Souq Waqif visitors witness unveiling of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Official Emblem
George Julius Williams | Consulting Editor
DOHA: 2019 not the year but 20:19 HRS! Its 3rd Sept 2019 and I am just 3 minutes away from witnessing the historic unveiling of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 official emblem.
Not just me but an expectant exciting crowd of hundreds have gathered at the popular tourist destination Souq Waqif located in the heart of Doha, the capital city of Qatar who are all set to host the FIFA 2022 World Cup.
Joining Souq Waqif visitors who have braved the 42 degree Centigrade weather and high humidity are other popular locations in Qatar and number of major cities around the world celebrating the historic milestone.
As minutes tick by 20:20 then 20:21 an eerie hush descends on the waiting crowd when suddenly flashing on the huge wall of the Msheireb building facing the souq, a countdown starts, 5 4 3 2 1 and a moving picture of impressive logo is revealed to the cheering and clapping of the onlookers.
A press release by SCDL sent out to the media within hours of unveiling of the official FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ emblem stated:
“The Official Emblem of the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup™ was unveiled today as FIFA and host country Qatar reached another major milestone on the road to the world’s greatest football showpiece.
The official unveiling took place in Qatar’s capital, Doha, at 20:22 local time (19:22 CET), with thousands of spectators witnessing the synchronised projection of the emblem onto a number of the country’s most iconic buildings, including Burj Doha, Katara Cultural Village Amphitheatre, Ministry of Interior, Souq Waqif and Msheireb and Al Zubarah Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A number of major cities around the world are also celebrating the milestone, with images of the emblem seen on renowned locations and outdoor billboards in prominent public spaces. Some of the world’s best-known footballers and FIFA World Cup legends are also taking to social media to support the launch and share the emblem with their millions of fans online.
The emblem’s design embodies the vision of an event that connects and engages the entire world, while also featuring striking elements of local and regional Arab culture and allusions to the beautiful game.
The swooping curves of the emblem represent the undulations of desert dunes and the unbroken loop depicts both the number eight – a reminder of the eight astonishing stadiums that will host matches – and the infinity symbol, reflecting the interconnected nature of the event. Besides echoing the shape of the iconic FIFA World Cup Trophy, the emblem’s central form takes inspiration from a traditional woollen shawl. During winter months, shawls are worn around the world and in the Arab and Gulf region in particular by a variety of people and in various styles.
The intricate embroidered detail that often adorns shawls in the Arab world is featured and takes inspiration from various cultures across Asia, celebrating the continent’s second hosting of a FIFA World Cup tournament and Qatar’s diverse population. The regionally inspired winter garment also alludes to the tournament’s start dates and the fact that it will be the first FIFA World Cup™ to be played in November and December.
The new typeface created to accompany the emblem reimagines traditional Arabic calligraphy in a new, contemporary font, taking inspiration from the region and Asia, and fusing tradition with modernity.
The emblem is just one example of the bold, modern tournament designs that will be revealed in the run-up to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The striking Al Janoub Stadium – modelled after the traditional dhow boat used in the region and the second venue to be ready – hosted its first match in May this year and demonstrates the host country’s grand vision to create iconic designs. The remaining six venues are scheduled to be completed before the end of 2020, including the spectacular fanar lantern‑inspired Lusail Stadium, which will host the opening match on 21 November, as well as the final on 18 December 2022.”
The iconic infinity sign a mathematical symbol first used in 1655 by John Wallis, a well-known mathematician, originally comes from India and Arabic artists later used it to represent eternity, wholeness and completion.
Al Jazeera Television’s Andy Richardson reporting from Doha said the details of the emblem are not as important as the wider symbolism of the timing the launch.
“The timing of this launch is no accident. It was September the 3rd 1971 when Qatar became an independent country having previously been a protectorate of Britain and it is now as an independent country that Qatar will be bringing the World Cup to the Middle East for the very first time,” Richardson said.
“And after all the conversations and controversies we have had since Qatar was awarded the World Cup in 2010, the global nature of the launch of this emblem is a reminder to everyone that sure enough, a football tournament will be coming here in November 2022,” he added.
Saad Al Kubaisi, a young Qatari, an ardent football fan speaking to QI expressed his excitement at the thought that his beloved country would soon be hosting the FIFA 2022 World Cup – a first for any Arab nation.
Mohd Kutty, an Indian from the state of Kerala and a long-time resident of Qatar who runs a small textile shop in Souq Waqif said he hoped the Almighty would Inshahallah give him an opportunity to watch the World Cup due to held here in three years time.
QatarIndians along with its over 50,000 followers expectantly look forward to witnessing the historic event when Qatar will successfully host the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
Image Credit: fifa.com / SCDL