A mosaic of races and colours, estimated at 2000 people, massed on Monday at the square overlooking the site of the attack, which Qatari investigators said was carried out by an Egyptian engineer.

Umar Ahmad Abd Allah Ali, who had lived in Qatar for 15 years and worked as an information technology engineer for Qatar Petroleum, killed himself when he blew up his explosives-laden car.

The rally was organised by the central Municipal council headed by chairman Ibrahim al-Haidus.

Members of the municipal council, representatives from the Shura (Consultative) Council, Islamic scholars, Olympic committee members, different sports clubs and schools as well as hundreds of Qatari citizens and expatriates took part in the event to protest the act.

Those who took part in the procession also raised a black flag alongside Qatari flags to mark their sympathy for the dead and wounded.

Contrary to Islam

Carrying slogans such as "Hurting Muslims or non Muslims is against Islam", "Terrorism is destruction", and "No to violence", the demonstrators condemned the attack and acts of violence.

Many Qataris and expats took
their children to the protest

Ghanim al-Kuwari, Executive Secretary of the Central Municipal Council, told Aljazeera.net that the rally aimed to denounce terrorism and to prove to the world that the Qatari people and government were united. He estimated the demonstration was attended by between 2000 and 3000 people.

Keith Vippond, a project manager at al-Maras catering company, was one of dozens westerners who took part in the rally.

He was accompanied by his wife Louise and his six-year old son Harvey. The Vippond family has been living in Qatar for the past 18 months and is quite happy about the host country.

"We are here to show our support to victims and to express our shock at what happened. The people who are turning up in big numbers and their reactions to the attack prove they are supporting Western people," Vippond told Aljazeera.net

Shocked

Harvey, who studies at the English school that was partly demolished because of the bombing, has to stay home until further notice.

Qataris denouncing terrorism and
destruction

"Harvey is staying home for the moment until the school is reconstructed. When that will be nobody knows, until we are notified by the school," Louise Vippond told Aljazeera.net. 

"I am familiar with the area and I never suspected something like that would happen," she added.

A woman from the UK who lives less than a kilometre from the bombed area said she was shocked by the blast.

"When I heard the sound I knew it was a bomb because I never heard such a sound before. I was shocked when I heard the news later. I was at the theatre 10 days ago. It could have happened to me when I was there," she said, preferring to remain anonymous.

Co-existence and stability

Hasan Shahwani, a Qatari auditor at the Agriculture Ministry also decried the incident, praising his country as a place of co-existence and stability.

Qatari women and their male
counterparts denounced violence

"I am here to defend my country. The attack is alien to Qatar and we are here to say that we are part and parcel of this country. We stand in the same trench as our leader and government against terrorism.

"I say to people that this kind of incident is terrorism and a violation of human rights by depriving people of the right to enjoy peace, stability and security.

"We do not want anybody to teach us how to be Muslims or how to be patriotic," Shahwani told Aljazeera.net

Egyptians condemn attack

Members of the Egyptian community were shocked as well, particularly as the perpetrator of the attack was an Egyptian.

"I am familiar with the area and I never suspected something like that to happen"

Expat Louise Vippond 

"We were disappointed when we heard that the attack was executed by an Egyptian. But I would like to say that terrorism does not have a nationality.

"We are here to denounce the act and to show support to our Qatari brethren. Qatar is a place of security, peace and co-existence, and what happened is uncommon to Qatar," said Salih Yusuf, an Egyptian, who has been living in Qatar for 25 years.