History of Qatar
The lands of modern Qatar have been inhabited since ancient times. The earliest archaeological finds date back to the end of the 4th millennium BC. e. and confirm the existence of a developed and prosperous civilization here. After the adoption in the 7th c. Islam, along with the rest of the inhabitants of the Persian Gulf, the territory of Qatar became part of the Arab Caliphate – the Umayyads, later the Abassids. In the beginning. 16th century the first European colonialists appeared on the shores of the Persian Gulf, among which Portugal and especially Great Britain turned out to be the most active. After a long resistance, the Sheikh of Qatar in 1868 was forced to conclude a “Treaty of Perpetual Peace” with Great Britain, which actually consolidated her colonial rule. Since 1871, Qatar was again occupied by the Ottoman Empire, which appointed its own governor there. But in reality, the country was ruled by Sheikh Qasem bin Mohammed, who founded the dynasty of the Al Thani clan now ruling in Qatar (since 1878). According to official data, the Al Thani family came from the Tamim tribe (modern Saudi Arabia) and emigrated to the peninsula in the beginning. 18th century Taking advantage of World War I, Great Britain forced Turkey to give up its claims to Qatar, and in 1916 the new ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah ibn Qasem Al Thani, signed an agreement establishing an English protectorate. In 1935, the rulers of Qatar were forced to conclude a concession agreement with the British Petroleum Development of Qatar, which gave it practically unlimited and uncontrolled rights to explore, produce and sell oil and gas, build industrial facilities, and import foreign workers for 75 years. The entire traditional way of the country’s economy that has been developing for centuries has been violated, which led to a sharp impoverishment of the local population. To con. 1960s the crisis of the British colonial policy became obvious. Its attempt to maintain its influence in the region by creating a federation of nine emirates: Bahrain, Qatar and the seven emirates of Trucial Oman failed. The countries could not agree among themselves and, following Bahrain, on September 3, 1971, Qatar declared its independence. The next step for the already independent Qatar was the entry in September 1971 into the Arab League and the UN. On February 22, 1972, the Prime Minister of the country, Sheikh Khalifa, with the consent of the Council of Elders, appointed himself Emir of Qatar, declaring the ruling Sheikh Ahmed, who was abroad, deposed. The new government continued the initiated reforms, paying special attention to the modernization of the economy. In 1995, the son of Emir Khalifa, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, succeeded to the throne. The young emir managed to resolve years of border disputes with neighboring Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. The aggravation of relations with Bahrain occurred in March 1982 due to the territorial affiliation of the Hawar Islands and the Fasht ad-Dibal region. After hearings in the Hague court in March 2001, a verdict was adopted, according to which the Khawar Islands were ceded to Bahrain, and the Fasht ad-Dibal shoals were transferred to Qatar. In 1992, due to events in the border area, a conflict arose between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. After a lengthy settlement, Qatar in March 2001 signed maps with a demarcation line between the two countries, where the delimitation of sea and land borders was finally approved.
Science and culture of Qatar
At present, the authorities, concerned about the huge influx of foreign labor, pay much attention to education and the creation of their own national personnel. According to searchforpublicschools, in 1995/96 there were 174 primary schools in the country with 53,600 pupils. The only university in Qatar was founded in 1977 in the capital city of Doha on the basis of a former teacher training college and has 7 faculties. Educational and research work at the university is carried out under the patronage of the Emir of Qatar, who in 1980 issued a decree establishing a special Center for Scientific and Applied Research. In 1998, 8.5 thousand students studied at the university, of which 85% were native Qataris, the number of Qatari teachers accounted for 38% of all teaching rates. The state regularly sends young people to study at foreign universities. The total number of students in Qatar in the 1999/2000 academic year was 75 thousand people, the total number of teachers in the 1998/99 academic year was 13.1 thousand people. In the budget for 2002/03, the government provided 418 million kat. rials for education and social benefits for youth.
In the “pre-oil” period, the population was engaged in traditional crafts for the entire region: cattle breeding, pearl fishing, handicraft production, maritime trade, and, to a lesser extent, agriculture. Today, despite the competition from cheap industrial goods, the products of local jewelers, wood carvers, and manufacturers of national clothes are still popular among the people.
Among the most interesting cultural sites in Qatar are the archaeological excavations of mounds and mounds at Umm Salal Ali, which testify to the oldest period in the history of civilizations. The coastal town of Al-Khor is also of interest. The main part of the museums is concentrated in the capital of the country: the National Museum (founded in 1901) with a huge two-level aquarium, the Ethnographic Museum. The Weapons Museum contains rare specimens of ancient small arms, a collection of gold and silver swords and daggers, some of which date back to the 16th century. There is a famous nature reserve in the country, where a rare antelope, the oryx, the national animal of Qatar, lives in natural conditions.
Among the cultural traditions of Qatar are camel racing, horse racing, hunting with the help of specially trained falcons and Arabian Saluki hounds. A small part of the richest residents of the country can afford to keep world-famous Arabian horses, which have long been bred in this region. Unique examples of this breed of horses are in the stables of the Emir. On special farms, race camels are grown, the cost of which reaches up to 250 thousand US dollars.
Despite the active intervention of the West, Sharia (Islamic law) is still mandatory for the inhabitants of the country and completely determines their culture and daily life.