Every December 18th, we celebrate our National Day in commemoration of the historic day in 1878 when Shaikh Jasim, the founder of the State of Qatar, succeeded his father, Shaikh Muhammad Bin Thani, as the ruler and led the country toward unity. This national occasion emphasizes our identity and history, embodies the ideals and visionary aspirations that this country was founded on, and pays homage to the great men and women who participated in building our nation. December 18th is the day we remember how our national unity was achieved and how we became a distinct, and respected nation out of a society torn apart by conflicting tribal loyalties, devoid of security and order, and overrun by invaders. National Day is a glorious occasion on which we convey our deepest expressions of affection and gratitude to the people of Qatar who cooperated in solidarity and vowed sincere allegiance and obedience to Shaikh Jasim Bin Muhammad Bin Thani, trusting him as a father, brother, leader, and Imam. In him they found a man who had already distinguished himself in his youth as a pious, brave, self-sacrificing, and wise leader. He was keen on unifying the Qatari Peninsula and safeguarding the interests of its people in the darkest of times ever witnessed by this part of the world.