The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW

Upcoming Events
    Thursday, June 23, 2016 
    7:30 - 9:30 pm
    Busboys and Poets (14th and V Streets)

PERFORMERS Afra Atiq, Salem Shukri Al Attas, Fatima Al Hamad, Saltanah Ensemble
Gulf Islamic Finance in a Time of Austerity

By Mai Mahmoud

Islamic finance has grown in importance in most of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries since 2013. Islamic banks now represent more than 25 percent of the banking system in the GCC, and the region’s sukuk (sharia-compliant financial securities) market is the second largest in the world after Malaysia. Over the next few years, the growth prospects of Islamic banks in the GCC will depend on how they respond to a period of economic slowdown caused by low oil prices and consequent fiscal deficits.
Read more
The Bridge blog
Global Oil Markets Chart New Course

By Diane Munro

The cloud of surplus oil supplies overhanging global oil markets for the past few years is finally lifting, making way for a more balanced outlook and removing a weighty problem that has added to downward pressure on oil prices. The rebalancing of the global oil market will gather pace in the second half of 2016 with the realignment of supply and demand fundamentals expected to take hold in 2017, the International Energy Agency forecasts in its latest monthly report. Oil supplies have been outstripping demand by just over 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) since early 2014.
Read more

Yemen Talks Must Cement Cease-Fire Before Peace Process Can Begin

By Peter Salisbury

The fast this Ramadan will be an especially arduous one for U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. He is currently overseeing talks in Kuwait aimed at ending Yemen's civil war, which began in April and look likely to drag on through the holy month and beyond. Despite the special envoy's best efforts, the talks have thus far been largely inconclusive. Ould Cheikh Ahmed regularly reports that the negotiations are moving forward, albeit at a snail’s pace.
Read more

بقلم هشام ملحم
قبل أن تجف دماء قتلى مجزرة اورلاندو، بولاية فلوريدا، استغل المرشح المفترض للحزب الجمهوري دونالد ترامب أسوأ حادث قتل جماعي في تاريخ الولايات المتحدة يقوم به فرد واحد، ليهنيء نفسه على مواقفه العدائية للمسلمين، ولكي يقول لمنتقديه الكثر: لقد حذرتكم ولكنكم لم تتعظوا. ومنذ الكشف عن هولها، طغت هذه المأساة بظلالها الثقيلة على السجال الإنتخابي في البلاد، ومع كل كلمة نطق بها ترامب، ومع كل مهرجان إنتخابي عقده هو أو منافسته الديموقراطية هيلاري كلينتون، ازداد المشهد الإنتخابي بشاعة وسريالية وغرابة، وازدادت وتيرة انحداره إلى مستويات مقلقة وصلت إلى حد اتهام ترامب للرئيس أوباما بالتعاطف مع الإرهابيين
Millennial Gulf
Maitham Al Musawi: Storytelling from Oman through Film

By Samyah Alfoory

Maitham Al Musawi is a rarity in Oman. In addition to being an orthopedic surgeon, he is an award winning independent filmmaker. His day job and experience in local hospitals constantly inspire him to tell untold stories through film: “Living with Thalassemia” is a short documentary about a fellow doctor’s struggle with disease; “Raneen” – winner of the Special Jury Award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival – tells the story of an abandoned boy who befriends a patient in critical condition.
Read more
Obama is Wrong to Ignore His Own Diplomats’ Advice

By Hussein Ibish

On April 6, 1971, 20 United States foreign service officers led by the consul general in Dhaka, Archer Blood, issued the first formal telegram of dissent in the history of the state department. It warned that US policy “has evidenced what many will consider moral bankruptcy" because Washington had “chosen not to intervene, even morally", on the grounds that the conflict in what was then East Pakistan – which was bordering on genocide – “is purely an internal matter of a sovereign state".
Read more

Foreign Policy Narratives of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince’s US Visit

By Sigurd Neubauer

This article was written on June 17 as a preview to Saudi Arabia's Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's U.S. visit.

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is in the United States this week for talks focusing on bilateral security cooperation and his strategy to diversify the Kingdom’s energy-dependent economy. He has so far met with US Congressional leadersSecretary of State John Kerry and the directors of the CIA and National Intelligence. He will meet President Barack Obama at the White House on Friday, according to Saudi sources.
Read more

Saudi Arabia: Quietly Does It

By Fahad Nazer

Media coverage of Saudi Arabia over the past year has largely focused on its new, more assertive foreign policy, as demonstrated by its military campaign in Yemen. More recently, a blueprint for economic reform known as “Vision 2030” aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on oil has attracted the attention of economists and energy analysts around the world. However, Saudi Arabia is also in the midst of another important—but often overlooked— “transformation.” 
Read more
In the Media
AGSIW Executive Vice President Ambassador Stephen A. Seche commented on Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to the United States in an article in Bloomberg. In regards to criticism of the kingdom's efforts against extremism, Seche said that Saudi Arabia needs to come to grips with these issues in terms of its relationship with the United States. Seche's comments also appeared in the Chicago Tribune. In another article in the Washington Post, Seche commented on U.S. efforts against Al Qaeda in Yemen. Seche additionally appeared on CNBC to discuss Salman's visit and U.S. policy in Syria.

AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan discussed Salman's U.S. visit with Al Arabiya, noting it would "likely bring a big economic delegation to promote the economic reform agenda and to seek partners and investors." 
Speaking with Al Arabiya, AGSIW Non-Resident Fellow Fahad Nazer said the visit would be an opportunity for Riyadh and Washington to find common ground while discussing regional issues. Nazer additionally commented on the visit in articles for The Arab Weekly and Arab News. In Financial Times Nazer addressed Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 noting, "It is clear that increasing direct foreign investment is a major component of this ambitious package of economic reforms and Saudi officials appear keen to include American companies in their plans going forward."

1050 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 1060

Washington, DC 20036

unsubscribe | update subscription preferences