What role does Qatar play in the Middle East and how does it differ from the other Gulf states? How has the Al-Thani tribe shaped the history of modern Qatar? And how is a traditional tribal society adapting to its status as a burgeoning economic superpower? Qatar plays a crucial part in the Middle East today. With the second greatest natural gas resources in the region, Qatar's economic clout is considerable. At the same time the Qatar story is replete with paradoxes: the state hosts the Al-Jazeera media network, an influential expression of Arab nationalism and anti-Americanism, while also hosting the principal US naval base in the region. Its leaders, like Saudi Arabia's, adhere to the Wahhabi form of Sunni Islam, yet Qatar eyes its Saudi neighbours with suspicion. It is a fervent champion of the Palestinian cause, yet welcomes the Israeli Foreign Minister to present the Jewish state's case in its capital, Doha. With this groundbreaking modern history, Allen Fromherz presents a full portrait which analyses these paradoxes and Qatar's 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, Fromherz offers a multi-faceted picture of the political, cultural, religious, social and economic make-up of modern Qatar, its significance within the GCC states and the wider region.
Allen J. Fromherz is Associate Professor of History at Georgia State University. He was previously Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History at Qatar University. He received his PhD from the University of St Andrews in Scotland after graduating from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and was awarded a Fulbright Research Scholarship in Morocco. In 2010 he was awarded the Gerda Henkel Stiftung fellowship to pursue research on the history of nationalism in the Middle East. He is also the author of The Almohads: The Rise of an Islamic Empire (I.B.Tauris) and Ibn Khaldun, Life and Times.
‘Allen Fromherz’s informed history of Qatar provides a much needed alternative to the often breezy and superficial descriptions of the country’s rise from its penniless pearl-diving past to its prosperous present’
‘The combination of theoretical perspective and on-the-ground analysis paints a compelling picture of the diverging—and frequently contradictory—internal and external pressures that have shaped Qatar’s meteoric rise... important reading both for policymakers and general observers of international affairs.’
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co LtdHardback
Publication Date: 27 Jan 2012
Number of Pages: 224
Illustrations: 16pp integrated bw illustrations