The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Past Event

On January 11, AGSIW hosted the third roundtable of the Gulf Rising series, looking beyond GCC relations with the United States to examine economic and political ties with Turkey. Roundtable participants explored the regional and domestic issues that have defined the Gulf states’ foreign policy choices toward Turkey and vice-versa, as well as the implications for regional stability and U.S. foreign policy. The roundtable will produce a policy paper with recommendations targeted toward the GCC countries, Turkey, and the United States.
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The Bridge blog

New Lebanese President Michel Aoun visited Saudi Arabia on January 9 in an effort to heal a rift that has been damaging to both countries' interests but, until now, did not seem readily resolvable. How did relations become so strained and how much progress has Aoun's trip yielded? In early 2016, following a string of what it regarded as intolerable provocations by a Lebanese government it saw as unduly influenced by the pro-Iranian Shia group Hizballah, Saudi Arabia began to pull away from Lebanon.
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With the Trump administration about to take office, the Russian position in the Middle East appears quite strong. Russian military forces (along with Iran and other allies) have helped the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad drive its opponents out of Aleppo. Russian-Turkish relations have improved dramatically from their low point following the November 2015 downing of a Russian fighter jet by a Turkish F-16, as Turkish relations with the United States and the West more generally have deteriorated. Russian-Iranian-Turkish negotiations on a cease-fire for Syria appear to be bypassing Washington altogether.
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Market Watch

The Saudi budget for 2017 demonstrates that fiscal reform works; at least, it shows that with a reduction in spending will come a decline in deficit. The government aims to reduce the fiscal deficit to 7.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2017 from 11.7 percent in 2016. The act of budgeting and projecting spending and revenue is a central tenet of governance in Saudi Arabia, as in any other state. In Saudi Arabia, however, government spending drives most economic activity. 
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Millennial Gulf

By Feyza Gumusluoglu

No visitor to Qatar, or any other Gulf country, would fail to miss that women’s flowing outer garments, known as abayas, are almost unexceptionally black. Even though there is no specific law in Qatar that enforces this particular color, there is indisputably a national norm that prescribes it. The black abaya has the status of national dress: Qatari women from all classes and status groups, including women of the royal family, wear it in public.
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AGSIW in Arabic

التطورات المتلاحقة التي عصفت بالمشهد السياسي الأمريكي بين يومي الثلاثاء والخميس تبدو وكأنها حصيلة أسابيع وأشهر. يوم الأربعاء، واصل الرئيس المنتخب دونالد ترامب اتباع سياسة الأرض المحروقة في التعامل مع من يعتقد أنهم يريدون الإساءة إليه. وصعّد من اسلوبه الصدامي حين عقد مؤتمرا صحفيا مفاجئا شن فيه حملة شرسة وغير مسبوقة ضد أجهزة الاستخبارات الأمريكية، متهما إياها بالقيام بممارسات مماثلة لما كانت تشهده ألمانيا النازية، كما هاجم بعض وسائل الاعلام الأمريكية متهما إياها بترويج "أخبار ملفقة"
اطلع على المزيد
AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan attended a USCENTCOM wargame at the U.S. Army War College from January 9-11, examining security and stability in the Gulf, particularly Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
In the Media
Speaking with Reveal, AGSIW Executive Vice President Stephen A. Seche commented on the causes of Yemen's water shortage: "The qat industry, because it is so lucrative, has become a favored endeavor and industry for very powerful individuals." Seche also commented on Saudi Arabia's involvement in the war in Yemen for Bloomberg: “It’s hard to describe this Saudi intervention as a success.”

Speaking with Middle East Eye, AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan discussed the rise of populism in the Gulf Arab states after the 2011 uprisings: “The governments got control of [dissent] through suppression but also by creating a stronger national project that would provide some space for the participation that younger people were advocating, but still under the leadership of the ruling families.” Additionally, discussing Kuwait's political landscape for Gulf State Analytics, Geoffrey Martin cited Diwan's piece, "Kuwait’s Snap Parliamentary Elections Bring Return of the Opposition."

On January 15, AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish appeared on Al Hurra's Free Hour discussing the Paris Middle East peace conference with Simon Araan and Nizar Farsakh.

AGSIW Research Associate Yerevan Saeed spoke with VOA TV on U.S. foreign policy under President-elect Donald Trump's administration.
Grant Writer

Position Title: Grant Writer
Department/Team: Programs and Communication
Period: Part Time (20 hours/week, no benefits)
Location: Washington, DC 
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