The country of Qatar is a coastal emirate in Southwest Asia in the Middle East. Qatar borders Saudi Arabia to the south, the Gulf of Bahrain to the west, in which the Hawar Islands of Bahrain, the closest to Qatar, lie, and the Persian Gulf to the north and east. Qatar is known for an extreme form of Islam called Wahhabism.
The extraordinary wealth that comes from reserves of natural gas, oil and real estate enables the country to undertake major construction projects and the overall reconstruction of the country. Check clothesbliss for Qatar History, geography, demographics and culture.
Qatar has been chosen to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Among the major construction projects recently are the stadiums for the World Cup in football, the new port of Hamad, the metro, the National Orbital Highway cross, the city of Lusail.
Qatar is an absolute monarchy where the executive, legislative and judicial powers are largely exercised by the emir. The country has a unicameral parliament, the Consultative Assembly, where all members are appointed by the emir. According to the 2003 constitution, 30 out of a total of 45 members must be elected, but in June 2013 it was announced that the planned parliamentary election would be postponed indefinitely. The government, the Council of Ministers, is appointed by the Emir and has the power to propose laws that Parliament has limited influence to influence.
Since independence in 1971, Qatar has had a pro-Western foreign policy but has expanded its diplomatic relations to other regions and has been an active participant in many international organizations such as Opec, the Arab League and the Gulf Council. In recent years, the country has had an increasingly prominent role in regional politics as a mediator in conflicts and financier of projects abroad. The establishment of the television channel Al-Jazeera in 1996 was a big step for Qatar’s international character. Al Udeid air base west of the capital is one of the main US military posts in the region and the country cooperated with the Americans in their wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Qatar’s legal system mainly consists of two instances for criminal and civil cases and a smaller number of special courts. General sharia courts were abolished in 2003 but religious norms and traditions still form the basis of all legislation and are applied in particular in family law, inheritance law and criminal law.
Compared to the most conservative Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Qatar has relatively liberal laws. After the former Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa, came to power in 1995, the country has undergone liberalization and modernization. For example, there are no longer any dress codes for either women or men. Qatari laws also allow alcoholic beverages to some extent, but bars and pubs only exist in expensive hotels, unlike Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Bahrain, where nightclubs and similar events are completely legal.
Qatar has the death penalty and caning in the punishment scale.
Several organizations assess that there is a lack of human rights in Qatar.
Although most people working in Qatar have moved there voluntarily, guest workers are at risk of becoming victims of slavery. According to the US State Department, thousands of foreign workers in Qatar have been systematically subjected to forced labor that in some cases has included prostitution.Workers who refuse to obey orders are reported to have their passports revoked, preventing them from leaving the country. In many cases, people are also threatened with withheld wages or being subjected to violence.
Slavery in Qatar received media attention around the world in connection with the country’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. During the preparations for the championship, more than 6,500 migrant workers died in slave-like conditions, mainly in connection with the construction of infrastructure.
Sex and sexuality
Sex outside of marriage is illegal in Qatar and punishable by prison terms. The death penalty is applied for same-sex sex, but only if the perpetrators are Muslims. Otherwise, imprisonment is applied.
Before the 2022 World Cup, representatives of Qatar had promised that LGBTQ people would be welcomed in the country. However, this was not the case when homosexual couples were refused to stay together in several hotels and were referred to Qatar’s legislation that prohibits homosexuality.People with LGBTQ symbols were also stopped by the police and football players were banned from wearing armbands with the rainbow flag.
LGBTQ activism is not allowed in Qatar.
Freedom of religion
Qatar applies Sharia law according to Sunni Muslim tradition. Despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims live in the country, religious freedom is extremely limited as the practice of religions other than Islam may not take place in public.
Apostasy within Islam is illegal in Qatar. Anyone who stops believing in Islam or converts to another religion risks being punished with death.