Traces of settlements in the Qatar Peninsula date back to Paleolithic and Neolithic times. A larger find of stone implements dates to about 4000 BC. From the third millennium BC there are a large number of burial sites similar to those in Bahrain. However, Qatar seems to have remained more isolated than Bahrain due to the lack of water. The isolation is also evident from the absence of references to the peninsula in ancient texts.
In the 18th century, the clan al-Khalifa, later the ruler of Bahrain, came to rule Qatar. The small population lived partly by the sea (pearl fishing and piracy) and partly by Bedouins. From 1872 to 1913, Qatar was nominally under Ottoman supremacy and Turkish troops were placed there, but from 1868 Britain had great influence over Qatar’s foreign policy. In 1916, the United Kingdom signed a treaty with Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani on the protection of Qatar against external aggression, and in 1934 this treaty was expanded. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Qatar.
Oil was found in 1939 but could only be mined in 1949. Qatar became independent in 1971, when the British forces left the entire area. The 1916 Treaty was replaced by a friendship treaty with the United Kingdom. The Emir, Sheikh Ahmad, was deposed in a bloodless coup in 1972 by her cousin the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa. As an emir, he embarked on a social and economic reform policy and curtailed the privileges and desires of the ruling family.
Qatar supported Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war (1980-88) and participated in the UN alliance during the Kuwait War 1990-91. A border incident with Saudi Arabia in 1992 led to the establishment of a committee after mediation to mark the border between the two countries, which normally have close ties. In 2001, the border issue was resolved and the final demarcation was carried out in 2008. In June 1995, Sheikh Khalifa was deposed by her son Sheikh Hamad in a bloodless coup. The new regime was quickly recognized by neighboring countries as well as by the United States and the United Kingdom.
During the US-British-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US Central Command was allowed to use the purpose-built al-Udeid air base in Qatar. The country supported the international military operations in Libya in 2011. Qatar, as a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has also deepened its cooperation in various areas with the other five Member States. Contacts with China and the Russian Federation and India have also deepened in parallel with continued good relations with the US and the EU.
Since independence and in step with increased oil and gas income, the country has developed into a welfare state for its citizens, who today have among the world’s highest per capita incomes. Small steps have been formally taken in a democratic direction with the new constitution of 2005.
The first church in Qatar opened in 2008. The Roman Catholic Saint Mary’s Church in the capital Doha turned mainly to the country’s guest workers from the Philippines and other countries in southern Asia. A new law was voted in to protect guest working maids. Under the new law, guest workers are entitled to one paid day off per week and three weeks’ holiday per year. The new law also stipulated that employers must pay wages as agreed.
Qatar, the world’s richest country in terms of GDP per citizen, continued in 2012 to try to turn its oil and natural gas revenues into power and to market itself as “the country that can talk to everyone” – Iran and the United States, Israel and Islamist Hamas. They let Afghan Taliban open an office in the capital Doha and supported the rebels in Syria with money, among other things, while buying the entire French football team Paris Saint-Germain, which previously had only been part of it. They also invested heavily in educating their own population – everything from literacy to collaborations with American universities, which set up branches in Doha. Much of this activity was channeled through the powerful Qatar Foundation.
At the same time, the country was criticized by human rights organizations for lack of freedom of expression. According to Amnesty International, the poet Mohammed al-Ajami, who was arrested in 2011, was accused of having “insulted the emir” in various poems. al-Ajami was held in an isolation cell and trial sessions were held behind closed doors, sometimes without a lawyer. Human Rights Watch criticized a proposal for a new media law for banning the publication of information that could “offend the ruling family”.
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani resigned from the throne in 2013 and was succeeded by her 33-year-old son, Crown Prince and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. The old emir declared in a speech that he wanted to give the country’s youth increased power. The new Sheikh is educated in the United Kingdom and the driving force behind Qatar’s advancement in the world of sports. He appointed a new government with Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser al-Thani as prime minister. The Qatar-based television company al-Jazira launched in August an American channel with headquarters in New York. The venture was rated as the largest in American television since 1996.
In 2014, Qatar was unusually heavily employed by the outside world. The country’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and its sister organizations in the region created the worst crisis of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to date. In March, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates withdrew their ambassadors from Doha. They accused Qatar of interfering in their internal affairs and thus violated a 2013 agreement. the countries to meet. Qatar should also have stopped welcoming citizens from other GCC states who were wanted in their home country. Gradually, the turmoil in the Gulf states grew over the Sunni extremist group Islamic State (IS) and its progress in Iraq and Syria. Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani saw himself prompted to refute any accusations that his government was funding extremists in Syria, for example. The emir also stressed that Qatar, along with four of the other GCC states, joined the US-led alliance as airborne IS positions.
The terms for the approximately 1.5 million guest workers in Qatar came into focus again in 2015 following a critical report from the ILO working organization. The UN agency found that the foreign workers were almost viable and had difficulty leaving the country or changing employers. The guest workers make up a large majority of the country’s residents. The population of Qatar was reported in 2016 to have passed 2.5 million. The number of residents has increased from less than 1 million in just ten years as a result of the large influx of foreign workers in the oil industry and the construction sector. Results from a census carried out last year showed that 58 percent of the population lived in what was officially called “labor camps”. An overwhelming majority of them were men.
What has come to be called the new Gulf crisis began when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt in 2017 accused Qatar of supporting Iran and terrorism. The countries then cut all ties to Qatar and imposed harsh sanctions.
Bad relations continued in 2018, although a recognition by US President Donald Trump in January, thanking Qatar’s emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani for acting to counter terrorism and extremism, somewhat thawed the situation. Even the resumed diplomatic relations in February between Chad and Qatar, which had broken in the summer of 2017 in sympathy with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, may have helped to improve the situation. But in early June they seemed to be back on square one. Then Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud threatened to attack Qatar militarily if the country purchased the planned Russian robot defense system S-400. That same month, Qatar filed a lawsuit against the United Arab Emirates to the International Criminal Court. The indictment was for human rights violations,
In December, Qatar decided to leave the oil-producing countries’ cooperation (OPEC) from January 2019. It has been a member of OPEC since 1961, but has been one of the smallest oil producers since natural gas is the most important in the country’s energy production. At the turn of the year, a 100 percent tax on alcohol was also introduced.
According to estimates from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Qatar will not be the world’s richest place for long. The Chinese casino island Macau will have Qatar by 2020. Macau’s GDP per capita is then estimated at $ 143,116, while Qatar’s figure is $ 139,151.