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World Cup Opening Ceremony

FIFA World Cup Opens with Quran Recitation – First Time in History

In a World Cup of firsts, Qatar 2022 kicked off on Sunday, November 20, with a Quranic recitation from the youngest Qatari businessman and YouTuber Ghanim Al Muftah, reciting verses from the Holy Quran, and sending a message of unity, diversity, and love.

The FIFA World Cup ambassador spoke on inclusion and diversity and then recited “Oh mankind, indeed we have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another,” [Surah al-Hujurat:13]

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Ghanim, born with a rare condition that impairs the development of the lower spine, shared the stage with Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman.

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Freeman also narrated the opening segment for the FIFA World Cup and then continued to convey his message on inclusion as peace.

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“What unites us is greater than what divides us. We are one big tribe and the Earth is our tent. Together we can make the call for everyone to unite,” he said in his speech.

“This is a call to the whole world. Soccer brings people and nations together. There is a common thread of hope and respect. Football expands the world, it unites nations in their love for this precious game. What brings nations together, brings communities together. We all have a football history, and so does Qatar.”

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In reaction, many Arabs and Muslims on social media have expressed their joy about the ceremony and the ways Qatar introduced Islam to billions around the world.