It’s already November, and the holidays will be here before we know it. Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, and we are frequently reminded of Pilgrims at this time of year. When you think about it, the United States has always been a nation of immigrants – permanent expats you might say. For more than 200 years, Americans have been welcoming other nationalities from around the world and that has created a country full of people with limitless possibilities, with a sense of adventure and a desire to travel and see the rest of the world.
Some of those adventurous people are living in Doha, and I am proud to be one of them! When you think of it, we were all strangers once. Just like the immigrants to America, we all came here from distant lands, crossed the oceans, and Qatar welcomed us and taught us that, just like in America, it doesn’t really matter who we are or where we come from. This Thanksgiving as we reflect on our lives here in Doha, I am sure you will agree that we all have a lot to be thankful for.
This year, as in previous years, AWAQ is providing our members the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving together, and we have invited special guests to join us again. If you haven’t experienced an AWAQ Thanksgiving yet, you won’t want to miss it! We have a great time – and enjoy lots of amazing food – and I hope you and your family can be there too.
November includes some special holidays and dates to remember, including:
- General Elections – first Tuesday of November. One thing to be thankful for is that we don’t have to suffer through all of the election commercials on television here in Doha!
- November 10 – United States Marine Corps Birthday. The Continental Congress of the newly created United States of America authorized the creation of the Continental Marines (later renamed the U.S. Marine Corps or USMC) on November 10, 1775.
- Veterans Day, an official United States federal holiday observed annually on November 11, honors and celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, which is a day of remembering the men and women who gave their lives while in service. It coincides with other holidays throughout the world, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which also mark the anniversary of the end of World War I.
- On November 19, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered one of the most memorable speeches in American history. In just 272 words, and lasting only 3 minutes, Lincoln brilliantly and movingly reminded a war-weary public why the Union had to fight, and win, the Civil War.
- Thanksgiving, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation since 1941, has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation beginning in 1863 and by state legislation since the Founding Fathers of the United States. Historically, Thanksgiving has traditionally been a celebration of the blessings of the agricultural year, including the harvest, and can trace its roots back to the Pilgrims in the 1600’s.