The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Upcoming Event
Watch live
DATE Monday March 6, 2017 
TIME 12:00 - 1:30 pm
SPEAKERS Mark N. Katz, Marie Mendras, Bessma Momani
MODERATOR Hussein Ibish

DATE March 24 - 26, 2017
LOCATION The Kennedy Center

AGSIW is happy to support the world premiere of "Petrol Station" by Anglo-Kuwaiti director Sulayman Al Bassam at the Kennedy Center. Use discount code 252769 for 20 percent off select orchestra and balcony seats.

By Steven A. Cook and Hussein Ibish

Since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in November 2002, Turkey’s relations with the Gulf Arab countries have fluctuated between varying degrees of cooperation and mutual suspicion. From the Turkish perspective, these dramatic shifts have been driven primarily by changing political needs of the AKP’s leadership against the backdrop of a political worldview that sees Turkey as a natural leader in the Muslim world. This has led to moments of unprecedented cooperation between Turkey and some of the Gulf states, as well as instances of mistrust and competition. 
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The Bridge blog

By Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz is conducting a six-country tour of Asia that will take him to Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, China, and the Maldives. Aside from its monthlong duration, the trip is significant for the commercial and strategic messages it conveys in the context of Saudi Arabia’s ambitious program of economic reform and efforts to balance global power and geopolitical influence. The visit is consistent with the Saudi “pivot to Asia” in recent years, based around a set of common interests in trade, energy, and counterterrorism.
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Saudi Arabia is powering ahead with ambitious plans to reorganize its massive energy sector. The restructuring is part of its strategic plan to reduce domestic oil dependence and adopt a more commercial approach to its business operations at state oil company Aramco as part of Vison 2030 and ahead of the historic initial public offering set for 2018.
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Why Did Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Go to Iraq?

Saudi Arabia’s national interests in Iraqi domestic politics, and their impact on regional dynamics, have never been that far from the surface. But they reappeared, strikingly, to the public eye when Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made a surprise visit to Baghdad on February 26. The ostensible reason for the journey was to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s relations with its northern neighbor, particularly in the context of the ongoing struggle against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and to position Riyadh to maximize its influence in the post-ISIL aftermath in Iraq.
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Millennial Gulf
Animation in Saudi Arabia: Shifting the Entertainment Agenda

By Mai Alfarhan

Malik Nejer is one of Saudi Arabia’s top cartoonists and force behind the hit animated YouTube series, “Masameer.” He was drawing animations for an advertising agency, while producing animated videos for YouTube on the side, when floods claimed the lives of over a hundred people in Jeddah in 2009. Nejer posted an animated video for his little-known YouTube channel mocking the corrupt management of the devastating floods. The video went viral in just a couple of hours. Today, Nejer has a million Twitter followers, the fourth most subscribed YouTube channel in Saudi Arabia, and a successful animation production company, Myrkott Studio, which he founded in collaboration with other Saudi artists. 
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AGSIW in Arabic

لم يحدث أن وجد رئيس أمريكي نفسه في مواجهة حزمة من الاتهامات والتحقيقات خلال أول شهر له في البيت الأبيض كما يواجه اليوم الرئيس دونالد ترامب تحقيقات منفصلة يقوم بها مكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي (أف بي آي) ولجنتا الاستخبارات في مجلسي النواب والشيوخ في الكونغرس تتعلق بعلاقاته كرجل أعمال ومرشح رئاسي، وفريقه الرئاسي منذ انتخابه، بروسيا الاتحادية، وبمسؤولين روس، ورجال أعمال مقربين من الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين، وربما بعناصر في الاستخبارات الروسية
اطلع على المزيد

By Bernard Haykel

Speaking with Michael Young of the Carnegie Middle East Center, AGSIW Board Member Bernard Haykel discussed challenges for Saudi Arabia and the broader Middle East, including lower oil prices, regional conflicts, royal succession, and the future of U.S.-Saudi relations.
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In the Media
AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young commented on Oman's fiscal management for Debtwire: “For Oman, the current ability to borrow and issue debt is an ongoing necessity. Any disruption to that credit line will make fiscal governance very difficult.” Speaking with MEES, Young also commented on Saudi Aramco's initial public offering plans: “Investors will be attracted to this offering if they feel oil is a safe investment, and if they feel that the management of Aramco remains prudent and cautious, as it has been for many years.”

Speaking with RFI, AGSIW Visiting Scholar Hala Aldosari commented on Saudi Arabia's male guardianship system, noting that “It’s not the only country that implements this kind of a system, it’s implemented to various degrees in different countries, with different conditions, such as Kuwait.”
On March 1, AGSIW Visiting Scholar Hala Aldosari participated in the panel "Voices for Reform: The Work of Saudi Arabia's Civil and Human Rights Activists," hosted by Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain at the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, DC. Additionally, she discussed the role of women in reforming the legal system in Saudi Arabia as part of the panel "Women as Agents of Change in the International Order," hosted by the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Global Theory and History program in Washington, DC. On February 21, Aldosari presented research on gender-based violence in Saudi Arabia at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. She also delivered a lecture at American University on women's participation in Saudi Arabia's municipal elections.

AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young delivered a lecture, “Foreign Policies of the Gulf States and Economic Drivers of Change,” at the Foreign Service Institute. AGSIW Visiting Scholar Mark N. Katz participated in the Valdai Discussion Club conference, "The Middle East: When Will Tomorrow Come?" in Moscow, Russia, February 27–28.
Visiting Scholar

Position Title: Visiting Scholar
Department/Team: Senior Resident Scholars
Period: Fall 2017
Location: Washington, DC

Job Summary: Visiting Scholars are individuals who possess a PhD or equivalent professional experience, and whose primary purpose for residence at AGSIW is to conduct independent research. 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. AGSIW will provide a stipend that can be used to cover living expenses, travel costs, or incidental research expenses.

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Summer 2017 Internship

Position Title: Program and Digital Media Intern
Department/Team: Programs and Publications
Period: May through August 2017
Location: Washington, DC

Job Summary: The Internship Program at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW) provides talented students and recent graduates with a three-month (or longer) unpaid training opportunity designed to encourage professional and personal development. As a newly established organization, we encourage out-of-the-box thinking and value fresh perspectives. AGSIW will provide interns with a transportation stipend for the duration of the internship.

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