Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
|Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني
|Reign||27 June 1995 –|
|Predecessor||Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani|
|Heir apparent||Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani|
|Reign||27 June 1995 – 29 October 1996|
|Predecessor||Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani|
|Successor||Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani|
|Spouse||Mariam bint Muhammad
Mozah bint Nasser
Noora bint Khalid
|House||House of Thani|
|Father||Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani|
1 January 1952 |
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (Arabic: الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني, born 1 January 1952) has been the ruling Emir of the State of Qatar since 1995. Sheikh Hamad was the appointed Heir Apparent of Qatar between 1977 and 1995 and at the same time Minister of Defense. In the early 1980s he led the Supreme Planning Council, which sets the Qatar's basic economic and social policies. Starting in 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, Sheikh Hamad became Emir of Qatar and was crowned on 20 June 2000. The Emir is famous for helping to establish the first Arab international news network, Al Jazeera, when he provided a loan of QAR 500 million ($137 million) to sustain Al Jazeera through its first five years. In late 2012 and early 2013 the Emir was accused of providing financial and material support to terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Ansar Dine, and the Al-Nusra Front.
Early life 
Sheikh Hamad began his education in Qatar and later attended Sandhurst Military Academy in England. Upon his graduation in 1971, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Qatari armed forces and commanded the 1st Mobile Battalion, which has since been designated the "Hamad Mobile Battalion" in his honor.
Hamad was later promoted to the rank of Major General and appointed Commander in Chief of the Qatari Armed Forces. He oversaw an extensive program to modernize Qatar's military, increasing manpower, creating new units, updating weaponry, and improving training.
As Emir 
In the early 1980s, Hamad led the Supreme Planning Council, which sets the Qatar's basic economic and social policies. Starting in 1992, Hamad's father handed over responsibility for the day-to-day running of the country, including the development of Qatar's oil and natural gas resources. With the support of his family, Sheikh Hamad took control of the country in 1995 while his father was on vacation abroad. While his father Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani was in Geneva, Switzerland, Hamad bin Khalifa deposed him in a bloodless 1995 coup d'état. Hamad bin Khalifa engaged an American law firm to freeze his father's bank accounts abroad, thereby defeating a possible countercoup. Thereafter, his father lived in exile in France and Abu Dhabi until he returned to Qatar in 2004.
The Emir is considered to be progressive among leaders of Muslim countries. In a break with the traditional role, his second wife Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned has been a visible advocate for education and children's causes.
A sportsman and an accomplished diver, Hamad has played an active role in promoting and developing athletics in Qatar. His activism has enhanced the country's involvement and performance in a number of international competitions, including: winning an Olympic medal in track and field; hosting a wide variety of international sporting events such as the 15th Asian Games, GCC, Asian and World Youth soccer championships; and initiating the Qatar Open Tennis Championship which has grown to become one of two premier tennis competitions in the Middle East.
Under his rule the Qatari government helped to fund the Al Jazeera news network, funding it by an emiri decree. In an analysis of Al Jazeera, Hugh Miles claimed that diplomats from other countries know that the Emir is the real power behind Al Jazeera but he also quotes a network spokesman denying 'countless times' this accusation, adding that many independent news sources also have subsidies from their respective governments without this implying editorial dabbling and explaining that trying to coerce the kind of journalists Al Jazeera has would be like trying to 'herd cats'. Sheik Hamad is a distant cousin of the network chairman, Hamad bin Thamer Al Thani, who was previously Minister of Information in the Emir Al-Thani government. Following the initial US$137 million grant from Emir Al-Thani, Al Jazeera had aimed to become self-sufficient through advertising by 2001, but when this failed to occur, the Emir agreed to several consecutive loans on a year-by-year basis (US$30 million in 2004, according to Arnaud de Borchgrave). At an 3 October 2001 press conference, Colin Powell tried to persuade Sheik Hamad to shut down Al Jazeera while The New York based organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting commented that in those efforts, "Powell and other U.S. officials were reportedly upset by the channel re-airing old interviews with bin Laden and the inclusion of guests that are too critical of the United States on its programs." The Washington Post reported in 2005 that Sheik Hamad was under pressure to privatize the network.
