History of medicine in Qatar
This Thesis is concerned with the history of health care and medicine in the State of Qatar. I have traced its evolution from the first man, through to the presence of Islam until oil was discovered in 1939. I then continued with close personal interest to follow the development of health and medicine in the more recent "post-oil discovery" years, in particular the last decade when Qatar matches its health and medical care with the pre-eminent services of the Arabian Gulf region (Gulf Co-operation States) and the world. The historical, cultural and political events that influenced development in the Arabian Peninsula have been many and varied causing intriguing shifts in the evolution of health practice in medicine. Traditional medicine traversed the trade routes, Islamic medical practices became firmly rooted in the Arabian Peninsula and oil wealth in the latter years empowered the Gulf States as significant buyers of modern medical technology and manpower. This thesis is organised in logical sequence with early chapters concentrating on primitive, ancient history and the pre-Islamic period. Relevant anthropological, archaeological, cultural and historical information has been outlined and analysed in the early chapters, in an attempt to identify the significant influences on the health and medical practices of the times. Plausible theories and conclusions were sought on health practices and medicine; however, a dearth of factual information necessitated some speculation on how tribal medicine and health practices were derived and disseminated throughout the region. Less speculation was necessary for the Islamic era. Islam was widespread with the daily lives and cultural practices of Muslims strictly controlled; particularly in terms of morality, marriage, dress, health and hygiene. Certain chapters describe the significant contribution of Islamic medicine to the development of medicine in general and review the impact of Islam on health practices within the Muslim society of the Arabian Peninsula including Qatar. The Arabs themselves had a profound effect on the medicine of the world, with their translations from Greek to Arabic and other languages. The remaining chapters look closely at contemporary Arab society in Qatar, from the discovery of oil to the present day.