Expansion of industrialisation

Before the rise of the petrol industry, the nation of Qatar relied heavily on pearl diving and fishing operations to sustain its economy. While these activities were intrinsic to the region in the early 20th century, the market for this resource plummeted in the 1920s; Qatar was confronted with unfathomable financial hardship as a result. Salvation came in the form of oil discoveries made in 1939, which would elevate Qatar’s economy to one of the richest per capita globally. Although, the petrol industry represented a key asset in establishing Qatar’s economic prosperity, it was not until the vital intervention of Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani that progress towards true financial security for the nation was realised.

Upon his ascension to the throne in 1972, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani made great endeavours in transforming Qatar’s oil industry. This transfer of power greatly helped in accelerating other elements of industrial policy in Qatar. Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani’s initial actions, while modernising the oil sector, ensured lucrative production in favour of the nation’s economy. Taking lessons from the past, he also appreciated the fact that dependence on such an unpredictable resource could lead to vulnerabilities in his country’s economic future. With this in mind, the Emir set about investing and empowering other industrial projects in the region. The general focus of this expansion into industrialisation found its place in the agriculture sector and the growth of light industries.

Qatar’s climate and scarcity of fertile land previously imposed significant limitations on the agricultural sector in this region. Through commitments to industrialisation innovations, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani emphasised the need to adopt up-to-date technologies and methods to capitalise more effectively on this market. This was primarily encouraged by investment into desalination plants and other pioneering forms of irrigation and cultivation. The decision to diversify Qatar’s economic profile has shown an incredibly forward-thinking drive towards future success for the country. These industrialisation projects have crucially built an economic base that does not depend on the petroleum sector, but instead focuses on optimising the country’s other natural resources and activities.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani’s leadership was a crucial factor in the financial wellbeing of Qatar. It was through his prudence and vision for the future that his country has now prospered. By prioritising the revival of various industries through innovation and modernising techniques, the Emir demonstrated that the nation of Qatar deserves international consideration. All of which has been reflected in their current and continuing prosperity in the face of financial instability elsewhere in the world in these modern times.

Independent Qatar

In the September of 1971, Qatar officially became an independent state for the first time in almost exactly a century. This monumental and historic event coincided with Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani’s ascension to the throne, heralding a bright new era of Qatari prosperity. The new Emir was not only a symbol of the nation’s nubile sovereignty, but he had also been instrumental in obtaining the prized autonomy that led to the country becoming the thriving and affluent state that it is today.

Although the new Emir was in large part responsible for dismantling the apparatus that allowed Qatar to become a truly independent nation, the country’s colonial past began long before Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani was born. Throughout the 1800’s the coastal nations of the gulf had dealings with the British, who required safe passage through their waters to enable their exploits in India with the East India Tea Company, but it was in 1872 that the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into the Arabian peninsula forced the Qataris to surrender their sovereignty. The Hakim at the time had hoped the presence of the Ottomans would help to strengthen his position, but relations between the two parties deteriorated, and twenty years later, a military force was sent to Doha to arrest him. The Qataris defeated the Ottoman force, marking the de facto end of their rule over the peninsula.

However, it was not long until Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani’s grandfather, Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, signed a treaty making Qatar a British protectorate. This meant that in exchange for Britain’s military protection, Qatar relinquished its autonomy in foreign affairs and the power to cede territory, as well as a few more loosely enforced provisions suppressing slavery, piracy, and gunrunning. It would be another sixty years before Britain made the decision to withdraw from everywhere east of Suez, marking the opportunity for Qatar and other gulf nations to establish themselves as independent nations.

At the time, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani was serving as deputy Emir and Prime Minister, and he played a major part in plans to form a federation of Emirates after the British withdrawal from the area, to the point that he was elected Prime Minister of the proposed union. However, after the uncovering of foreign powers’ interference in the affairs, proceedings fell apart and Qatar declared itself an independent state in the second half of 1971. This was universally seen as an opportunity for a fresh beginning for the infant nation, and in the February of 1972 Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani was crowned Emir of independent Qatar.

The remarkable efforts in building Qatar’s economy

Central to Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani’s vision for the future of Qatar was a vibrant economy and strong social infrastructure. While he had assumed governmental duties at an early age as the Chairman of the Security Affairs and Minister of Education, the ability to enact long-lasting and significant change to Qatar was not to come until 1972, on the commencement of his role as Emir. The chief achievement that can be attributed to this prominent world leader was his remarkable efforts in developing the natural gas management and exploration operations within Qatar; the very activity that has made it one of the richest nation’s per capita today. Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani cannot be denoted as anything less than instrumental to the construction of what is now modern Qatar.

