Friday, 29 March 2013
CASE 435 - The history of Qatar
Qatar is an independent and sovereign State situated in the midway of the Western coast of the Arabian Gulf having a land and maritime boundary with Saudi Arabia, and also maritime boundaries with Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Iran. The State of Qatar with its arid desert climate extends over a Peninsula of about 200 Kilometers long and 100 Kilometers wide covering a total area of 11850 square Kilometers including a number of Islands and Islets. Its the richest country in the world by capita 88,222 dollars a year for 1.8 million people.
Historically, the Peninsula of Qatar witnessed various cultures and civilizations in various phases in the history of mankind even during the Stone Age or Neolithic period. A recent discovery on the edge of an Island in the West of Qatar indicates the human presence during this period of pre-historic period. Discovery of a 6th millennium BC site at Shagra, in the South-east of Qatar revealed the key role the sea (Gulf) played in the lives of Shagra’s inhabitants. Excavation at Al-Khore in the North-east of Qatar, Bir Zekrit and Ras Abaruk and the discovery of pottery and Flint, Flint-scraper tool, Rim of painted ceramic and vessels there indicates Qatar’s connection with the Al-Ubaid civilization which flourished in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates during the period of 5th –4th millennium BC. There had also been barter trade system between the settlements at Qatar and the Ubaid Mesopotamia and the exchange of commodities were mainly pottery and dried fish. Qatar has lived through the Bronze age, ruled by the Ottomans, Kassite empire, the Greeks, Romans, The Sasanid empire, an Islamic period, the Umayyad and the Abbasid period, A Portuguese era in the 16th century, the Bani Khalid era and The British empire in the 1800's.
The Modern history of Qatar began in the early 18th century; when the present Al-Thani ruling family of Qatar, which originated from the Al-Maadhid (a branch of Bani Tamim) tribe of Ushaiqir in the province of Al-Washm of Nejd, arrived in the southern part of Qatar. In the middle of the 18th century the family moved to the northern part of Qatar that is Zubara, Ruwais and Fuwairat.During the 1950s and 1960s gradually increasing oil revenues brought prosperity, rapid immigration, substantial social progress, and the beginnings of Qatar's modern history. When the U.K. announced a policy in 1968 (reaffirmed in March 1971) of ending the treaty relationships with the Persian Gulf sheikdoms, Qatar joined the other eight states then under British protection (the seven trucial sheikdoms—the present United Arab Emirates--and Bahrain) in a plan to form a union of Arab emirates. By mid-1971, as the termination date of the British treaty relationship (end of 1971) approached, the nine still had not agreed on terms of union. Accordingly, Qatar declared independence as a separate entity and became the fully independent State of Qatar on September 3, 1971. In February 1972, the Heir Apparent, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, deposed his cousin, Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani, and assumed power. Key members of the Al Thani family supported this move, which took place without violence or signs of political unrest. On June 27, 1995, the Deputy Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, deposed his father Khalifa bin Hamad in a bloodless coup. An unsuccessful counter-coup was staged in 1996. The Emir and his father are now reconciled, though some supporters of the counter-coup remain in prison. The Emir announced his intention for Qatar to move toward democracy and has permitted a freer and more open press and municipal elections as a precursor to expected parliamentary elections. Qatari citizens approved a new constitution via public referendum in April 2003, which came into force in June 20
The future is looking even better for qatar after a better than expected 2006 Asian games Qatar has been given the 2022 FIFA World cup and will bid for the 2024 Olympic games.