Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani


Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is a member of
the ruling Al Thani Qatari royal family. He was the ruling Emir of Qatar from 1995 to
2013. Hamad seized power in a bloodless palace coup
d’état in 1995. During his 18-year rule, Qatar’s natural gas production reached 77
million tonnes, making Qatar the richest country in the world per capita with the average income
in the country US$86,440 a year per person. During his reign several sports and diplomatic
events took place in Qatar, including 2006 Asian Games, 2012 UN Climate Change Conference,
Doha Agreement, Hamas–Fatah Doha agreement and it was decided that the 2022 FIFA World
Cup was to be held in the country. He established the Qatar Investment Authority; by 2013 it
had invested over $100 billion around the world, most prominently in The Shard, Barclays
Bank, Heathrow Airport, Harrods, Paris Saint-Germain F.C., Volkswagen, Siemens and Royal Dutch
Shell. During Hamad ‘s rule, Qatar hosted two US
military bases. It also remained close with Hamas and Iran. He supported and funded rebel
movements, particularly in Libya and Syria during the Arab Spring while maintaining political
stability at home. The Sheikh founded news media group Al Jazeera, through which he maintained
his influence over the Arab World. He also played a part in negotiations between US and
the Taliban. In June 2013 Hamad in his brief televised address announced that he would
hand power to his 34-year-old son, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Early years and education
Hamad was born 1952. His mother died soon after the birth and he was raised by his uncle.
He graduated from the British Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 1971 and commissioned
as a lieutenant colonel. After graduation he was made commander of a mobile brigade,
which later became a force called “Hamad Brigade”. In 1972 Hamad had the rank of general, and
became army chief of staff. Next he was appointed commander-in-chief of Qatar’s armed forces
with the rank of major general. In 1977 he was named minister of defense.
Hamad was appointed Heir Apparent of Qatar in 1977 and held the post until 1995. In the
early 1980s, he led the Supreme Planning Council, which sets Qatar’s basic economic and social
policies. From 1992 Hamad had a growing responsibility for the day-to-day running of the country,
including the development of Qatar’s oil and natural gas resources. On 27 June 1995, after
deposing his father in a palace coup, Hamad became Emir of Qatar and was crowned on 20
June 2000. Reign
In the early 1980s, Hamad led the Supreme Planning Council, which sets Qatar’s basic
economic and social policies. Starting in 1992, Hamad’s father handed over responsibility
for the day-to-day running of the country, including the development of Qatar’s oil and
natural gas resources. With the support of his family, Hamad took control of the country
in 1995 while his father was on vacation abroad. While his father Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani
was in Geneva, Switzerland, Hamad bin Khalifa deposed him in a bloodless coup d’état. Hamad
bin Khalifa engaged an American law firm to freeze his father’s bank accounts abroad,
thereby defeating a possible countercoup. Thereafter, his father lived in exile in France
and Abu Dhabi until he returned to Qatar in 2004.
In a break with the traditional role, his second wife Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned
has been a visible advocate for education and children’s causes.
A sportsman and an accomplished diver, Hamad has played an active role in promoting and
developing athletics in Qatar. His activism has enhanced the country’s involvement and
performance in a number of international competitions, including: winning an Olympic medal in track
and field; hosting a wide variety of international sporting events such as the 15th Asian Games,
GCC, Asian and World Youth soccer championships; and initiating the Qatar Open Tennis Championship
which has grown to become one of two premier tennis competitions in the Middle East.
Under his rule the Qatari government helped to fund the Al Jazeera news network by an
emiri decree. In an analysis of Al Jazeera, Hugh Miles said that diplomats from other
countries know that the Emir is the real power behind Al Jazeera but he also quotes a network
spokesman denying ‘countless times’ this accusation, adding that many independent news sources
also have subsidies from their respective governments without this implying editorial
dabbling and explaining that trying to coerce the kind of journalists Al Jazeera has would
be like trying to ‘herd cats’. Sheik Hamad is a distant cousin of the network chairman,
Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, who was previously Minister of Information in the Emir Al-Thani
government. Following the initial US$137 million grant from Emir Al-Thani, Al Jazeera had aimed
to become self-sufficient through advertising by 2001, but when this failed to occur, the
Emir agreed to several consecutive loans on a year-by-year basis. At an 3 October 2001
press conference, Colin Powell tried to persuade Sheik Hamad to shut down Al Jazeera while
the New York based organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting commented that in those
efforts, “Powell and other U.S. officials were reportedly upset by the channel re-airing
old interviews with bin Laden and the inclusion of guests that are too critical of the United
States on its programs.” The Washington Post reported in 2005 that Sheik Hamad was under
pressure to privatize the network. On 25 June 2013 Hamad handed over power to
his son Tamim in a televised speech. In regards to the shift in power, Hamad said: “The time
has come to open a new page in the journey of our nation that would have a new generation
carry the responsibilities.” Achievements
Under his reign, the country won the right to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha,
the first event of its kind to occur in the Middle East. Under the patronage of Hamad
and his wife Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Misnad, several world-class academic institutions
have opened campuses in Doha, including Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University,
Northwestern University, Texas A&M University and Weill Cornell Medical College.
Arts In the arts, Hamad established the Qatar Museums
Authority in 2005 which built the I. M. Pei designed Museum of Islamic Art Doha. Since
opening, Qatar has become the world’s biggest contemporary art buyer, famously purchasing
Cézanne’s The Card Players in 2012 for over US$250 million. The Museum Authority sponsored
Takashi Murakami’s EGO exhibit in Doha which ran from 9 February to 24 June 2012, Damien
Hirst’s retrospective at Tate Modern in Spring and Summer 2012 and his upcoming exhibition
Relic, slated to open in Doha in October 2013. In July 2013, in conjunction with Miuccia
Prada and the Prada Foundation, QMA launched CURATE, a global search for curatorial talent.
Additionally, the Doha Film Institute was established in 2009 which in partnership with
the Tribeca Film Festival, created the Doha Tribeca Film Festival that ran from 2009 – 2012.
The Doha Film Institute is producing Salma Hayek’s upcoming animated adaptation of Khalil
Gibran’s classic novel The Prophet, with “Lion King” director Roger Allers co-ordinating
the process. DFI is also credited as a production company on several other films, including
Just Like a Woman starring Sienna Miller, The Reluctant Fundamentalist directed by Mira
Nair which opened 69th Venice International Film Festival, and Kanye West’s Cruel Summer
– a short film which shot in Doha and premiered during the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. In February
2013, they announced a $100 million feature film fund with Participant Media, a production
company founded by billionaire Jeffrey Skoll, who was the first employee and also first
president of internet auction firm eBay. Economy
In 2005, under the direction of Hamad and the former Prime minister of QatarSheikh Hamad
bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the Qatar Investment Authority was established, a sovereign wealth
fund to manage the country’s oil and natural gas surpluses. The Qatar Investment Authority
and its subsidiaries have acquired many businesses abroad, including London’s iconic department
store Harrods from entrepreneur Mohammed Al-Fayed, Paris based department store Printemps, French
football club Paris Saint-Germain F.C., a former 10% stake in Porsche, a 75% stake in
film studio Miramax which they acquired from Disney, a 2% stake in media conglomerate and
Universal Music Group parent company Vivendi, a $100 million USD investment in Chernin Group
– whose founder Peter Chernin was COO of News Corp and President of Fox, a 1% stake
in luxury goods manufacturer Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, a 6% stake in Credit Suisse,
a 12.6% stake in Barclays and several other major companies. They also backed Glencore’s
$31 billion USD takeover bid for Xstrata. Qatar is the largest property owner in London
with their holdings including Europe’s tallest building The Shard, Olympic Village and Park
Lane’s InterContinental Hotel. They also own several hotels in Cannes including the Majestic
Hotel, Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez and Carlton Hotel. QIA was considered to have
one of the leading bids in the sales of both Anschutz Entertainment Group and Hulu. As
of May 2013, it was reported the Investment Authority is in talks to purchase Neiman Marcus
and Bergdorf Goodman. Sheikh Hamad is famous for helping to establish
the first Arab international news network, Al Jazeera, when he provided a loan of QAR
500 million to sustain Al Jazeera through its first five years.
