Kuwaiti activism against book censorship yields a partial victory, but expression remains strictly regulated through press and publication laws across the Gulf.
Mohammad J. Al Yousef
Mohammad J. Al Yousef is a former research associate at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He currently concentrates on Middle East conflicts, with special emphasis on the role of religion, identity, civil society, and U.S. foreign policy in the region. Al Yousef holds an MA in conflict resolution and a certificate in Arab studies from Georgetown University and a BA in international security and U.S. politics from San Diego State University. In addition, he holds a certificate in conflict resolution from Tbilisi State University (Georgia), studying the conflicts and politics of the Caucasus.
Al Yousef served as a teaching assistant for international relations courses in the Department of Government at Georgetown University in 2018. While at Georgetown, he served as a board member of the National Union of Kuwaiti Students, wherein he represented 16,000 Kuwaiti students to the U.S. government and to the Embassy of Kuwait in Washington, DC. In 2016, Al Yousef worked with Kuwait News Agency as an editor and translator.
Inspired by love, longing, and the desert environment, female poets have long contributed to Nabati poetry. Now, women are breaking norms, refuting the notion that women and men are on different levels in poetry.
While youth-led awareness campaigns and public health education are shifting the landscape of mental health care in the Gulf, sociocultural challenges persist.
Public opposition to social and political normalization with Israel appears to be holding fast among most nationals, even as some governments allow more room for advocates of Gulf-Israel relations to make their case.
Gulf countries have celebrated the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan under unprecedented and strict precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Yet Gulf citizens are still finding ways to pray communally and sustain community.
Saudi filmmakers came late to the craft, limited by the lack of opportunities for training and imposed by Saudi Arabia’s conservative sociopolitical order. Today, filmmakers are viewed as avatars of the top-down transformation of Saudi society.
While most Gulf Arab countries have tackled the coronavirus pandemic through state-led initiatives, Kuwait and Bahrain engaged youth significantly through quasi-independent civil society organizations.
Student unions and clubs have played an important role in the lives of Gulf Arab students, both in local universities and abroad.
With the Cultural Majlis, Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi aims to bring together the Middle East and North Africa community within U.S. campuses and establish an inclusive dialogue connecting people, ideas, and cultures.
AGSIW spoke with Sara Falaknaz about her visions and aspirations as one of the youngest elected members of the FNC.