The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Upcoming Event
RocketFilmfest DC: “On Borrowed Time”

AGSIW is pleased to support the screening of “On Borrowed Time” at  Filmfest DC.
DATES Tuesday April 24 at 6:00 pm 
Thursday April 26 at 8:30 pm

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The Bridge blog

By Kristin Smith Diwan

A new Gulf prince has emerged from within the royal court with big plans for his country. The son of the leader, he is using the backing of his father to pursue his dream of badly needed reforms. Working from his appointment as defense minister and with economic powers derived from his chairmanship of a planning committee, he is championing a new direction: expanded roles for women, economic diversification, and his pet project – a new tech-savvy city linked to a group of islands built to attract foreign investment and serve as an economic bridge to neighboring countries.
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By Hussein Ibish

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) raised many eyebrows with recent comments that seemed unusually conciliatory toward Israel. MbS told the editor in chief of The Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, "I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land." "But" he crucially added, "we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations." Did MbS break new ground? Yes and no. And differentiating what's consistent from what's new provides an important barometer of Saudi Arabia's much-misunderstood policies toward Israel.
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By Diane Munro

Bahrain made its largest-ever oil find off the kingdom’s western coast, with Khalij al-Bahrain Basin estimated to contain at least 80 billion barrels of tight oil and 10-20 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, officials announced on April 1. The discovery could double the country’s oil production levels, providing a significant economic windfall for the government. Officials did not provide a detailed timeline for development and production of the discovery but noted that they hoped first oil would be brought online in five years. However, that could prove optimistic.
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Market Watch

By Karen E. Young

There are simultaneous efforts by Qatar and Saudi Arabia to attract investors for new bond issues. The “bond-off,” or race to sale, is yet a new example of the use of economic means to achieve political ends. The problem is that the side effects of competitive bond issues, just like escalating tariffs, can have unintended consequences on friends and allies. The hypercompetitive use of geoeconomic strategies can be counterproductive to growth. Two examples in trade and finance illustrate this point.
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AGSIW in Arabic

خلال أسبوع واحد، واجه الرئيس دونالد ترامب تحديات داخلية قانونية يمكن أن تهدد مستقبله السياسي، وتسببت بإغضابه وإحباطه وإحراجه، فضلا عن تحديات خارجية أمنية وعسكرية صعبة تتطلب معالجة دقيقة قد لا يستطيع الرئيس المحاصر التعامل معها بحكمة وفعالية. ويتخوف بعض المراقبين من أن يكون أي قرار يتخذه ترامب بشأن سوريا مصمم ولو جزئيا لإبعاد الأنظار عن مشاكله الداخلية. هذه المخاوف برزت من جديد بعد التغييرات التي طرأت على تركيبة فريقه المعني بالأمن القومي والسياسة الخارجية في أعقاب تعيينه جون بولتون المعروف بمواقفه المتشددة تجاه إيران وسوريا وكوريا الشمالية مستشارا للأمن القومي، ومايك بومبيو ذي المواقف المتصلبة تجاه إيران وكوريا الشمالية وزيرا للخارجية
اطلع على المزيد

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

By Stephen A. Seche

On Tuesday, 17th April, the new UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, will give his first briefing to the UN Security Council. His appointment brings with it a fresh opportunity to reset attempts to forge a political solution. Yet if Griffiths is to succeed, the Security Council must consider a new pathway to peace and scuttle the current framework that makes his already difficult task even tougher.
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By Hussein Ibish

After much argument and delay, American, British and French military strikes against Syrian regime targets were finally begun on Saturday morning. But the strikes will only be worthwhile if they are the forerunner of a coherent, integrated Syria policy and not a pointless repetition of the largely symbolic, one-off cruise missile attack in April 2017. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford urged caution while Donald Trump and John Bolton, his new national security adviser, allegedly pressed for quicker and wider action. Thus far, it seems the generals are winning out on the immediate action.
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In the Media
Stephen SecheAppearing on CGTN America, Executive Vice President Stephen A. Seche discussed the potential for a political resolution to the conflict in Yemen. Also regarding the conflict, Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan spoke to The Washington Post about Saudi and Emirati efforts to foster nationalism, rooted in a commitment to the military.

For Debtwire, Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young discussed Saudi and Qatari bond issues. For World Politics Review, Young addressed Bahrain’s recent oil discovery and its implications for economic reform. Young also spoke with Al Arabiya about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Silicon Valley.
AlSerkal AvenueOn April 10 at the Global Cultural Districts Network gathering in Dubai, Raymond E. Karam, AGSIW senior director for programs and outreach, and Vilma Jurkute, director of Alserkal Avenue, announced a partnership between AGSIW and Alserkal Avenue to co-present the second annual Gulf Arts and Culture Symposium: “Art and the Gulf City” in Washington, DC from May 7-9.

Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young spoke on the panel “The Iran Fault Line” at the Council on Foreign Relations' symposium “The Future of the Middle East.” In addition, Young delivered the lecture "Political and Security Imperative of Economic Reforms in the Gulf" at Marine Corps University.

Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish presented the lecture "Navigating the Swamp: Lessons from 20 Years in Washington's Middle East Policies" at the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Tufts University.
Research Associate

Department/Team: Senior Resident Scholars
Period: Part Time (20-25 hours/week, no benefits)
Location: Washington, DC
Deadline: Monday April 16

About the Candidate: Provide research assistance and support to senior resident scholars at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. At the direction of the scholars, conduct research on Gulf politics, foreign policy, and U.S. policy toward the region. Monitor contemporary developments in the Gulf states and U.S. policy, including reviews of regional and international media. Source data, compile bibliographies, and write summaries on relevant topics. Create charts and graphics for AGSIW publications. Provide communications and logistical support to senior resident scholars, and perform additional tasks as requested. 
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