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Saudi Arabia

Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (April 15)

[Activists and human rights organizations campaigned to stop the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix in order to highlight human rights abuses by the Bahraini regime. Image from CaterhamF1/flickr. 6 April 2014.]

[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 Converging Interests May Lead to Cooperation Between Israel and Gulf States Helen Cooper maintains that US and Israeli officials hope for closer security cooperation between Tel Aviv and the Arab Gulf states. Can the Saudis adapt to Obama's policies? Marwan Kabalan argues that the US ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (April 1)

[King Abdullah in a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, 5 January 2014. Image from Wikicommons.]

[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 Kuwait summit: Arab unity or disunity? Joseph Kechichian argues that behind the seeming united front, representatives of the Arab states had serious disagreements in private. Kuwait summit merely papers over Arab rifts Sylvia Westall and Amena Bakr report on the Arab summit and ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 25)

[Yemenis continue to demand the indictment of deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh for his role in the deaths of protesters in 2011. Image from Wikimedia/White House. 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 Will the GCC survive Qatar-Saudi rivalry? Dahlia Kholaif examines the impact of the Saudi-Qatari split on the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Saudi FM says Qatar should 'revise' policies Prince Saud al-Faisal emphasizes that rapprochement with Qatar will not be possible unless Doha ...

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Mahmoud Darwish: My God Why Have You Forsaken Me?

While his readers were celebrating his birthday on the 13th of March, the authorities at the Riyad Book Fair confiscated Mahmoud Darwish’s books after members of the Committee for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue complained about “blasphemous passages.” One poem from his 1986 collection Fewer Roses was particularly infuriating as shown in this video. Here is a translation of the poem; a salute to the ever present Darwish and to the freedom of reading.   Mahmoud Darwish My god why have you forsaken me?   My god, my god, why have you forsaken me? Why did you wed Mary? Why did you promise the soldiers my only orchard, why? I am the widow. I am ...

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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 (March 4)

[ U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Washington, D.C., on 6 June 2013. Image from Wikimedia.org.]

[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 The Gulf security pact: Another GCC dilemma Joseph A. Kechichian analyzes the disagreement among the Gulf Cooperation Council members over the Saudi proposal of an upgraded union. GCC Security Pact: Kuwait holding back Yazan al-Saadi examines Kuwait’s reservations over the security pact ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 18)

[Zainab al-Khawaja with her daughter. Image from Maryam al-Khawaja.]

[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  Kuwait ready to assist US in fighting terrorism and money laundering Kuwait asserts that it is ready to cooperate with the US justice department in the fight against money laundering and terrorism. Yemen hands 29 Qaeda militants to Saudi Arabia: website The Yemeni ...

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One Hundred Arab Intellectuals Demand the Release of Palestinian Poet Ashraf Fayadh from Saudi Prison

[The following petition was issued on 11 February 2014 by the below signatories. The petition was organized in response to the Saudi authorities'  arrest and detention of Ashraf Fayadh in 2013 for a collection of poems he published in 2008.] As Arab authors, writers, artists, journalists, publishers, and activists, we are launching a solidarity campaign with Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh who was detained in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia two months ago and charged with “insulting the Godly self and having long hair.” We are extremely concerned that Fayadh is suffering from abuse and intimidation. Fayadh is being detained at the Bureau for Investigation ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 28)

[Yemen's National Dialogue Conference concluded this week with a document that will serve as the framework for the new constitution. Logo of the Yemeni NDC. Image from ndc.ye]

[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 Yemeni-Americans cry foul over passport revocations Amel Ahmed sheds light on the plight of US citizens of Yemeni origin, whose passports and documents are being confiscated at the US embassy in Sanaa. Saudi minister says no role for Assad in transition The Saudi foreign minister ...

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New Texts Out Now: Claire Beaugrand, Amélie Le Renard, Roman Stadnicki, Villes et dynamiques urbaines en péninsule Arabique / Cities and Urban Dynamics in the Arabian Peninsula

Claire Beaugrand, Amélie Le Renard, and Roman Stadnicki (eds.), "Villes et dynamiques urbaines en péninsule Arabique / Cities and Urban Dynamics in the Arabian Peninsula." Special issue of Arabian Humanities 2 (2013). Jadaliyya (J): Can you first tell us about Arabian Humanities, and why you chose to publish this collection of essays in this particular journal? Claire Beaugrand, Amélie Le Renard, and Roman Stadnicki (CB, ALR, and RS): Arabian Humanities is a newly launched, peer-reviewed online journal covering academic research on the Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula, in all disciplines of the social sciences (ranging from archaeology to contemporary ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 14)

[Iran's improved relations with the United States and the European Union are causing shifts in the regional alignments of Arab Gulf states. Image from European External Action Service/flickr. 24 November 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 Saudi isolation could be a threat to the region Samer Abboud argues that the isolation of Saudi Arabia will be detrimental to reaching a political solution in Syria. Saudis Back Syrian Rebels Despite Risks Robert Worth argues that the Saudis are providing military and financial support ...