Prior to Qatar’s lucrative export of oil and natural gas, the region was primarily known for its pearling and fishing enterprise. These ventures did not make the country very prosperous, and in fact resulted in it being one of the poorest nations in the world prior to World War II. This all changed when oil and natural gas were discovered in the nation in 1939, and was then developed more extensively in 1949. While oil and natural gas production improved the status of Qatar’s economy significantly, it was not until the reign of Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani that serious traction in the industry of petroleum was achieved.

Among the main transformations that were made during the sixth Emir’s rule was the creation and implementation of three key production sharing agreements with foreign oil companies in 1985, 1986 and 1989. These agreements were tantamount to ensuring the prosperity of the country, through increased global oil exports and further ventures into establishing infrastructure for extracting natural gas reserves. This undoubtedly resulted in the prosperity that Qatar now feels in the 21st century, with the oil and gas industry forming one of the cornerstones of the nation’s economy. As it stands today, 60% of Qatar’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is accounted for by the petroleum industry. Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani’s innovative leadership and awareness of the modern world fostered the necessary environment for the nation of Qatar to prosper. His role in ensuring that the country’s natural resources are used for the good of the economy has contributed both towards the modernisation of Qatar, and towards the increased wellbeing of its inhabitants. Through its prosperity, the nation of Qatar has subsequently been able to focus on improving social factors, such as education and social infrastructure. The efforts of Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani have assured the future of many Qatari generations to come.

إصلاح التعليم الذي يحركه المستقبل

جهود الشيخ خليفة بن حمد بن عبد الله بن جاسم بن محمد آل ثاني لإصلاح التعليم لمستقبل واعد قبل ان تولى الشيخ خليفة بن حمد بن عبد الله بن جاسم بن محمد آل ثاني الحكم كأمير لقطر، كان لديه تفهم وإدراك عميق لشؤون بلاده. عند توليه المهام الحكومية في سن مبكرة، كانت أول مهامه هي تولي الأنشطة الأمنية وتوليه منصب أول وزير للتعليم في عام 1957. عندما أصبح أمير دولة قطر في عام 1972 وبعد توليه الحكم من ابن عمه، تركزت أعماله الأولى على إعادة تنظيم الحكومة والاستثمار في تحديث الأمة. التعليم من بين إنجازات الشيخ خليفة بن حمد آل ثاني العديدة كقائد حكيم، فقد قام بإصلاح نظام التعليم القطري في أوائل السبعينيات والذي نتج عنه تأثير طويل الأمد على الشعب القطري اليوم.

البنية التعليمية في قطر جزءاً لا يتجزأ من الإرث التاريخي والثقافي لتراثها الإسلامي. لم يتم التركيز على التعليم الرسمي في البلاد قبل القرن العشرين، حيث ان في العادة يتم التعليم خارج بيئة الفصول الدراسية. على الرغم من ان قد حدثت تحولات كبيرة في النظام التعليمي في قطر خلال الجزء الأول من القرن العشرين، إلا أن لم يصبح ذلك جزء حاسماً من الازدهار القطري إلا بعد أن تولى الشيخ خليفة بن حمد بن عبد الله بن جاسم بن محمد آل ثاني العهد.

تركزت رؤية الشيخ خليفة بن حمد آل ثاني لبلاده حول تأسيس تراكيب مبتكرة وحديثة للمؤسسات والسلطات لتعزيز الحضور قطري على مستوى العالم. وقد قام ذلك بتحفيز اقتصاد البلد، نظرا لاستعمال احتياطيات الغاز الطبيعي. وبالازدهار الاقتصادي للبلاد، تمكن الأمير بالقيام باستثمارات ذات مغزى في البنية التحتية التعليمية للبلاد وبشكل أساسي من خلال إنشاء أول مؤسسة جامعية في تاريخ البلاد في عام 1973. فقد حرص الشيخ خليفة بن حمد بن عبد الله بن جاسم بن محمد آل ثاني بمبادراته الهادفة بأن يعيش شعبه حياة أفضل حتى يومنا هذا.

لعب الإصلاح التعليمي دور كبير في تشكيل الهوية الوطنية والتاريخية لدولة قطر لعدة أسباب رئيسية. فقد قدم هذا الإصلاح قدر كبير من المعرفة والفرص للقطريين لتمكينهم من الازدهار في العالم الحديث. علاوة على ذلك، فهذا الإصلاح يعلن عن أهداف الوطن الطويلة الأمد لإحداث تأثير أوسع نطاقا على الساحة الدولية. وقد قام الاستثمار في التعليم بضمان النمو الاقتصادي وإمكانية التوظيف والرعاية الاجتماعية للشعب. ومن خلال مبادرات الشيخ خليفة بن حمد بن عبد الله بن جاسم بن محمد آل ثاني، يمكن الآن للعديد من الأجيال الاستفادة من النظام التعليمي على المستوى العالمي وفرص التعليم العالي التي لا حدود لها.

© إرث الشيخ خليفة بن حمد آل ثاني. كل الحقوق محفوظة.