Qatar: Small But Powerful

Qatar — that little country in the Persian Gulf — is a power player with a lot of money and ambition on the world stage.

Men wait to serve tea to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, unseen, and Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, unseen, during their meeting at Wajbah Palace in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, June 23, 2013. (AP)

Men wait to serve tea to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, unseen, and Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, unseen, during their meeting at Wajbah Palace in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, June 23, 2013. (AP)

Millions of Egyptians in the streets, calling for the ouster of their Muslim Brotherhood president.  The billions keeping him afloat and in power?  From Qatar.

Washington, deeply worried about heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles getting into Syria and jihadi hands.  Who’s shipping them in?  Qatar.

Furor last month when the Taliban raised its flag for talks over Afghanistan’s future.  Where did the flag go up?  Qatar.

It’s tiny.  It’s rich.  It’s Islamist-friendly.  It’s taking charge.

This hour, On Point:  big little player, Qatar.  Its billions, and its plan.  Plus, we’ll check in on the deadly wildfire in Arizona.

– Tom Ashbrook


Shadi Hamid, director of research for the Brookings Doha Center and a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. (@shadihamid)

David Roberts, director and research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in Qatar. Author of the forthcoming: “Qatar: Securing the Global Ambitions of a City-state.” (@thegulfblog)

Marc Lynch, director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science and professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. (@abuaardvark)

Closing Segment on Deadly Arizona Wildfires

Katie Connor, reporter for KNXV-TV Phoenix.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: New Hope for Democracy in a Dynastic Land — “Now that he is set to become the new emir, the absolute ruler of Qatar, what possibly can Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani promise to the citizens of a tiny, incredibly rich country that seems to have everything?”

Reuters: Qatar’s new PM signals lower key world role — “A stickler for discipline with a security background, Qatar’s new prime minister will have a narrower remit than his influential predecessor, who led the Gulf state’s forays into global finance and Arab Spring politics.”

Bloomberg: Chief Who Built Biggest Arab Bank Takes Over Qatar Finances — “For Ali Shareef Al Emadi, managing the finances of the world’s richest country is a job he’s already been involved in for eight years. During that time, the chief executive officer of Qatar National Bank SAQ, who was appointed finance minister in a new Qatari government late yesterday, helped build the company into the Middle East’s biggest lender. QNB grew its assets to more than $100 billion in the period, the only Arab bank to reach that threshold, data compiled by Bloomberg show.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 26, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

Nov 26, 2015
Jewel performs in the On Point Studio on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. (Liz Gillis / WBUR)

Singer-songwriter Jewel asked “who will save your soul”? Now she’s talking about saving her own. We’ll talk to Jewel.

Nov 25, 2015
Three of baker Renee McLeoud's delicious pies, on display in the WBUR studios. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Bring your appetite! We’re gathering around the radio table with three chefs and new Thanksgiving recipes.

Nov 25, 2015
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Pulitzer Prize winning Iowa writer Marilynne Robinson, arrives to the State Library of Iowa in the Ola Babcock Miller Building, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

On the day before Thanksgiving, we talk with Marilynne Robinson – one of America’s greatest authors, thinkers, moralists — about fear and hope in a hard, frightening time.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
1 Comment
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »