not win, how much longer do we have to wait for an Arab country to win a World Cup bid and create that sense of unity that this specific sport can bring within the region. Now that its here its crucial that everyone in the region feels included and proud.
To me, Qatar winning was not about all the hurdles ahead, but the hope it presented for the new Arab generation. Historical events truly inspire people, and I believe Qatar 2022 will be written down in history as one of those events. For a small country to believe and work on achieving what many thought was impossible creates a new sense of hope for the Arab youth. It tells them that if you dream big you can achieve, even if the odds are against you.
We can imagine all the obstacles and issues that will rise in 2022, but in 12 years, we should be positive and “Expect Amazing”.