Qatar geography

Anthropology: The Social Structure and Culture of Qatar

Bedouin, Abd, and Hadar are the three major groups that the citizens of Qatar identify as. Bedouins trace their ancestors to nomads on the Arabian Peninsula. The ancestors of the Hadar people were the inhabitants of a sedentary city. Some of the Hadar are descendants of Bedouin, but most are descendants of people migrating from what is now Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, sometimes called lrani Qatari. Literally, a “slave,” Arabdo is a descendant of slaves brought from East Africa. The three groups have been identified as Qatar and are not subject to citizenship, but the subtle socio-cultural differences between them are recognized and acknowledged.

Introduction to Qatar

Qatar geography


Qatar is a small peninsula on the western coast of the Persian Gulf, covering an area of approximately 6,286 square kilometers. The plots form a rectangle that locals describe as resembling the palm of their right hand extended during prayer. Neighboring countries include Bahrain to the northwest, Iran to the northeast, the United Arab Emirates to the south, and Saudi Arabia. Qatar and Bahrain both claim an uninhabited island just west of Qatar. Until recently, there were only small semi-permanent seasonal camps in the desert. Water near the coast, combined with fishing, pearl harvesting, and maritime trading opportunities, supported larger and more permanent settlements. These settlements contributed to the social division of the Bedouins and the Hadars.


The population in 1998 was estimated at 579,000 inhabitants. Most estimates agree that only around 20% of the population is Qatari and the rest are foreign workers. In total, 91. % live in urban areas, mainly the capital. Since male foreign workers do not have families, there is an imbalance between men and women in the total population. Foreign workers, mainly Indian and Pakistani, cannot be naturalized and cannot reside in the country on a temporary visa.

Linguistic link

The official language is Arabic. English, Persian, and Urdu are widely spoken. Arabic is closely related to Islam. Its use thus strengthens the Muslim identity of the country and its citizens. The Qatari Arabic dialect is similar to the version spoken in other Gulf countries and is known as Arabic. The adjective Khaliji (“Gulf”), used to describe the local dialect, also distinguishes citizens of the six Gulf countries from Arabs of North Africa and the Levant. Iran’s official language, Persian, is also widely spoken by families whose ancestors returned to the country.

Due to the influx of foreign workers, many other languages are commonly spoken, including English, Urdu and Hindi, Malayalam, and Tagalog. Many Qataris speak multiple languages, but immigrants rarely learn Arabic. Interactions between Arabs and foreign workers are carried out in English or the language of foreigners.

History and identity of Qatar and Qataris

History of the Qataris
by milpol Qatar

In 1760, members of the Utoba Alkalifa tribe migrated from Kuwait and central Arabia to Qatar and established trade and bead collection facilities at Zubarah in the north. From there, the Khalifas extended their territory by occupying Bahrain. Bahrain has dominated since then. The current ruling family, the Always, established themselves after years of conflict with Alkalifa, who had claimed the Qatar Peninsula for much of the 19th century. In 1867, the United Kingdom recognized Mohammad Slapni as its representative. Qatari people. Subsequently, in a few years, the position of governor of Ottoman Turkey was passed to Kasim Altai.

The defeat of the Turks at Kasim Altani in 1893 is generally recognized as a confirmation of Qatar’s autonomy. In 1916, Abdullah bin Kasim Altani (Kasim’s son) signed an agreement with Britain to establish the Altai as a government family. The agreement provides for the protection of the United Kingdom and special rights to the subject matter of the United Kingdom, ensuring that the United Kingdom has a say in Qatar’s external relations. Increasing state revenues from oil concessions have strengthened Altani’s position.

Modern history

When the United Kingdom announced its intention to withdraw from the region, Qatar considered joining the federation of Bahrain with seven direct states. However, failing to reach an agreement on federal terms, Qatar adopted a constitution proclaiming independence in 1971. The Constitution stipulates that the governor is always elected by the Altai family and endorsed by the Council of Ministers and the Advisory Board.

The advisory committee was never elected. Instead, there is an advisory committee appointed by the government. Despite the concentration of power and frequent protests against occasional conflicts within the ruling party, Altani’s size, wealth and policies remained stable.

Symbolic identity

Symbols of national identity include images of families, objects related to the country’s past, and rulers. Qatar often refers to its countrymen as “brothers”, “sisters” or “cousins” and adopts kinship and/or tribal expressions. This linguistic practice indicates that foreign workers should be excluded, including those of the same nationality. Furthermore, images and ideas related to desert nomadism and maritime trade used to remind us of Qatar’s past include Bedouin tents and carpets, nomadic hunting, camels, weapons, sailing, pearls, and diving pearls.

