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Qatar: a fast moving country

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I first went to Qatar in 2002 or 2003; I have been back five more times.....It grows at such a pace that it is hard to understand why..........

Qatar has a population of about 300,000 Qataris and 1.3 million migrant workers and/or ex pats depending on their status. The Emir is enlightened for an Arab/Muslim state. Until recently, though it has impressive investments in this country - Canary Wharf, Chelsea Barracks, Harrods et al - it has only became the centre of the world's focus because it was awarded the FIFA World Cup for 2022. 

In the Arab Spring, which has seen the demise of leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and possibly Libya and the Yemen but not yet Bahrain or Syria, Qatar stands out as a beacon country. She has supported the West in Libya providing funding and four planes and asked why other Arab nations haven't taken a stand. She hasn't been able to speak publicly about Bahrain because Qataris are "Wahhabis" as are the Saudis.

Qatar has taken decisions which demonstrates how far it is ahead - despite its size (no bigger than Wales) - of all other Arabic nations.

She has created the Qatar Foundation to employ some of its wealth for the good of the world - £100m to the New Orleans to help its regeneration after Katrina and a similar amount to Gaza to assist in the rebuilding of the 27 primary schools bombed by the Israelis (notwithstanding the Israelis have refused permission or simply slit the cement packages to prevent any rebuilding whatsoever without a mumur from the West).

All this without any publicity.

She has also helped create a peace of sorts between Lebanon and Syria. All in all pretty impressive, plus the Emir has promoted through Sheikha Mosar, his second wife, a kind of Arabic version of "enabling" women unheard of in other more fundamentalist Muslim states whilst at the same time trying to support democratic reform with a Parliament and more recently an equivalent of parish councils.

Of course there's much more to be done in providing a full Education and Health
system for all its citizens and not just Qataris but they have made a bold start.


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