The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW

Upcoming Events
    Tuesday, April 12, 2016 
    4:30 - 6:30 pm  
    1050 Connecticut Ave, NW, Ste. 1060    
     Washington, DC 20036          

SPEAKERS H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Frederic Launay
    Monday, April 18, 2016 
    12:00 - 1:30 pm  
    1050 Connecticut Ave, NW, Ste. 1060    
     Washington, DC 20036          

SPEAKERS Cole Bunzel, Toby Matthiesen, Madawi Al-Rasheed
MODERATOR Kristin Smith Diwan
Millennial Gulf
Cinema Akil: A Home for Film in the Gulf

By Samyah Alfoory
Founded by Emiratis Butheina Kazim and Mishaal Al Gergawi in 2014 in Dubai, Cinema Akil intends to be “a space for conversations around cinema.” The founders set out to build a fixed space for independent films and in the process began hosting pop-up film events at various locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, including a series over the hot Emirati summer that encouraged an appreciation of the sun by screening films inspired by it. The first art house cinema in the Gulf, Cinema Akil has hosted events on the historical trajectory of hip-hop culture, independent fashion, and a program of films from around the Gulf. Akil, in Arabic, means one who embodies wisdom, knowledge, and intellect: the cinema’s archetypal visitor.
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Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Paves Path for Kingdom’s Post-Oil Era

By Sigurd Neubauer
Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has emerged as the symbol of Saudi Arabia’s quest to reshape its policies within an ever changing region plagued by geopolitical rivalry, changing alliances and dwindling energy revenues. On Friday, the deputy crown prince announced plans to dedicate a $2 trillion budget for a post-oil economy, in an interview with Bloomberg. The Public Investment Fund aims to help reduce the kingdom’s dependency on oil, its most valued resource.
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Clinton, Trump, and Riyadh: How Saudi Arabia Sees the U.S. Presidential Election

By Fahad Nazer
The White House recently announced that U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Saudi Arabia in April as part of an overseas trip, with additional stops in Germany and the United Kingdom. The statement came as no surprise; the United States and the countries that constitute the Gulf Cooperation Council—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—had agreed to convene sometime this year after their Camp David summit last May, during which they issued a joint statement reaffirming the United States’ commitment to the Gulf’s security.
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The U.S. Presidential Election and its Implications on Middle East Policy

By Sigurd Neubauer
Amidst an unpredictable U.S. election campaign, a populist revolt against Washington’s political establishment is in the making. An increasingly frustrated electorate has handsomely rewarded New York businessman Donald Trump at the ballot box for vigorously – and at times crudely – taking on political taboos as he remains the Republican Party’s undisputed frontrunner, despite having proposed to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. This and his proposal to defeat the Islamic State group, or ISIS, by “taking its oil” have undoubtedly contributed to cementing his frontrunner status.
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Past Event
Personal Status Laws in the Gulf States
On March 31, AGSIW hosted a panel discussion examining the various triggers and challenges for codification of personal status laws in the GCC. Additionally, the discussion covered the structural and social barriers that impede women’s rights despite the implementation of personal status laws. How do personal status laws in the Gulf Arab states compare to other countries in the region? What avenues are communities working through to change the laws? And what access do women have to justice?
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In the Media
AGSIW Executive Vice President Ambassador Stephen A. Seche spoke with BBC World News America on April 1. Seche discussed the extent of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and prospects for an end to the war.
In an article for Al Arabiya, AGSIW scholars noted the significance behind Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's announcement of a Saudi Aramco IPO of up to 5 percent. AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen Young noted the interdependence of the country's sovereign wealth fund and Saudi Aramco's IPO: “If the sovereign wealth fund will be funded by a sale of Aramco shares, then the post-oil recovery depends on the resilience of oil prices and Aramco’s – Saudi – oil production and efficiency.”

In the same article, AGSIW Non-Resident Fellow Fahad Nazer discussed the expectation of government institutions to make decisions quickly: “Those who have heard Prince Mohammad Bin Salman speak about his vision for the future of Saudi Arabia and who have taken part in the workshops that have debated the soon to be unveiled National Transformation Plan, have all maintained that the emphasis will be on performance, accountability and results.”

1050 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1060

Washington, DC 20036

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