The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Millennial Gulf

By Mai Alfarhan

The career of curating is new to the Gulf, though the role of a curator is not. People have long curated exhibitions in the region at their homes or in art galleries without being addressed as a “curator.” When asked about how familiar people are in the Gulf with the term “curator,” Aisha Stoby said: “I do find that I am still sometimes met with surprise when I say I am a curator, and equal levels of surprise when I say I am an Omani curator.” But with a curatorial platform like Banafsajeel, which means “in the breath of a generation,” people in the Gulf are becoming more familiar with this craft. They are growing their appreciation for local artists, national museums, and interacting with art installations in public spaces, thanks to efforts of young curators like Noor Aldabbagh and Aisha Stoby. 
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Gulf Economic Barometer
Kuwait's Ministry of Finance presents a draft bill for implementation of a selective tax on tobacco, energy drinks, and soft drinks. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture will start privatizing the sewage sector and the Public Transport Authority is inviting proposals from companies in railway transport services for the construction and operation of the Riyadh-Dammam Railway, Northern Railway, and Land Bridge Project.
See these and other updates to the Gulf Economic Barometer.
AGSIW in Arabic
التطور الهام، في فضيحة التدخل الروسي في انتخابات الرئاسة الأمريكية الذي فرض نفسه على الإعلام الأمريكي والأوساط السياسية في واشنطن خلال الأسبوع المنصرم، لم يكن “خبرا ملفقا” كما هي عادة الرئيس ترامب في وصف مثل هذه الاخبار، بل خبرا حقيقيا تمثل بقيام نجله دونالد ترامب جونيور بالكشف عن مراسلات إلكترونية تعود إلى حزيران/يونيو 2016 بينه وبين مقربين من الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين، بهدف تدبير اجتماع مع محامية تمثل الحكومة الروسية يفترض أن توفر له معلومات مضرة بالمرشحة الديمقراطية هيلاري كلينتون.  وتكشف الرسائل بوضوح أن الروس كانوا يريدون تزويد جونيور بمعلومات سرية “مفيدة جدا لوالدك

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

The past five years have witnessed a tremendous growth in the creative fields in the Gulf Arab states. AGSIW's Gulf Arts and Culture Symposium celebrated these advances and evaluated their impact. The opening night showcased an exhibit by Emirati artist Ebtisam Abdul-Aziz. The next day featured a panel on the "New Dynamism in the Arts" that the Gulf is experiencing. That evening was a film screening of "Nearby Sky," featuring Fatima Alhameli's unique story as the first female Emirati camel owner to take part in the Camel Beauty Pageant Competition, followed by a discussion with the film's director. The symposium concluded with a panel on "Culture and International Outreach," during which panelists explored individual and state art initiatives in the Gulf. Jazz pianist Tarek Yamani closed the symposium with a performance.

As part of the symposium, AGSIW released the publication “The UAE’s Emergence as a Hub for Contemporary Art” by Non-Resident Fellow Hanan Sayed Worrell.
In the Media

Hussein Ibish
Speaking with Arab News, AGSIW President Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba discussed the challenges that face the new Saudi ambassador to the United States: “The biggest challenge for Prince Khaled will be broadening the Kingdom’s image beyond the narrow perspective of energy, counterterrorism and military sales. That means the economic, public affairs and cultural affairs departments at the embassy should be strengthened and empowered to engage widely with the Washington policy community and American audiences outside of the beltway.”

AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young spoke to Zenith about the GCC crisis and the role of the Trump administration. She noted that the Saudis and Emiratis “saw an opening and an opportunity to push forward in foreign policy directives that they held anyway, and they went for it.” She additionally commented on the economic status of the Gulf states by noting that the current dispute could disrupt agendas the Gulf Cooperation Council has been working on, including defense, intelligence sharing, economic mobility of citizens, and infrastructure. Speaking with Vox, Young explored other economic factors in the GCC crisis. She discussed the ability for Qatar to capitalize on the natural gas demand in neighboring countries as well as the relationship between Qatar and Iran stating that they are "investment partners."
Fall 2017 Internships

Position Title: Program and Digital Media Intern
Department/Team: Programs and Publications
Period: Fall 2017
Location: Washington, DC

Job Summary: The Internship Program at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington provides talented students and recent graduates with a three-month (or longer) unpaid training opportunity designed to encourage professional and personal development. We encourage out-of-the-box thinking and value fresh perspectives. AGSIW will provide interns with a transportation stipend.

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