The Dhow: A Weekly Newsletter from AGSIW 

Past Event

Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election upended global markets, as investors assessed the risk of a shift in U.S. presidential leadership. On November 16, AGSIW hosted a roundtable with Christof Rühl, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s first global head of research, who addressed the Trump effect on the global economy, as well as the interface between oil markets and global economic performance. The session explored current drivers of global economic performance and anticipated risks.

By Courtney Freer

Independent political movements, Islamist or otherwise, are often overlooked in the Gulf Arab states that benefit from substantial incomes due to oil wealth. It is exactly in such states, however, that Islamism arguably becomes the most plausible means of expressing opposition to the existing order. The activity of Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi organizations in the Gulf states thus influences political discourse and social life. The organizations do so, however, in different ways and to varying extents, depending on government structures and tolerance of independent Islamist movements, the latter of which has become increasingly informed by the role such groups play abroad.
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The Bridge blog

The death of Muhammad Sorour at age 80 in Qatar has gone almost entirely unremarked upon in the West, but arguably signals the end of an era for Sunni Muslim religious extremism. Sorour – a former member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood who broke with the group because, in effect, it wasn’t extreme enough for him – was a seminal figure in the transition from traditional, and essentially apolitical, traditions of Salafism and heralding the emergence of the Salafist-jihadist movement, most notoriously embodied in the rival groups al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ignited hopes again this week that Yemen’s protracted war may come to a negotiated end, when he announced upon arriving in Abu Dhabi that both the armed Houthi insurgency and the Saudi-led military coalition have agreed to a cessation of hostilities to begin November 17. Whether this comes to pass remains to be seen, given the initial response from Yemen’s foreign minister, who claimed that his government was “not aware of, nor is it interested in what Secretary Kerry announced.”
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Millennial Gulf

By Joshua Levkowitz

In 2014, Yemeni-Scottish filmmaker Sara Ishaq’s film “Karama Has No Walls,” an account of the March 18, 2011 massacre of 53 protesters gathering for prayers by the Yemeni government, was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary short film. Shihab Masri, a 27-year-old resident of Sanaa, believes the nomination was a turning point for Yemenis trying to develop their country’s cinema scene. Almost all the cinemas in Yemen have closed over the years due to conflict, neglect, or targeting by conservative religious authorities. Local filmmakers, however, want to improve their technical expertise and Yemeni youth yearn for any contact to international films and the outside world they display.
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AGSIW in Arabic

لم تمر أكثر من 10 أيام على فوز دونالد ترامب بالانتخابات الأمريكية حتى بدا المشهد السياسي حافلا بإجراءات وتطورات مقلقة، وتعيينات مثيرة للجدل والمخاوف وخاصة للمسلمين. وأظهرت استطلاعات الرأي وجود انقسامات سياسية واجتماعية عميقة بين الحزبين، حول قضايا داخلية مثل توفير فرص العمالة، ومكافحة العنصرية وبناء البنية التحتية، وخارجية مثل مكافحة الإرهاب ومعالجة تحديات الهجرة غير الشرعية. وعكست نتائج الانتخابات الهوة الفسيحة بين ناخبي المدن وناخبي الريف والبلدات الصغيرة، وكأنهم يعيشون في كوكبين متوازيين
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In the Media
Lawfare's Middle East Ticker discussed U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's potential Middle East policies, citing AGSIW's piece, "What Trump’s Election Could Mean for the Gulf Arab Countries" by Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish.
On November 17, AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Karen E. Young spoke at Parliament in London, presenting a lecture titled "Gulf Foreign Aid and Military Intervention in a Time of Fiscal Austerity." Young discussed trends in Gulf states' foreign policies in light of rising fiscal deficits. Additionally, Young and Senior Resident Scholar Kristin Smith Diwan attended a workshop on Gulf geopolitics on November 16 at Chatham House in London.

On November 15, AGSIW Visiting Scholar Hala Aldosari presented a lecture titled "Challenges and Developments in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States," at Harvard University's Islamic Legal Studies Program. Aldosari also spoke at Princeton University's Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia on November 17, presenting "Violence Against Women as a Social Determinant of Health: The Case of Saudi Arabia."

AGSIW participated in the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Middle East Studies Association in Boston, November 17-20, showcasing the work of the institute, including scholar publications and blogs.
Grant Writer

Position Title: Grant Writer
Department/Team: Programs and Communication
Period: Part Time (20 hours/week, no benefits)
Location: Washington, DC 

Job Summary: The grant writer will primarily be responsible for identifying funding opportunities and developing and writing grant proposals for AGSIW. The grant writer will work closely with AGSIW staff and scholars to build effective funding proposals around AGSIW’s broad-based research and programmatic agenda. The candidate will be responsible for managing all pre-award activities including: researching new prospects, identifying funding opportunities, writing grant proposals, developing budgets, and tracking proposal deadlines. The candidate will also be responsible for submitting and monitoring proposals.
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