The Qatari People
1. Person who is a citizen/inhabitant of Qatar. e.g. Abdullah is Qatari.
Two hundreds years ago the peninsula of Qatar was filled with dispirate tribes who fought against each other as much as they did against their common enemies. Since then, in addition to becoming one of the richest nations on Earth, Qatar has managed to forge a cohesive nation, a national spirit and identity.
The name Qatar has been used in one form or another for centuries. Early forms of the name included Katara, Gutture and El Katr - at the time of Issac it was known as Baat Katiriya or Bet Katraye.
However, Qatar can not be said to have been anything close to a unified nation until the nineteenth century, nor to have had a cohesive history. In fact, at times in the Middle Ages it was referred to as part of Bahreyn'.
Perhaps the defining origins of the Qatari people were when the ancestor of the current Emir lead his people to battle against the Ottomans, establishing a heroic victory which remains a source of National Pride till today.
Yet well into the twentieth century Bedouin families still roamed between Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, recognizing no border.
Every Culture divides the Qatari people into three main groups.
These were the settled townspeople, though many had their origins among the Bedouin tribes people. These may also be referred to as the sea people, as not only were they often settled close to the sea but also took part in pearl diving.
The Bedu were those who travelled. Some Bedouin even believed that once a person stopped travelling, they ceased to be Bedu. By the 1970's the last of the Bedouin had been travelled. See The Qatar Bedu for more information.
The third group, the Abd or Alabd, refers to the descendants of the slaves brought into Qatar. Some were only freed well into the twentieth century.
These groups, though useful, do not convey the complex nature of Qatar's roots. For example, there are families with strong Saudi connections, others with strong Bahrain connections. Sometimes these connections may go back a one hundred years or more - which does not mean that they are forgotten.
Qatar men and women maintain a strict separation between the sexes, even going so far as to have different waiting areas on hospitals and other public places and having separate weddings for men and women.
Despite this, under the augis of the Emir and one of his wives, Sheik O' Moza, the role of women is changing. Many women can now take a more active role in society, working and being allowed to drive cars - albeit with the permission of their husbands (for married women) or brothers and fathers (for unmarried women).
In public, women often enjoy a greater degree of respect from Qatari males, including being ushered to the front of long queues.
Both men and women usually choose to wear national dress over and above Western dress.
Qatari males usually wear the thobe, a long white dress made of cotton that falls from the shoulders to the ankles. On their head they wear the ghutra, a white or red and white cloth, held in place by a black ogaal.
See Qatari Men's Clothing for more information
The degree to which women cover up varies hugely, although it is still very rare to see a Qatari women with head uncovered.
Older Bedouin ladies may still cover their face with a gold colored mask: others cover their face too with a black cloth. This may be a thing gauze through which they can see, or a thicker black cloth with a slit for the eyes.
Some ladies do not now cover their face, and may choose to leave a fringe of hair peeping out at the front.
See Qatari Women's Clothing for more information
Qatar: by Every Culture
Qatar National Anthem: (Mp3 file)
Qatar National Anthem: Asian Games : Movie (with translation)