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Photos: World Cup final fuels National Day celebrations in Qatar

Doha, Qatar – This year’s Qatar National Day has been an especially festive one as World Cup fans prepare for the final match between France and Argentina at the Lusail Stadium, roughly 25km north of Doha.

December 18 marks the unification of Qatar in 1878 under the leadership of the country’s founder, Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani, and the day has been celebrated annually since 2007.

Soccer fans filled the streets of Doha, dressed in light blue and white Argentine jerseys, chanting songs in Spanish in support of the South American finalist.

Others were seen draped in the French “tricolore,” while the flags of the 32 World Cup participating teams littered Lusail Boulevard.

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Visitors celebrated throughout the day as an air show was put on over the city.

Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani congratulated Qataris and residents on Twitter, saying, “This year coincides with a festive atmosphere with Qatari guests from around the world at the end of an exceptional world football tournament.

“Every year Qatar is in glory and elevation, and may God keep our country safe, secure and stable.”

National Day celebrations and activities were also held in Doha’s Katara and Mall of Qatar, as well as in the city of Umm Salal Mohammed.

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