Traditional architectural elements, such as wind towers that cooled the house before electricity came in, and plasterboard carvings on buildings built before 1940, are also considered national symbols.

Architecture and urban planning

Architecture of the Middle East
by Wikitravel

Doha, the capital, is home to over 80% of the population. The parks, waterfront, and award-winning waterfront architecture are considered the highlights of Doha. Large-scale landfill projects undertaken by the government to create these riverside properties are a major engineering feat and are recognized as symbols of the country’s economic and technological progress.

Use of Space

Small towns like Dukhan, Mesaieed, and Al Khor became centers of the oil industry, while Wakra, Mesaieed, and Umm Salal Mohammad developed as extensions of the Doha suburbs. Small villages scattered throughout the interior of the desert. Village houses are often kept as weekend retreats for city dwellers and as a link to desert nomadic tradition.

Doha’s cityscape is an attempt to blend the modern with the traditional. At the start of the building boom in the 1960s, aesthetics received little attention. In point of fact, the goal is to build as soon as possible. As the pace of development slows, the development of cities that represent the character and global integration of Qatar’s new cities is receiving more attention. Moreover, there is a cubic tower on the roof of the university’s main building.


With stained glass windows and a geometric grid, these towers are a modernist representation of the traditional wind tower. Additionally, the university tower is more decorative than functional. However, they suggest much about Qatar’s commitment to past ways of life, while simultaneously encouraging economic and technological development. Similarly, other examples can be found in public and private buildings.

Many building designs incorporate architectural elements reminiscent of desert forts and towers or feature unique Islamic décor made of contemporary materials. Furthermore, a person’s family also symbolizes a person’s identity. The homes of Qatari citizens are different from those of foreign workers. The state offers citizens interest-free loans to build houses in low-density, housing-specific areas. Foreign workers live in rented units or accommodation or dormitories provided by their employer.

Food culture in Qatar

Food customs in Qatar were gradually introduced from all over the world due to the presence of foreign workers. Qatari cuisine is influenced by the close relationship between Iran and India, and more recently by the arrival of Arabs from North Africa and the Levant, and by Muslim eating habits. Muslims generally do not eat pork or drink alcohol and it is not offered openly. In the heart of Qatar, cuisines include a variety of indigenous dates and seafood. Other foods grown locally or in Iran are considered local specialties, such as sour apples and fresh almonds. Traditional Mahaboo dishes are richly seasoned rice combined with meat and seafood, traditionally served in large common dishes.

Dining rituals

Dining in Qatar

Main meals are served at noon and light meals are served in the morning and late evening. However, as more and more Qataris enter the workforce, family dining in the evening has become increasingly common. The Friday lunch after prayer is the main meeting of the week for many families. During the month of Ramadan, elaborate and festive meals are served in the evening when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

Coffee is the central part of the kitchen. Made with lightly roasted, sweet, and spicy cardamom coffee beans, Arabic coffee is served to home and office guests in small tree-shaped cups. Most families provide their guests with thermal flasks for coffee and sometimes tea. Another drink, qahwahelw (sweet coffee), is served by the elite on special occasions with its bright orange color of saffron, cardamom, and sugar.

Fast food outlets and restaurants have been opened in recent years. These establishments mainly welcome foreign workers. Qataris, especially women, are afraid to eat in public. However, use the restaurant driver and delivery service. Qatari men sometimes socialize and do business in restaurants and cafes.

Social structure in Qatar

Social structure among the Qataris

The main points of social stratification among the Qataris are nationality and employment. The practice of hiring foreign workers has created a system in which certain nationalities focus on a particular job and wages vary by nationality. In fact, the most expansive division can be observed between local citizens and foreigners. This is due to genealogical and cultural differences.

Despite this inequality, the atmosphere is one of psychological comfort and forgiveness. Foreign workers are always dressed in national clothes. Their children can go to school with instruction in their native language. The market offers a variety of international food, music, and movies. Foreigners can practice their religion openly, and many overseas religious institutions sponsor community services and activities.

Classes and Castes

Qataris are stratified within based on factors such as tribal affiliation, religious denominations, and historical ties to settlement patterns. For example, Qatar, which has a pedigree with Arabia, is likely to assimilate the cultural values of the Bedouins and is a supporter of Sunni Islam, but has a pedigree with the northeastern part of the bay. Qatar has the ability to settle down and possibly identify with its supporters of Shia Islam. Genealogical and geographical divisions among citizens are related to the type of occupation.

Division of labor by gender

Schools are separated by gender. After completing their studies, both men and women can find jobs in government agencies and private companies. Women in Qatar tend to get government jobs, especially in the ministries of education, health, and social affairs. The positions of responsibility are mainly for men. Due to the arrival of foreign workers, more and more women are entering the public sector, but these women mainly hold jobs that reinforce the gender division of labor. Foreign women are mainly employed as housekeepers, nannies, teachers, nurses, secretaries, or service workers.

