Qatar is mourning for three days over the death of former Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani.
The Emiri Diwan of the State of Qatar has issued three days of mourning over the death of former ruler of Qatar, Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani. The state announced his passing on Sunday, after the Emir was admitted to hospital at the age of 84.
The former ruler is the grandfather of current ruler, Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and ruled the country from 1972 until her was overthrown in a peaceful coup in 1995. In what was considered a formality, Sheikh Khalifa was deposed by his son Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in a bloodless overthrow while on holiday in Switzerland. He later spent his life in France, until returning to Qatar in 2004.
He was one of the first rulers of the country after it gained independence from the British in 1972, after over half a century of British rule that started in 1916. It was under his reign that Qatar began transforming into the modern country it is today, and it was he as well who placed on the map as a independent energy-rich nation.
Sheikh Khalifa is also regarded to as the founding father of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the economic and political union among the six gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirate, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar
Before assuming power, the former Emir served as the country’s Minister of Education, and later on as the Minister of Finance and Prime Minister in the 1960s.
He had four wives, five sons and 10 daughters, among them his successor, Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, father of the current ruler Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.