Animals and Plants
What is growing in Qatar?
Qatar is a very dry country. It is mostly covered with sand. The hot climate and the little water prevent the growth of many plant species. Only in the north, where there are some irrigation systems, are a few hardy species. These include, for example, the desert hyacinths, palm trees or thorn bushes.
Even during the rainy season in spring, some plants grow in the desert, especially in the wadis. These are arid valleys that turn into rivers during rain showers. This little spectacle, when herbs and grasses and their flowers appear for a few days, is unfortunately only of short duration. Because as soon as it gets drier again, the plants wither.
Which animals live in Qatar?
Just like plants, it is not easy for animals to survive in the arid desert of Qatar. Only species like gerbils, hedgehogs, monitor lizards, spiders and geckos are adaptable enough to withstand heat and drought. The oryx was almost extinct in Qatar. A wildlife park was set up in the south of Doha to preserve them.
Colorful underwater world
Despite the sparse wildlife in Qatar, the waters off the peninsula contain some of the largest living organisms in the world: the colorful coral reefs on the coasts of the Arabian (Persian) Gulfs.
In addition to the coral reefs, many species of fish also live in the waters of Qatar. Rarely do you get to see a sperm whale or a dolphin. Some sea turtles also breed their eggs on the northern coast of Qatar. Qatar also has around 30 native bird species. Many migratory birds also live in the northern coastal areas of the country during winter.
Qatar: one of the richest countries in the world
Due to its oil and gas reserves, Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world. Qatar also has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the highest per capita income. It should be added, however, that around 88 out of 100 people living in Qatar do not have Qatari citizenship and therefore do not benefit from the country’s wealth.
Many earn very little
In addition, many of them belong to the group of guest workers in construction and manufacturing, who have to do hard work under poor conditions for a very low wage. Mostly these people are from India, Nepal and the Philippines.
Qatar earns the most money from liquefied gas and energy. The country also wants to invest in tourism in the future. To this end, it is planned to further expand the infrastructure. Other industries are education, health and sport.
Environmental issues !?
More and more attention is being paid to the environment in Qatar and it is high time that it did so. Qatar has the highest per capita carbon dioxide emissions in the world, and the people of Qatar are not frugal when it comes to water consumption. Despite global criticism, Qatar has so far hardly changed its environmental laws. Nevertheless, the government wants to invest increasingly in renewable energies in the future.
History and Politics
Early history of Qatar
Little is known about the very early history of Qatar. The land here was probably settled by people thousands of years ago, but it put many residents off again due to the drought. Nomads moved through the country, small settlements emerged for a short time on the coasts and trade was carried out from there. For a long time the most important inhabitants of the country were the Bedouins. The few inhabitants of the country became Muslims in the time of the Prophet Mohammed in the 7th century.
Two families determined the history of the country
The year 1760 was decisive for the history of the country, when the Al-Thani clan immigrated from the eastern Arab region and, shortly afterwards, the Al-Khalifa. These two families didn’t like each other very well, so fights continued to break out. In 1783 the Al-Khalifa were able to conquer the island of Bahrain. There they settled and are still the rulers of Bahrain today (see also History of Bahrain).
The influence of the British continued to grow
From 1822 the Al-Thani family ruled Qatar. Disagreements persisted with the Al-Khalifa and in 1867 another conflict broke out, which the Al-Khalifa ended victoriously. Meanwhile the British had also expanded their power in the country. In 1868 there was a protection treaty between Great Britain and Qatar. At the same time, Qatar was recognized as a separate state by Great Britain and the separation from Bahrain remained permanent. The Ottomans also found interest in the land around the capital Doha. But Britain supported Qatar and in 1916 the last Ottoman military left the country. Check computergees to see more articles about this country and Middle East.
Qatar becomes one of the richest countries on earth
The country had lived from the pearl trade for a long time, but this fell sharply from 1930 because natural pearls could now be replaced by cultured pearls. Crude oil was discovered in the region as early as the late 1930s. Oil production began in 1949, making Qatar one of the richest countries on earth.
Qatar achieved independence from Great Britain in 1971. There were negotiations with the United Arab Emirates, but in the end Qatar did not join the union of these states. In 1981, Qatar founded the Gulf Cooperation Council together with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
In 1995 Hamad ibn Khalifa overthrew his father and began to introduce democratic reforms in Qatar. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, his grandson, has been in power since 2013. The country is still an absolute monarchy, which means that the Emir of Qatar makes politics. The state religion is Islam and Sharia is the most important law. There is no separation of powers, which means that all powers such as the executive, legislative and judicial power rests with the emir. There is also no parliament or any other representation of the people or political parties competing with one another.