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The Constant and the Changing 2015: The Gulf and the Other

[The following is the 2015 executive summary of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies' third annual report The Constant and the Changing.] In the third annual volume of The Constant and the Changing publication series, the Gulf Centre for Development Policies renews its call for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to address the chronic disorders that ail their development trajectory. The objective of this series of publications is to contribute to finding a path toward building independent states based on sustainable development, a democratic political culture, and the integration between Gulf Countries.  The four key disorders may be summarized as ...

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AMCA Statement on Artistic Freedom in the United Arab Emirates

[Logo of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art in the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey]

[The following statement was issued by the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art in the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey on 29 May 2015] The Association for Modern and Contemporary Art in the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey (AMCA) condemns the entry ban UAE authorities have imposed on artists Walid Raad and Ashok Sukumaran and calls on UAE-based art institutions, including in particular the Guggenheim Museum, to convey their disapproval to UAE authorities and vocally dissociate themselves from the action. AMCA further calls on international arts organizations to condemn the complacency of art institutions that seek to benefit from the affluent Gulf region while condoning ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (May 12)

[The Obama administration is thought to have promised to provide the Gulf Arab states with a ballistic missile defense system to appease their fears of Iran’s nuclear deal. Image from US Missile Defense Agency.]

[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.] Crisis in Yemen Al-Qaida in Yemen says US drone killed man who claimed Charlie Hebdo attack A senior member of al-Qa‘ida in the Arabian Peninsula dies in a US drone strikes. UPDATE 1-Senegal to send 2,100 troops to join Saudi-led alliance Senegal announces that it will send troops to Saudi Arabia. Gulf-trained fighters arrive ...

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Letter to the UAE Minister of the Interior Concerning Denial of Entry to the UAE of NYU Professor Andrew Ross

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 25 March 2015] His Excellency Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan Minister of the Interior, United Arab Emirates via fax 971-2-4022762 and 971-2-4415780 His Excellency Yussef Al Otaiba Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States 202-243-2432  Dr. John Sexton President of New York University john.sexton@nyu.edu Dr. Al Bloom Vice-Chancellor of NYU-Abu Dhabi nyuad@nyu.edu Your Excellencies Minister Al Nahyan and Ambassador Al Otaiba, President Sexton, Vice-Chancellor Bloom:  I write to you on behalf of the Committee on Academic ...

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el Seed and Aya Tarek Discuss Calligraffiti

Born to Tunisian parents in the suburbs of Paris, el Seed has risen to the forefront of the Arab graffiti scene over the past few years. He stands out for his unique style which mixes Arabic calligraphy with the modern art of graffiti, relying on poignant messages and unconventional writing styles. el Seed started out as a business consultant and gradually developed his style while learning to read and write in Arabic over the past decade. Last spring, Medrar.TV and Alexandrian street artist Aya Tarek visited el Seed in Dubai's Tashkeel arts center where he was staying for a residency to discuss his sources of inspiration and the ways his work has been received by ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 20)

[Riyadh and Doha have asked the US administration to impose a no-fly zone over Syria. Image from Ronny Przysucha.]

[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 Jeremy Scahill on Paris Attacks, the al-Qaeda Link & the Secret U.S. War in Yemen Amy Goodman interviews Jeremy Scahill on al-Qa‘ida in Yemen and the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. Al-Qaida in Yemen uses video to claim responsibility for Charlie Hebdo attack Jason Burke and Monica Mark report ...

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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 (July 22)

[The Bahraini justice ministry has asked a court to suspend the activities of Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the country's main opposition bloc. Al Jazeera English/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 Attack on Gaza by Saudi Royal Appointment David Hearst analyzes the Saudi support for the attack on Gaza, and argues that the Saudi-Israeli alliance is “forged in blood, Palestinian blood.” Egypt says Qatar, Turkey and Hamas hurt Gaza ceasefire bid The Egyptian foreign minister accuses Qatar, ...

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The Art of Resistance: Labor, Debt, and G.U.L.F.'s Guggenheim Campaign

[G.U.L.F.'s guerilla projection on the side of New York's Guggenheim Museum. 24 March 2014. Image from G.U.L.F.]

[This interview is the result of a month-long email conversation between the activists of Gulf Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.) and Jadaliyya's Arabian Peninsula page editorial team.] Nate Christensen and John Warner (NC and JW): Can you give us a brief introduction to your work as artists and activists and to the political actions of G.U.L.F.? Can you describe how your work with G.U.L.F. fits in with your broader artistic visions? Global Ultra Luxury Faction (G.U.L.F.): G.U.L.F. stands for Global Ultra Luxury Faction. Our name is important to emphasize at the outset as our artistic vision does indeed have a global dimension that both encompasses and surpasses migrant ...

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Son of UAE94 Detainee Tortured for Four Days

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

[The following press release was issued by the Alkarama Foundation on 3 April 2014] Osama Al Najjar, an Emirati human rights activist and the son of one of the 'UAE94', was tortured for four days during his secret detention by officers from the state security services who arrested him for a tweet. He was arrested on 17 March 2014 on his way back home, the day after he posted a tweet in reply to a radio statement made by the Emir of Sharjah Emirate on the 'UAE94' case. On 19 March, as he was held in secret detention, Alkarama solicited the urgent intervention of the UN Special Procedures with the UAE authorities. It was only two weeks later that Alkarama learned ...

