Doha, 18 May 2023 (QT)
By Ashraf Siddiqui
This day today, May 18, marks an important milestone in the history of the Republic of Haiti: first, this day commemorates the 220th anniversary of the creation of the national flag of Haiti, and on May 20, Haitian community members will be celebrating the life of Revolutionary Leader Gen. Toussaint Louverture, who was born on
that same day 280 years ago.
Talking to Qatar Tribune, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Haiti to the State of Qatar, HE Francois Guillaume said, “This day has the utmost importance to us all at the Embassy of Haiti in Qatar to not only share this milestone celebration with the people of Qatar but to also highlight the significance of Gen. Toussaint Louverture’s accomplishments as well as the creation of the Haitian Flag. For, not only are they important occurrences of our history, but are also a part of our World Heritage.”
The envoy said that taking the time to learn more about these historical facts, considered to be some of history’s Great Untold Stories, would reveal their significance “and how they relate to us all. That is also why we are honoured to have the support and contribution of the Embassy of the Republic of Benin, which too, is celebrating the life of Gen. ToussaintLouverture and his prowess, as he is a direct descendant of the Kingdom of Allada in Benin”.
Guillaume said this commemoration is a celebration of life and of victory, the celebration of an event, the creation of the Haitian Flag, and of an individual, Gen. Toussaint Louverture that transcend geographical borders and racial identities as they are both celebrated from the Caribbean region to North and Latin
America, to Europe in France and Greece particularly and to the African continent.
Haiti’s envoy said the celebration process this week has two objectives: firstly, Haiti is currently undergoing an extremely harsh crisis that warrants genuine international cooperation. The people of Haiti will undoubtedly surmount this crisis, but indigenous initiatives and international cooperation to support these
initiatives is the only sustainable way forward. “The celebration of our flag and of Gen. Toussaint Louverture is a symbol of strength, resolve and ingenuity of the Haitian People and their ability to overcome any challenge including this one.
“Secondly, showcasing these parts of history is not meant to be a self-gratifying endeavour but rather an effort meant to create bonds by sharing a piece of our history that people may be able to relate to, as we aim to quell preconceived and false perceptions, which are often at the root of any type of ailment in relationships and that also is the case within the international realm of relations,” he added.
Referring to the present disturbances back home, he said that reducing 220 years of a people’s rich identity into a few sensational news bytes or lines, framed in a commercially motivated context rather than an informatively motivated context, just does not serve anyone. Paying his gratitude to the State of Qatar for its support to his country,
Francois Guillaume, said that this is one of the reasons why the Republic of Haiti has placed great value on its bilateral relationship with the State of Qatar: “Qatar is among those partners that not only takes the time to understand the true nature of certain global predicaments that affect us but an also often relate to and empathise with crucial elements to building strong and lasting partnerships.” He said that the embassy of Haiti in Qatar has opened a commemorative book at the embassy for all those who feel inclined to mark this important milestone together with the people of Haiti, especially in the midst of its current challenges.
The book will be open today, Thursday from 2pm to 5pm.