QATARS HISTORICAL AND GEO-POLITICAL SETTING UNTIL 1868
Qatars modern political history is about two and a half centuries old. The genesis of the present Qatari state could be attributed to the immigration of the Utub tribes, particularly the Al Khalifah and the Al-Jalahimah clans to Zuburah which is located on the western coast of the Qatar peninsula. The migration reached its height in 1766. The clans quickly obtained dominance over other inhabitants of Qatar. However, with time, the Al-Jalahimah fell out with the Al Khalifah. The Al-Jalahimah clan was defeated in war (Fromherz, 2011). The Al Khalifah went ahead to defeated the Persians in Bahrain in 1783 and as a result, moved there headquarters from Zubarah to Bahrain. The Al Thani ruling family rose to preeminence from 1860s under Shaykh Jasim b. Muhammad. The Al Thani took full control of Doha and later extended their preeminence over the entire Qatar peninsula. The British-Qatari agreement of 1868 recognized the Al Thani as the leaders of independent Qatar. The British-Qatari Treaty of 1868 was signed between Shaykh Muhammad and the British government of India in which Muhammad promised that Qatar would refrain from warfare by sea and would accept Britishs mediation in Qatars disputes with Bahrains Al Khalifah (Zahlan, 2016).
QATAR UNDER THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE, 1871-1913
Ottoman Rule, 1872-1913
The collapse of the Wahhabi movement was a precursor for the Ottoman rule in Qatar from 1872 to 1913. The Ottoman Empire took a renewed interest in Qatar and the entire Arab peninsula after the collapse of the Wahhabi movement. The opening of the Suez Canal was important that instigated the Ottoman Empire to take an interest in the Arab peninsula. In a few years time, all possessions of the Wahhabi movement had changed hands into being in possession by the Ottoman Empire allies. Hasa was the first territory in the Arab peninsula to be occupied by Ottomans. Following the occupation of Hasa, there was a deputation to Qatar, and Jassim bin Muhammad accepted the Turkish flag in Qatar. Jassim made the decision to accept the Turkish flag because the decline of the Wahhabis had left Qatar vulnerable to being attacked by their enemies such as Bahrain. Jassim had to ensure that the power of the Ottomans was balanced against British fears that the Ottomans could encroach their interests in the Gulf (Kursun, 2002).
The Ascendancy of Jassim Bin Muhammad
Jassims ascendency came about by his display of remarkable strength of character. Jassim has been tried and tested several times by his father. In his twenties, Jassim was an apprentice to the forebear ruler of Qatar (Althani, 2013). For instance, in 1851 when Faisal bin Turkis army was fast approaching Doha, Jassim who was then 25 years old was sent by his father on a secret mission to meet Jabir bin Nasir who was the chief of Bahraini Naim. Jassims father wanted to ascertain plans of the Ottomans in the imminent Wahhabi invasion. This was a delicate matter since Nasir and Jassim were not friends; the matter could have easily ended up badly. Jassim successfully communicated with Nassir albeit he was only accompanied by few of his men to the talks. As a result, Jassims father was able to come up with a better plan that ensured his men emerge victorious in the battle at Wahhabi. Jassim also had a close relationship with his father; the close relationship played a major role in his ascendency (Rahman, 2005).
The Ottoman-British Rivalry of the Late Nineteenth Century
The Ottomans and the British were rivals in the late nineteenth century because they all wanted to take control over the Arab Peninsula. From 1875 onwards, relationships between the Ottomans and the British became more hostile (Rahman, 2005).
The 1893 Battle of Wajbah: Causes and Results
The Battle of Wajbah was caused by differences between Qatars leader, Jasim and the Ottomans over Ottoman domination in Qatar. Jasim went ahead to organize an unrest in Doha over Ottoman domination. The Ottomans were angered by the unrest, and the relationship between the Ottomans and Wahab worsened from this point onwards. The worsening relationship was of much concern to the Wali of Basra, and in 1893, he visited Doha with an intention to settle the outstanding differences. On hearing that the Wali of Basra was on his way to Doha with an infantry and he wanted to take him captive, Jasim retired to Wajbah. Basra pursued Jasim to Wajbah, and that is when the Battle of Wajbah kicked off. After some reluctance, Jasim took courage and was ready to face the Ottomans. In the Battle of Wajbah, the Qataris proved that they were courageous and determined irrespective of the military supremacy of the Ottomans. The Qataris determination paid off, and in a days time, they had emerged victorious. Jasim cemented his victory by controlling water supply to Doha, where the Ottomans had run to. The Ottomans could not do without water, and as a result, they surrendered. The Ottoman defeat is a landmark in Qatars history (Zahlan, 2016).
After the Battle of Wajbah, Jasims authority over Qatar was completely established. No one ever questioned again Jasims authority over Qatar. As a result of the victory over the Ottomans, Qatar became an independent territory. Development of Qatar as a state commenced after the victory. Several social and economic measures were initiated to unify Qatar. There was the construction of roads, the establishment of schools after Jasims victory (Rahman, 2005).
The Ottoman-British Treaty of 1913 and its impact on Qatar
The Ottoman-British Treaty of 1913 did state that the Ottomans would not interfere with sea affairs around the Arab peninsula and the British would not interfere with the Ottomans activities on dry land (Anscombe, 1998).
