The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

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    Tuesday July 12, 2016 
    12:00 - 1:30 pm
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     SPEAKERS Hala Aldosari, Cem Mete,
     Ali al Shihabi
     MODERATOR Kristin Smith Diwan
Notwithstanding the range of views within the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Gulf Arab states are largely committed to the ouster of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the reduction, if not elimination, of Iranian influence in Syria. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in particular, are convinced that the strategic future of the Middle East, and specifically the role of Iran, will be determined by the outcome of the Syrian conflict. They believe that if Iran and its allies prevail and the current Syrian regime survives unreconstructed it will open the door for further inroads by Tehran into the Arab world and the eventual creation of a Persian miniempire in the region.
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Market Watch
Regional Integration, Teachable Moments, and the Politics of Fear

By Karen E. Young

The politics of integration across sovereign boundaries can be precarious, even fickle, as the British referendum to leave the European Union on June 23 illustrated. For the Gulf Cooperation Council, this should be a teachable moment. It is instructive to the GCC in that the EU has actually been very successful at incorporating policy variance and creating procedures for gradual policy convergence. The GCC seeks monetary policy convergence, free trade, and labor movement, as well as a shared security strategy and defense capability.
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Millennial Gulf

By Samyah Alfoory

Oman’s first online newspaper, Al Balad, is run by a group of local youth: Turki Al-Balushi, Ali-Alansari, Noora Almeer, Rahma Al-Judaili, Firas Altubi, Salah Al-Balushi, Rahma Alsawafi, Talib Alabri, and Ghalib Alabri. The founding members wanted to diverge from traditional practice and bring a new flavor of independent and credible journalism to Oman. Since its debut in 2012, the all Arabic Al Balad has raised the bar for other Omani news sources in two important ways: by publishing content that existing media outlets previously had excluded and by utilizing social media to connect Al Balad to the pulse of the Omani street.
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Is This the Beginning of a New Era in US-Saudi Relations?

By Hussein Ibish

The recent visit to Washington, New York and Silicon Valley by Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, might, like most diplomatic missions, quickly faded into irrelevance. But this trip also has the potential to one day be recalled as a watershed moment in US-Saudi relations. That will depend entirely on the fate of the sweeping economic and social reform agenda Prince Mohammed is championing in an attempt to transform Saudi society from the top down.
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Has Ramadan 2016 Been One of the Bloodiest in Modern History?

By Sigurd Neubauer

The past 30 days have seen a string of high-profile terrorist attacks that have provided shock factors in regards to their timing, location and magnitude. Militants chose to strike the several global targets during the holy month of Ramadan, dared to detonate a suicide bomb near the Prophet’s Mosque in the holy city of Madinah, and committed the biggest act of domestic terrorism since 9/11 – the Orlando mass shooting.
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In the Media
In an interview with Al-Hayat, AGSIW Executive Vice President Ambassador Stephen A. Seche commented on the stalemated Yemeni peace talks in Kuwait. Seche noted that U.N. Secretary-General “Ban Ki-moon’s interference came too late and will likely come to no avail. Ban Ki-moon’s efforts only reflect the concerns of the international community that the talks might fail.”
On June 28th Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish spoke at the National Defense University conference “Defeating Daesh and the Day After." Ibish presented a paper on Saudi Arabia's approach to fighting ISIL on a panel with Lt. General Terry A. Wolff (ret.), deputy special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, and Nikolay Kozhanov of the Carnegie Moscow Center.

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