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Labor Strikes in the GCC: Deportations and Victories in 2014

[Migrant Rights logo. Image from migrant-rights.org]

[The following report was originally published by Migrant Rights on 29 October 2014.] The crackdowns on migrant workers in the GCC do not succeed in silencing migrant dissent. Last year, hundreds of thousands were deported, after being targeted, detained, and mistreated in the Gulf region. Stringent nationalization laws maintain a xenophobic atmosphere around migrant populations who constitute the majority in GCC (up to 85% in countries such as Qatar). As authorities and media continue to make migrants more vulnerable, some resort to labor strikes as a solution to their continuing oppression. Here, we examine the different ways in which major strikes were handled by ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 23)

[Saudi troops in Jizan during the 2009 assault on Sa 'da, Yemen. Image by Takahara Osaka/Wikimedia Commons.]

[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 Q&A: What's behind MB leaders leaving Qatar? Ismaeel Naar argues that a shift in Qatar’s foreign policy, in order to end the rift within the GCC states, is behind the decision of the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to leave Doha. Qataris give ground in Gulf spat Ian Black maintains that Doha ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 3)

[Fifa is facing calls to rerun the bidding process for the 2022 World Cup following allegations against Mohamed bin Hammam, a Qatari former Fifa executive committee member, of corruption. Image from Sean Knoflick. 2 December 2010.]

[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 Riyadh this week to discuss progress on the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement. Taliban five arrive in Qatar after swap deal The Qatari foreign minister said his ...

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

[Logo of Migrant Rights. Image from migrant-rights.org]

[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 do little but to paint the West’s scrutinizing public eye as the saviors of oppressed migrant laborers in Arab lands while comprising sustainable social and legal ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (May 6)

[The 20th Brigade of the Royal Saudi Land Force. Image from Wikipedia.]

[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 that the Gulf Cooperation Council states can survive periodic jolts. Page is turned in the Gulf Hussein Haridy examines the implications of the end of the rift between ...

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

[Logo of the Gulf Center for Human Rights. Logo from gc4hr.org]

[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 protection of citizen action throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’ freedom of association are threatened. 1.2 The Gulf Center for ...

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

[Image of flags pin showing Qatari and Saudi flags]

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 that Saudi Arabia’s investment, politically and financially, in Egypt’s current military regime is of much greater significance. Click Below to Listen

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 11)

[Forty-two African migrants died when their boat capsized off the southern coast of Yemen. Image from UNHCR Photo Unit/flickr. 19 November 2007.]

[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 to “protect their security and stability” after the failure of Qatar to commit to the principles of non-interference. Can Kuwait save the GCC? Joseph A. Kechichian ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 10)

[Former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld (left) escorts Prince Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz (right) through an honor cordon and into the Pentagon for a meeting on Feb. 5, 2001. Image from 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 Hezbollah blames Saudi for embassy attack The Secretary General of Hezbollah accuses Saudi Arabia of being behind the twin attacks on the Iranian embassy in Beirut two weeks ago. Bibi and Bandar Badger Obama Franklin Lamb writes about what he calls the “Saudi-Israel-Arab League ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (October 8)

[Signature wall for supporters of Qatar's 2022 World Cup bid. The deadly working conditions for migrant laborers in the host country have led campaigners to call for the revocation of Qatar's role. 2 December 2010. Image from Sean Knoflick/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 Former Joint Chiefs chairman: Obama plotted to destabilize regimes in Bahrain, Egypt A former US military commander claims that the Obama administration attempted to destabilize the governments of Egypt and Bahrain. Saudi Arabia scrapped U.N. speech in protest over Syria and Israel ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 20)

[Protest graffiti in Barbar, Bahrain. 28 August 2012. Image from Mohamed CJ/Wikimedia Commons]

[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 rebels received from Saudi Arabia. Countries condemn violence in Egypt as UAE, Bahrain express support for government Basil El-Dabh examines the reaction to the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 9)

[Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa with US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, 7 June 2013. Image from Flickr/DoD Photo By Glenn Fawcett.]

[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 Moza, matriarch of the modern Gulf Simeon Kerr and Roula Khalaf write on the legacy of the former Qatari first lady, whose son became the new ruler after his father’s ...

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Call For Papers: Knowledge-Based Development in the Gulf (Kuwait, March 2015)

Knowledge-Based Development in the Gulf Call for Papers Kuwait, 13-15 March 2015 Deadline: 15 October 2014  The Center for Gulf Studies at the American University of Kuwait will hold its second Gulf Studies Symposium (GSS) on 13-15 March 2015. The GSS is a meeting of worldwide Gulf scholars and researchers held biennially in Kuwait. Each symposium is based on a particular scholarly theme that is timely both to the region and to the field of Gulf studies. The theme of the 2015 GSS is ...

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UAE-Linked NGO Whitewashes Migrant Abuse

 [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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (May 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 Obama fails to protect gay Saudi diplomat Ali al-Ahmad and Matthew Mainen argue that the United States should grant asylum ...

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

[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 ...

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

[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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 18)

 [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 ...

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

[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 ...

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Unpaid Migrant Workers Left To Go Hungry in Qatar

[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 ...

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

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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 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 Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria Ambrose Evans-Pritchard discusses leaked transcripts between ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (July 16)

[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 ...

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

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 ...

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