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This month on Inside the Middle East

updated 7:01 AM EDT, Tue April 24, 2012
This month IME visits the country of Qatar. In less than half a century it has become the richest nation in the world.
This month IME visits the country of Qatar. In less than half a century it has become the richest nation in the world.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • IME visits Qatar to explore the country's transformation from desert state to a world capital
  • In Doha, Rima Maktabi explores how the capital has expanded its influence in the region
  • IME meets one of Qatar's first female Olympians, 19-year old rifle shooter Bahiya Al Hamad

(CNN) -- This month "Inside the Middle East" travels to the tiny state of Qatar, where vast oil and gas reserves have transformed a once-impoverished strip of desert into the richest country in the world -- all in the span of just half a century.

CNN's Rima Maktabi explores the modern capital city, Doha, and discovers how Qatar's rulers are using a mix of culture, world-class universities, and international sporting tournaments to thrust the tiny Gulf state onto the world stage -- and expand its influence in the region.

From journalists to college students, locals explain how and why their country has avoided the type of unrest that has swept across the Middle East and North Africa over the past year.

We also meet Bahiya Al Hamad, a 19-year-old rifle shooter going to London for the 2012 Olympic Games. She will make history this summer as one of Qatar's first female Olympians.

Watch the May show at the following times:

Wednesday 2 May: 0930, 1630
Saturday 5 May: 0430, 1830
Sunday 6 May: 1130
Saturday 12 May: 1130
Sunday 13 May: 0430, 1830

(all times GMT)

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