Watch: Qatar welcomes the first panda in the Middle East
Qatar became the first Middle Eastern country on Wednesday to host China’s giant pandas – Suhail and Soraya – who, in true Gulf style, take up residence in luxury machined encampments cold.
Crowds of children and reporters watch as a 4-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl take their first steps in a makeshift encirclement during a ceremony at Al Khor park about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the capital Doha. ) to the north.
VIDEO: Qatar has two new residents, arriving just in time for the World Cup
Two giant pandas Suhail and Soraya were given to Qatar by China, becoming the first Middle Eastern country to receive furry creatures.https://t.co/m26Xioxxzypic.twitter.com/izDOYIamuD
– AFP news agency (@AFP) October 20, 2022
A pair of giant pandas, Suhail and Thuraya, arrived at Qatar’s oldest park on Wednesday to begin 15 years in the country. This is the first giant panda park in the Middle East. -globaltimes.cn pic.twitter.com/mNZGYKpD6N
– Zhang Meifang (@CGMeifangZhang) October 19, 2022
The Chinese government sent these animals as a gift to mark the World Cup starting on November 20. China is not eligible for the event, but is a major customer of Qatar’s natural gas. .
Al Khor’s director of zoology, Tim Bouts, said Suhail, weighing 130 kg (286 pounds) and his female partner, 70 kg (154 pounds), had to undergo 21 days of quarantine after they arrived with them. two breeders.
“In a few weeks, or in a month’s time, they’ll be ready to show the world,” Bouts added.
Authorities have yet to say whether a new Panda House, one of the largest sanctuaries anywhere, will be ready by the time the World Cup begins.
Suhail and Soraya will have their own living quarters in the Panda House.
China’s ambassador to Qatar, Zhou Jian, said the new complex was “world-class, magnificent and comfortable”.
“I believe these two adorable pandas will soon become the favorites of the people of Qatar, and the superstars of the Middle East,” he added.
Suhail is the name of one of the brightest stars visible in the Gulf, while Soraya is the Arabic name for the Pleiades star cluster.
Qatar is the 20th country to be given pandas outside of China and Taiwan, which the Chinese Communist Party has never controlled but claims as its own.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from an aggregated feed.)