Qataris praise smooth transition


A mixture of sadness and hope was felt among many Qataris as rumours that the emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, had decided to hand over power to his 33-year-old son, came true.

On Monday, the country’s leader – who has ruled for the past 18 years – announced that his heir apparent, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, would be taking over.

A formal address to the nation is expected on Tuesday morning around 8am local time, with celebrations likely shortly afterwards.

A sense of joy was somewhat muted in the aftermath of the announcement amid feelings of loss.

Many citizens described Sheikh Hamad, 61, as a father figure, and someone who was responsible for reforming the nation, putting it on the map and bringing them prosperity.

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