Foreign relations 
Despite the prevalence of anti-Israel sentiment within the Arab world, he had previously maintained friendly relations with Israel. He met Foreign Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni (25 September 2007) in New York. This marked the first real attempt by any leader in the Persian Gulf to pursue dialogue with Israel. However, Qatar severed diplomatic ties with Israel in 2009 in response to Israel's actions during the Gaza War. The emir has also expressed his objection to Israeli settlement policy, especially the Judaization of Jerusalem.
Visit to Gaza 
In October 2012, the emir made a landmark visit to Gaza by being the first head of state to go there since the 2006 election of Hamas and the imposition of a blockade by Israel. He took a flight to Egypt before being driven into Gaza. When there, the emir was thought to be launching a $254 million reconstruction project in the territory, and giving an address to the Palestinian people. Palestine's interior ministry was said to have a "well-prepared plan" to provide security for the emir during his stay. Incidents nevertheless continued.
Criticism and Allegations of Support to Terrorist Organizations 
In December, 2012 the New York Times accused the Qatari regime of funding the Al-Nusra Front, a U.S. government designated terrorist organization. Others have noted the emir's visit to Gaza and meeting with Hamas, another internationally designated terrorist organization. In January, 2013 French politicians again accused the Emir's regime of giving material support to Islamist groups in Mali and the French newspaper Le Canard enchaîné quoted an unnamed source in French military intelligence saying that “The MNLA [secular Tuareg separatists], al Qaeda-linked Ansar Dine and MUJAO [movement for unity and Jihad in West Africa] have all received cash from Doha.”
Marriages and children 
Sheikh Hamad has three wives and twenty-four children, eleven sons and thirteen daughters:
- He married his first wife H.H. Sheikha Mariam bint Muhammad Al-Thani, who is the daughter of his first cousin, Sheikh Muhammad bin Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Thani Hamad and his first wife have two sons and six daughters:
- H.E. Sheikh Mishaal bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (born 1972)
- H.E. Sheikh Fahd bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Aisha bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Hussah bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Sara bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani – Program Coordinator for Reach Out to Asia-Qatar (ROTAQ)
- H.E. Sheikha Rawdah bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Fatima bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Mashael bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- His second wife is H.H. Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Misnad (born 8 August 1959, Al-Khor), the daughter of Nasser bin Abdullah Al Missned. Together they have five sons and two daughters:
- H.H. Sheikh Jasim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (born 1978) – Heir Apparent of Qatar before 2003
- H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Crown Prince of Qatar (born 1980) – Heir Apparent of Qatar since 2003
- H.E. Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (born 1983)
- H.E. Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (born 1985)
- H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (born 1988)
- H.E. Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (born 1991)
- H.E. Sheikha Hind bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani – director of the Emir’s Office since 2009
- Hamad also has a third wife, H.H. Sheikha Noora bint Khalid Al-Thani, daughter of H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, who was the Minister of the Interior. Together they have four sons and five daughters:
- H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (born 1978)
- H.E. Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani – president of the Al-Rayyan Sports Club
- H.E. Sheikh Thani bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikh Al-Qaqa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Lulwaa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Maha bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Dana bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Al-Anood bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- H.E. Sheikha Mariam bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Titles, styles and honours 
|Monarchical styles of
The Emir of Qatar
|Reference style||His Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Highness|
Titles and styles 
- Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (1952–1972)
- His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (1972–1977)
- His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Heir Apparent of Qatar (1977–1995)
- His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar (1995–present)
Honours and awards 
Sheikh Hamad received numerous honours and awards, both during and before his time as Emir:
National orders 
- Spain: Collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (20/04/2011)
- Albania: Skanderbeg's Order (decorated by President of Albania Bamir Topi on 18 October 2011)
