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GCHR Report: Saudi Arabia - Human Rights Defender Mohammed Abdullah Al-Otaibi Calls On The International Community To Protect Him

[Gulf Center for Human Right. Image from gc4hr.org.]

[The following report was published by the Gulf Center for Human Rights on 23 April 2017.] Saudi human rights defender Mohammed Abdullah Al-Otaibi has called for international support after being forced to leave Saudi Arabia for Qatar. He said, "I call on the international community to protect me under the 1951 UN Convention and its 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and to either resettle me in Qatar or to be resettled in a third country because my life is in danger." Al-Otaibi was forced to leave his country, and arrived in Qatar on 30 March 2017, after his case was referred to the Specialised Criminal Court, which was set up to deal ...

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Media on Media Roundup (December 6)

[Promotional image to the film

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup deals with a number of issues, such as the publicised self-representation of countries known for regular attacks on media freedom. Following the recent controversy revolving the "Muezin Bill" which would ban the public call for prayer in the Israeli-occupied territories, hackers staged a retaliation by interrupting Israel’s Channel 2 with the call to prayer. Assafir, a Lebanese newspaper, examines "Al-Asaker," the politically-charged documentary about Egyptian conscription aired by Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera network, by analyzing the political relations between the two countries. Egypt and Qatar have ...

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الشيعي والشاعر والأستاذ

ثلاثة مشاهد... ثلاثة عناوين أزمة... ثلاثة رموز لمقياس واحد هو معضلة المؤسسة والفاعل، والأدهى علامات الخور والحول الحضاري. أعدم شاعر لقصيدة، وأعدم داعية لفكرة وهشم رأس أستاذ لطلب حق، المضمون سنابك خوف ورهاب تتوسل بالسيادة المزعومة والوحدة المنشودة، وتستجدي كل معاني البطولة على الفكرة والرأي والاختلاف، إنها بحق المشهد الحضاري المعبر عنه "أسد علينا وفي الحروب نعامة " . إن طرح السؤال في هذا المقام والبحث عن جوابه أشبه بحلم وتيه وضلالة وغي، بل و تعبير يجد في الإمعان في أزمته، ما دامت البنية الحضارية والثقافية قد رسخت لكل معاني الإحباط والفشل والإفشال، وانتصبت العصبية العرقية والدينية والأمنية إلها على كلماته يحتال، يمرغ نفسه في عوالم اللذة والشبقية والرهز، تحت ...

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An Open Letter in Solidarity with Muhammad Al-Ajami

[Muhammad Al-Ajami; Photo from PEN America]

An Open Letter to Participants in the Seventh Annual International Translation Conference In light of the continued imprisonment of Qatari poet Muhammad Al-Ajami we urge you to consider the ethical dimensions of your participation in the upcoming conference on translation sponsored by the Translation and Interpreting Institute of Hamad bin Khalifa University (TII). Like other Gulf autocracies, the State of Qatar has tried to promote the idea that the region produces more than carbon-based fuels. By any measure, Qatar’s investments in this regard have been extraordinary, perhaps unmatched anywhere else in the Arab world. It has built a constellation of professional, ...

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Implications of Qatarization: Qualitative Assessment and Possible Policy Responses

[Migrant worker housing in Industrial City, Doha. Image from Richard Messenger/flickr]

[The following report presents the status of localization efforts in Qatar's labor force and proposes recommendations to achieve better results based on an ongoing Qatarization study supported by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The study, which is carried out by FIKRA Research and Policy, aims to understand the experience of young Qataris as they transition from education to employment, and how youth choices contribute to the labor market in Qatar. While the report has not been published elsewhere, the FIKRA research team is in the process of publishing its analysis in multiple publications and presenting results at international/regional events. Authors of the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 16)

[The Olympic Village in London, part of the real estate portfolio acquired by Qatar's royal family. Image from Oast House Archive.]

[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 announces steps to bolster security Basma Atassi reports on the final statement issued by members of the Gulf Cooperation Council at the end of the Doha summit. GCC: In search of a vision Al Jazeera English interviews six Gulf scholars on the challenges facing the Gulf Cooperation ...

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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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الإمعان بالحرب في اليمن: مقابلة لمجلة الوضع مع فارع المسلمي

اجرت نهلة شهال لمجلة "الوضع" هذا الحوار مع فارع المسلمي، كاتب وباحث يمني ومؤسس مشارك لـ "مركز صنعاء للدراسات الاستراتيجية"، وهو مركز أبحاث بقيادات شابة ويهدف إلى تقديم مقاربات جديدة لقضايا اليمن والخليج.    في أبريل، 2013,، أدلى المسلمي بشهادة أمام مجلس الشيوخ الامريكي مناهضة لاستخدام وضربات الطائرات من دون طيار (الدرون) الامريكية في اليمن. يناقش فارع المسلمي في هذا الحوار معنى نقل البنك المركزي من صنعاء إلى عدن وعن الحرب المستمرة وإدارة العنف فيها واتهام من ...

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Media on Media Roundup (November 29)

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup revolves around a number of topics dealing with Egypt’s legal dispute with its press syndicate, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s absence from Twitter, and how White Helmets’ "Mannequin Challenge" video blew up in their face. Egyptian authorities have recently been under heat for their continuing efforts to silence opposition media. Imprisoned photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid "Shawkan" was awarded an International Press Freedom Award ...

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The Political Life of Illiberal Death

During the summer of 2015, India suffered an extreme heat wave. Over 2500 people—primarily from the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana—lost their lives, either directly from heatstroke or from lack of access to water or healthcare. Many of these people were from the poorest strata of Indian society, already malnourished or reliant on day labor in order to survive. The Indian state’s response was weak at best, and in many cases, it was individual citizens and charity organizations that ...

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Migration and Exclusion in the Gulf: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with Omar al-Shehabi

In this interview, Omar al-Shehabi discusses his new co-edited book, Transit States on Immigration in the Gulf, expanding on issues of migration, exclusion and co-optation.  Omar al-Shehabi is the director of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies. His current research interests lie in the demography and political economy of the GCC and the modern history of Bahrain.  The interview below includes three parts that you can click on separately. Please find the transcript of the interview ...

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Call for Applicants: Open-Rank Academic Positions in Legal Studies Program (The Doha Institute for Graduate Studies)

The Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (DI), an independent institute for learning and research in the fields of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Public Administration and Development Economics, has been newly established in Doha, Qatar by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies. Student applications have now opened and the DI is scheduled to launch its first academic year in the Fall semester of 2015. The School of Social Sciences and Humanities is seeking to strengthen its Master’s Program ...

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A French Atlas of the Gulf States

Philippe Cadène and Brigitte Dumortier, Atlas of the Gulf States. Leiden: Brill, 2013. Mapping as a French Academic Tradition and its Critics It seems that English-speaking geographers and urbanists publish many fewer atlases, and draw fewer maps, than their French and—at least until recently—German counterparts. In France, there has been a frenzy of publishing atlases of everything and everywhere since the 1990s. What was first, at the advent of digital cartography, limited to academia, soon became a ...

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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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