The Process of Settlement in Qatar Essay

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Introduction

Thesis Statement

The settlement events that took place between Qatar and two nations (Bahrain and Saudi Arabia) had causes significant modifications, such as economic boost and individualism decline, in the modern day settlement conditions of Qatar. 

            From the rich history of Qatar dating from 1766 up to the present, the territorial settlement within the area had originated to different areas and had progressed through different events and policy agreements. From the ancient times, prior to the official settlement of Qatar, the physical characteristics of the area comprise of a dry interior with no formal occupants but rather nomadic tribes. However, the arrival of the Bani Utub had caused the emergence of the Qatar settlement.

During the initial phases of Qatar settlements, the rough start had always been present due to commotions and familial conflicts that sometimes lead to the reduction of their small population[1]. The segments of the Bani Utub clan in Kuwait, the al-Khalifa and al-Jalahima, left Kuwait for Zubara, on Qatars western coast, where they established the Qatar settlement[2].

This perspective had been considered as far as the ancient times; however, the rally and the cradle of new civilization had formed the new issues on Qatar settlements together with Saudi Arabia that significantly affected the economic and societal stand of the country. It was during the 19th century when the first issue on Qatar and Saudi Arabian settlements had broken out considering the border settings of the country. The settlement argument of Qatar had also reached the attention of different areas, such as Bahrain, Egypt, etc.

The process of settlement of Qatars land had caused significant impact within the society especially on economic and social conditions. In this study, the primary aim is to determine the process of settlement that has been present in Qatar. The study also gives emphasis on the effects of this settlement issues in the modern conditions of Qatar today.

Discussion

Settlement in Qatar

            Historically, Qatar was one of the sovereign states that possessed its own control over the manipulation of its state management. The borders comprised the midway of the Western coast of the Arabian Gulf from which the Qatar society had main obtained their living in the line of fishing industry. However, the boundary lines of Qatar coincided to Arabian Gulf, specifically with Saudi Arabia and Bahrains maritime boundaries. Qatar scope of settlements also included other Arab countries, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iranian territories[3]. Measuring the Qatari settlements, the arid desert and dry climate of Qatar had extended over the Peninsula, which were about two hundred kilometers long and hundred Kilometers wide with an area coverage totaling to 11850 square Kilometers.

            From the historical perspective of Qatar, the modern rule occurred during the early 18th century wherein Al-Thani family of Qatar, which was considered as the dominate family of the tribal settlement that was from the lineage of Al-Maadhid (part of the Bani Tamim hierarchy ) tribe of Ushaiqir in the province of Al-Washm of Nejd, came to the settlements of Qatar[4].

From the early settlement of the family, Al-Thani decided to explore and relocate their settlements to Zubara, Ruwais and Fuwairat during the start of middle 18th century; hence, triggering the trend of Qatars modern settlements. The history of Qatars union with Bahrain as a dependent country during the time of Muhammad bin Thanis dynasty (1868-1876). This pact was continued by the Al Khalifah during their settlement in Zubarah, which lies on the west coast of the Qatar peninsula[5]. From here on, the issues of settlements with Qatar and other nearby countries, which had originated with the early leaders of their land, had ignited to form border concerns and territorial arguments.

            With the entrance of 21st century, the Al Thani ruling family of Qatar had significantly battling against the Al Khalifa claim to the old settlement area, which had been under Qataris territorial rights[6]. In 1994, the issue on Qatar settlement with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia had reached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) wherein the office had to consider the legal effects of a double exchange of letters between these countries.

The ICJ allocated sovereignty over Zubarah, Janan Island and the low-tide elevation of Fasht ad Dibal to Qatar. On the other hand, Bahrain was granted sovereignty over the Hawar Islands and the island of Qitat Jaradah. From this point, the maritime disputes between Bahrain and Qatar had been settled with the delimitation from a point centrally in the Gulf of Bahrain, but not exceeding the boundary line with Saudi Arabia[7].

According to Aust (2000), Saudi Arabia, having agreed to use its good offices to help solve certain territorial disputes between the other two states sent each of them letters in identical terms proposing certain settlement procedures[8]. From that point, no significant tensions had occurred between Saudi Arabia and the demarcation of Qatars borders; although, it left significant conflict against Iran and other nearby countries, such as Kuwait and Yemen. With the advent of Qatar merging its borders with Saudi Arabia, significant changes occurred in its economy and society, such as the expansion of oil market under Saudi Arabian supervision across the world market, etc.

