The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW

Upcoming Event
    Thursday, May 26, 2016 
    4:30 - 6:30 pm  

SPEAKERS David Roberts, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
MODERATOR Hussein Ibish
Please join us for a reception following the discussion.
Event Report 
UAE Security Forum 2016: Bridging the Cybersecurity Talent Gap

With the increasing revolution in information technology, cybersecurity joins defense and water, food, and energy security as a core national security imperative. On February 21, the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington and Raytheon Corporation brought together cybersecurity experts, government officials, educators, and employers for the inaugural UAE Security Forum in Abu Dhabi. The goal of the forum was to explore ways to help bridge the gap in cyber curriculum and cyber training programs through dialogue with major academic institutions, government officials, and industry leaders.
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The Bridge blog
Women’s Rights and Family Law in the Middle East and North Africa

By Kent Davis-Packard

In November 2015 in Seoul, Korea, 50 women from around the world, including the United Arab Emirates, gathered at the International Women’s Democracy Network at the eighth World Movement for Democracy Assembly. When asked what issues were most important to them, they named family law reform as among their biggest priorities. In particular, women from the Middle East and North Africa said discriminatory family laws governed by sharia – a legal system based on Islam – stood between their countries and any form of women’s empowerment. This, in turn, blocked democratic progress. Why is family law reform so significant, especially in the MENA region? How does family law relate to Islam? What would it take to reform these laws in this region in particular? 
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Market Watch
Gulf Economic Barometer

The Gulf Economic Barometer monitors initiatives taken by Gulf states as they seek fiscal, monetary, and labor policy changes to meet the challenge of reduced state revenue from natural resources. 
See recent updates.
Past Event
The End of the U.S.-Saudi Special Relationship?
The United States’ relationship with Saudi Arabia has been a cornerstone of U.S. policy in the Middle East for decades. Today the relationship is under strain as fundamental changes in oil markets, regional security, and U.S. priorities at times find the United States and its newly assertive ally in disagreement and the alliance beset by a new sense of mistrust. On May 18, AGSIW hosted a panel discussion on the U.S.-Saudi relationship with F. Gregory Gause, III, AGSIW board member, John H. Lindsey ’44 Chair, professor of international affairs, and head of the international affairs department at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
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Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life
On May 19 the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington hosted a book launch with Farah Al-Nakib, assistant professor of history and the director of the Center for Gulf Studies at the American University of Kuwait, who presented her new release “Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life.”
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Is al-Qaeda Rebranding Itself to Steal the Spotlight from ISIS?
By Sigurd Neubauer

Five years after al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Special Forces, the terrorist group seems to be temporarily shifting its tactics away from primarily focusing on large scale attacks. Instead, the group is now encouraging militants to carry out lone wolf attacks against American business leaders as part of an orchestrated effort to inflict harm on the US economy.
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In the Media
On May 16, AGSIW Executive Vice President Stephen A. Seche spoke with Al Arabiya's Panorama program on the United States' evolving relationship with the Gulf Arab states. Seche additionally commented on U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen in a Foreign Policy article: "[Ali Abdullah Saleh] was an extraordinary manipulator. He was continuously sounding the alarm, [warning] that al Qaeda was encroaching further in territory that was thought to be secured. That captured the imagination of CIA and Department of Defense officials who would go back to Washington with a firm determination to provide more assistance, more training."

AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young spoke with the Knowledge@Wharton radio show on Saudi Arabia's creation of a sovereign wealth fund saying, "The distribution of wealth from this asset will still be closely guarded in the hands of the state, which is the [Royal] family." In an article for Bloomberg Business Middle East, Young spoke with Stian Overdahl on technology's transformation of the Gulf workplace noting, "What I'm excited about is that for the first time there are opportunities of governance that are really experimental and distinct across the GCC."


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