The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW

Upcoming Events 
Labor Dynamics in the Gulf

     Wednesday, February 17, 2016
     12:00 - 1:30 pm
     1050 Connecticut Ave, NW, Ste. 1060
     Washington, DC, 20036

SPEAKERS Attiya Ahmad, Omar Al-Ubaydli, and Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

MODERATOR Karen Young 
UAE Security Forum: Bridging the Cybersecurity Talent Gap

     Sunday, February 21, 2016
     8:30 am - 6:30 pm
     Emirates Palace
                                                                  Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

For more information and to register, please visit
Oman: The Gulf's Go-Between

By Sigurd Neubauer
On November 18, 2015, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took the highly unusual step of attending the Omani national day celebration in Washington, DC. This rare recognition underscores the Obama administration’s deep appreciation for Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s leadership in helping bring Iran and the United States to the negotiating table, which ultimately led to the nuclear Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This sign of respect for Qaboos coincided with his 45th anniversary on the throne, making him the Arab world’s longest serving monarch. After decades of his rule, Washington clearly appreciates the unique role Oman has carved out for itself as both facilitator of quiet dialogue and mediator on sensitive issues such as the release of prisoners.
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The Bridge blog
Why Syria Peace Talks Collapsed Immediately

By Hussein Ibish
In December 2015, the Council of Economic and Development Affairs in Saudi Arabia announced the National Transformation Program (2020). The core of the plan is economic reform with a focus on increased employment, privatization, and monitoring of ministerial performances. With the reduction of the public sector, there will be a shift in employing Saudi nationals in the private sector, currently dominated by low-skilled and low-paid foreign workers. There is a large downward gap of about 70 percent between the wages of the public sector, where most Saudi nationals are currently employed, and private sector, making the latter a rather unattractive option. 
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Setting the Agenda: Reflections of Saudi Women on the Campaign Trail

By Samyah Alfoory
On December 12, 2015, Saudi Arabia held its third round of municipal elections. The elections were the first in which women could vote and run for positions in the Municipal Council. Over 900 women registered to run as candidates and 21 women won seats in the historic election. The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington spoke with three young women who ran in the elections to discuss their motivation to run, their aspirations as councilwomen, the challenges they faced, and their views on the importance of these elections.
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Market Watch
Enter China: The New Bilateral Middle East Aid-Security-Trade Nexus

By Karen Young 
Perhaps a legacy of the Obama administration will be a Middle East that is more engaged with bilateral ties that go East and not just West. That is, a Middle East that is less reliant and less engaged with the United States on aid, security, and trade. From Gulf diplomats, there is an emerging consensus that foreign policy and economic policy can and should be made without the proverbial American “green light.”
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Millennial Gulf Design Competition
AGSIW is soliciting entries for an original logo and header design for the Millennial Gulf bilingual webpage.

Millennial Gulf is a bimonthly series published by the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW) reporting on youth-led initiatives in the realms of culture, politics, technology, and entrepreneurship in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The series profiles the efforts of individuals and organizations engaged in innovation and the promotion of social change, and highlights creative expressions in literature, art, and social media. The goal of Millennial Gulf is to elevate the voices of youth in the GCC and to deepen understanding of their concerns and aspirations.

We are looking for a design that captures the essence of youth-led change and the intention of the series as stated above. Submissions must be accompanied by a design statement and artists are encouraged to incorporate both English and Arabic into the design.
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Washington, DC 20036

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