A Qatari comedian who grew up in Ireland has emerged as a star of the World Cup by entertaining thousands of supporters at Doha's fan zones.Hamad Al-Amari spent much of his early life in Goatstown, Co Dublin, before resettling in Qatar’s capital Doha as a banker.
But Hamad ditched the pressure of finance for the world of comedy and was FIFA appointed the stand-up comic to his funny man role at the World Cup.
He has worked in comedy in Doha since 2011 and brands himself as the Qatari Guy.
Hamad said: “Qataris have a great sense of humour. We like to take the mick out of ourselves.
“I grew up in Dublin. I get it [a surprise reaction] every day at work when I say, ‘Morning, lads’.
“I did my primary and secondary school years there. That's why you'll often see me being referred to as a Qatari-Irishman.
“I moved back to Doha in 2004 and left for the UK soon after to study Biomedical Sciences at Cardiff University because I wanted to be an orthopaedic surgeon.
“I didn't complete that degree though because I realised medicine wasn't for me and came back to Doha in 2011.”
The married dad-of-three added “After a while, I realised I needed to find myself a job.
“My first job was with Al Jazeera Finance where I stayed for just over eight months. After that, I worked for a bank for a few years.
“In 2011, I realised my calling as a stand-up comedian. I had my first comedy gig in a restaurant.
“Things just picked up and I started flying from there.”
FIFA said Hamad is “Qatar’s number-one comedian” and appointed him “as the Master of Ceremonies at the FIFA Fan Festival.”
FIFA said: “His insights into Qatari, Irish, Welsh and American cultures and his talent in speaking in different accents were well received.”
Liverpool fan Hamad said: “I love football and I'm a diehard fan of Liverpool since I was living in Ireland.
“I used to sometimes watch the game when I was outside from the shop windows - because our TV at home didn't have any football channels - and teletext.
“That's when I became a fan of Liverpool. I grew up with football, at home and at school. I would call it football madness.”
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