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Qatar giving foundation $1 million

Published Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Nasser Bin Hamad M. Al-Khalifa, Qatar's ambassador to the United States, will donate $1 million on behalf of his country to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in a ceremony today at the presidential library.

Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, emir of Qatar, stopped to visit the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum last May, when he was on his way to Chicago.

Officials took the emir and his delegation on a museum tour and held a dinner for him that evening in the museum's central plaza.

But apart from expressing his thanks for the hospitality, the emir said little publicly about the museum.

Still, something must have appealed to him in Springfield. On the Qatar Embassy's Web site about the visit, more than a third of the 35 photos documenting the trip were taken inside the new museum.

The emir is known for his donations to cultural and charitable organizations. He recently visited areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina and has pledged about $60 million to help recovery efforts.

Qatar, a tiny country just west of Saudi Arabia and surrounded by the Persian Gulf, is about the size of Connecticut with a population of 885,359. It also has the third-largest natural gas reserves on the planet.

Pete Sherman can be reached at 788-1539 or pete.sherman@sj-r.com.

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