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UAE-Linked NGO Whitewashes Migrant Abuse

[Construction workers in Dubai. Image from tyglobalist.org]

 [This Migrant Rights report sheds light on the response of Gulf regimes in general and the Geneva-based NGO International Gulf Organization (IGO) in particular to international criticism of migrant labor rights in the region.]  This past year, the crackdown that resulted in the deportation of over a million migrants from Saudi Arabia, the mistreatment of Saadiyat Island construction workers in the United Arab Emirates, and the spotlight on World Cup workers in Qatar has generated significant public criticism of migrant rights in the region. States responded to this intensified scrutiny primarily by intensifying propaganda and public relations stunts, ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (May 20)

[The Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud called for stronger military cooperation with the United States at the GCC meeting attended by the US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week. Image from Wikimedia Commons. 23 April 2013.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Obama fails to protect gay Saudi diplomat Ali al-Ahmad and Matthew Mainen argue that the United States should grant asylum to Ali Asser, who has been unable to return to Saudi Arabia since his colleagues outed him in 2010.  Which foreign countries spent the most to influence U.S. ...

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'My Sleep is My Break': Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers in Qatar

[Logo of Amnesty International. Image from amnesty.org]

[The following report was published by Amnesty International on  22 April 2014] "My Sleep is My Break": Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers in Qatar Introduction and Overview "No day-off and no mobile if you don't want to give. It is as you like madam, the same with  working hours, it is as you like, no problem about hours."  -- A representative of a popular Doha recruitment agency, answering questions about how domestic workers should be treated by their  employer, March 2013 "Lola and her distant children were dependent on our family’s good graces to pay her  regularly, treat her fairly and honor our ...

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The Case Against Qatar: Host of the FIFA 2022 World Cup

[Logo the International Trade Union Confederation. Image from ituc-csi.org]

[The following report was published by the International Trade Union Confederation on 16 March 2014] The Case Against Qatar: Host of the FIFA 2022 World Cup Qatar is a government which takes no responsibility for workers. $140 billion of infrastructure is forecast to get Qatar ready to host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar’s own estimates are that 500,000 extra workers will be needed in the run up to the World Cup. Frequent contacts with Qatar authorities since late 2011 have shown no political will or progress towards Qatar implementing labour-related commitments of the Qatar National Vision 2030 to reform kafala and ratify a further fourteen ILO conventions. FIFA has said ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 18)

Iran's Hassan Rouhani meets Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Mascat on 12 March 2014. Image from presstv.ir]

 [This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Saudi listing of Brotherhood as terrorist group complicates Gulf ties Yara Bayoumy and Sylvia Westall examine the implications of the Saudi move for GCC relations in general, and Saudi-Qatari relations in particular. How the Middle East has gone cool towards Qatar A news report on ...

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Press Release: Seven-Year UAE Prison Sentence for Qatari Doctor Based on Forced Confessions

[Logo of the Alkarama Foundation. Image from alkarama.org]

[The following press release was issued by the Alkarama Foundation on 9 March 2014] UAE: Qatari Doctor Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison on Basis of Forced Confessions Dr Abdulrahmane Al Jaidah, a Qatari doctor arrested one year ago at Dubai international Airport by the State Security Services, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment following an unfair trial on 3 March 2014 by the Abu Dhabi Federal Supreme Court for "helping an illegal secret organisation". He is currently imprisoned in Al-Razeen prison, the same detention facility where some of the UAE94 are being unlawfully detained. Today, Alkarama asked the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to ...

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Unpaid Migrant Workers Left To Go Hungry in Qatar

[Amnesty International logo. Image from Amnesty International.]

[This report was originally published as "Qatar: Unpaid migrant construction workers left to go hungry" by Amnesty International on 18 December 2013.] More than 80 migrant construction workers in Qatar who worked for nearly a year without pay on a prestigious tower in Doha’s financial district are facing serious food shortages and need urgent government assistance, Amnesty International said today.   On International Migrants’ Day, the organization is calling on the Qatari authorities to address the plight of the employees of Lee Trading and Contracting (LTC) who were working in conditions that may amount to forced labour.   In mid-November ...

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The Transforming Landscape of Doha: An Essay on Urbanism and Urbanization in Qatar

[Venice in Qatar (2010). Image by Kristin Giordano.]

