Archaeologists have uncovered evidence that the Qatar Peninsula, jutting north into the Persian Gulf
from Saudi Arabia
, was initially inhabited during the Middle East
The Islamic history of this strategic land was influenced over many centuries by the British
, Ottomans and Portuguese
, as well as by a long series of nomadic Arab tribes.
In 1777 the Persians took control of Qatar prompting many merchants and families to migrate to Zubarah, which was a town founded by the Bani Utbah tribe in 1732. Zubarah ultimately became an important center for trade, and thrived with the pearling of the Persian Gulf
This brought on the attention of the two main powers during those times, the Persia and Oman
, and Bahrain
also provided a great deal of wealth due to the mass amounts of pearls in their waters.
Consequently, all of this attention sparked a war between the Zubarah based Al-Khalifa traders and Bahrain
in 1782. The battle of Zubarah was a brutal one, and lasted through the early 19th century dragging Kuwait
, the Omanis
and the Ottomans in as well.
Due to a growing interest in India
, and an ambition to secure a passage for the East India Company, British
forces arrived in the Persian Gulf
bringing with them their own imposition of order by way of the General Treaty of Peace.
However, this didn't stop Bahraini
forces from attacking the city of Doha in 1867, and in turn provoking the Qatari to counterattack.
It was British
Colonel Lewis Pelly who presented a peace treaty to Bahrain
and Qatar, which ultimately resulted in a huge milestone for Qatar as they were recognized as a separate entity from Bahrain
In 1913, after a brief period under the rule of the Ottomans, Qatar signed a treaty with Britain
relinquishing their autonomy in foreign affairs in exchange for military protection.
In the early 20th century, Qatar was a relatively poor Middle East
sheikhdom, with pearl production and fishing being its major revenue sources.
Then, in 1939, the discovery of oil and gas transformed it into an influential and rich land for both its current ruling clan (the Al Thani family), and for all of its people.
In April of 1970, two years after Britain
withdrew their military commitments from Qatar, the country was declared an independent, Arab, Islamic state.
In 1995, the ruling Amir, Sheikh Khalifa, was removed by his son, the current Amir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. This event helped move Qatar into the most desirable position of having one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, and helped propel Qatar into a progressive Middle East
As a by-product, jobs are guaranteed in Qatar, and college education is free. There is no income tax here; all public services are gratis, and all health care is provided by the government. Wow! When does the next plane leave?
And speaking of planes, tourism in Qatar (mostly to Doha) has increased rather dramatically; sparkling new hotels (Las Vegas-like) stand along the lengthy waterfront, and the traveling world has finally learned about Qatar's beautiful beaches, and of course, the duty-free shopping.
Recently, it was announced that Qatar will be the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which is sure to draw even more attention to the already thriving region.
Read more about the Qatar here!