O’Malley has a busy day in Doha, Qatar

Martin O'Malley and wife Katie at Dulles Airport Friday.

Martin O'Malley and wife Katie at Dulles Airport Friday.

Gov. Martin O’Malley and his wife, Judge Catherine Curran O’Malley, took off Friday night from Dulles Airport on Qatar Airlines daily flight to Doha, capital of the small emirate on the Persian Gulf.

The stop in Doha got virtually no advanced publicity as part of O’Malley’s six-day trip to India, but he appears to have had a busy day there, according to tweets from the governor and Christian Johansson, secretary of Business and Economic Development.

Martin O'Malley with U.S. Ambassador to Qatar Susan Ziadeh.

Martin O'Malley with U.S. Ambassador to Qatar Susan Ziadeh.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Ziadeh briefed O’Malley on “Qatari culture, business and trade,” Johansson said.  According to her official biography, Ziadeh has only been on the job two months, but she is a career foreign service diplomat with wide experience in the Middle East, including postings in Baghdad, Riyadh, Amman and Jerusalem.

Johansson reports the governor had “a productive meeting” with the amir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

The Al Thani family has ruled the small state in the Persian Gulf since the 1800s. According to the CIA World Factbook, the country is about the size of Connecticut and has a population of 848,000 with the second highest per capita income in the world due to its oil and gas reserves.

The capital is home to the Al-Jazeera news network, which broadcasts throughout the Arab world. (The country, a strong U.S. ally, has not had legislative elections in 40 years.)

“I’m looking forward to future economic collaboration,” O’Malley himself tweeted after meeting the amir.

Saturday night, O’Malley and the delegation had dinner with the CEO of Q-tel, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani. Q-tel, a fast growing international telecom owned mostly by the state, has “strong interest in mobile medicine and working with MD firms,” Johansson tweeted. According to his corporate bio, Sheik Saud was a British trained military pilot and also attended the U.S. Senior Army War College in nearby Carlisle, Pa.

O'Malley with officials of Diar Bank.

O'Malley with officials of Diar Bank.

Gov. Martin O'Malley receives gift from one his Qatari hosts (who might be the deputy chairman of Barwa).

Gov. Martin O'Malley receives gift from one of his Qatari hosts (who might be the deputy chairman of Barwa).

The governor met with the chairman of Barwa, Qatar’s largest real estate investment company, and with executives of Diar, a part of the Qatar Investment Authority, to pitch investment opportunities.

The Maryland delegation now heads to Hyderabad, India, arriving early Monday morning. The group is tweeting at #MDIndia.

–Len Lazarick



About The Author

Len Lazarick


Len Lazarick was the founding editor and publisher of MarylandReporter.com and is currently the president of its nonprofit corporation and chairman of its board He was formerly the State House bureau chief of the daily Baltimore Examiner from its start in April 2006 to its demise in February 2009. He was a copy editor on the national desk of the Washington Post for eight years before that, and has spent decades covering Maryland politics and government.

1 Comment

  1. PARTY

    good for MOMS his own job future ,and maybe some millionaires….but the middle class jobs…people are earning what they paid in the 1970 s..thats it .annapolis should be paid what they made in the 70 s..STAY HOME….HOW MANY JOBS WILL COME FROM THIS TRIP…..AND TRY NOT TO LIE OR PASS THE IRISH TO US