Qatar’s ambitions are grand—it aspires to become a global superpower. To achieve this, Qatar has embarked on one of the most extensive nation-building projects the world has ever seen. To do so, the tiny Arabian Gulf nation has imported millions of low-wage workers, who have increased Qatar’s population by more than 600 percent since 1990. Today, Qataris make up about 10 percent of the population, and there are deep concerns among conservatives that Qatar’s culture is evaporating. To counter these concerns, the government has promised a deep commitment to cultural preservation alongside surging development.
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