In this video, Afnan Al-Ishaq has interviewed Mr. Hassan Saleh, a respected army officer on his early days in Doha. He briefly talks about his school days and also gives details on the military recruitment requirements of the time.
Interviewer: Afnan Al-Ishaq
Interviewee: Hassan Saleh
Interviewee: It’s the Officer Hassausef, a retiren Saleh Yod officer with a pioneer rank.
I would like to ask you some questions about the secondary studying back in your days, how can you compare the studying in Qatar back then compared to the studying now?
The situation before differed with the situation now, now Mashallah they’re all provided, they are provided with everything, it varies with our situation, now the teachers and the classes are representative, meaning it differs from the past, differs a lot.
Imagine you’re in your early twenties now, Would you change your mind and continue studying? Or would you still join the army?
Unfortunately I wish I could, since they now have the educational city and Qatar university has also added more to its majors and the chances are now available for the students to continue their undergraduate studies, anyone would wish to continue his graduate studies because there is a chance to study and continue in Qatar.
What made you choose the army?
When I was young, I’ve always liked the military armed police, there was a chance for all Qatari’s to join the army therefore I also wanted to, most of my colleagues and I in highschool were already thinking about joining the army so I joined the army as a candidate.
Did all your siblings join the army as well?
We’re a total of six brothers, all my brothers decided not to join the army and continue their studying, I was the only one to actually join the army, I used to like it when I was younger, none of my brothers joined the army.
Were your parents okay with you joining the army?
Actually my family agreed, when I joined the army I talked to my father, god bless his soul, and he told me to join the army, he did not mind at all, he said that I would serve my country, help my country, and defend my country.
Was it also easy to join the army back then?
What were the requirements in order for you to join?
In order to get accepted as an officer candidate you need to have the high school transcript and get a medical report, to be medically decent as in eyesight and all that.
Did the requirements change now?
Of course now it’s harder to join the army, because before not many actually joined as much as they do now, so therefore now the requirements are harder, one should have a graduate certificate in order for him to be an office candidate.
Where was the base located before?
Our base used to be in Duhail, it’s now considered to be in the center of Doha as a city, they moved the base far from the housings, because it was in the middle of the neighborhood, the base that we used to train in.
What was the transportation used to get to the base?
My friend and I used to meet in one car, sometimes it was me driving once a week and sometimes him, we also had to wake up early in the morning to override traffic.
Was there a sharp time for you to arrive at the base?
Of course there was a sharp time to arrive at, I had to be in the base a strict time, if we were late to the base we would be locked up there, if it was assigned to us to be there at six then we had to leave home earlier, we leave half past five or a quarter past five in order to arrive on time, the one who’s late gets appointed to get punished and locked in the base.
How was the food in the military?
The food was good, sometimes we would have chicken and rice, meat and rice, and fish once or twice every week.
Was food given in a certain amount? Or could you just put as much as you want?
A certain amount, we were all the same, no one had more than the other.
Could you go back home in the holidays? Or you could also say the weekends?
Of course I could go back in the normal weekends if I didn’t do any violations to the rules, but if I did violate some rules then I get punished and locked in the base.
Why did many join the army back then?
Because, god bless you, they used to publish in the newspapers about wanting more Qatari’s to join the army, so many did join the army, back in our days, most of us liked the armed forces.
Can you show us some pictures?
Yes, this is a picture of me when I was in the liberation when we liberated Kuwait, Kuwait’s liberation in AlKhafji before entering Kuwait, this is a picture of me, a damaged tank and this is a fallen rocket that we took a picture of, a rocket.. A rocket in Kuwait my friend and I took a picture of it in the… and this is a picture when we finally liberated Kuwait, those are Kuwait towers , we took this picture right before we enter Kuwait, and here is a picture when we liberated Kuwait, the families were so happy and we took a picture with them in AlKournish my friend and I.