Since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani has played a key role in Iraq’s religious and political spheres, particularly as a staunch opponent of vilayet e-faqih.
This report is based on the discussions held during a workshop co-hosted with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on Shia communities in Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait.
As the pace of reforms quicken in the UAE, Sharjah is differentiating itself through its conservatism and independent voice.
Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the UAE see the decline of Islamist groups in North Africa as a win for regional stability and cooperation; but even if Islamist parties may be slowly fading from the picture, this by no means suggests they are disappearing.
No matter the outcome, the October elections will show that a young generation has altered the political landscape in Iraq.
Though Gulf states have different strategic interests and espouse contrasting ideas on how to achieve their goals, their official responses to the events in Tunisia suggest a preference for stability and security.
A new generation of Iraqis fighting for a reimagining of their country have formed an informal alliance with Iraqi clerics – a radical departure from the trend in most Arab states.
This year’s Ramadan initiatives, focused on a sense of community and contributions to development, demonstrate how the Saudi government increasingly relies on citizens to play a role in the ongoing transformation.
The marginalization of religious figures in Saudi Arabia has prompted a rise of trends focusing on spirituality and meditation to promote self-awareness.
Presidential Elections in Iran: Procedures, Candidates, and the Persistent Clout of Key Institutions
Most speculation about the candidates and outcome of Iran’s upcoming presidential election appears premature, and assessments about potential impact on U.S.-Iranian relations seem exaggerated.Learn More
Through its careful examination of the forces shaping the evolution of Gulf societies and the new generation of emerging leaders, AGSIW facilitates a richer understanding of the role the countries in this key geostrategic region can be expected to play in the 21st century.Learn More