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Open Letter to Saudi Minister of Interior Demanding Release of Human Rights Activist al-Qahtani

[The following open letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA)] Your Royal Highness, I write to you on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) to express our concern regarding economics professor Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani.  In March 2013, Dr. Al-Qahtani was sentenced to 10-years in prison and to a travel ban of equal length following the end of his prison sentence for a series of ...

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Human Rights Watch Briefing on Saudi Arabia's New 'Terrorism Laws'

[The following briefing was published by Human Rights Watch on 20 March 2014] Saudi Arabia’s new terrorism law and a series of related royal decrees create a legal framework that appears to criminalize virtually all dissident thought or expression as terrorism. The sweeping provisions in the measures, all issued since February 2014, threaten to close down altogether Saudi Arabia’s already extremely restricted space for free expression. “Saudi authorities have never tolerated criticism of their ...

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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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محمود درويش: إلهي لماذا تخلّيت عنّي؟

بينما كان قراؤه، شرقاً وغرباً، يحتفلون بذكرى ميلاده في الثالث عشر من آذار، صادرت إدارة معرض الرياض للكتاب دواوين محمود درويش (1941-2008) بعد اعتراض محتسبين من هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر على ما وصفوه بعبارات ”زندقة وكفر وإلحاد.“ ويبدو أن قصيدة ”إلهي لماذا تخلّيت عني؟“ من ديوان ”ورد أقل“ كانت القصيدة التي أغضبت المحتسبين كما يظهر الفديو أدناه. نعيد نشر القصيدة هنا مع ترجمة بالانكليزية تحية للشاعر الغائب الحاضر ولحرية القراءة. وشملت مذبحة المنع والمصادرة ٤٢٠ كتاباً ”مخالفاً“ في كافة الحقول، ومن ...

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Press Release: Saudi Human Rights Defenders on Hunger Strike after One Year in Prison

[The following press release was issued by the Alkarama Foundation on 9 March 2014] Saudi Arabia: On One-Year Anniversary in Prison, Prominent Human Rights Defenders are on Hunger Strike On 9 March 2013, Abdullah Al Hamid and Mohammad Al Qahtani, two prominent Saudi human rights defenders, were sentenced by the Riyadh Criminal Court to heavy prison sentences for inter alia "disobeying the ruler", "inciting disorder", "setting up an unlicensed organization" and having ...

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Challenging the Red Lines: Stories of Rights Activists in Saudi Arabia

[The following report was published by Human Rights Watch on 17 December 2013] Challenging the Red Lines: Stories of Rights Activists in Saudi Arabia Introduction  Civil society and human rights activists in Saudi Arabia are struggling for greater popular political participation, judicial reform, and an end to discrimination against women and minorities. Saudi authorities have responded by cracking down on rights defenders, quashing calls for change, and preventing the development of an ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 25)

[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 Don't Stop at Iraq: Why the U.S. Should Withdraw From the Entire Persian Gulf Toby C. Jones argues the United States needs ...

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مئة مفكر ومفكرة يطالبون باطلاق سراح الشاعر الفلسطيني أشرف فياض من السجن في المملكة العربية السعودية

[أصدر الموقعون أدناه المطلب التالي في 11 شباط (فبراير) 2014. وكتب المطلب كرد على قرار السلطات السعودية باعتقال واحتجاز أشرف فياض في عام 2013 لنشرة مجموعة شعرية في عام 2008.] نحن الموقعون في هذا البيان من أدباء وكتاب وفنانين وصحفيين وناشرين وناشطين حقوق وحريات عرب، نطلق حملة فلنتضامن مع اشرف فياض الشاعر والفنان التشكيلي الفلسطيني المعتقل في المملكة العربية السعودية للشهر الثاني، بتهمة التعدي على الذات الإلهية وإطالة الشعر بحسب الأنباء الواردة معلنين قلقنا الشديد مما يمكن ان يطاله من تعسف وغش وتحريض ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 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 New Wikileaks Revelation Exposes Big State Department Lie, This Time in Bahrain Alastair Sloan writes on the State ...

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New Texts Out Now: Jacobin Magazine, Special Section on the Gulf Cooperation Council

Special Section on the Gulf Cooperation Council (edited by Max Ajl), Jacobin 13 (January 2014). Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special section on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)? Jacobin (JAC): Over the past several years, it has become impossible to ignore the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. References to petrodollars, petro-power, and Gulf-peddled sectarianism are constant, yet somehow simultaneously elusive. It is ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 21)

[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: The Arab Spring spoilers Mansour Almarzoqi Albogami argues that the Gulf states remained united despite ...

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Haifaa Al Mansour's Wadjda: Revolutionary Art or Pro-State Propaganda?

H.G. Carrillo is the author of the excellent Loosing My Espanish, which is why I jumped at the chance to enroll in his Fiction Writing course at the George Washington University. On the first day of class, as I was looking through the syllabus, this caught my attention: Artists, by virtue of placing pen to paper or paint to canvas, differentiate themselves from craftspersons in their acceptance of the responsibility for the creation of both problem and solution.  The first line of a poem, the ...

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