A quick take a look at a map of the Close to East and North Africa reveals two key information: 1) The area is politically divided into sparsely populated, however geographically monumental nations on one aspect; smaller nations on the opposite, most of which are politically, economically and socially unstable. The one exception to this overarching rule is the peninsular country of Qatar.
Strategically jutting out into the Persian Gulf, the country has, during the last several many years, emerged as one of many few Center East’s uncommon success tales. Fuel riches and a ‘go-its-own-way’ mindset inside Qatari society and its government, together with the nation’s royal household, has completely reworked the nation because the early 1970s.
Regarded by the surface world for a lot of the 20th-century as an underdeveloped backwater whose livelihood revolved round pearl diving and camel herding, the Qataris lagged far behind their oil-rich Saudi neighbors for many years.
The discovery of the world’s largest fuel subject in 1971 has led Qatar to account for 30 % of the global market. Its residents, at this time numbering an estimated 2.9 million, have benefitted significantly. The per capita GDP of the nation is among the highest on the planet, over twice that of Saudi Arabia.
Having largely prevented the chaotic turmoil that resulted from the Arab Spring, and unlike Syria, Egypt and Libya, Qatar has not faced any of the quick threats to its national security or its political stability, circumstances that turned commonplace for almost each different Arab nation after the uprsings first started in 2011.
As an alternative, Qatar has emerged from that turmoil as a regional peacemaker. This has turned the capital, Doha, right into a ‘Switzerland-on-the-Gulf’; a locale where rival factions from Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon, amongst others, have come to hash out peace deals and ceasefires that ended many years of conflicts of their respective nations.
Since 2003, the yr the People’ invasion of Iraq first began, Qatar has hosted an enormous US airbase. Although that transfer irked some governments within the region, the relationship between Washinton and Doha has solely additional deepened.
Following the American withdrawal from Afghanistan this past August. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced earlier in November that Qatar will set up an American curiosity section within its embassy in Afghanistan to offer certain consular providers and monitor the condition and security of American diplomatic amenities in Afghanistan.
Over the past 20 years, the Pentagon has come to see the country as certainly one of Washington’s most reliable partners in the Center East. The Al Udeid Air Base, south of Doha, is house to US Central Command’s ahead headquarters and the American army’s air operations middle for the whole region.
Because the establishment of joint operations on the base, Doha has contributed an estimated $8 billion since 2003 toward creating the base and has hosted hundreds of Afghan refugees because the August withdrawal.
The nation’s unbiased strategy to overseas coverage has even spilt over into the difficult situation of relations with Israel. Though Doha is just not a part of the Abraham Accords, which was signed by Israel and a number of other different Arab nations so as to establish formal diplomatic ties, Qatar’s personal dialogue with their Israeli counterparts dates back to 1996, when the two nations established necessary commerce relations.
On the home social degree, in contrast to the austere practices of Saudi Arabia, Qatari ladies have been capable of drive and publicly socialize for decades and non secular minorities, together with Christians, are legally allowed to brazenly follow their religion.
These societal constructing blocks have helped to shape Qatar’s branded image, one that highlights the country’s aim of being an indispensable promoter of peace within the region and a greater than able to hosting major international occasions that range from trend weeks, cybersecurity conferences, an annual Components 1 Grand Prix and the 2006 Asian Video games, which laid the groundwork and offered a lot of the preliminary infrastructure for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatari residents own a few of the West’s most iconic brand names, together with Harrods department store, a share in London’s Heathrow Airport, the Paris Saint-Germain soccer club and the Shard, western Europe’s tallest building, to call a number of. American universities Georgetown, Northwestern, Carnegie Mellon and Texas A&M, all of which have branches in Qatar.
The country’s nationwide flag service, Qatar Airways, flies to over 150 international destinations all over the world. The company employs greater than 43,000 individuals and is commonly lauded as among the best air carriers on the planet. Only just lately, each the airline and its hub – Hamad International Airport – were given a five-star score by the international air transport score group Skytrax for COVID security.
The nation’s biggest international attain, up to now, has been via the highly influential Al Jazeera television network. Since its launch in 1996, Al Jazeera has completely reworked the concept of free speech in a area the place unbiased or crucial stories, outdoors of state-censored media retailers, is the norm, Al Jazeera’s willingness to broadcast unfiltered views and interviews with a wide selection of both visitors and commentators have sent shockwaves across the Arab States of Persian Gulf.
None of those might have been attainable, nevertheless, with out Qatar having been bold enough to take the time and to use its personal assets to determine and cultivate its own worldwide footprint. The important thing to that has been the unbiased and ‘doing it its own method’ spirit that is deeply inculcated into Qatar’s DNA.