The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Upcoming Events
Saudi women Driving Forward: Women in the Gulf Assess a Changing Landscape

DATE Thursday November 30, 2017
TIME 12:30 - 2:00 pm
SPEAKERS Loujain al-Hathloul, Alanoud Al-Sharekh
MODERATOR Kristin Smith Diwan

UAESF 2017 UAESF 2017: Defense Industry and Economic Diversification

DATE Wednesday December 6, 2017
TIME 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
LOCATION Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Solar Panels in Masdar CityWeathering Climate Change in the Gulf

By Mai Mahmoud

Climate change and environmental degradation are among the most pressing threats facing countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. There is ample evidence of extreme weather events in the Gulf region, ranging from extreme summer temperatures to unprecedented flooding and intense tropical storms. The impacts of climate change are not only environmental but also have economic and socio-political dimensions.
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The Bridge blog
Louvre Abu DhabiBeyond the Spectacle: An Urban Assessment of Louvre Abu Dhabi

By Yasser Elsheshtawy

On November 11, Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors to the public after a long and arduous construction process that survived an economic crisis, a financial downturn, post-Arab Spring turmoil, and all sorts of technical delays. Initially announced in 2006 following a competition won by French architect Jean Nouvel, the contract with the Louvre was awarded a year later. 
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Millennial Gulf
Women in Jeddah riding bikesBisklayta: Pedaling through Hurdles in Saudi Arabia

By Mai Alfarhan

Nadeemah Abulaynain started riding her bicycle in her Jeddah neighborhood and, through Instagram, slowly attracted other women to join her. In 2015, at 16 years old, she founded Saudi Arabia’s first independently run women’s public cycling group, Bisklayta. Riding bicycles in public became permissible for women in 2013 with one caveat: the presence of a male guardian.
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AGSIW in Arabic

وصف الرئيس دونالد ترامب أول جولة له في الشرق الأوسط بأنها مفصلية وحققت إنجازات ضخمة إن لجهة تعميق وتوسيع العلاقات الاقتصادية والسياسية مع أصدقاء الولايات المتحدة وتحديدا دول الخليج العربية، أم لتأسيس تعاون جديد لمكافحة الإرهاب ومصادر تمويله والتصدي لمنابعه الأيديولوجية، أم لوضع أسس تعاون إقليمي جديد للتصدي لنشاطات إيران السلبية والتخريبية في سوريا والعراق واليمن
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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:
RiyadhCorruption Purge Overshadows Stalled Reality of Saudi Economy

By Karen E. Young

Saudi Arabia is in a period of top-down restructuring, creating risk and opportunity for its citizens and ruling family. There have been a series of recent proclamations: public policy shifts on women’s economic inclusion, limits on the power of the Islamic clerics, promises of robots and new technology, and open investment opportunities in special economic cities under separate jurisdiction. The remaking (or dismantling) of the Saudi state seems very possible. The announcement of mass arrests and freezing of financial assets of business tycoons, sitting ministers, and military brass Nov. 5 should not have been a surprise. For all of the announcements of intentions to change, though, there are some intransigent aspects of the Saudi economy that refuse to budge.
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NetanyahuHow a Saudi-Israeli Alliance Could Benefit the Palestinians

By Hussein Ibish

The flirtation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which has been gaining momentum both publicly and privately in recent years, seems to be picking up even more steam now, especially on the Israeli side. Israel’s Military Chief of Staff General Gadi Eizenkot gave a wide-ranging interview to a major Saudi website offering greater intelligence cooperation, among other overtures. 
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Doha, QatarQatar and the UAE: Exploring Divergent Responses to the Arab Spring

By David B. Roberts

During the Arab Spring, Qatar tended to support the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates, while the United Arab Emirates opposed them. This article argues that, despite these states' ostensible similarities, their different political structures fostered contrasting experiences with an ascendant political Islam. Subsequently, the policies reflected each leader's approach to statecraft: Abu Dhabi crown prince Muhammad bin Zayid Al Nahyan, who steers Emirati foreign policy, reacted with a security-focused check on such groups, while the former Qatari emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani sought to build relations with them.
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Past Event
David Des RochesThe Future of Saudi Defense and Security Forces

Among the potentially far-reaching consequences of the recent wave of arrests and other upheavals in Saudi Arabia are changes to the way the kingdom’s military and security sector is structured. In a roundtable discussion, Non-Resident Fellow DB Des Roches discussed the implications for Saudi Arabia‘s security doctrine and international alliances.
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In the Media

Stephen A. Seche on Al JazeeraOn Al Jazeera, Executive Vice President Stephen A. Seche discussed the conflict in Yemen. Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young spoke with Al Arabiya about a provision in the U.S. Senate's tax reform plan that would eliminate exemptions for certain airlines: "The tax bill proposed in the Senate contains an effort to target Gulf air carriers as airlines with routes too costly for U.S. carriers to compete."

Hussein Ibish on Al JazeeraOn Al Jazeera English, Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish discussed recent arrests in Saudi Arabia. Ibish additionally commented on an Israeli Cabinet minister's remarks that Israel has had covert contact with Saudi Arabia concerning Iran, speaking with Reuters. He noted that the minister's comments "won’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention to the budding courtship between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which is being especially pushed by the Israeli side."
Marcelle Wahba at BhuthAmbassador Marcelle M. Wahba, AGSIW president, and Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish, spoke at the conference "State vs. Non-State: The New Polarity in the GCC" hosted by b'huth, the Dubai Policy Research Centre. Wahba and Ibish additionally led a roundtable discussion on "The U.S.-UAE Strategic Partnership and the Evolving Security Landscape in the Gulf" at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy.

Wahba at ADIPECWahba delivered the keynote address at Women in Energy Day at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference. Her remarks were cited by Khaleej Times and Al Bawaba: “When it comes to glass ceilings, I understand that there’s none tougher to crack than the one that women face in the oil and gas industry.” Wahba additionally spoke at the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce dinner at ADIPEC.

Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young presented a lecture on “Challenges to the Saudi Economy” at the American Enterprise Institute. Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan participated in a conference at Chatham House on human security in the Gulf. Diwan additionally briefed members of the U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Gulf succession.

Kristin Smith DiwanAGSIW is participating in the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association in Washington, DC, November 18-21, showcasing the work of the institute. Kristin Smith Diwan and Board Member F. Gregory Gause, III spoke on the panel "What Just Happened in Saudi Arabia? Contextualizing Power, Crises and Crackdowns."

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