- Austria: Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria (2010)
- Ivory Coast: Collar of the Greater Star (2002)
- Croatia: Knight Grand Cross of the Grand Order of King Tomislav (2009)
- Cuba: Member of the Order of José Marti (2000)
- Dominican Republic: Grand Cross with Gold Breast Star of the Order of Merit of Duarte, Sanchez and Mella (2008)
- Egypt: Grand Cordon of the Order of the Nile
- Finland: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of the White Rose of Finland (2007)
- France: Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (1998)
- France: Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour (1980)
- Germany: Grand Cross 1st class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1999)
- Greece: Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer (2007)
- Indonesia: Piagam Tanda Kehormatan (1977)
- Italy: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2000)
- Jordan: Collar of the Order of al-Hussein bin Ali (1995)
- Lebanon: Grand Cordon of the National Order of the Cedar (2000)
- Lebanon: Grand Cordon of the Lebanese Order of Merit (1986)
- Macedonia: Order of 8 September (2011)
- Malta: National Order of Merit
- Morocco: Member Special Class of the Order of the Mohammediya (2002)
- Morocco: Member 1st Class of the Order of the Mohammediya (1986)
- Netherlands: Grand Cross of Order of the Netherlands Lion (March 2011)
- Oman: Member of the Order of Merit (Oman) (Wisam al-Asthaq, 1995)
- Oman: Member Special Class of the Order of Oman (Wisam Al-Sharif Al-Oman, 1975)
- Pakistan: Nishan-e-Pakistan (1999)
- Portugal: Grand Officer of the Order of Infante D. Henrique (2009)
- Romania: Sash rank of the Order of the Star of Romania (1999)
- Saudi Arabia: Member Special Class of the Order of Abdulaziz al Saud (1976)
- Senegal: Grand Cross of the Order of the National Lion (1998)
- Tunisia: Medal of 7 November (1997)
- United Kingdom: Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG, 1976)
- Venezuela: Grand Collar of the Order of the Liberator (2010)
- Venezuela: Recipient of the Order of Francisco de Miranda (1977)
- Yemen: Recipient of the Order of Republic (2000)
Other awards 
- Albania: Honorary Citizen of Tirana, capital of Albania (12 October 2011)
- IAAF: Golden Order of Merit (2005)
- Foreign Policy' magazine Top 100 Global Thinker (2012), "for filling the leadership vacuum in the Middle East."
Sports investments 
Media sources claimed that Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani made a bid for Manchester United on 11 February 2011. Qatari Holdings offered £1.65 billion to Malcolm Glazer, the current American owner of the club. This follows a series of endeavors by the Emir and other Qataris into the World Football community, following Qatar's successful bid for the 2022 World Cup, and the Qatar Foundation's recent £125m shirt deal with FC Barcelona. In mid-June 2011, rumours resurfaced that Qatari Holdings were preparing a £2 Billion takeover bid and that the funding, that the club had been using for transfers since the start of June, was actually supplied by the Qataris and not the Glazer Family. In 2012 it was rumoured that Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was in bid for Rangers F.C.. On 30 March 2012 sheik Al Thani offered to buy KF Tirana, although the details aren't published yet.
See also 
- Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani (Heir apparent)
- Emir of Qatar
- House of Thani
- List of the richest royals
- Windfuhr, Volkhard; Zand, Bernhard (29 March 2009). "SPIEGEL Interview with the Emir of Qatar – 'We Are Coming to Invest'". Spiegel.de (Der Spiegel). Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- Cohen, Noam (1 January 2009). "Al Jazeera provides an inside look at Gaza conflict". Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "Sheikh Hamad's Biography". Amiri Diwan (State of Qatar). Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- Harman, Danna (5 March 2007). "Backstory: The royal couple that put Qatar on the map". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 10 November 2010. "He was of a new generation, open to the sorts of social, technological, economic, and political ideas from outside that his elders had never known. And, surrounding himself with young, Western-educated advisers, the new emir got right down to the business of remaking the national agenda of this traditional Wahhabi land."
- October 23, 2012 11:03 pm, Qatar emir in landmark trip to Gaza, By Simeon Kerr in Dubai and Vita Bekker in Jerusalem, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/0d0bb8de-1cf5-11e2-a17f-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2MxwMs81t
- Is Qatar fuelling the crisis in north Mali? , France 24, Latest update: 23/01/2013 , http://www.france24.com/en/20130121-qatar-mali-france-ansar-dine-mnla-al-qaeda-sunni-islam-doha
- Editorial, Al Qaeda in Syria, December 10, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/opinion/al-qaeda-in-syria.html?_r=0
- "Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Emir" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Current Leaders of Nations. Gale. 1998. GALE-K1610000166. Retrieved 2012-03-02. Gale Biography In Context. (subscription required)
- ** Diplomacy Volume 33. Diplomacy Company. 2007. p. 19.