Social and Economic Changes in Qatar

            The effects of the settlement issues in Qatar did somehow caused disruption in the economic and society; however, the country was still able to adapt and maintain the conditions of their land. According to Rice, from the later period in Qatar, during the time when the Gulf was the main artery of world trade and the settlements on eastern coast of Arabia became cities of the great commercial importance, are almost very barren, with no evidence yet discovered continuous occupations[9]. However, even with the unfavorable conditions of Qatar, they were still able to promote economic and societal growth in their area that resulted to the development of their country. In one scenario, the merging of Qatar to Saudi Arabian settlement after signing the General Agreement of Participation, as the modern course of their system, significantly boosted the oil market of Qatar towards the World Market[10].

Most significantly, Qatar is well known for its oil production and market across the world market of oil. The participation of Qatar with Saudi Arabia came in the progress of development and modernization of their country. Qatar had experienced significant economic boost through the wide exports of oil and other commodities. The decision of the government to merge their lands with Saudi Arabia had significantly triggered the open of Qatar trade and market in an international scope.

However, the Qatar settlement, specifically on the Hawar Islands and the island of Qitat Jaradah, was claimed by Bahrain after a long argument. This was decided upon by the IJC, which rendered their appeal in vain; however, they were granted with the other part of the territory that they were fighting for, which were the Zubarah, Janan Island and the low-tide elevation of Fasht ad Dibal to Qatar. This territorial allocation had greatly affected the society through the expansion of possible trade market that can provide significant boost in the welfare of the society

Conclusion

            In the study, the settlement of Qatar had originated form the family of Al-Thani, which later on dominated the social trends and political management of their land. The historical process of Qatars settlement had long been frustrated by the arguments and claims of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The ICJ had provided its jurisdiction of granting parts of Qatar islands to Bahrain while retaining Zubarah, Janan Island and Fasht ad Dibal to Qatar, which somehow resolved the conflict between the two warring countries.

On the other hand, the settlement issues with Saudi Arabia had provided caused the merging of territorial affinities through in the perspective of trades and industries, and one of these was the oil participation of Qatar under the General Agreement of Participation. The settlement issues of Qatar had caused significant pros and cons in the society and economy. The pros concerned with the advancement of their trade and industry giving the Qatari society an open opportunity for oil transport and international trade market. However, the cons was the lost of parts of their islands and the reduction of their economic individualism as per their participation with Saudi Arabia.




Works Cited

Anderson, Ewan W. nternational Boundaries: A Geopolitical Atlas. Routledge, 2003.

Aust, Anthony. Modern Treaty Law and Practice. Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Bahl, Taru. Encyclopaedia of the Muslim World. Anmol Publications PVT Ltd, 2004.

Crystal, Jill. Oil and Politics in the Gulf: Rulers and Merchants in Kuwait and Qatar. Cambridge University Press, 1995.

Parra, Francisco. Oil Politics: A Modern History of Petroleum. I.B.Tauris, 2003.

Rice, Michael. The Archaeology of the Arabian Gulf. Routledge, 1994.

Zahlan, Rosemarie. The Making of the Modern Gulf States: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the U.A.E. Routledge, 1989.




[1] Crystal, Jill. Oil and Politics in the Gulf: Rulers and Merchants in Kuwait and Qatar. Cambridge University Press, 1995. p.26

[2] Ibid 26

[3] Zahlan, Rosemarie. The Making of the Modern Gulf States: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the U.A.E. Routledge, 1989, p.84

[4] Ibid 84

[5] Ibid 84

[6] Bahl, Taru. Encyclopaedia of the Muslim World. Anmol Publications PVT Ltd, 2004. p.103

[7] Anderson, Ewan W. nternational Boundaries: A Geopolitical Atlas. Routledge, 2003. p.103

[8] Aust, Anthony. Modern Treaty Law and Practice. Cambridge University Press, 2000. p.18

[9] Rice, Michael. The Archaeology of the Arabian Gulf. Routledge, 1994. p.233

[10] Parra, Francisco. Oil Politics: A Modern History of Petroleum. I.B.Tauris, 2003. p.161

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