Frequently Asked Questions

Education City

Education City is a 2,500-acre “multiversity” campus on the western edge of Doha. The campus includes eight universities offering a variety of degree programs, a science and technology park, teaching hospital, medical research center, the Qatar Convention Center, and the Al Jazeera Children’s Channel. The development is part of Qatar National Vision 2030, the country’s plan to transition from a hydrocarbon-based to a knowledge-based economy. The government earmarks 2.8 per cent of gross domestic product towards research and development activities carried out there.

The project’s...

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Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (b. 1952) reigned as Emir of Qatar from 1995 to 2013, when he stepped down in favor of Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, a son by his second wife, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Misnad. Frustrated with the innate conservatism of his own father’s government, especially the slow speed of economic growth and development, Sheikh Hamad took power in a successful coup. Upon assuming power, Sheikh Hamad promised extensive economic and political reform.  While some of the promised political liberalization occurred, including the enfranchisement of women and the...

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Yusuf al-Qaradawi

Yusuf al-Qaradawi (b. 1926) is a Sunni Muslim theologian and one of the most highly respected scholars in the Arabic-speaking world and the wider Muslim world. He is considered by his followers as a moderate thinker and part of the Muslim reformist tradition, continuing the work of early reformists such as Muhammad ‘Abduh and Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, though unlike them, he does not argue that Islam must update itself to meet modern needs. Rather, he argues that Islam already provides genuine answers to modern questions. His position is consistent with the wave of revivalism triggered by...

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Sheikha Mayassa Bint Hamad al-Thani

Sheikha Mayassa Bint Hamad al-Thani (b. 1983) is a member of the Qatari ruling family and a prominent art collector. She is the sister of Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and the daughter of former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned. Sheikha Mayassa’s accomplishments in the Qatari and Gulf arts world are many, including chairing Qatar Museums since 2006—an aggregate of various contemporary and historical art and culture museums—chairing the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, and she is also the founder of the philanthropic...

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Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Misnad

Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Misnad (b. 1959) is the mother of the current emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and the second wife and consort of the former emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani. A decidedly visible presence during her husband’s reign, she served in various high profile positions both domestically and abroad.

Sheikha Mozah is the daughter of Nasser bin Abdullah al-Misnad. Al-Misnad was critical of the former monarch, and made public appeals for a more equitable distribution of wealth amongst the Qatari citizenry, leading to his arrest and imprisonment. Many of...

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Tribal Families in Qatar

Qatar is home to a number of tribal families in addition to the ruling al-Thani family. These include the al-Khalifa, the al-Sudan, the al-Saud, the Utubi, the Bani Khalid, the Qawasim, the al-Musallam, the al-Ainain, the al-Attiyah, and the al-Kuwari. Several of these families, such as the al-Sudan and the al-Musallam, predate the al-Thani family’s arrival in Qatar. The al-Khalifa and the al-Saud are kin to the rulers of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, respectively, while the al-Sudan and the Bani Khalid are among Doha’s oldest residents. The latter received exceptional rights and privileges,...

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Al-Thani Family

The al-Thani family, a member of the Tamimi tribe, is the ruling family of Qatar. Unlike other Arab rulers, the family is neither a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad nor of long-standing tenure in their kingdom; rather, their rise to power was the result of British and Ottoman imperial politics. As their rise parallels the creation of an independent Qatar, the two entities are inextricably linked. 

The British designation of the al-Thanis as monarchs of Qatar was by no means assured as there were other families with greater connections, power, and/or longevity in the region....

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Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera is a Qatar-based television network which began broadcasting in 1996. Al Jazeera grew in notoriety in the West for its highly critical coverage of the U.S. led invasion of Afghanistan and, especially, Iraq. Connections with Islamists facilitated access to people that other networks didn’t have, such as the Taliban in Afghanistan. Not only was Al Jazeera the first global network on the ground in Afghanistan, it could offer interviews with Taliban leaders. It was also the first network during the war that could bypass Pentagon restrictions on images of violence, which are normally...

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Judaism in Brazil

Brazil’s Jewish community is the oldest in the Americas, with the first American synagogue founded in Recife in 1636 during the brief period of religiously tolerant pre-Portuguese Dutch rule. Brazil’s earliest Jews arrived in the sixteenth century, conversos or “hidden Jews” fleeing the Portuguese Catholic Inquisition. They ran thriving businesses, importing and exporting goods, including slaves. Upon the assertion of Portuguese Catholic power, this original community fled to the West Indies, New Amsterdam (now New York), and to Europe. A second wave of migration occurred during...

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Movimento Negro Unificado

The Movimento Negro Unificado (MNU) was an Afro-Brazilian consciousness movement and umbrella organization founded in 1978 in São Paulo. It encompassed a variety of grassroots anti-racism and Afro-Brazilian pride organizations throughout Brazil’s major cities, and established “struggle centers” in dance studios, Candomblé terreiros, and in other spaces of cultural significance to Afro-Brazilians. The MNU promoted two ideas: that Afro-Brazilians trace their roots to Africa, and that they have shared a common oppressor both in Africa and in the Americas.

 

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