Sima Aldardari


Sima Aldardari is a former research associate at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. She is a researcher and development worker from Damascus, Syria. Aldardari holds a BA in sociology and anthropology from the American University of Beirut, an MA in conflict, governance, and international development from the University of East Anglia, and an MA in Arab studies with a concentration in development from Georgetown University. She spent six years in Lebanon working with fellow Syrians in refugee camps as a teacher and a campaign and event organizer. Aldardari hopes to add to knowledge production in the Arab region through researching and analyzing cultural and social patterns in the diverse Arab societies. Her research interests include development, displacement and immigration studies, culture and society, and water politics.

While at Georgetown University, Aldardari worked as a research assistant for Rochelle Davis where she researched the struggles of Iraqi aid workers and internally displaced people. In addition, she designed and delivered a certificate-earning course to boost professional credibility among 17 diverse students in Lebanon, aged 20 to 40, on core international development topics such as education, labor and livelihoods, water development, and environmental sustainability. She taught the course in collaboration with two local nongovernmental organizations in Beirut in the summer of 2019.

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Water Politics and the Gulf States: The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

Gulf states have substantial economic and political stakes in the Horn of Africa that they are looking to maintain and expand by carefully positioning themselves as neutral actors in the dispute among Sudan, Egypt, and Ethiopia.

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Qatar and Gaza’s Electricity: Mediation, Aid, and Expertise 

As the largest liquefied natural gas exporter in the world and one of the few countries able to work and negotiate with various parties in Israel and Gaza, Qatar is uniquely positioned to work within Gaza’s energy sector.

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Arar Border Opening: Saudi Arabia Steps Up Economic Competition in Iraq

Saudi Arabia must compete with other regional hegemons, mainly Turkey and Iran, as it works to increase its economic influence in Iraq.

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Strategic Interests Drive Gulf Policy Toward Syria

Many Gulf states have shifted course on Syria, prioritizing concerns over growing Iranian and Turkish influence.

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Saudi Tourism to Turkey Suffers as Bilateral Tensions Grow

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Turkey may continue to push Saudi tourists to choose other destinations, adding pressure to an already struggling Turkish economy.

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The Politics of Gulf Aid to Sudan

Sudan must determine how to attract stable and sustainable aid flows that don’t fluctuate wildly depending on shifting political winds.