The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Upcoming Event
DATE Sunday October 14
TIME 4:00 pm
LOCATION Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art
SPEAKERS Meshal Al Jaser and Ali Al Sumayin, Saudi filmmakers
MODERATOR Kristin Smith Diwan, senior resident scholar, AGSIW
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The Gulf Arab countries allocate a large amount of funds toward subsidies for basic commodities, which include energy, water, and various foodstuffs. These policies are counterproductive and should be phased out: They impose a large financial burden on the state at a time when fiscal responsibility is a priority; they systematically support the rich rather than the poor; they distort prices in a manner that leads to overconsumption and the adverse consequences of the overconsumption are compounded in that many of the subsidized commodities have negative effects on the environment. This paper uses economic theory to demonstrate the negative implications of subsidies.
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The Bridge blog

In the midst of the civil war in Iraq, and as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant was threatening the central government in Baghdad, several Iranian-supported Iraqi Shia militias flocked to neighboring Syria to fight for the survival of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The losses suffered by the Iraqi Shia fighters, referred to as the “Heydariyoun,” or Followers of the Lion, a reference to Ali ibn Abi Talib, the fourth caliph and first imam of the Shia, appear to have been limited, which may indicate a restrained military engagement. Nevertheless, their very presence in Syria raises two fundamental questions: First, why did these Iraqi Shias prioritize Syria instead of defending Baghdad? Second, why do Iraqi Shia militias in Syria fight in separate units rather than a unified Iraqi Shia militia?
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By Aisha Al-Sarihi

Home to nearly a third of proven world crude oil and around a fifth of global natural gas reserves, some of the hydrocarbon-rich Gulf Arab states are switching to coal to fuel power plants. The construction of the 2,400-megawatt Hassyan project, the Gulf states’ first coal-fired power plant, started in 2016 in Saih Shuaib, Dubai, in support of the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050. The United Arab Emirates is now considering the development of a second coal-fired power plant. Similarly, as part of its new fuel-mix diversification strategy, Oman has already launched a competitive bid process for the development of the country’s first coal-based power plant with a capacity of 1,200 megawatts to be located in the newly established special economic zone, Duqm.
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AGSIW in Arabic

تبين المواقف الرسمية الصادرة عن واشنطن وأنقرة، أن الأزمة الأمريكية-التركية الآنية والمتعلقة بمصير القس الأمريكي المعتقل في تركيا آندرو برونسون مرشحة للاستمرار بل للتفاقم في المستقبل المنظور. ويلتقي مسؤولون أمريكيون في تصريحاتهم الصحفية المقتضبة مع بعض الأكاديميين والمختصين بالشؤون التركية على القول إنه حتى ولو تم الإفراج عن برونسون، الأمر الذي يمكن أن يخفف من حدة السجال الراهن بين البلدين، إلا أنه لن يرأب الصدع الذي تعرضت له العلاقات الثنائية منذ المحاولة الانقلابية الفاشلة في تركيا في صيف 2016. واتهمت حينها أنقرة واشنطن ومواطنين أمريكيين بدعم الانقلاب. ومنذ ذلك الوقت تصر تركيا على أن تسلمها الولايات المتحدة الداعية التركي فتح الله غولن، المقيم في عزلة في ولاية بنسلفانيا، والذي اتهمته تركيا رسميا بالتخطيط للانقلاب
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In addition to original content, in Arabic is regularly updated with new Arabic translations of AGSIW's analysis. Recent translations include:
In the Media
Karen E. YoungSenior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young discussed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reform agenda on CGTN's The Heat. Young also commented on the status of the Aramco initial public offering for Debtwire.

Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish and Visiting Scholar Ali Alfoneh commented on Iranian involvement in the Syrian war for Haaretz. Alfoneh additionally discussed sanctions against Iran for Information.

Aisha Al-SarihiOman Observer cited Visiting Scholar Aisha Al-Sarihi‘s piece "Why Oil- and Gas-Rich Gulf Arab States are Turning to Coal," which discussed coal production in the Gulf Arab states.
Senior Resident Scholar (Political Economy)

Position Title: Senior Resident Scholar (Political Economy)
Location: Washington, DC

Job Summary: One of three senior resident scholars, this position at AGSIW oversees the political economic portfolio at the institute. (S)he is responsible for producing regular high-quality, written analyses of key economic, trade, and financial developments in the Gulf region, and their broader geopolitical implications.
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Visiting Scholar

Position Title: Visiting Scholar
Period: Spring 2019

Location: Washington, DC

Job Summary: Visiting scholars are individuals who possess a PhD or equivalent professional experience. The length of stay for a visiting scholar is typically a semester or academic year. AGSIW is actively seeking candidates with significant regional experience and fluency in written and spoken Arabic. AGSIW will provide a stipend that can be used to cover living expenses, travel costs, or incidental research expenses.
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