Qatar has been ruled as an absolute monarchy by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Formerly a British protectorate noted mainly for pearling, it became independent in 1971, and has become one of the region\’s wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas revenues. In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became Emir when he seized power from his father, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, in a peaceful coup d\’état.  The most important positions in Qatar are held by the members of the Al Thani family, or close confidants of the al-Thani family. Beginning in 1992, Qatar has built intimate military ties with the United States, and is now the location of U.S. Central Command’s Forward Headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qatar)

 

 

 

photo credit: habayinow.wordpress.com
In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became Emir
In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became Emir when he seized power from his father, Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, in a peaceful coup d'????tat. His 2nd wife is Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned. Sheikh Hamad has had three wives (1 now divorced) and twenty-four children, eleven sons and thirteen daughters by 3 wives.
The Emir (L) and the heir apparent H.H. Sheikh Jasim
The Emir (L) and the heir apparent H.H. Sheikh Jasim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (born 1978)
About hundred and fifty Qatari traditional dhows sailing near the
About hundred and fifty Qatari traditional dhows sailing near the Doha Sheraton Hotel at Doha, Corniche in a sea parade before the opening ceremony of the Doha Cultural Festival (DCF) in Qatar on Tuesday, March 22 2005. An unknown group has claimed responsibility for a Qatar suicide bombing that killed a Briton, and vowed to hit churches and "crusader" military bases in the region, an Internet statement posted on Tuesday said. The statement came as Qatari officials hunted for clues of any al Qaeda involvement in Saturday's attack, the first in the Gulf Arab state, which hosts the US Central Command that directed the 2003 invasion of Iraq.(AP Photo)
1st Qatar 777 in Doha Qatar
1st Qatar 777 in Doha Qatar
Hawk Market Qatar
Hawk Market Qatar
Pearl 2010
Pearl 2010