In this groundbreaking history of modern Qatar, Allen J. Fromherz analyzes the country’s crucial role in the Middle East and its growing regional influence within a broader historical context. Drawing on original sources in Arabic, English, and French as well as his own fieldwork in the Middle East, the author deftly traces the influence of the Ottoman and British Empires and Qatar’s Gulf neighbors prior to Qatar’s meteoric rise in the post-independence era.
Fromherz gives particular weight to the nation’s economic and social history, from its modest origins in the pearling and fishing industries to the considerable economic clout it exerts today, a clout that comes from having the region’s second-highest natural gas reserves. He also looks at what the future holds for Qatar’s economy as the country tries to diversify beyond oil and gas. The book further examines the paradox of Qatar where monarchy, traditional tribal culture, and conservative Islamic values appear to coexist with ultramodern development and a large population of foreign workers who outnumber Qatari citizens.
This book is as unique as the country it documents—a multifaceted picture of the political, cultural, religious, social, and economic makeup of modern Qatar and its significance within the Gulf Cooperation Council and the wider region.