The life and legacy of Qatar's late emir

Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani led the nation of Qatar for 23 years before being ousted by his son in a bloodless coup.

Courtesy of: AP
Courtesy of: AP

The former leader passed away on Sunday, at the age of 84.

Former emir of Qatar, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani died on Sunday at the age of 84 according to Qatar's state news agency QNA.

During his 23-year rule, which ended suddenly in 1995,  the tiny Persian Gulf nation made remarkable strides.

In 1971, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani, then the deputy emir of Qatar, declared his nation independent of Great Britain. Just a few months later, he seized control of the country from his cousin, emir Ahmad bin Ali al-Thani.

The former leader passed away on Sunday, at the age of 84. His rule came to an abrupt end in 1995 when his son, Hamad bin Khalifa, staged a bloodless coup while his father was visiting Geneva, Switzerland.

The skyline of Qatar's capital, Doha, has undergone a major evolution since the late emir’s rule.
This photo compares the Doha skyline in 1977 — a simple, dusty city dotted with a few multi-storey buildings — with the mini metropolis it has become today. (AP)

The late emir travelled to Britain in the run-up to his nation's independence, meeting with the then secretary of state for defence, Dennis Healey, in London. (AP)

During the 1991 Gulf War, Qatar played a significant role, providing fire support for Saudi Arabian National Guard units which were battling Iraqi Army troops. Qatar allowed the air forces of the United States, Canada and France to operate within its border. (AP)

Qatar's state news agency QNA reported the death of the former leader Sunday. (AP)


TRTWorld and agencies