The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Along with this, our first message of 2018, we extend to each of you warmest wishes for a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year, and we recommit ourselves to the mission that animates everything we do: providing clear, informed, and timely analysis of the issues that are shaping the Gulf Arab states and their relationship with the United States.
GCC-Maghreb RelationsBoth Ends of the Spectrum: GCC-Maghreb Relations

By Florence Gaub

The Gulf Arab states and the states of the Maghreb are part of one strategic space defined, broadly, by shared linguistic, cultural, religious, social, and historical characteristics. Both are subregions of the Arab world, and therefore members of the League of Arab States. Perhaps crucially, they perceive themselves to be part of one political cosmos. Within this cosmos, however, the four states of the Maghreb and the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council are on the opposite ends of the spectrum in a number of ways.
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The Bridge blog
How Trump’s National Security Strategy Will be Read in the GulfHow Trump’s National Security Strategy Will be Read in the Gulf

By Hussein Ibish

When Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States just over a year ago, Washington’s Gulf Arab allies were generally optimistic. They were so alienated by President Barack Obama’s second term that almost any change would have been welcome. They expected to hear fewer complaints about democracy, and human and women’s rights, from a Trump administration than from a traditional Republican or Democratic White House. And, especially, they were buoyed by Trump’s strong campaign rhetoric against Iran.
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Houthis in SanaaUAE Embrace of Islah Marks Major Shift in Yemen

By David B. Roberts

Once upon a time, Qatar was the small Gulf monarchy exerting influence around the Middle East and North Africa. It was frequently described as “punching above its weight” or, more innovatively, as “A Bouncy Bantam” and a “Pygmy with the Punch of a Giant.” But those days are long gone for Qatar. Instead, it is the United Arab Emirates, Qatar’s neighbor, that has taken the role of the small Gulf state operating in far-flung destinations, exerting influence far outstripping its small geographical size. The descriptive nomenclature for the UAE that has caught on so far is that of “Little Sparta,” which accurately reflects a key Emirati modus operandi: the use of military force.
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Market Watch
New Year, New Economic Pain New Year, New Economic Pain

By Karen E. Young

The new year is likely to bring some serious economic pain to parts of the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia. As in most economic reforms, there are negative impacts of austerity, especially to the low- and middle-income population. Bracing for the impacts of higher electricity and fuel costs, new taxes and fees, along with mounting pressure on private sector labor markets, governments are trying to mitigate some of these effects by boosting spending where they can, and targeting relief in the form of cash transfers to those most in need. Saudi Arabia began distribution of its Citizen’s Account fund on December 21; Oman will initiate an income-based fuel support scheme in the new year.
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Millennial Gulf
Ulafa'aUlafa’a: Reconciliation through the Arts in Bahrain

By Mai Al-Farhan

Ulafa’a is a Bahraini art collective that flourished in response to the 2011 Bahraini uprising. It was established by Tamadher Al-Fahal and Nada Al-Aradi in 2012 and has grown over time to include other young Bahraini artists. “I am Sunni and my other co-founder is Shia,” said Tamadher, who received a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain to lead the collective. She is currently a PhD candidate in the United Kingdom at Birmingham City University, where she investigates philosophical approaches in contemporary Islamic design studies.
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AGSIW in Arabic

يبدو المشهد السياسي في واشنطن مع اقتراب السنة الأولى للرئيس دونالد ترامب من نهايتها مماثلا لأي بلدة ساحلية يجتاحها تسونامي ضخم: ركام، ويباب، وأناس إما في حالة ذهول، أو صدمة أو نشوة لأن كل ما كان مألوفا ومتوقعا في حياتهم، أصبح غريبا وغير اعتيادي، بالمعنيين السلبي والإيجابي

أخيرا، وبعد مرور سنة تقريبا على بدء ولايته، حقق الرئيس ترامب أول انجاز تشريعي هام له، عندما أقر مجلسا الكونغرس مشروع قرار يقضي بإدخال تغييرات جذرية على قانون الضرائب على الرغم من المعارضة الشاملة من الحزب الديمقراطي وأكثرية من الأمريكيين وفقا لاستطلاعات الرأي

In addition to original content, in Arabic is regularly updated with new Arabic translations of AGSIW's analysis. Recent translations include:
In the Media
Seche on PBS NewshourExecutive Vice President Stephen A. Seche discussed the war in Yemen, and the extent of Iranian involvement, on PBS Newshour: "This is a homegrown revolt on the part of the Houthis. The Iranians, no doubt, have gotten more and more involved, and the Saudis have gotten more and more involved." To the question of whether the Saudis will see a way to extract themselves from the war, Seche responded: "They haven't demonstrated that interest as yet, nor have the Houthis for that matter, so I think both sides need to realize at this point that the only way they are going to have any of their interests served is by sitting down and negotiating a way out of this. There is no military victory."

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