About Qatar Country from Oasina Roses
Qatar generally consists of low-lying naturally arid land with exception of some scattered limestone outcrops at the Dukhan area which is 40 metes above sea level at the western side of the country, the rocky area around Fuwairat in the north, and some dramatic sand-dunes in the south where the towering hills of sand rise almost abruptly from the desert plain.
The coastline is heavily indented in places, creating a series of bays, beaches and natural harbours or khors. Where the water-table come close to the surface, seasonal pools from and a more fertile belt exists towards the north and within the centre of the country, permitting both natural vegetation and agricultural development. The latter industry, aided by modern technology and significant investment, has made considerable strides in recent years helping to achieve the country's goal of self-sufficiency in food production
Artefacts discovered by Danish, British and French archaeological teams in 1965, 1973 and 1976 consecutively, revealed that Qatar has been inhabited by Man since the fourth millennium BC. Excavations have also shown that the Ubaid culture in Mesopotamia extended to the Qatar peninsula. During the fifth century BC., the Greek historian Herodotus wrote that the Kena'an tribes, who were well known for their navigational skills and marine trading activities, were the first inhabitants of Qatar. The Greek geographer Ptolemy, in his map of the Arab World, records the name of Qatara, which is believed to have referred to the famous Qatari town of Al Zubarah, which was one of the most important commercial sea ports in the area.
In the seventh century AD Qatar embraced Islam during the era of its king Al Munthir bin Sawi Al Tameemi. Historical Islamic texts describe the Qatari people's navigational skills, and their participation in the preparation of the first Islamic navy for Jihad under the leadership of Abu Ala'a Al Hadhrami. Meanwhile, Arab historians and travellers also admired the Qatari poet and knight' Qatari ibn al Fuja'h' for his bravery and steadfastness.
The Arab geographer Yaqoot Al Hamawi, in his book Muja'm al Buldan, praised the high status acquired by Qatar in its early manufacture of textiles as well as for its flint arrow-head industry which is called al Rimah al Khatiyah.
During the Abbasid era, in the fourteenth century AD, Qatar experienced a period of economic growth as a result of increased demand for pearls from the Khalifate in Baghdad. Evidence of this period may be found at the Murwab Fort, on the western coast of the country, which reflects the Abbasid style of architecture.
An alliance with the Turks, undertaken in the sixteenth century in order to expel Portugueuse from the region, resulted in Qatar coming under Ottoman influence for more than 400 years, albeit that actual authority was vested in local Arab tribal sheikhs. Following the outbreak of World War I, Qatar signed a protection treaty with Britain in 1916, but the British influence was influenced to some administrative matters.
The Al Thani royal family, who belong to the Tameem tribe from Modhar bin Nizar, and hail from a tribal gathering at Jabrin Oasis south of Najd, moved to Qatar in the early eighteenth century. The family derived its name from its mentor Thani bin Mohammed, father of Mohammed bin Thani, who was the first Sheikh to practice real authority in the Qatar peninsula. HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani became the Emir of Qatar on 27 June, 1995.
HH Sheikh Hamad is a strong supporter of the GCC and has stated that: "We have always been keen to strengthen our affiliation to the GCC, and adoption of its noble objectives. We have also worked with our brothers the leaders of the member states to boost its march and activate joint action within its framework.
Out of our Gulf motivated affiliation, we endeavour to support the security and stability of our Gulf region, as Gulf security has become one of the main concerns of its peoples.
Heritage and Culture
Culture and the arts have received strong support in Qatar with the result that the country has an active and vibrant artistic community. Support for this field has been coordinated by the Department of Culture and Arts, which was established in 1977, and which supports preservation and expression of Qatar's heritage through collection of works, together with a full programme of classification, study and analysis. The Department provides financial and moral support to the Qatari folklore troupe, as well as documentation, preservation and revival of handicrafts at the ancient Al Kut Fort. It also sponsors intellectual works, the arts, theatrical and fine arts movements.
In the early 1980's the theatrical movement witnessed new developments culminating in the establishment of Qatar National Theatre in 1982, which accommodates 550 seats and is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.
As part of Qatar's focus on preservation of its traditional, historic and ancient heritage and encouragement of its cultural attributes, the Ruler's old fort residence in the heart of Doha, the country's capital city, was converted into the headquarters for Qatar National Museum, and is now under direction of the Department of Museums and Antiquities which supervises all Qatar's museums and archaeological digs.
The traditional art if boat building has been nurtured by a special Emiri Workshop which was established for the building and maintenance of traditional ships to preserve the Qashafah or shipbuilding profession. One of its most impressive achievements is construction of a large Bateel vessel by a Qatari shipbuilder (Qallaf). In addition to boat building support is given to a wide range of traditional handicrafts including sadu tailoring, jewellery manufacture, the pearling industry and making of traditional gold and silver embellished clothing.
Qatar's cultural movement remains active, both at home and overseas, through a programme of exhibitions, performances, lectures and readings. Qatari Cultural Weeks, which have been organised in several Arab and foreign countries, provide a valuable focus and celebration of these efforts. Finally, cultural centres in associated with youth movements, also organise a range of cultural and artisitc activities.
Sites of Archaeological and Historical Interest
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