The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Wednesday Event
Remedy to Extremism Searching for a Remedy to Violent Extremism

DATE Wednesday March 14, 2018
TIME 12:30 - 2:00 pm
SPEAKERS Seamus Hughes, Maqsoud Kruse
MODERATOR Stephen A. Seche
The Bridge blog
Saudi Comic ConLet Me Entertain You: Saudi Arabia’s New Enthusiasm for Fun

By Kristin Smith Diwan

When family budgets tighten, dinner out, movies, and other diversions are often the first expenses eliminated. But in Saudi Arabia, austerity is being accompanied by the promotion of activities once forbidden in the conservative kingdom. After an inaugural calendar that included concerts, Comic Con, and monster trucks, the Saudi General Entertainment Authority is doubling its sponsorship to 5,000 events in 2018. Its chief, Ahmad bin Aqeel al-Khatib, has trumpeted plans to invest $64 billion in the entertainment sector over the coming decade, boasting that the sector will trail only oil and defense spending in budgetary priorities.
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By Taimur Khan

On February 22, Djibouti seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal from its joint owner and operator, the Dubai-based DP World. The seizure was not wholly unexpected and was the culmination of Djibouti’s deteriorating bilateral ties with the United Arab Emirates and a lost legal battle with DP World to renegotiate the terms of the port concession that gave it a 33 percent equity stake in 2006. The London Court of International Arbitration Tribunal ruled against Djibouti’s claims, lodged in 2014, that DP World paid bribes in order to secure the 30-year concession. The Dubai government said it has initiated proceedings at the tribunal over the seizure.  
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AGSIW in Arabic

الاعلان المفاجيء عن قمة أمريكية-كورية شمالية في نهاية شهر آيار-مايو المقبل، يؤكد من جديد ميل الرئيس دونالد ترامب للتصرف خارج الأعراف والتقاليد الدبلوماسية المعهودة. الانتقال من التهديد "بالتدمير الكامل" لكوريا الشمالية إلى الاجتماع وجها لوجه مع زعيمها، كان مدويا. الموافقة السريعة لترامب للاجتماع بالزعيم الكوري الشمالي كيم يونغ أون الذي وصفه في السابق "بالمجنون" و"السمين والقصير" و "الرجل الصاروخي"، والذي رد عليه كيم يونغ أون بوصف ترامب "بالرجل الخرفان"، تتناقض مع معظم مواقف ترامب المتعلقة بالأزمة الكورية، والتي وصلت إلى مستوى التوبيخ العلني لوزير خارجيته ريكس تيلرسون، لأنه تجرأ على الدعوة لحوار ديبلوماسي مع كوريا الشمالية

In addition to original content, in Arabic is regularly updated with new Arabic translations of AGSIW's analysis. Recent translations include:

By Ambassador Edward W. Gnehm, Jr.

The picture I intend to paint for you tonight is not unique to the Middle East. The United States’ withdrawal from a position of global leadership, begun under the Obama administration and continued by the current one, subverts the international system that we have built since the end of World War II. America is walking away from leadership across the world and its decision to do so is drastically shifting power dynamics and threatening our ability to protect our interests abroad.
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By Hussein Ibish

President Donald Trump's plan for face-to-face nuclear weapons talks with North Korea’s dictator isn’t his only bid for a historic diplomatic breakthrough. His administration has also been signaling recently that it’s about to unveil a plan to revive peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
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Past Events
Bernard HaykelPreviewing the MbS Visit with Bernard Haykel

AGSIW hosted a conversation with Bernard Haykel, director of the Institute for Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia at Princeton University and a member of the board of directors of AGSIW. The discussion previewed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s upcoming visit to the United States, and the issues most likely to be at the top of his agenda for talks with senior officials in Washington. 
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Majid Al MoneefA Conversation with Majid Al-Moneef

As part of its energy series, AGSIW hosted a roundtable discussion with Majid Al-Moneef, former secretary general of the Supreme Economic Council of Saudi Arabia and member of the board of directors for Saudi Aramco, examining the energy dimension of Saudi Arabia’s reform programs.
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In the Media
Karen E. YoungSpeaking with AFP, Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young commented on Saudi women’s labor participation. She additionally discussed the Saudi government's relationship with the country's business sector with The Wall Street Journal.

Speaking with Middle East Eye, Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish commented on the Trump administration's efforts to mediate the GCC crisis.
Marcelle M. WahbaAmbassador Marcelle M. Wahba, AGSIW president, delivered a speech on current trends in the Middle East attended by faculty and students from the seven universities that make up the Claremont Colleges, in Claremont, California. She additionally spoke about women’s issues in Saudi Arabia to a roundtable of faculty and graduate students of Claremont Graduate University.

Executive Vice President Stephen A. Seche spoke on the panel “Why Yemen Can’t Wait” for a private audience of U.S. Senate staffers. The event was organized by a Washington-based NGO in coordination with the offices of Senator Bernie Sanders (I – VT) and Senator Mike Lee (R – UT), co-sponsors of a joint resolution that calls for an end to U.S. military support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young spoke on the panel "Saudi Arabia’s New Outlook on the Middle East" at the AIPAC Policy Conference 2018.

Position Title: Program and Digital Media Intern 
Period: May 
August 2018
Location: Washington, DC
Deadline: March 15

Job Summary: The Internship Program at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington provides talented students and recent graduates with a three-month (or longer) training opportunity designed to encourage professional and personal development. We encourage out-of-the-box thinking and value fresh perspectives. Interns will receive a monthly stipend. 
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Visiting Scholars

Department/Team: Senior Resident Scholars
Period: Fall 2018
Location: Washington, DC
Deadline: March 15

About the Candidate: Visiting scholars are individuals who possess a PhD or equivalent professional experience. The length of stay for a visiting scholar is typically a semester or academic year. AGSIW is actively seeking candidates with significant regional experience and fluency in written and spoken Arabic.
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Washington, DC 20036

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