Relative gender roles

Gender roles are relatively clear. Men participate more often than women in the public sector. Women have access to education and work in schools and have the right to drive abroad. However, social practices influenced by Islam and historical precedents make many women in public uncomfortable among foreigners. Instead, their activities take place in private spaces. To make public services more accessible to women, some department stores, shopping malls, parks, and museums have designated “Family Day”.

Family, society, and marriage in Qatar

Traditions in middle east
by Wikipedia

Most marriages are arranged. Usually, the groom’s mother and sister first interview the bride-to-be, discuss the possibilities with the young man and, if interested, approach the bride-to-be’s family. The woman has the option of accepting or rejecting the marriage proposal. It often occurs between families of similar origins, and it is common for members of two families to marry.

Marriage and traditional influence

Marriage between Qatar and other Gulf Arab states is common, but the government discourages marriages with non-Gulf citizens. Furthermore, marriage to a non-citizen requires an official permit, and a citizen may have to forgo government employment or other promises of benefits. Polygamy is religiously and legally punished. Although still common among active families, the number of interracial marriages has declined in recent years. Women can divorce their husbands by taking another partner, and with more educational and financial options, women are more likely to divorce than before. Another reason for the decline in polygamy could be the rising cost of maintaining multiple households.

Divorce rates have increased dramatically since 1980. Both men and women can seek a divorce, and child custody is guaranteed by Islamic law. Small children who grew up with their mother. When you reach adulthood, your father is given custody.

 Parent group

A Qatar “family” is a group larger than a household. Since ancestry is counted by male lineage, a person is a member of the father’s lineage and maintains a close relationship with that family line. After marriage, women continue to be members of their father’s genealogy but are partially integrated into the genealogy of their husbands and children. Children in polygamy are often identified more closely with half-siblings. As the child grows, these groups sometimes form separate households or complexes.

 Socialization and education

 Children are important in family life. If the marriage is sterile, the couple can seek the help of a doctor to conceive, polygamy, or divorce. Child care is the domain of adult women, but children also have a close relationship with their male parents. The use of foreign nannies has led to new methods of childcare and foreign influence.

Higher studies

Public schools have existed since 1950. The College of Education was opened in 1973. Furthermore, in 1977, the universities of humanities and social sciences, sciences, Sharia, and Islam were established. This combined to form Qatar University. Later, the Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Administration and Economics, and Faculty of Technology were added to the original four. Qatar is free from kindergarten to university. Eligible students for further study abroad can receive scholarships to offset tuition fees, travel, and living expenses abroad.

 Social values and etiquette

Social conduct is practiced in a manner that respects family privacy, hospitality, and gender segregation in public. Visits to strangers take place outside the home or in a guest area separate from the area frequented by family. Don’t ask unnecessary questions about other people’s families. Despite such family perceptions of privacy, it is considered rude not to treat strangers. Tea, coffee, food, and a cool place to sit should be provided for all visitors. On the contrary, it is rude not to welcome people. When greeting members of the opposite sex, it is best to act with caution, following Qatar’s instructions. Some Qatari women find it comfortable to wave at men, while others refrain from waving. Likewise, men cannot reach out to women or sit next to them.

Religious Beliefs

The majority of citizens and ruling families are Sunni Muslims, mainly Wahhabists. However, there is a majority of Shia Muslims. Recent events such as the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, and accusations of discrimination against Shia Muslims have exacerbated tensions between the sects. These topics are rarely discussed openly.


Qatar tourism

The day Qatar became independent from Britain in 1971, and the day the government came to power, is celebrated as a national holiday. Flags, state seals, and photographs of the sovereign are displayed in public places and local publications. Qatar also celebrates Islamic holidays.

Qatar is a country on the Arabian Peninsula, whose territory includes arid deserts and the long coast of the Persian (Arab) Bay with beaches and dunes. Furthermore, on the coast is the capital Doha. It is known for its futuristic skyscrapers and other avant-garde buildings inspired by ancient Islamic models, such as the Limestone Museum of Islamic Art.

There is no legal requirement to wear a veil, but women should not wear sea stops or skimpy dresses. Technically, there are no hard and fast rules and women are free to dress, but be prepared for some hostility, especially since the locals may find it against their social values. In general, covering the shoulders, thighs, and abdomen is suitable for both sexes. Tank tops, lace-up tops, or undersized shorts can attract unnecessary attention. Regardless of nationality, it is fully permitted to wear the traditional Qatari dress, Thawb.


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