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Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani' (Arabic: الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني; born 1 January 1952) is a member of the ruling Al Thani Qatari royal family. He was the ruling Emir of Qatar from 1995 to 2013. The Qatari government now refers to him as His Highness the Father Emir.
Hamad seized power in a bloodless palace coup d'état in 1995. During his 18-year rule, Qatar's natural gas production reached 77 million tonnes, making Qatar the richest country in the world per capita with the average income in the country US$86,440 a year per person. During his reign, several sports and diplomatic events took place in Qatar, including the 2006 Asian Games, 2012 UN Climate Change Conference, Doha Agreement, Hamas–Fatah Doha agreement, and it was decided that the 2022 FIFA World Cup was to be held in the country. He established the Qatar Investment Authority; by 2013, it had invested over $100 billion around the world, most prominently in The Shard, Barclays Bank, Heathrow Airport, Harrods, Paris Saint-Germain F.C., Volkswagen,Siemens and Royal Dutch Shell.
During Hamad's rule, Qatar hosted two US military bases. It also remained close with Hamas and Iran. He supported and funded rebel movements, particularly in Libya and Syria during the Arab Spring, while maintaining political stability at home. The Sheikh founded news media group Al Jazeera, through which he maintained his influence over the Arab World. He also played a part in negotiations between the US and the Taliban. In June 2013, Hamad, in a brief televised address, announced that he would hand power to his fourth son, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani