A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, October 24, 2016

Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad, former Ruler of Qatar, Dies at 84

Former Qatari Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, who ruled from 1972 until overthrown by his son in 1995, has died at he age of 84. His grandson Sheikh Tamim is the current Emir.

Born in 1932, he was already Heir Apparent and Deputy Ruler when he deposed his cousin and took the throne. He presided over the huge increase of wealth following the oil price rise of the 1970s. He gave more and more of his day-to-day responsibilities to his son and spent long periods in Europe. In 1995 he was deposed in turn by his son Hamad, while Khalifa was vacationing in Geneva. He lived in exile in France and the UAE. In 2004 he was allowed to return to Qatar.

In 2013 Sheikh Hamad abdicated in favor of his son Sheikh Tamim, the current ruler, who is the late Sheikh Khalifa's grandson. For the past three years Qatar has had three living former or sitting Rulers, until Sheikh Khalifa's passing.

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