Qatar at World Cup pinnacle after years of Mideast turmoil


Hosting the World Cup marks a pinnacle in Qatar's efforts to rise out of the shadow of its larger neighbors in the wider Middle East, where its politics and its upstart ambitions have brought both international attention and regional ire. The road to the tournament — and Qatar's increased prominence on the global stage — has been fueled by the country becoming one of the top exporters of natural gas. That newfound wealth built the stadiums that fans will fill for the tournament, created the Arab world's most recognized news network, Al Jazeera, and enabled Doha's diplomatic outreach to the wider world.