Doha is a boom city on the Arabian littoral and the singular pre-eminent urban agglomeration on the low Qatari peninsula. Like many other cities on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the city has long been entwined in the maritime trade routes of the Indian Ocean world. The city grew around the native pearling industry while simultaneously adjusting to a variety of imperial, colonial, and tribal engagements. Hydrocarbons were discovered in 1939, but their exploitation and a sequence of further discoveries would escalate only in the waning decades of the twentieth century. The wealth generated by those resources was substantial, and much of it has been expended on the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 3)

[Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan - who has offered Russia an oil deal in return for their support for removing the Asad regime - meeting with Vladimir Putin in 2008. Image from premier.gov.ru/Wikimedia]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria Ambrose Evans-Pritchard discusses leaked transcripts between Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of Saudi intelligence, and Vladimir Putin regarding Syria.  Saudi Arabia studies report on Egypt’s financial needs A news report on the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 16)

[Detained Bahraini activist Naji Fateel, who has been tortured while in prison, appeared in court this week for the first time. Image from frontlinedefenders/flickr.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Qatar losing Mideast ground to Saudi diplomacy An article on Qatar’s dwindling regional role following the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. UAE offers Egypt $3 billion support, Saudis $5 billion Patrick Werr reports on the financial aid Saudi Arabia and the United Arab ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrew Gardner and Autumn Watts, Constructing Qatar: Migrant Narratives from the Margins of the Global System

[Cover of Andrew Gardner and Autumn Watts,

Andrew Gardner and Autumn Watts, editors, Constructing Qatar: Migrant Narratives from the Margins of the Global System. Smashwords, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Andrew Gardner (AG): Migrants in the Gulf states have been a central focal point in my research for more than a decade now. Over that decade, I definitely noticed that the portions of my research and my presentations that truly resonated with my audience were oftentimes not the scholarly and theoretical acrobatics that seemingly comprise so much academic activity today, but rather the migrant stories and narratives that have often served as the foundational data in my ethnographic ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 11)

[Royal palace and current summer home of former Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Abha, Saudi Arabia. Image from Rosie Bsheer's archive.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Reports and Opinions Kuwait ministry to fire long-serving expatriates Habib Toumi reports on the decision of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to terminate the contracts of foreigners who worked for the ministry for thirty years by the end of June. Reports: 11-year term for Kuwait woman over tweets A news report on ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 3)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations GCC foreign ministers to meet over Qatar agreement The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council are meeting in ...

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Qatar and the World Cup: Who Gains from the Mudslinging? Not Migrants

[The following statement was issued by Migrant Rights on 8 May 2014] Coverage of Qatar’s labor issues often resembles sensational tabloid journalism – intentionally misleading headlines introduce a vitriolic narrative sustained by distorted data and a casually orientalist subtext. This article in no way justifies or minimizes Qatar’s systematic exploitation of migrant laborers, but rather holds that these severe conditions require no embellishment. The hyperboles and the sloppily constructed half-truths ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (May 6)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations  GCC crisis: 'A thing of the past' Joseph A. Kechichian argues that the recent resolution of the conflict shows ...

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Urgent Concern Related to Arbitrary Restrictions on Freedom of Expression and of Association in Qatar

[The following briefing was written by the Gulf Center for Human Rights and CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation. Issued by the Gulf Center for Human Rights on 28 March 2014] Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 19th Session of the UPR Working Group 1. (A) Introduction  1.1 CIVICUS:World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international movement with members in more than 100 countries worldwide. Established in 1993, CIVICUS nurtures the foundation, growth and ...

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On Saudi-Qatari Tensions: Ian Masters Interviews Toby C. Jones

In this 12 March 2014 interview on the radio show Background Briefing with Ian Masters, Toby Jones discusses recent regional political developments in the Arabian Peninsula. Jones, a professor of modern Middle East history at Rutgers, examines the escalating inter-Gulf tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar involving the Muslim Brotherhood, GCC policy, US think tanks, and Al Jazeera. While most commentators have focused on this conflict between the neighboring Gulf states, Jones argues ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 11)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Saudi, UAE, Bahrain withdraw Qatar envoys The three countries announce the withdrawal of their ambassadors to Qatar in order ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 10)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Hezbollah blames Saudi for embassy attack The Secretary General of Hezbollah accuses Saudi Arabia of being behind the twin ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (October 8)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Former Joint Chiefs chairman: Obama plotted to destabilize regimes in Bahrain, Egypt A former US military commander ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 20)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations New Saudi-supplied missiles boost rebels in south Syria Suleiman al-Khalidi reports on the anti-tank missiles the Syrian ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 9)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]  Reports and Opinions  Change in Qatar? As’ad AbuKhalil provides a critical perspective on the recent abdication of the Qatari emir.  Sheikha ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 2)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Al-Qaradawi returns to Egypt from Qatar A news report on the return of the Egyptian sheikh to Egypt amid rumors that the ...

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Theorizing the Arabian Peninsula Roundtable: Towards a Critical Cartography of the Political in the Arabian Peninsula

[This is one of seven contributions in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the symbolic and material practices of knowledge production on the Arabian Peninsula. Moderated by Rosie Bsheer and John Warner, it features Toby Jones, Madawi Al-Rasheed, Adam Hanieh, Neha Vora, Nathalie Peutz, John Willis, and Ahmed Kanna.] (1) Historically, what have the dominant analytical approaches to the study of the Arabian Peninsula been? How have the difficulties of carrying out research in the Arabian Peninsula ...

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