- Sakr, Naomi (2001). Satellite Realms: Transnational Television, Globalization & the Middle East. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 57. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- Miles, Hugh (2005). Al-Jazeera: The Inside Story of the Arab News Channel that is Challenging the West. New York: Grove Press. p. 346. Retrieved 2013-03-06. Books.Google.com
- de Borchgrave, Arnaud (6 May 2004). "Tutwiler's mission impossible". Washington Times. Archived from the original on 27 April 2006. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- Colin Powell, news conference with Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Thani, 3 October 2001, Washington D.C.
- Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (December 2001). journalism "Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting".
- Vedantam, Shankar (31 January 2005). "Qatar Advances Plans To Privatize Al-Jazeera". The Washington Post. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
- Nossiter, Adam (30 April 2008). "Emir of Qatar Tours New Orleans to See Fruit of His $100 Million Donation". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-01.
- "Emir of Qatar favors Arab troops in Syria". CBS News. 13 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-01.
- Israel Foreign Minister and the Emir of Qatar (ENGLISH). IsraelConsulate. 26 Sep 2007. Retrieved 2012-03-02. "Israel Foreign Minister meets with the emir of Qatar in new york city. The interview is translated to english."
- Benhorin, Yitzhak (25 September 2007). "Livni has surprise meeting with Qatari emir". Ynetnews: Israel at Your Fingertips. Retrieved 2012-03-01. "Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Tuesday, in the highest-ranking meeting between Qatari and Israeli officials. The two met during a United Nations General Assembly summit in New York after the emir invited Livni and the Israeli delegation to join him in an unscheduled meeting outside of the UN headquarters. Officials said the meeting was "extremely positive." Livni discussed with the emir the importance of moderate Islamic nations – like Qatar – supporting the Palestinians in advancing the diplomatic process."
- Qatar, Mauritania cut Israel ties Al Jazeera. Date: Friday, 16 January 2009
- "Qatar emir: Arab identity in Jerusalem at risk". CBS News. 26 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-01.[dead link]
- "Qatari emir in historic Gaza visit". Al Jazeera. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- "Qatar ruler set for landmark visit to Gaza". BBC News. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-23.
- "Gaza blast ahead of Qatari's visit". Evening Herald. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-23.[dead link]
- "Brunei". Nationmultimedia.com. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
- "Order received". website Amiri Diwan. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- Boletín Oficial del Estado
- Presidenti Topi pret Emirin e Shtetit të Katarit, Sheikun Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, President of Albania (in Albanian)[dead link]
- President Topi bestows the Gjergj Kastrioti Order upon Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Al Thani[dead link]
- "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (PDF) (in German). p. 1923. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- Koningin zegt het met parels in Qatar[dead link] – website of the Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch)
- Recipients of the order (Excel sheet) – website of the Romanian President
- Municipality of Tirana (in Albanian)
- "The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers". Foreign Policy. 26 November 2012. Archived from the original on 28 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
- ESPNsoccernet staff (11 February 2011). "Qataris close to buying United – report". SoccerNet. ESPN. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
- "Barcelona agree record shirt deal". BBC News. 10 December 2010.
- Template:STV News
- "Familja e emirit të Katarit interesohet të blejë aksionet e Tiranës së futbollit". Panorama sport. 22 March 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani|
- Official site of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani on Charlie Rose
- Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani collected news and commentary at Al Jazeera English
- Genealogy of The Al-Thani Dynasty, Page 7 – Website RoyalArk.net
- Portrait of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- Denver Post article on His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and his rise to power
- Stargate Photo of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa's yacht no. 1
- Constellation Photo of Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa's yacht no. 2
- Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at the Internet Movie Database
Hamad bin Khalifa Al ThaniBorn: 1952
Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani
|Emir of Qatar
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani
|Prime Minister of Qatar
Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani