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Al Thani, Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Jabr (1959–) - PERSONAL HISTORY, Foreign Minister, BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS, PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY:, INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

qatar hbj appointed emir

Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabr Al Thani (HBJ), Qatar’s foreign minister, has served the state since 1982. In the 1980s, he took the sensitive job of overseeing the ruling family trust from oil revenues. He rose through the ranks rapidly; appointed minister of municipalities and agriculture, then acting minister of electricity and water, he became foreign minister in 1992 at the age of 33. His close personal ties with the crown prince, now emir, helped in this rise. From the beginning of his career he has exhibited a decisive personality as well as an ability to avoid controversy.

PERSONAL HISTORY

HBJ was born in Doha in 1959. He is the cousin of the current emir, Shaykh HAMAD BIN KHALIFA AL THANI . His father, Jasim bin Jabr, who died in 2000, was a senior member of the Al Thani ruling family. (In his memory, HBJ, along with two of his brothers, established a multimillion-dollar charity fund.) After finishing high school in Doha, HBJ went to Egypt for further studies, but cut them short. He later went to Britain to study English.

In 1982, upon returning from Britain, HBJ was appointed director of the Office of the Minister of Municipalities and Agriculture. On 7 July 1989, he was promoted to minister. In this capacity he developed Qatar’s fishing and agricultural sectors. In 1990, he was appointed deputy, and later acting, minister of electricity and water, in addition to his post as minister of municipalities and agriculture. He also sat on the boards of several high-level government institutions. These posts gave him working experience in Qatar’s public and private sectors, but his real political breakthrough came at the end of the 1980s, when he was appointed head of the ruling family’s oil-funded trust by the emir, Shaykh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani (in Qatar, as in other Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] countries, the ruling family keeps a significant portion of the country’s oil revenue). HBJ doled out monthly stipends, managing this delicate job very successfully. On 2 September 1992, Shaykh Khalifa, who was also prime minister, appointed HBJ foreign minister.

HBJ owes much of his success as foreign minister to his personal ties to the current emir, Shaykh Hamad. When Hamad was crown prince (1977–1995), he slowly began to increase his power and his grip on state affairs. By 1992, he was running the day-to-day affairs of the state, for all practical purposes. When his father, Shaykh Khalifa, appointed a new cabinet in September 1992, Hamad was able to place allies in sensitive ministries. Particularly important were HBJ and another cousin, Abdullah bin Hamad al-Atiyya, who became minister of energy, industry, water, and electricity. These men maintained their support for Hamad when he staged a bloodless palace coup against his father on 27 June 1995, making himself emir. Relations between HBJ and al-Atiyya during the 1990s were competitive, clouding the political atmosphere, but these two remain the most powerful men in the government after the emir. In 2003, Shaykh Hamad rewarded both for their service and loyalty: In addition to their other posts, HBJ was named first deputy and al-Atiyya second deputy prime minister.

Foreign Minister

One of the first tasks of HBJ as foreign minister was to deal with Saudi Arabia on border issues. These go back to the 1930s. In 1965, the two countries signed a border agreement, but the Qataris still feel that Saudi Arabia is holding territory belonging to them. (Qataris also resent what they consider to be Saudi Arabia’s “big brother” attitude toward them and the other smaller GCC states.) Relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar at this time were especially tense; there was a Saudi attack on a Qatari border post on 30 September 1992 and there were ill feelings among the ruling family as well as the Qatari population. HBJ was able to settle this particular dispute in a manner favorable to Qatar. In general, Qatar tries to balance its regional foreign policy by taking into consideration its biggest neighbors, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS

Name: Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabr Al Thani

Birth: 1959, Doha, Qatar

Family: Two wives; eleven children, six boys and five girls

Nationality: Qatari

Education: High school, Qatar

PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY:

  • 1982: Appointed director of the Office of the Minister of Municipalities and Agriculture
  • 1980s: Head of the ruling family’s trust
  • 1989: Appointed minister of municipalities and agriculture
  • 1990: Appointed acting minister of electricity and water
  • 1992: Appointed foreign minister
  • 2003: Appointed first deputy prime minister

Another important dispute that HBJ had to deal with was a border dispute over several offshore islands with Bahrain, which also goes back to the 1930s. This was finally settled peacefully on 16 March 2001 when the World Court granted Bahrain sovereignty over the Hawar Islands and Qitat Jarada shallows and gave Qatar Zubara and the shallows surrounding the Islet of Fisht al-Dibal. Both countries have agreed to abide by the ruling.

Besides being foreign minister, HBJ holds several other sensitive positions. He sits on the Supreme Defense Council, heads Qatar’s Permanent Committee for the Support of al-Quds (Jerusalem), is a member of the Ruling Family Council, and served on the Constitutional Committee that drafted the 2005 permanent constitution. He also sits on the Supreme Council for the Investment of the Reserves of the State.

HBJ is known to be one of the wealthiest men in Qatar. He has a stake in many of the projects that have changed Doha from a sleepy town to a city with a high-rise skyline in the last few decades, including hotels, restaurants, and new commercial and residential real estate projects in the fashionable al-Dafna district near the Doha corniche and along the Persian Gulf shoreline. He is the owner of the widely circulated newspaper al-Watan , one of three Arabic language dailies in Qatar (the other two are al-Raya and al-Sharq ).

