Sunday, December 13, 2020

Speech of His Highness SheikhTamim Bin Hamad Al Thani Amir of the State of Qatar at the opening of the 49th ordinary session of the Advisory Council

Wazzup Pilipinas?

In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

Brothers and Sisters Members of the Advisory Council,

It pleases me to extend to you my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the opening of the new session of your esteemed Council, wishing you success and rectitude.

I would like on this occasion to commend your efforts and the parliamentary tasks you carried out at the local and international levels during your previous session, one of the most important of which was organizing the 7th Conference of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption held in Doha.

It pleases me also to congratulate your esteemed Council for unanimously electing His Excellency Brother Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud, as chairman of that organization for the next session, and to express our sincere appreciation for your fruitful efforts in reaching the agreements concluded with the United Nations on establishing the Office of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism for Parliamentarians, and selecting Doha to host its headquarters. 

Brothers and sisters,

Our meeting today comes while we are still facing, together with all humanity, the dangerous COVID-19 pandemic, which has put everyone against difficult tests and choices.

It has become obvious that a full lockdown only postpones the spread of the pandemic, and at the same time harms the economy. Yet, ignoring the pandemic and pursuing the concept wrongly dubbed "herd immunity" – aside from the dangerous risking of the lives of people (who are not a herd) - it has become evident that immunity isn’t guaranteed after contracting the disease. 

However, Qatar has opted for carefully considered partial and interim lockdowns while stressing precautionary measures and maximum readiness to isolate and treat those infected after the assessment of cases, in addition to the State's intervention in supporting the economic facilities affected by the pandemic. The correctness of our resilient choice, which sacrifices neither people's health nor the economy, became clear.

Our health system has proven its reliability in dealing with the pandemic, so our country, by the grace of Allah, has remained as one of the world’s least affected countries. The results of our health policies and persistent investment in developing the health system and medical staff, including prevention, daycare centers and hospitals have been evident.

It must be underlined that the pandemic is still raging at its height in different parts of the world, and we are still facing it in Qatar, and it is necessary not to be complacent in order to avoid a second wave of pandemic, and to comply with the instructions, especially social distancing, wearing masks and adhering to home quarantine when necessary. And as I previously said we would not hesitate to take strict preventative measures in the event of a new pandemic outbreak.

Realizing the importance of international cooperation in addressing the pandemic, we have supported the efforts of the international community and provided necessary assistance to more than seventy countries and international organizations. We will continue to support international efforts to accelerate the development of a necessary vaccine and make it affordable in a fair way to the neediest countries.

There are lessons learned from this pandemic regarding the significance of the public health sector and the importance of synergy between the role of the State, community and the individual in disease prevention, and how the economy and the educational process continue despite everything, as well as the importance of social solidarity, and appreciation of the role of workers in vital areas who extend services to quarantined people in their homes, such as the provision of food, health services, security, police, transportation, etc.

Brothers and sisters,

On the global level, the pandemic has inflicted heavy damage on most of the economic activities, as well as the movement of funds and people. As a result, forecasts regarding growth on the global level this year envision an economic recession that may reach 5%.

It is normal that an economic deflation results in a decline in energy prices. 

Accordingly, oil and gas exporting countries were hit by a double crisis due to a drop in prices on the one hand, and the impacts inflicted by the pandemic on the local economic activity on the other hand.

The State has taken two-tier swift measures: first, to support the private sector and maintain the integrity of the financial and banking markets and the Qatari riyal. Second, to maintain the general State’s budget. In this regard, we have directed to provide 75 billion Qatari riyals in support to the private sector affected by the measures taken by the State to limit the pandemic outbreak, as well as removing all obstacles facing this sector to maintain its business continuity and enhancing the ability of small and medium enterprises to face these ramifications. 

A set of facilities and exemptions from customs duties on food and medicine, and on electricity fees and other services fees have also been approved. 

As a result of these procedures, we were able to maintain the integrity of the monetary, banking, and fiscal position. So, the official reserves continued to grow in the current year and the diverse range of sources and deposits of the financial sector has expanded. The Qatari riyal also proved its strength and potential against external crises as it preserved its value and exchange freedom. 

The State has also taken urgent and necessary measures to mitigate the negative effects of low oil and gas prices on the general budget. The preliminary results showed that the budget deficit during the first half of this year reached about 1.5 billion riyals only, although deficit projections were much higher. This was achieved due to the rationalization of government spending associated with raising the efficiency of the public sector. Despite cuts, the budget continues to concentrate spending on health, education, and major infrastructure projects. 

Out of our keenness to avoid the negative economic effects resulting from the market fluctuations in the oil prices, we have directed that the drafting of the general State’s budget be based on the price of oil at $ 40 per barrel, which is lower than the expected price. 

The energy sector in the State was able to overcome the repercussions of this pandemic with minimal detriments. Production and export operations haven’t been affected, and Qatar Petroleum has continued to fulfill its obligations towards all contracting parties. Also the workflow proceeds unhindered in the main energy projects, namely, the liquefied gas production expansion project, in addition to projects overseas. 

Brothers and sisters,

Our efforts for achieving Qatar’s national vision goals continue, especially in the field of realizing food security, encouraging investment by issuing a series 

of legislations stimulating investment and enhancing business environment, particularly the law organizing public-private partnership.

These laws and procedures are beginning to bear fruits, as from the outset of this year the number of established factories and the volume of investments and the number of employees therein have increased considerably.

There has also been a notable increase in establishing foreign companies and the volume of foreign investment.

In the field of environment protection, we have started to develop a national network for air quality monitoring at various locations in the State, formulating aprogram for marine environment monitoring, and programs to respond to emergencies resulting from oil spills, hazardous and radioactive materials.

And by the grace of Allah Almighty, and in light of our long-term vision of the future of our country and planning for it, we have been able to overcome developmental obstacles and challenges we came through in the last few years. As a result, Qatar has maintained its credit rating as per studies conducted by the international rating agencies in 2020. These agencies have unanimously affirmed a high credit rating for the State of Qatar with a stable economic outlook.

This indicates confidence in the strength of Qatar’s economy and its ability to absorb major economic crises, including the current pandemic crisis, and its resilience, and even its development in spite of the blockade.

However, this should not lead us to slackness and complacency. There are still great challenges ahead of us in achieving the goals of our long-term vision. 

To accomplish that, it is inevitable to accelerate minimizing dependency on the volatile revenues of oil and gas due to their price fluctuations and decline in price ceiling over time, as revealed by the recent crisis. This can only be achieved through enhancing economic diversification and proceeding towards increasing the productivity and efficacy of labor in the public sector and encouraging private sector investment.

The State should exert its utmost effort to diversify its income sources through investment in its sovereign fund for future generations, etc. But diversification of income sources also depends on the community, and the economic and service sectors, where the community members work, by resorting to saving, private initiatives, investment and relocating from consumer mentality to the mindset of productive community. The way must be cleared for that end.

As for the government sector, it is necessary to emphasize that development programs and projects must be implemented with utmost precision and efficiency. 

I reiterate that jobs in various sectors of the State are not just an entitlement, but rather a duty and a responsibility. Therefore, wages and promotion must be linked to excellence and productivity and to apply that, without exception, on all employees in the State. And just as no private sector investor tolerates that individuals be paid without work and real return, we should not expect otherwise from the State.

Brothers and sisters members of the Advisory Council, Our Arab ummah lost this year two of the greatest men in the Gulf, namely, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, the builder of modern Oman, who maintained a mutual relation of fraternity and cordiality with Qatar, and His Highness Sheikh Sabah, who acted with all his strength to reconcile between Arab countries and to heal the rift in the Gulf, and whose positions with us we will never forget. We hope that the GCC countries will inspire from the moderation and wisdom of the two late leaders the right exhortations and examples for the future of their inter￾relations.

As for our foreign policy, and despite the continued unjust blockade for more than three years, Qatar's international status is being strengthened by the intensification of our activity on issues of concern to the international community, such as climate change, combating poverty, fighting terrorism, etc., and because of adopting, at the same time, wise, responsible and principled policies, and contributing to resolving many conflicts peacefully through dialogue.

Concerning our region, we reaffirm our steadfast position regarding the just Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of our Palestinian brothers, including the establishment of their independent state on the basis of 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and a just solution to the refugees issue, under international legitimacy resolutions.

Brothers and sisters,

Preparations for the Advisory Council elections are about to reach their culmination, and the elections will be held in October next year. These elections will take place, God willing, in accordance with the constitution on which a referendum was held in 2003 and was promulgated in 2004. Thus, we are taking an important stride to strengthen the traditions of the Qatari Shura and developing the legislative process through a wider participation of citizens.

We have our well-established system which is rooted in and intertwined with the structure of our community. It is not a multiparty system, but rather an amirate system based on well-established traditions of fair and rational governance which is connected with the people through the pledge of allegiance, loyal relations, mutual trust and direct communication between the system and community.

Elections are not a criterion of national identity. This identity has crystallized over time and best manifested in the form of solidarity and cohesion of our community with its forbearing moral values and love for its country, as revealed in challenging the blockade.

In conclusion, I wish you a fruitful legislative term, as you have always done.

May Allah grant you success, and may Allah peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you.

Sandara Park and her Red Horse beer

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Sandara "Dara" Park and Red Horse is trending because of a social media posts specifically tweets by this Korean who used to be here in our country among our showbiz personalities.

"Sisig & kang kong & garlic rice & red horse! Ang dinner ko ngayon~ ang sarap!!! take out ko~  may nahanap akong masarap na Pinoy resto sa Seoul. Super happy ako!!!"

