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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Questions arise on whereabouts of former Emir of Qatar

Tweet from son causes confusion as injury happened two years ago

Sheikh Joaan tweeted a picture of his father looking happy. He said his father underwent a simple surgical procedure for the fracture and wished him well. Twitter / JoaanBinHamad
Sheikh Joaan tweeted a picture of his father looking happy. He said his father underwent a simple surgical procedure for the fracture and wished him well. Twitter / JoaanBinHamad
It was a simple tweet by Sheikh Jooan bin Hamad, son of the former Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, that raised questions on the whereabouts of Sheikh Hamad, as he tweeted a photo of his father in a hospital bed after surgery.
Sheikh Joaan wished his father a swift recovery, stating a leg fracture has necessitated surgery in a tweet posted at 1.01am.
News outlets, including The National, covered the story based on the tweet that was posted 7 July and on verifying this was indeed Sheikh Jooan's twitter handle. However, it has since emerged that this photo is not a recent one, rather dating back several months.
One GCC source said to The National that this tweet was likely intended to deflect away from reports that says Sheikh Hamad is indeed the man in charge in Doha.
Since his abdication, Sheikh Hamad is rarely seen in formal settings, however, Arab and Western diplomatic sources have referred to his continued role behind the scenes, especially since the start of the Qatar crisis last month.
(This story was updated 23.45pm 8 July, 2017 )
Our original story

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar’s former ruler and the father of its current emir, is recovering from a leg fracture that “required a simple surgical procedure”, announced his son Sheikh Joaan earlier this morning.

Sheikh Joaan tweeted a picture of his father looking happy in a hospital bed at 1:01 am.

He only stated that his father underwent a simple surgical procedure for the fracture and wished him well, but did not give any details of how he broke his leg or where he was being treated.

Sheikh Joaan is the brother of the current emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad.

Sheikh Hamad has kept a low political profile since he stepped down in 2013 passing power to his son Sheikh Tamim, yet pictures of him with his wife Sheikha Mouza occasionally appear on social as they seem to be having a holiday stroll in Western clothes.