The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Upcoming Event
DATE Friday March 24, 2017
TIME 8:00 pm
LOCATION The Kennedy Center

Join AGSIW for a post-performance discussion with Anglo-Kuwaiti director Sulayman Al Bassam, moderated by AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan. "Petrol Station" runs March 24 – 26. Click here to purchase tickets. Use discount code 252769 for 20 percent off select orchestra and balcony seats.
The Bridge blog
China Leg is Key to Success of King Salman’s Asia Tour

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz is on the first leg of an unprecedented trip to several key countries in East Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, China, Japan, and the Maldives. This will be the first time a Saudi monarch has been to Japan, one of the world’s most important industrial powers and economies, and he will be the first to visit Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, since the 1970s. But the most multifaceted, significant, and, potentially, far-reaching destination on King Salman's itinerary will be his visit to Beijing during the third leg of his trip. 
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The outlook for a sustained price recovery in 2017 in a world overflowing with oil supplies was a major topic of discussion at one of the most important industry gatherings this week in Houston. Pessimists argued that resurgent shale oil production was undermining the impact of lower output by OPEC and some key non-OPEC producers on record global oil inventories. Optimists cautioned that more time was needed for the production cuts to reach the market. 
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The administration of President Donald J. Trump has suggested that one of its foreign policy goals may be to attempt to persuade Russia to distance itself from Iran and even cooperate with the United States against Tehran. The benefits for Moscow seem clear to those in Washington who think the United States and Russia have important common interests in the Middle East: Russia’s relations with the West and the Gulf Arabs would markedly improve, and, as the P5+1 nuclear deal demonstrates, the United States and Russia working together have greater prospects for ensuring that Iran does not break out of its commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons (which is just as much of a threat to Russia). 
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Market Watch
Economic Nationalism at the Expense of GCC Integration

There are a number of new tax initiatives unfolding across the Gulf Cooperation Council, the most publicized and cohesive of which is the value-added tax to be introduced collectively in 2018. There are also individual country initiatives that aim to increase government revenue through taxes, but also to better institutionalize and streamline private sector regulation. 
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AGSIW in Arabic

الرئيس ترامب غاضب ومحبط. الرئيس الجديد والمقربون منه في البيت الأبيض أقنعوا أنفسهم أنهم يواجهون ائتلافا معاديا لهم مؤلفا من البيروقراطية المتجذرة في المؤسسات الأمريكية ومن بقايا الليبراليين المؤيدين للرئيس السابق باراك أوباما، إضافة إلى أجهزة الاستخبارات، والنظام القضائي، وأن هذه القوى تتآمر مع وسائل الاعلام، من خلال تسريب المعلومات والوثائق والأسرار، لتشويه صورة ومكانة الرئيس ترامب ولتقويض طموحاته وبرامجه وسياساته والحركة المحافظة التي يقودها

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

By Hala Aldosari and Phyllis Sharps

This study aimed to explore selected risk factors for spousal physical violence (SPV) in women frequenting primary health care clinics (PHCs) in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional study design was conducted in six PHCs, where one-on-one, private interviews with 200 women were conducted using a standardized World Health Organization (WHO) violence against women questionnaire (v.10.0). SPV was reported by 45.5% of women. 
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By Hala Aldosari

The year 2016 witnessed a dramatic economic transformation in Saudi Arabia that triggered unprecedented political changes. Vision 2030, released at the end of 2015, created a roadmap to wean Saudi Arabia off its oil-based economy. Empowering women and materializing their potentials was one of the main objectives of Vision 2030.
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Past Event
Will Washington and Moscow Work Together in the Middle East?

On March 6, AGSIW hosted a discussion comparing the U.S. and Russian Middle East agendas,  evaluating the prospect of a new level of coordination. Can the new administration simultaneously pursue cooperation with Moscow and confrontation with Tehran, given the close partnership between Russia and Iran? How compatible are Russian and U.S. regional strategic goals, especially over the long run? 
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In the Media
AGSIW Executive Vice President Ambassador Stephen A. Seche discussed the ongoing conflict in Yemen with Al Arabiya. Speaking with Arab News, AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish commented on a U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia: "The Trump administration’s decision to release the long-scheduled weapons sale to Saudi Arabia isn’t a surprise." Ibish also spoke with Financial Times regarding relations between Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council states. Additionally, discussing Gulf Arab countries' involvement in Syria, Al Monitor cited Ibish‘s publication, “What’s at Stake for the Gulf Arab States in Syria?”

Speaking with DebtWire, AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young commented on Kuwait's planned bond issue and economic reform: "Unlike other GCC members, Kuwaiti politics are more contested and recent parliamentary elections have ushered in a number of new MPs who are less amenable to the economic reform agenda, particularly in the reduction of subsidies, and many who are aligned with a more populist opposition movement, some with an Islamist affiliation." Speaking with Al Monitor, Young also commented on a letter sent by U.S. lawmakers to President Donald J. Trump requesting to cancel a planned Emirates airline route between Newark, New Jersey and Athens, Greece to protect U.S. jobs. She noted the trade fight could "gain traction in the current environment of economic nationalism in the United States."
AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young delivered a lecture at the National Defense University on demographic trends and economic change in Saudi Arabia. In addition, AGSIW Visiting Scholar Mark N. Katz delivered a lecture on Russia and the Middle East at the MIT security studies program in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
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

Deadline to Apply: March 15
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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