The sheikhdom of Qatar -- a strategically-placed peninsula protruding into the Persian Gulf, celebrated the fifth anniversary of its independence on Friday (3 September).
SV ZOOM IN TO CU Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Qatar, awaiting arrival of guests
SV Sheikhs and government ministers walking to greet Emir
SV Heads of diplomatic corps entering and being greeted (3 shots)
SV Military officials greeted by Emir (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT TO GV Emir greeting senior government officials
GV PAN ALONG Officials seated with Emir
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Background: The sheikhdom of Qatar -- a strategically-placed peninsula protruding into the Persian Gulf, celebrated the fifth anniversary of its independence on Friday (3 September).
SYNOPSIS: The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad al-Thani, held a reception in the capital, Doha, for sheikhs, government ministers, members of Qatar's Advisory Council, heads of the diplomatic corps and senior military and civil officials. All ministries and government departments in Doha were on holiday for the occasion and the Emir received telegrams of congratulations from several Heads of State.
Qatar took a leading part in moves towards the formation of a Gulf federation, but eventually decided to go it alone and became independent on the third of September, 1971. This cancelled all previous agreements and commitments with Britain, but the two countries instead singed a friendship and co-operation treaty, under which each country respects and considers the other as equal. Sheikh Ahmad bin Ali al-Thani became Emir on independence, but took little interest in affairs of state.
He was deposed in February 1972 in a bloodless coup staged by his cousin, the present Emir, Sheikh Khalifa. Although he achieved power with the help of the ruling al-Thani family, his avowed purpose included curtailment of some of the family's privileges.
Oil is Qatar's principal source of wealth and most of its population is employed in the industry. Latterly, much oil revenue has been ploughed back into the country, in projects like hospital building, electrical, road, port and communication improvements.