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Saudi Arabia

Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (April 22)

[Prince Bandar bin Sultan with George W. Bush in 2002. 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 Canada-Saudi arms deal has 'significant risk' Megan O’Toole reports on concerns over the Canadian government’s willingness to provide weapons to the repressive Saudi regime. Resolving the Gulf crisis Mansour Almarzoqi Albogami argues that the Gulf states need to “institutionalise their ...

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

[Logo of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle Eastern Studies Association. Image from http://www.mesa.arizona.edu/committees/academic-freedom/]

[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 security-related charges.  He is currently being held at the Ha’ir prison near Riyadh.  We believe that the charges against Prof. al-Qahtani are politically motivated ...

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

[Logo of Human Rights Watch. Image from hrw.org]

[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 policies, but these recent laws and regulations turn almost any critical expression or independent association into crimes of terrorism,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and ...

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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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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 ضمنها دواوين بدر شاكر السياب وعبد الوهاب البياتي ومعين بسيسو. محمود درويش: إلهي لماذا تخلّيت عني؟ إلهي.. إلهي؟ لماذا تخلّيت عنّي؟ لماذا تزوّجت مريم؟ لماذا وعدت ...

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

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

[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 shared "false information presented as facts to official international bodies". On Monday 3 March 2014, they began a hunger strike to protest against the conditions ...

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

[Logo of Human Rights Watch. Image from hrw.org]

[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 opposition movement.  This report presents the stories of 11 prominent Saudi social and political rights activists, and their struggle to resist government efforts to ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 25)

[BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia have finalized a deal for the purchase of seventy-two Eurofighter Typhoon jets. Image from Jez B/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 Don't Stop at Iraq: Why the U.S. Should Withdraw From the Entire Persian Gulf Toby C. Jones argues the United States needs to decrease, or even entirely remove, its military presence in the Gulf. Prince Charles performs sword dance in Saudi Arabia Caroline Davies reports on Prince Charles’ ...

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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 وترهيب . حيث تفيد الأنباء المؤسفة انه تم إيقاف فياض في هيئة التحقيق والادعاء العام فرع أبها “دون أسباب قضائية واضحة سوى أنه متهم بالتعدي على الذات الإلهية وحمل أفكار لا ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 11)

[The Bahraini king signed a decree sentencing any person who insults him publicly to seven years in prison. Image from Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs/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 New Wikileaks Revelation Exposes Big State Department Lie, This Time in Bahrain Alastair Sloan writes on the State Department’s involvement in the appointment of John Timoney, known for his brutality as a police officer in the United States, as an adviser to the Bahraini police. ...

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

[Cover of

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 increasingly common knowledge that the GCC and the United States work in lockstep, but the mechanisms for that cooperation can be unclear, and that lack of clarity can be extremely ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 21)

[US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel meets with Bahraini Minister of State for Defence Affairs Gen. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa in Manama, Bahrain, 5 December 2013. Image from 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  GCC: The Arab Spring spoilers Mansour Almarzoqi Albogami argues that the Gulf states remained united despite their differences on the Arab uprisings due to security fears.  Israel in first UAE visit since murder of Hamas al-Mabhouh The Israeli Minister of Energy plans to ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (April 15)

[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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (April 1)

[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, ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 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 Will the GCC survive Qatar-Saudi rivalry? Dahlia Kholaif examines the impact of the Saudi-Qatari split on the future of the ...

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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 ...

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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 (March 4)

[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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 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  Kuwait ready to assist US in fighting terrorism and money laundering Kuwait asserts that it is ready ...

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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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 28)

[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 ...

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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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 14)

[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 ...

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