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The state of qatar has been ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. During a bloodless coup in 1995, the current amir overthrew his father and began using petroleum revenues for the benefit of the state. Under the amir's guidance, Qatar's per capita income rose to $26,100, making this Middle Eastern nation the 35th-richest nation in the world. With long-standing border disputes with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia finally resolved, Qatar began the 21st century with an increasing standard of living for the population of 885,359 people. The United Nations Development Programme Human Development Reports rank Qatar 40th in the world in this area.

Except for a 60-mile border shared with Saudi Arabia, Qatar is completely surrounded by the Persian Gulf, resulting in a ...

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