Just if you’re wondering, Mahraba means Hello in Arabic. So, having landed in the land of the Arabs for the latter part of the ongoing FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, I bring you greetings from the clichéd but in actuality “oil rich Qatar” in the Arabic way.
My flight touched down on Thursday, December 1 at about 6:25am local time. Yes, the dream came true! My second FIFA World Cup tournament to be accredited by FIFA and even regarded as Organiser by the Qatar organisers.
Mahraba!!! I'm most excited by what I first saw from up. Tell me when you see it 🙂 pic.twitter.com/Kb177ZiUjs— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) December 1, 2022
While our aircraft hovered above the Gulf Nation for some minutes waiting to receive clearance for landing, I observed from my window with keen interest; the texture and make-up of the land of Qatar.
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What could come to my mind was Psalm 24:2; “for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” That’s the nation called Qatar! Looking down, I saw and could imagine the great deal of deliberate work that was done in establishing a country so elegant and bright right inside the sea.
It was also fitting for me to see like three stadiums and most significantly, the Stadium Vagina more popularly known as the Al Janoub Stadium. A reminder to me of what I was in the country for.
My first day in Qatar was a quite enjoyable and memorable one. Being December 1, it was the birth date of two persons special to me; Ankara Keçiorengucu star Ibrahim Olawoyin and a big brother and mentor Bimbo Adekoya (who was waiting for me in Doha).
Mr Adekoya had given me an unmistakable lowdown of what to do once I touch down at the Hamad International Airport, Doha, right up to which network provider is preferable and how to join the Free Bus waiting to take people who just landed at the airport to their destination.
The birthday “Man” took me through to the Main Media Centre where I fixed my tournament Accreditation before we proceeded to the Al Riffa Mall of Qatar for some sight-seeing and an unforgettable Birthday Lunch.
🎵 Espanol Espanol…. 🎵 in baritonic voices 😃 pic.twitter.com/1p7Z8CVRPA— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) December 1, 2022
I couldn’t have hoped for a better first day in Qatar as the day was wrapped up with a visit to the Khalifa International Stadium for Spain vs Japan. “And the evening and the morning were the first day.”
So, remember to watch this space for more of these diaries and sporting articles for the remainder of the competition.