At last, the big day of the Bahrain workshop on the Palestinian economy is coming. After two years of negotiations and secret plans, the Trump administration should soon propose a US framework of guidelines for resolving the oldest struggle in the Middle East, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The location of this event will be Manama (June 25-26), the capital of Bahrain and focal point of some important Middle Eastern dynamics. The conference will bring together government and business leaders from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
In the Arabian Peninsula, strategic borderlands tell much about Gulf monarchies’ level of disunity and how this can indirectly favour Iranian interests, in times of risky escalation among Iran, the United States and Saudi Arabia. This is the case of Mahra (Yemen) and Musandam (Oman).
As a matter of fact, the subtle but persisting rivalry between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman is not only a regional politics affair, with Abu Dhabi supporting Riyadh’s anti-Iran, anti-Qatar stances and Muscat opting for a pragmatic mediator role.
As the first Democratic presidential primary debates rapidly approach, observers of American politics both domestically and around the world are increasingly focused on one key question: Will Donald Trump be re-elected president in 2020? Many of the academic models that historians and political scientists use to predict presidential elections are favorable for a Trump re-election, and most of the global betting markets have him as close to an even-money proposition. On some level, this makes sense; incumbent presidents typically win re-election barring economic recession, an unpopular maj
Oman in the not-too-distant past could be described as a nation searching for a viable state, whereas now it is more a state seeking to deepen the nation. Among the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Oman stands alone in enjoying an ancient feeling of nation. The national identity of the smaller states is in large part a creation of the last few decades while Saudi Arabia is a collection of disparate regional identities cobbled together over the course of less than a century.
The concept of khaleeji identity, also referred to sometimes as Gulf identity or identity of the Eastern Arabia, is characterized by its fluidity and is by no means a univocally recognized one.
In recent years, the display of military symbols, through parades, public speeches and clothing, has become a salient feature of National Day celebrations in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This dimension of national holidays tells much about social and cultural transformations in these countries: through these displays, rulers are promoting some sort of militarized nationalism among citizens to enhance social cohesion, thus intertwining military strength with shared identity and patriotism.
When it comes to nation-building strategies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the role of religion, and particularly of sectarian differences, is difficult to ignore. In the below, we explore the ways in which Bahrain and Kuwait, two states with sizable Shiʾi populations and relatively active legislatures, formulate national narratives around these sectarian differences.
The outbreak of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis on 5th June 2017 led to dramatic polarization between United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Bahrain plus Egypt and, on the other hand, Qatar, due to Doha’s alternative foreign policy supporting Muslim Brothers’ political ideology, especially during the Arab spring revolts. On the other side of the GCC, Kuwait tries to multiply its mediator efforts and Oman has strengthened its commercial relations with Qatar to avoid its isolation.
The Gulf monarchies have been experiencing deep economic, social and generational changes; at the same time, open rivalries and subtle competitions are undermining the Arab Gulf (khaleeji) identity as a shared value. National history museums, art exhibitions, traditional festivals and military symbols are increasingly adopted by the governments as top-down tools of nation-building. What are the strategies to instil national awareness, and in which direction? How are concepts like citizenship, nationhood and belonging redefined in the post-oil era?