US Nursing: Qatar

In history books nurses will read that in absentia the sheikhs of Bahrain governed this small, flat country. Clearly there was some dissatisfaction with this arrangement and the local population rose up against their rulers in 1867. War broke out and to keep the peace in the greater territory of the Persian Gulf, the British installed Muhammad ibn Thani al-Thani. He was head of a leading Qatari family and became the region’s ruler.

The end of the 18th century saw the Ottoman Turks venture unsuccesfully into Qatar. Some 20 years later and after the First World War the rulers agreed to allow Qatar to become a British protectorate.

Nurses will read that in the 1940s oil was discovered. Predictably this brought wealth to the country which manifested itself in the 50s and 60s. Almost 90% of Qatar’s income from exports comes from oil. The population has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. 1971 saw a move by Qatar to join the other emirates of the Trucial Coast, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and become part of the United Arab Emirates. However it was not to be and both Qatar and Bahrain elected to create independent nations.

During the 1991 Persian Gulf War between Iraq and Iran, Qatar permitted the international forces to use Qatar as a base. Latterly the country signed a defense pact with the US and became the third Gulf state to do so.


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