Qatar's former emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, is shown last week in the capital, Doha, shortly before he stepped down on June 25 in favor of his 33-year-old son. Such voluntary abdications are exceedingly rare in the Gulf. Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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The emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, 61, abdicated on Tuesday in favor of his 33-year-old son. Sheik Hamad is shown here during an Oval Office meeting with President Obama in April. Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Climate activists at a rally in Doha on December 1, 2012. Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Karim Jaafar/AFP/Getty Images