I'm shookdt in Dara's IG story. I know that she used to live in the Philippines, but I didn't know that she drinks Red Horse. OMG!! Hahaha beer muna!

Free publicity for Red Horse beer? Or was this sponsored? We'll know when she follows up on the post.

Red Horse is the first extra-strong beer brand in the Philippines. It is a high-alcohol lager of the San Miguel Brewery.

We're not used to celebrities mentioning brands without an endorsement agreement attached to it. It has always been mostly the case kasi. Free product endorsement has become impossible for those in the limelight.

She's eating Filipino food. She found a very good Filipino resto in Seoul. As you can see she's drinking a very popular beer here in the Philippines. The first time I tried that beer, I almost slept on the streets of Davao. I couldn't lift myself off from the ground. Buti na lang kasama ko mga colleagues ko sa work otherwise I would be waking up on the sidewalk.

Panahon na yata to para mag-try uli akong uminom ng Red Horse! Hays the influence! 

Meanwhile, Filipinos here in the country are drinking Korean drinks. Lol!

Pero mukhang hindi masarap sisig ni Dara. Bakit masabaw? Balik siya dito sa Pilipinas for the best sisig dishes!

Apir tayo! Red Horse at sinuglaw in the haus! Ayoko ko kasi ng pisngi ng baby, ate. Actually, solve na ko sa Mani. But medyo wanting Chicharong Bulaklak if only Hindi siya bad for our health. Siguro, patikim-tikim pero huwag naman palaging isang buong plato ay hindi pa rin ubos ang isang bite ng beer. Hahaha....taga-ubos ng pulutan talaga role ko tuwing inuman.

Yung hanggang ngayon ay namamangha ka pa rin kay Dara dahil sa pagmamahal niya sa Pilipinas ...or at least sa Pinoy foods.

The proud Pinoys are gonna eat this up so much.

It's no wonder she remains loved by the country for keeps. Iba ang marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan.

So proud of you Dara, dahil hindi mo pa rin forget ang mga Filipino food. Eenjoy it. I hope one day you invite Mr. GD to try it and have a Red Horse as well. Tagay-tagay, at be happy lang always. Stay safe and healthy Dara!

Alice in Borderland on Netflix: Surprisingly Superb!

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I'm gonna do a late reaction to the live adaptation of Alice in Borderland.

Everyone should watch Alice in Borderland on Netflix.  It’s a series of life and death type games and it’s been making me question life. 

What will happen if one day, everyone in this world disappears and the only way to survive is to take part of bloody survival games with your life at stakes? 

This Netflix physiological thriller J-drama does provide an unambiguous answer. 

Alice in Borderland is pretty damn intense. If you enjoyed Battle Royale then give this a watch. Also the Manga was pretty.  

I've never seen something this good and that could potentially be so mainstream since Stranger Things. I hope this shit blows up. It's one of my favorite from NetFlix now.


With Kento Yamazaki (An aimless gamer) as the main protagonist of the series, Alice in Borderland will give you the "As the God's Will" vibe but much better! 

Based on Haro Aso's suspense manga series, now on NETFLIX! 

Kento Yamazaki's character is a rich and sexy incel who hasn't showered in two days but I love him anyway.

His friends Chota and Karube are fun yeah even if the three of them together have a combined networth of 3 dollars they're happy good for them I guess.

Alice in Borderland and Cherry Magic tell so much about Keita Machida's range. Both characters are indeniably smoking hot but Karube made a whole 360 turn from Kurosawa.

Kieta's range from Cherry Magic to Alice in Borderland, i'm so impressed that I want to see more.

I don't know what the fuck happened or how they got there (because have not seen the manga) but yeah anyways, there's an MILF in the game with them by the way,  I don't know what else to say since she didn't have that much screentime but I felt bad for her like seeing how she was taken advantage of by her boss pisses me off.

Alice in Borderland's part of the Top 1 shows on Netflix in different countries worldwide!!! Alice in Borderland world domination lezzgo!

The main cast of Orange (2015) Live action reunites in Alice in Borderland 

December 12, 2015 - Orange is released

December 12, 2020 - Alice in Borderland secured a spot in Netflix's Top 10 shows in various countries.

December 12 is a special day....aside from the Shopee and Lazada online shopping portals sale. Lol.

Shit! 1st episode palang pero the thrills. If I were in here, I would be the first one to get killed. Cause of death: math!

Again, It's out now on Netflix - "Imawa no kuni no Arisu" / "Alice in Borderland" ~ Enjoy! 

Season 1 only have 8 eps, right? So we will have to wait for season 2? As to whether it will indeed end in one season, I think we can tell by the time we finish watching episode 8.

I finished them all. Just finish episode 8 and thats why I'm craving for more!

After such a cliffhanger, bet there's definitely going to be a season 2. My anxiety was through the roof with this show.

Not only is it a good show but this will also prove to them that the audience for Japanese dramas is present and therefore they will hopefully be able to upload more J-content, thank you.

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