Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (Arabic: الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني, born 1952) is a member of the ruling Al Thani Qatari royal family. He was the ruling Emir of Qatar from 1995 to 2013.
“The new world educational system recognizes that education is a universal right and hence enables students wherever they might be to have access to the means of innovation, creativity,acquisition of knowledge and expertise and the practice of responsibility.”
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir.
Early in 1995, His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir, shared a vision with Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser while sitting under a tent at Umm Qrayba farm. Together, they conceived a plan for the future development of their country that would provide Qatari citizens with a greater choice in education, health and social progress than ever before. They then set about turning this dream into reality and, in August that year, founded Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, right in the very heart of Qatar.
Early years and Education
Hamad was born 1952. His mother died soon after the birth and he was raised by his uncle.
He graduated from the British Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 1971 and commissioned as a lieutenant colonel. After graduation he was made commander of a mobile brigade, which later became a force called “Hamad Brigade”. In 1972 Hamad had the rank of general, and became army chief of staff. Next he was appointed commander-in-chief of Qatar’s armed forces with the rank of major general. In 1977 he was named minister of defense.
Hamad was appointed Heir Apparent of Qatar in 1977 and held the post until 1995. In the early 1980s, he led the Supreme Planning Council, which sets Qatar’s basic economic and social policies. From 1992 Hamad had a growing responsibility for the day-to-day running of the country, including the development of Qatar’s oil and natural gas resources. On 27 June 1995, after deposing his father in a palace coup, Hamad became Emir of Qatar and was crowned on 20 June 2000.
Hamad seized power in a bloodless palace coup d’état in 1995. During his 18-year rule, Qatar’s natural gas production reached 77 million tonnes, making Qatar the richest country in the world per capita with the average income in the country US$86,440 a year per person. During his reign several sports and diplomatic events took place in Qatar, including 2006 Asian Games, 2012 UN Climate Change Conference, Doha Agreement, Hamas–Fatah Doha agreement and it was decided that the 2022 FIFA World Cup was to be held in the country. He established the Qatar Investment Authority; by 2013 it had invested over $100 billion around the world, most prominently in The Shard, Barclays Bank, Heathrow Airport, Harrods, Paris Saint-Germain F.C., Volkswagen, Siemens and Royal Dutch Shell.
During Hamad ‘s rule, Qatar hosted two US military bases. It also remained close with Hamas and Iran. He supported and funded rebel movements, particularly in Libya and Syria during the Arab Spring while maintaining political stability at home. The Sheikh founded news media group Al Jazeera, through which he maintained his influence over the Arab World. He also played a part in negotiations between US and the Taliban. In June 2013 Hamad in his brief televised address announced that he would hand power to his 34-year-old son, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Under his reign, the country won the right to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha, the first event of its kind to occur in the Middle East. Under the patronage of Hamad and his wife Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Misnad, several world-class academic institutions have opened campuses in Doha, including Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Texas A&M University and Weill Cornell Medical College.