QATAR IN TRANSITION UNDER BRITISH RULE, 1913-1960
Sheikh Abdullah bin Jasim was one of the most influential leaders Qatar has ever had. He ruled Qatar between 1913 and1949. Sheikh Abdullah bin Jasim ruled in an era known as the beginning of Qatars modern history. Sheikh Abdullah bin Jasim oversaw advent of Qatars oil and petroleum industry. He also oversaw the establishment of the countrys solid foundation in education, infrastructure, and healthcare Doha was transformed under Sheikh Abdullah bin Jasims reign (Zahlan, 2016).
The Treaty of 1916
The treaty of 1916 was a treaty between British officials and leaders of Qatar to bring to an end a revolt in Qatar that was against British rule. The revolt was led by the Wahhabi movement. In the treaty, the Wahhabi movement leader, Ibn Saud officially committed himself in a treaty with Britain to stop interfering with affairs of states on the Arab side of the Gulf. Saud had to refrain from any aggression or interference with territories of Bahrain, Kuwait and of the Shaikhs of Qatar and of the Oman coast who were being protected by the British government. In the treaty, Abdallah bin Jasim was recognized as the independent ruler of Qatar and granted the title of Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire (Jamal et al., 2008).
The agreement was signed on November 3, 1916, between Abdallah bin Jassim and Percy Cox, the political resident at that time. The negotiations and conclusions of the treaty have lasted for one year. The treaty placed Qatar on the same footing as the Trucial shaykhdoms. In the treaty, Jassim was not supposed to cede, sell, lease or mortgage any part of Qatar without the consent of Britain. Qatar was also not supposed to have any relationships with any foreign power without the consent of Britain. In the treaty, Jassim was supposed to accept the establishment of post and telegraph offices, admit British subjects to Qatar and ensure that they are protected. Jassim was also supposed to accept stationing of Doha as a British agent if Britain desired. Qatar was also supposed to desist from the slave trade, piracy and arms traffic.
After the Treaty and before the oil concessions, Jassim was highly rebuffed by British authorities. Britain loathed involvement in Qatar affairs but at the same time wanted to be control of Qatar. As a matter of fact, the British authorities subjected the treaty to many interpretations and re-interpretations to suit their interests (Zahlan, 2016).
Social and Economic History: From Pearls to Oil
Pearl fishing was once a very important economic activity in Qatar. However, the discovery of oil in the 1930s titled the equation, and oil drilling became Qatars most important economic activity. The oil business has proved to be very lucrative to Qatar, and it has contributed to its current economic state (Rahman et al., 2007).
Qatar between the Two World Wars: The Changing Gulf Order and the Making of the Middle East
Discovery of oil in the 1930s changed the Gulf order. Given that Qatar had rich oil reserves, it started being seen as an important player in the Gulf Order (Gray, 2013).
Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah, 1949-1960
Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah was the Emir of Qatar between 1949 and 1960. He is known as the first Emir to have visited many countries abroad. During his reign, Qatars economy significantly improved. Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah was emphatic on developing Qatars education sector and infrastructure. During Sheikh Ali bin Abdullahs is when Qatars first shipment of oil was transported from Mesaieed to the western part of the world (Misnad, 1985).
Early Oil Concessions
Scramble for oil concessions in Qatar commenced in 1930s. Preliminary oil concessions between Qatar and British authorities were signed in the 1930s. British policy about oil in the Gulf took some time to be formulated. In Qatar, the British authorities dealt with problems as they arose and the discovery of oil was one of the least important contingencies to the British people. As a matter of fact had United States oil companies not shown interest in all of Eastern Arabia, there is a likelihood that preliminary oil concessions in Qatar, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and other states in the Gulf would not have been signed in the1930s (El Mallakh, 2015).
THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE & DEVELOPMENT: 1960-2013
Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali ruled Qatar between 1960 and1972. During his reign, Qatars underwent a significant economic transformation. During Sheikh Ahmed bin Alis reign, there was the discovery of new oil fields. In 1971, under Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali rule, Qatar became a sovereign state. Qatar declared its independence in 1971 (Shalaq et al., 2009).
After independence, Qatar established sound socio-economic foundations that are likely to guarantee the country a successful future full of socio-economic prosperity (Roberts, 2017). The country has invested greatly in education, healthcare, and the oil industry. Given that oil is the backbone of Qatars economy, sound investment in the oil industry is important for the prosperity of the country (Fromherz, 2011).
The Federation of Emirates is a group of seven emirates that are located in the Arabian Peninsula. The Federation of Emirates was founded on December 2, 1971. However, the seventh emirate joined the Federation on February 10, 1972. Initially, the Emirates used to be referred to us, as the Trucial States (Etheredge, 2013).
Anscombe, F. F. (1998). The Ottoman Gulf: The creation of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar 1870-1914. New York: Columbia University Press.
Althani, M.A.J. (2013). Jasim- the leader: Founder of Qatar.
El Mallakh, R. (2015). Qatar: Development of an oil economy. London: Routledge.
Etheredge, L. (2013). Persian Gulf states: Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. New York: Britannica Educational Pub., in association with Rosen Educational Services.
Fromherz, A. J. (2011). Qatar: A modern history. London: Tauris.
Gray, M. (2013). Qatar: Politics and the challenges of development. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Jamal M., Haj...
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