Little is known about HBJ’s private life. He has no history of controversial public behavior, unlike some members of the ruling family. He has two wives, one of them from the Al Thani family and the other a daughter of Abd al-Aziz bin Turki, a former minister of education, and eleven children.

INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS

HBJ was raised as a member of Qatar’s establishment. He grew up when Qatar was already independent and most of its institutions had been established. His evident talents as well as his family connections contributed to his rapid rise.

His main contribution has been giving Qatar an international presence, using its oil and oil-derived wealth to offset its small size. After more than fourteen years, HBJ has proven himself to be one of the most astute and pragmatic foreign ministers in the Arab world. He promotes Qatar in international relations and travels extensively, sometimes mediating international conflicts, especially inter-Arab conflicts. He has helped make Qatar a venue for international meetings and conferences, including in recent years the summit of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 (the Doha Round), the meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in 2002, and the Asian Games in 2006. The emir and HBJ have also opened Qatar to political refugees in the Muslim and Arab worlds. These include former Iraqi Ba’thist leaders and even some members of SADDAM HUSSEIN ‘s family who sought refuge in 2003. Qatar, against the wishes of other GCC states, was one of the first countries to restore diplomatic relations with Iraq after the Gulf War of 1991. In 1996, Qatar allowed the opening of an Israeli trade mission in Doha, the first Israeli mission of its kind to open in any GCC country. The Israelis were allowed to attend the WTO meeting in Doha in 2001 and several other Israeli delegations have visited Doha since then. During the Israel-Hizbullah war in Lebanon in July and August 2006, HBJ visited Israel to hold talks with Israeli officials before attending an Arab League foreign ministers’ meeting in Beirut. Immediately after that war, Shaykh Hamad visited Lebanon with HBJ and praised the Lebanese resistance, promising a generous donation to help in the reconstruction of Lebanon, but at the same time asked all parties to engage in negotiations.

QATAR HAS TAKEN LONG STRIDES ON THE PATH OF DEMOCRATIZATION

The Qatar Foreign Minister hailed the positive and praiseworthy efforts being exerted by parliamentarians to mobilize the broader Middle East reconstruction process, as visualized by the NATO parliamentary group. “Such favorable endeavors should be viewed with due appreciation because they undoubtedly help the democracy-building orientations, already underway in the region …” He affirmed that the state of Qatar has embarked on and is still endeavoring to complete the construction of a modern, institutionalized state on the basis of the constitution and the rule of law to guarantee civil rights and to define the privileges and the obligations of citizenship in a society based on modernization, reform and development. “This policy … has been a homegrown outcome, visualized by H.H. the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani … years before any initiative to promote reform and democratization in the region was launched…. The state of Qatar has taken long strides on the path of democratization and has gone a long way in broadening the scope of people’s participation in running the country’s affairs, by contributing to decision-making and to the building up of constitutional institution.”

QATAR HOSTS MEDITERRANEAN DIALOGUE SYMPOSIUM.” NATO AND THE BROADER MIDDLE EAST. UPDATED 26 NOVEMBER 2005. AVAILABLE FROM HTTP://WWW.QATAR-CONFERENCES.COM/NATO/NEWS4.HTML.

THE WORLD’S PERSPECTIVE

World perceptions of Qatar have generally been positive, especially in the United States. The active foreign policy of Qatar and its disproportionately important place in the global capitalist economic order has led many foreign countries to open embassies and missions in Doha. Relations between Qatar and the United States are generally close, thanks to the efforts of HBJ and the emir. Both men have visited the United States several times and U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have visited Qatar.

A constant headache for Qatar, and for HBJ in particular, is the criticism from foreign countries and leaders, both Arab and non-Arab, concerning its satellite TV station al-Jazeera. Al-Jazeera, established in 1996, is known for its daring reporting and its open criticism of foreign countries and leaders. Many governments have protested to HBJ about programs they consider offensive, and have sometimes withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar, as Tunisia did in October 2006. The standard answer from HBJ to such protests is that al-Jazeera is independent and Qatar has no control over it. It should be noted, however, that the Qatar government still directly finances the station.

LEGACY

HBJ has, almost single-handedly, created the basis for modern Qatari diplomacy, aided by the vision of the current emir for a modern Qatar. Qatar’s place in the international arena is due largely to his efforts.

Al Thani, Hamad Bin Khalifa (1950–) - PERSONAL HISTORY, Hamad Becomes Emir, BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS, PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY:, INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS [next] [back] Al Sabah, Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jabir (1929–) - PERSONAL HISTORY, INFLUENCES AND CONTRIBUTIONS, BIOGRAPHICAL HIGHLIGHTS, PERSONAL CHRONOLOGY:, The 2006 Succession Crisis, CONTEMPORARIES

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almost 3 years ago

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about 6 years ago



Dear sir,



I am sheena hassan Mr muhammodhool hassan ravuthr was worker of your company as health & safety officer .12 mobths back heI had a stroke (pondayn hemirage)from uae & now can walk himself inside the home only,all medical reports are attatched here with,I am expecting a hand of help by money to continue the rest treatment and daily life expence. Three school going kids included my family,I am a house wifeonly.I have to buy a house urgently, because now rrsiding in rent basis.

thank you for spending time to readmy request.



sheena hassan

bank address

name::hassan rawther

a/c:no:10370100249874,federal bank, changancherry branch

kottayam district

kerala , india