The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Saudi Women Voting Saudi Women’s Online Activism: One Year of the “I Am My Own Guardian” Campaign

By Nora Doaiji

This paper is an overview of the women’s campaign against the male guardianship system in Saudi Arabia and a window into the new landscape of media activism. The dynamics and developments of the “I Am My Own Guardian” campaign are a testimony to the new energy in women’s activism in the kingdom, which led up to the recently issued royal decree to allow women to drive. It also provides a fascinating snapshot of state-society relations at this time of generational transition.
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The Bridge blog
Hadi in Aden Referendum Declaration: Another Step toward the “Erbilization” of Yemen's South?

By Peter Salisbury

It is a gamble that has not paid off for secessionists in Catalonia or Iraqi Kurdistan. Yet Southern Yemeni separatists have announced plans for a referendum on independence, in the apparent hope that the regional political atmosphere is on their side – and that without a functioning central Yemeni state or security services they can succeed where others have struggled in the push toward independence.
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Market Watch
UAE National Day UAE Fiscal Policy: Shining Light on Federal Resource Sharing

By Karen E. Young

Government bonds are a popular remedy to budget deficits across the Gulf Cooperation Council states right now. Their time of fiscal need is driven by the current era of oil prices at $60 or less, which is a hangover period from historically high oil prices between 2003 and 2014 when states spent heavily on public sector wages, infrastructure investment, education expansion, subsidized energy and water, and social services. 
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Millennial Gulf
The Way game Nostalgia for the Past: Saudis Lead Revival in Board Games

By Saffanah Zaini

In an age when the virtual world is becoming increasingly dominant, a culture of board games and nonvirtual games is flourishing in Saudi Arabia. Young Saudis are filling specialized coffee houses that provide games for customers, including ones designed by Saudis and other Arabs that draw upon Arab and Islamic culture and history. Companies producing the games are part of a new and growing native gaming industry.
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AGSIW in Arabic

خلال أسبوع واحد استعادت "قوات الحشد الشعبي"، وهي الميليشيات الشيعية التي تمولها إيران وتسيطر عليها، ووحدات من الجيش العراقي السيطرة على مدينة كركوك ومحيطها، بما في ذلك حقول النفط، بعد انسحاب قوات البيشمركة الكردية في ظروف غامضة ومريبة، والتي كانت قد سيطرت على المدينة وحقول النفط عقب اجتياح إرهابيي “الدولة الإسلامية” أراض عراقية واسعة بما فيها مدينة الموصل في صيف 2014، تمهيدا لإعلان قيام دولة “الخلافة”. وفي الوقت ذاته تقريبا، أنهت قوات "سوريا الديمقراطية"، وهي بمعظمها تنتمي إلى “وحدات حماية الشعب” الكردية المدعومة من مقاتلي الجيش السوري الحر، معركة تحرير مدينة الرقة التي كانت تعتبر “عاصمة الدولة الإسلامية” بعد قتال مرير استمر لأشهر وشارك فيه سلاح الجو الأمريكي بكثافة الأمر الذي جعل الانتصار ممكنا
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Past Events
Anwar Gargash and Marcelle Wahba A Conversation with H.E. Anwar Gargash

On October 17, AGSIW was pleased to host a roundtable discussion with H.E. Anwar Gargash, minister of state for foreign affairs of the United Arab Emirates. The discussion focused on the UAE response to regional challenges, and the U.S.-UAE relationship.
Sanaa, Yemen Yemen’s Cratered Economy: Glimmers of Hope?

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is the worst on the planet in sheer numbers, according to the United Nations. On October 18, AGSIW hosted a roundtable discussion on Yemen’s economy. The discussion focused on policy options at a macroeconomic and local level to alleviate the suffering of Yemenis, as the war continues and a political deal is nowhere in sight.
Zayed Al Zayani A Conversation with H.E. Zayed R. Alzayani

On October 17, AGSIW hosted a conversation with H.E. Zayed R. Alzayani, minister of industry, commerce, and tourism of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The discussion focused on Bahrain’s efforts to sustain economic prosperity over the long term, and create a diversified private sector that generates income from a variety of thriving industries.
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Shaikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa The Arts and Culture Scene in Bahrain

AGSIW was pleased to host a conversation on the arts and culture scene in Bahrain with Shaikha Hala bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, an artist and the culture and arts director at the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities.
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In the Media
Karen YoungSenior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young commented on Aramco's initial public offering for Middle East Online: "A private placement of a small stake in Aramco would solve a lot of headaches with the current efforts to list the company in global platforms."

Non-Resident Fellow Peter Salisbury commented on whether a Saudi-Russian rapprochement could resolve the conflict in Yemen for Gulf News: "For the moment, I think that at most you’ll see the Saudis try and use Moscow as a back channel with Saleh and Al Houthis, as the UN process has largely lost momentum."

Covering AGSIW's September 25 conference, "Petro Diplomacy: Navigating the New Oil Era," AFP quoted AGSIW Board Member Ibrahim Al-Muhanna's remarks on OPEC: "OPEC, through its alliance with key non-OPEC producers, has recently created a new paradigm for managing markets."
Salisbury at Foreign Affairs LiveBoard Member Bernard Haykel and Non-Resident Fellows Hisham Melhem and Peter Salisbury spoke at "The Widening Gulf: Saudi-Iran Confrontation in the Trump Era" at Foreign Affairs Live. Melhem commented on the role of the Trump administration in the region: “America is the indispensable power in the Middle East and in the rest of the world, with all its problems," while Salisbury discussed the nature of proxy wars, noting: “When you have multiple external actors bringing resources in, it extends the conflict by five to 10 years."

Ibish at CNASSenior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish spoke at the Center for a New American Security's Middle East Forum, discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan spoke at the annual conference of the Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique in Paris, France.
Arabian Sights Film Festival
Arabian Sights Film FestivalAGSIW is proud to sponsor the Cultural Ambassador Prize at the 2017 Arabian Sights Film Festival, October 20-29. The Cultural Ambassador Prize is a competition of selected films that deserve increased recognition.

Click here for tickets.
Spring 2018 Internships

Position Title: Program and Digital Media Intern
Department/Team: Programs and Publications
Period: Spring 2018
Hours: 20 to 30 hours per week
Location: Washington, DC
Deadline to Apply: November 1

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) training opportunity designed to encourage professional and personal development. We encourage out-of-the-box thinking and value fresh perspectives.

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Washington, DC 20036

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