Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Biography

(Emperor)
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
5

Birthday: January 1, 1952 (Capricorn)

Born In: Doha, Qatar

Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is the former ‘Emir’ of the State of Qatar. He ruled the country from 1995 to 2013. He is referred to as ‘His Highness the Father Emir’ by the Qatari government. He took over power from his father through a bloodless palace coup d'état in 1995. During his rule, the natural gas production reached 77 million tonnes, making Qatar one of the richest in the world in terms of per capita income. Qatar also hosted diplomatic events like the ‘Doha Agreement’ and the 2012 UN Climate Change Conference; and sports events like the 2006 Asian Games. The decision of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar was also made during his rule. The ‘Qatar Investment Authority’ and the first Arab international news network, ‘Al Jazeera,’ were established by him. He maintained his influence across the Arab world through ’Al Jazeera.’ Hamad also supported and gave money for rebel movements at the time of ‘Arab Spring’ and took part in negotiations between the US and the ‘Taliban.’ He stepped down as Emir of Qatar and handed over the power to his fourth son, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, in June 2013.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani

Age: 70 Years, 70 Year Old Males

Family:

Spouse/Ex-: Mariam bint Muhammad Al-Thani, Noora bint Khalid Al-Thani, Moza bint Nasser (m. 1977)

father: Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani

mother: Al-Atiyyah Al Thani

siblings: Abdelaziz bin Khalifa Al Thani, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani, Aisha bint Khalifa, Al Anud bint Khalifa, Amal bint Khalifa, Amina bint Khalifa, Hissa bint Khalifa, Jafla bint Khalifa, Jassim bin Khalifa, Maryam bint Khalifa, Mouza bint Khalifa, Muhammed bin Khalifa, Noora bint Khalifa, Nouf bint Khalifa

children: Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Al Qaqa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Fahd bin Hamad Al-Thani, Sheikh Jasim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Mishaal bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikh Thani bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Aisha bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Alanoud bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Dana bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Fatima bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Hessa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Hind bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Lulwah bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Maha bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Mariam bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Mashael bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Rawdah bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Sheikha Sara bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani

Born Country: Qatar

Emperors & Kings Political Leaders

Notable Alumni: Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

City: Doha, Qatar

More Facts

education: Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Childhood & Early Life
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani was born on January 1, 1952, in Doha, Qatar to Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani and Aisha bint Hamad Al Attiyah. He was raised by his uncle, as his mother died following his birth.
He attended the ‘British Royal Military Academy’ at Sandhurst and graduated from there in 1971. He served as a lieutenant colonel for few months, before returning to Qatar where he became commander of a mobile brigade, which was later referred to as the ‘Hamad Brigade.’ He was elevated as a general in 1972 and served as army chief of staff. He later became the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Qatar.
He became minister of defense in 1977 and was made ‘Heir Apparent of Qatar’ same year. He held the latter post till 1995. The ‘Supreme Planning Council’ that sets Qatar’s social and economic policies was led by him in the early 1980s. He started looking after regular affairs of Qatar from 1992, including the development of oil and natural gas resources.
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Ascension as the Emir of Qatar
In 1995, relation between Hamad and his father strained after the latter tried to take back some of the powers bestowed upon Hamad. As a result of this fallout, Hamad deposed his father in a bloodless coup d'état and ascended as the Emir of Qatar on June 27, 1995, while his father was vacationing abroad. Hamad was backed by his family in this endeavour. He was crowned on June 20, 2000.
Meanwhile, in February 1996, former economy minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani led an unsuccessful counter-coup attempt. Hamad’s father lived in exile in Abu Dhabi and France, before returning to Qatar in 2004.
Rule & Achievements as the Emir of Qatar
The government of Qatar funded the ‘Al Jazeera’ news network through an emiri decree. As detailed in the Hugh Miles book ‘Al Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel That Is Challenging the West,’ Hamad provided a QAR 500 million (US$137 million) loan so that Al Jazeera could sustain in its first five years. Launched on November 1, 1996, Al Jazeera is often criticised as a propaganda outlet for the Qatari government; many believe that Hamad maintained his influence across the Arab world through the news media group.
Hamad, a gifted diver and sportsman, was instrumental in developing athletics in the country. His rule saw Qatar hosting several international sporting events, such as theGCC Games, the 2006 Asian Games and the ‘Asian and World Youth soccer championships.’ Qatar won an Olympic medal in track and field. The ‘Qatar Open Tennis Championship’ began due to his efforts.
After Hurricane ‘Katrina’ devastated New Orleans in August 2005, Hamad donated $100 million for the relief of the city. He played a major role in the United Nations-brokered ceasefire during the 2006 ‘Lebanon War.’
In 2005, Hamad set up the ‘Qatar Museums Authority’ that developed the ‘Museum of Islamic Art Doha’ designed by I. M. Pei. The country subsequently emerged as the biggest contemporary art buyer across the globe. One of its notable purchases includes Cézanne's ‘The Card Players’ for more than US$250 million in 2012.
The ‘Doha Film Institute’ was set up in 2009; it partnered with the ‘Tribeca Film Festival’ to come up with the ‘Doha Tribeca Film Festival.’
Several academic institutions, such as ‘Georgetown University,’ ‘Weill Cornell Medical College,’ ‘Texas A&M University,’ ‘Carnegie Mellon University,’ and ‘Northwestern University’ came up with campuses in Doha. Hamad and his wife, Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, played an impotant role in this.
In 2010, Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 ‘FIFA World Cup.’ The decision of hosting the championship in Qatar, however, attracted controversy, as many sensed corruption.
Hamad remained instrumental in exploiting the vast oil fields of Qatar and unearthing the third largest gas reserve across the globe, thus turning the country into a major power on the world map. Liquefied natural gas production of Qatar touched 77 million tonnes by 2010, making the country one of the richest in terms of per capita income.
The ‘Qatar Investment Authority’ was established by Hamad in 2005 to manage the oil and natural gas surplus of the Qatari government. The authority had invested more than $100 billion across the globe by 2013, most notably in Barclays Bank, Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens, Heathrow Airport, Volkswagen, Paris Saint-Germain F.C., Harrods, and The Shard.
He visited Gaza in October 2012, becoming the first head of state to visit Gaza under the ‘Hamas’ rule. He pledged to raise US$400 million in humanitarian aid to ‘Hamas’ for developing infrastructure projects and hospitals. Earlier both Qatar and ‘Hamad’ had maintained diplomatic and relations with Israel, the country severed all ties with Israel following the latter’s actions during the ‘Gaza War’ (2008-09).
’Hamad’ provided funds and material support to opposition rebels of the ‘Libyan Civil War’ that resulted in overthrow and collapse of the ‘Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’ and the death and end of the rule of Muammar Gaddafi. He also funded the opposition rebels in the ‘Syrian civil war’ against President Bashar al-Assad.
According to reports, he also provided funds and material support to terrorist organisations like ‘Ansar Dine,’ the ‘Al-Nusra Front,’ and the ‘Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa.’
Stepping down as the Emir of Qatar
In a meeting with his close relatives and aides on June 25, 2013, he expressed his plan to abdicate as the Emir of Qatar. The same day, he handed over power to his fourth son, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, through a televised speech. Tamim was born to Hamad’s second wife, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
Since his abdication as Emir, Hamad is referred as ‘His Highness the Father Emir’ by the Qatari government.
Family & Personal Life
Hamad has three wives - Sheikha Mariam bint Muhammad Al-Thani, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned, and Sheikha Noora bint Khalid Al-Thani. He has twenty four children: eleven sons and thirteen daughters.

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