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Press Release: Crackdown on 'UAE94' Activists Extends to Relatives

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

[The following press release was issued by the Alkarama Foundation on 19 March 2014] Two days ago, Osama Al Najjar, a 25 year-old architectural engineer, was arrested on the road by several men in civilian clothes on his way back home from a visit to his doctor at around 4 pm. Osama is now being held in an unknown location outside the protection of the law. Given the systematic use of torture in detention centres controlled by the Emirati security services, Alkarama solicited the urgent intervention of the UN Special Rapporteur of torture today to ensure that Osama Al Najjar is not subjected to any torture or ill-treatment, and is immediately released. "We do not ...

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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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Discussion: Gulf Youth and the City (17 June 2015, AGSIW)

Gulf cities have followed similar paths of urbanization and architecture shaped by state planning and commercial development. While local differences exist, all reflect the demands of government and business, with little attention paid to civic requirements and public spaces. Recent events across the globe, from the Occupy movements to the 2011 Arab uprisings, have brought the role of cities in political life to the forefront. However, with few exceptions, Gulf cities are known more as glittering global ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (May 26)

[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 Arabia attack: Islamic State claims Shia mosque bombing The Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria claims the attack ...

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Sharjah Biennial 12: Nikhil Chopra's Use like Water

Use like water is a nine-day performance by Indian artist Nikhil Chopra. It starts as a journey he undertakes through the deserts and seaside areas of the UAE and Oman and culminates with a performance, re-presenting his travels to audiences in Sharjah during the biennial's opening week. Chopra explores the layers beneath the region's shiny veneer by focusing on nature and how relationships developed over the centuries. The performance's surprising ending is also meant to send a message as to how things ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 17)

[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 Sandhurst and the Sheikhs A video report on the popularity of the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst with Gulf ...

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Snapshot: Dubai and Abu Dhabi

I felt a strong connection with Dubai beginning with my first visit in 2004. I was captivated by the unique mix of the bustling energy of a young city turned towards its future, eager to compete with international hubs such as New York City and London, combined with a Middle Eastern douceur de vivre. With its surprising contrast between seemingly infinite spaces and the dense tangle of skyscrapers, Dubai was where I needed to be at that time of my life. Unlike where I come from, which is totally turned ...

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Promoting a Rare Breed: Private Nonprofit Housing Developers in the GCC

While working as a Project Manager at the Fenway Community Development Corporation (CDC) in Boston and as a Consultant to Phipps Houses in New York City, I experienced firsthand how nonprofit developers can contribute to preserving housing affordability in central locations. Fenway CDC builds and preserves housing and champions local projects that engage the entire Fenway community in protecting the neighborhood’s economic and racial diversity. It has operated since 1973 and has developed nearly six ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 July)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.]  Palestine-Israel News Gaza Conflict: Palestinian Death Toll Reaches Two Hundred Seventy-Four Amid Fierce Fighting, Harriet Sherwood, Peter ...

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Social Discord and the Power-Capital Nexus in the Gulf

[The following is the executive summary of a study conducted and published by the Gulf Centre for Development Policies. The full report in Arabic can be found here.] The Constant and the Changing 2014: Social Discord and the Power-Capital Nexus in the Gulf Executive Summary The sudden explosion of the 2011 Arab uprisings came as a shock-reminder that societies never remain stationary. Where, then, do the countries of the GCC—pivotal players on the Arab and global landscape—currently stand and what are ...

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Event: Book Launch for "Beirut Re-Collected" (10 May, Dubai)

Beirut Re-Collected Book Launch Event 10 May 2014 5:00-8:00 PM The Archive in Safa Park Dubai UAE Come join Mashallah News for the Dubai launch of the media collective's first book, Beirut Re-Collected– an anthology of "forgotten" stories from Beirut. One story from the book, “Inhabiting a Grudge,” was recently featured on Jadaliyya. Three of Mashallah News' co-editors will be present at the launch. In addition to giving a short introduction to the book, we will be joined by a couple of ...

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Press Release: UN Claims UAE Government Has Duty to Release UAE94

[The following press release was issued on 20 March 2014 by the Alkarama Foundation] The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention's independent experts adopted an opinion confirming the arbitrary nature of the detention of those detained in the 'UAE94' case and requested the UAE government release them. Today, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) issued Opinion No. 60/2013 in which it considers the deprivation of liberty of the 61 individuals detained in ...

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Press Release: Where is Jamal Al Hammadi?

[The following press release was issued by the Alkarama Foundation on 4 March 2014] Jamal Al Hammadi, a teacher of Islamic education from Khor Fakkan abducted on 20 April 2013 by state security services, was last seen 5 February 2014 in Abu Dhabi's State Security prison. A group of detainees recently transferred from this prison facility reported that Jamal was being detained there in very harsh conditions. Jamal is the brother of Fuad Mohammed Al Hammadi, one of the "UAE94", serving a 10-year ...

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In Conversation with Artist Nadia Ayari

Since the start of her artistic practice over a decade ago, Nadia Ayari has engaged painting and the history of its development with marked intensity and seriousness. Adding to the complexity that one finds in her usage of the medium is her subject matter, which is not easily decipherable; figural but somehow abstracted and simultaneously sensual with tinges of the grotesque. Her “figures” are outwardly peculiar, psychologically laden, and allegorically political—a combination that is accentuated by the ...

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