The nation of Qatar, roughly the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island, is the world’s leading producer of natural gas and has the highest per capita income of any country in the Arab world. A few decades ago it was a tribal society with an economy based largely on fishing, pearl harvesting and camel and horse breeding. In 1995 a bloodless coup in which Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa deposed his father set the stage for the modernization of the country’s oil and gas industries and for stunning economic growth. Qatar’s economy grew 24 percent in 2006 alone, according to the U.S. State Department, and its per capita income that year was $61,540. Qatar is on track to become the wealthiest nation (on a per capita basis) in the world.