Famous Qatari People

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Qatar will be the destination for the 2022 FIFA World Cup ‘ being the first Arab country to do so. Many were surprised when Qatar won the bid to host the sport’s premier event. It is a small country on the Arabian Peninsula and is itself a small peninsula that seems to jut out from Saudi Arabia. It is rich and due to its Bahrain neighbours, is becoming a holiday destination. Even those who know where the country is cannot name even a handful of famous Qataris so here is a helpful list.

1. Abdullah Ahmad Hassan

Abdullah Ahmad Hassan
Abdullah Ahmad Hassan

Though of Kenyan birth, this long-distance runner has been an adopted Qatari since 2003. He has represented Qatar at several Olympics, including in 2008 when he ran in the 10,000m. He is the record holder of the Asian Games in the event and has been Asian Champion on at least two occasions. He took a break between 2010 and 2011, which meant that he did not appear at the 2012 London Olympics. He did however race in the Hamburg Marathon in that year.

2. Mohammed Al-Modiahki

Mohammed Al-Modiahki
Mohammed Al-Modiahki

He went down in history as the first ever Qatari Chess Grandmaster. He is married to Zhu Chen a woman of Chinese birth but due their marriage, she now has Qatari citizenship and represents the country at global chess championships. His record is astounding and despite only being in his forties is considered the greatest ever Qatari chess player. He has won many tournaments and equals the Arab Chess Championships record of four wins ‘ an accolade he shares with Hichem Hamdouchi

3. Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani

Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani
Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani

The present Prime Minister of Qatar was quite a well-known politician before his election in the summer of 2013. He is a distant relative of Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the son of Sheikh Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani and the apparent Great Grandson of Ahmed bin Muhammed Al Thani. He has two degrees ‘ the first he obtained in Police Science from Durham Military College in the UK, the second came from the Beirut Arab University in Beirut. He began his career as a security officer and worked his way up the ranks into politics.

4. Fahad Al Kubaisi

Fahad Al Kubaisi
Fahad Al Kubaisi

Most connoisseurs of hip-hop would never think to look to the Arab nations for their music experience, even those who prefer a more religious spin on the art. However, he is one of the biggest names in R&B Hip Hop religious music and is famous right across the Arab world. His music is described as a mix of neo-soul with R&B and a dash of jazz. His most famous track is فÙ’¡Ã˜¯ اÙ’žÃ™Æ’بيسÙŠ – Ù’žÃ™Å Ã˜´ (Leish). With a Twitter feed and YouTube channel, he has the potential to reach fans all over the globe.

5. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

The nation of Qatar is still ruled by a Sheikh and this man took the role in the summer of 2013 following the abdication of his father. At 33 years old, he is presently the world’s youngest reigning monarch. He studied most of his life in Britain, including training to be a military officer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He might not have become Sheikh had it not been for his brother renouncing his claim to succeed their father.

6. Mansoor Muftah

Mansoor Muftah
Mansoor Muftah

Qatar is not a big player on the footballing (soccer) stage but this man ranks amongst the country’s most famous footballers. Like many of his generation, he never played outside of his country but had he been playing today it is likely that he would have played with the top clubs in Europe. He was the top scorer in the Qatari league a record four times and is still the country’s top scorer at international level with an impressive 53 goals ‘ and he retired from competitive playing in 2000, retiring from international football in 1990 having played in ten tournaments.

7. Fahad Thani

Fahad Thani
Fahad Thani

Staying with the football theme, he is the present coach of the Qatari national football team. He started off as a player but only had a brief playing career. After his retirement he moved quickly into coaching, training youth teams for a while and quickly became Assistant Coach to the U-17 Qatari national team. He has had a good run up to 2013, having beaten some relatively tough competition including giants of the Arab world ‘ Egypt. His record up to June 2013 is Won: 6, Drew: 2, Lost: 4.

8. Ahmad bin Ali Al Thani

Ahmad bin Ali Al Thani
Ahmad bin Ali Al Thani

Though not prominent in himself, this former Sheikh who died in 1977 happened to come to power just as the Arab oil fields were opening up. Born in 1920, Qatar would also finally achieve its independence from Britain during his reign, something that it had not had for a long time ‘ previously being under Ottoman rule. He came to the throne in 1960 but was deposed in a coup in 1972. He was actually in Iran at the time and would live out the rest of his days in Dubai

9. Nada Zeidan

Nada Zeidan
Nada Zeidan

Arguably one of Qatar’s most famous women, her career has been most unusual. Though trained formally as a nurse, she is also one of the top competitive archers in the Arab world and has also made her name as a famous rally driver ‘ the only woman from the Arab world to have achieved the latter. She has retired from archery due to injury and would love to return to competitive rallying. At the moment however, she is back to nursing working at a prestigious sports hospital.

10. Noor Hussain Al-Malki

Noor Hussain Al-Malki
Noor Hussain Al-Malki

Another famous woman from Qatar, she shot to fame in 2012 as the country’s first ever female to compete in an Olympic Games (the London games). She received a lot of attention for this unprecedented achievement; however her result did not live up to the hype. She took part in a qualifying session for a 100m sprint but less then 20m into the race, she stopped and clutched her leg. Her official result in the heat was DNF. She was just 17 years old and hopes to bounce back in 2016.

Conclusion

It may be quite geographically small and a young country, but Qatar already has a rich and diverse culture with global figures making a name in sport, politics, media and other areas. As the world heads toward the FIFA World Cup in 2022, it is likely that the country will receive more and more attention with many of its sons and daughters gaining global fame, with a growth in tourism and other interests in this relatively prosperous Arab state.

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