In October 2012, Hamad made a historic visit to Gaza and pledged US$400 million in humanitarian
aid to Hamas, to build infrastructure projects and hospitals. Despite Qatar’s ties to Hamas,
they maintain diplomatic and business relations with Israel. Sheikh Hamad provided financial
and material support to opposition rebels in both the Libyan civil war, which led to
the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, and the ongoing Syrian civil war which seeks to oust
President Bashar al-Assad. It has been reported that he has also provided support to jihadist
organizations such as Ansar Dine and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, who are
fighting for independence in the Northern Mali conflict, as well as the Al-Nusra Front
in Syria. On 25 June 2013, Hamad announced he would
be handing over power to his 33-year old son Sheikh Tamim. The move was seen as groundbreaking
for the Middle East, where leaders typically stay in office until their death.
Foreign relations The Emir made a $100 million donation for
the relief of New Orleans following the 2005 Hurricane Katrina. He was a key person in
the cease fire during the 2006 Lebanon War and contributed majorly in the relief of damaged
areas. In 2012, the Emir proposed deploying Arab troops to reduce killings in the Syrian
civil war. He provided two military bases for foreign troops, Al Udeid Air Base and
Camp As Sayliyah. Despite the prevalence of anti-Israel sentiment
within the Arab world, he had previously maintained friendly relations with Israel. He met Foreign
Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni in New York City. This marked the first real attempt by
any leader in the Persian Gulf to pursue dialogue with Israel. However, Qatar severed diplomatic
ties with Israel in 2009 in response to Israel’s actions during the Gaza War. The emir has
also expressed his objection to Israeli settlement policy, especially the Judaization of Jerusalem.
Visit to Gaza In October 2012, the Emir made a landmark
visit to Gaza by being the first head of state to go there since the 2006 election of Hamas
and the imposition of a blockade by Israel. He took a flight to Egypt before being driven
into Gaza. While there, the emir was thought to be launching a $254 million reconstruction
project in the territory, and giving an address to the Palestinian people. Palestine’s interior
ministry was said to have a “well-prepared plan” to provide security for the emir during
his stay. Incidents nevertheless continued. Criticism and allegations of support to US
designated terrorist organizations In December 2012, The New York Times accused
the Qatari government of funding the Al-Nusra Front, a U.S. government designated terrorist
organization. Others have noted the Emir’s visit to Gaza and meeting with Hamas, which
houses a militant wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. In January 2013, French politicians
again accused the Emir’s government of giving material support to Islamist groups in Mali
and the French newspaper Le Canard enchaîné quoted an unnamed source in French military
intelligence saying that “The MNLA, al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine and MUJAO have all received cash
from Doha.” Marriages and children Sheikh Hamad has three wives and twenty-four
children, eleven sons and thirteen daughters: He married his first wife Sheikha Mariam bint
Muhammad Al Thani, who is the daughter of his first cousin, Sheikh Muhammad bin Hamad
bin Abdullah Al Thani. Hamad and his first wife have two sons and six daughters:
Sheikh Mishaal bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Sheikh Fahd bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Sheikha Aisha bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Sheikha Mashael bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Sheikha Fatima bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Sheikha Rawdah bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Sheikha Hussah bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Sheikha Sara bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
– Program Coordinator for Reach Out to Asia-Qatar His second wife is Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser
Al Missned, the daughter of Nasser bin Abdullah Al Missned. Together they have five sons and
two daughters: Sheikh Jasim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
– heir apparent of Qatar until 2003 Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani,
Prince of Qatar – heir apparent of Qatar, current Emir of Qatar
Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Sheikha Hind bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
– director of the Emir’s Office since 2009 Hamad also has a third wife, Sheikha Noora
bint Khalid Al-Thani, daughter of Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, who was the minister of
the interior. Together they have four sons and five daughters:
Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
– president of the Al-Rayyan Sports Club Sheikh Thani bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Sheikh Al Qaqa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Sheikha Lulwaa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Sheikha Maha bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Sheikha Dana bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
Sheikha Al-Anood bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Sheikha Mariam bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Titles, styles and honours
Titles and styles Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Heir Apparent of Qatar(1977–1995)
His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar
His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, The Father Emir
Honours and awards Sheikh Hamad received numerous honours and
awards, both during and before his time as Emir:
National orders Pakistan: Nishan-e-Pakistan
Spain: Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic
Albania: Skanderbeg’s Order Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour
for Services to the Republic of Austria Côte d’Ivoire: Collar of the Greater Star
Croatia: Knight Grand Cross of the Grand Order of King Tomislav
Cuba: Member of the Order of José Marti Dominican Republic: Grand Cross with Gold
Breast Star of the Order of Merit of Duarte, Sanchez and Mella
Egypt: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Nile Finland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order
of the White Rose of Finland France: Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour
France: Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour Germany: Grand Cross 1st class of the Order
of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
Indonesia: Piagam Tanda Kehormatan Italy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of
Merit of the Italian Republic Jordan: Collar of the Order of al-Hussein
bin Ali Lebanon: Grand Cordon of the National Order
of the Cedar Lebanon: Grand Cordon of the Lebanese Order
of Merit Macedonia: Order of 8 September
Malta: National Order of Merit Morocco: Member Special Class of the Order
of Muhammad Morocco: Member 1st Class of the Order of
Muhammad Netherlands: Grand Cross of Order of the Netherlands
Lion Oman: Member of the Order of Merit
Oman: Member Special Class of the Order of Oman
Philippines: Order of Lakandula Portugal: Grand Officer of the Order of Infante
D. Henrique Romania: Sash rank of the Order of the Star
of Romania Saudi Arabia: Member Special Class of the
Order of Abdulaziz al Saud Senegal: Grand Cross of the Order of the National
Lion Tunisia: Medal of 7 November
United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Venezuela: Grand Collar of the Order of the Liberator
Venezuela: Recipient of the Order of Francisco de Miranda
Yemen: Recipient of the Order of the Republic Other awards
: Honorary Citizen of Tirana, capital of Albania IAAF: Golden Order of Merit
Foreign Policy’ magazine Top 100 Global Thinker, “for filling the leadership vacuum in the
Middle East.” Sports investments
Media sources claimed that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani made a bid for Manchester
United on 11 February 2011. Qatari Holdings offered £1.65 billion to Malcolm Glazer,
the current American owner of the club. This follows a series of endeavors by the Emir
and other Qataris into the World Football community, following Qatar’s successful bid
for the 2022 World Cup, and the Qatar Foundation’s recent £125m shirt deal with FC Barcelona.
In mid-June 2011, rumours resurfaced that Qatari Holdings were preparing a £2 Billion
takeover bid and that the funding, that the club had been using for transfers since the
start of June, was actually supplied by the Qataris and not the Glazer Family. In 2012
it was rumoured that Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was in bid for Rangers F.C.. On 30
March 2012 Sheik Al Thani offered to buy KF Tirana, although the details have yet to be
published. See also List of the richest royals
References External links
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani collected news and commentary at Al Jazeera English
Genealogy of The Al-Thani Dynasty, Page 7 – Website RoyalArk.net
Denver Post article on His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and his rise to
power Stargate Photo of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa’s
yacht no. 1 Constellation Photo of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa’s
yacht no. 2 Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at the Internet
Movie Database

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