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Commentaries


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Author: Maha Fallatah
While tourism has been one of the economic sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, this period of patience provides ample opportunities for the sector to enhance its competitiveness and prepare itself for receiving large numbers of international visitors again. The Saudi tourism sector can convert this crisis into a chance by upgrading itself with the goal to harness human capital and form a key part of the Kingdom’s knowledge-based economy. There are multiple pathways to establishing what we may call knowledge-based tourism. One way – on which this Commentary focuses – is to enhance the knowledge of the tourism sector’s workforces about their local
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Author: By Makio Yamada
The first five years of the Saudi Vision 2030 period will be over soon. As of the first quarter of 2020, the Saudization rate of the private sector had improved to 20%. Saudi Arabia’s endeavor to create jobs for its young citizens will now continue over the second five-year period. There are two methods of job creation in the Saudi labor market: one is by localizing the existing jobs which are currently occupied by expat workers; the other is by creating new job opportunities. Given that the second method is currently not highly available due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first one is likely to be central to the country’s job creation policy for
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The military coup in Mali has provoked strong international and regional reactions. At home, however, he received a great public welcome.  This comment takes into account local, regional and international implications, stated [declared] positions, insults and parties involved in the process of change.
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Author: Hasan Razi
The commentary deals with fires and explosions in Iran that have expanded in recent times. It highlights serious and unprecedented events in Iran's recent history, exposing economic and political damage, as well as trying to understand what is happening in Iran and those entities that are behind these events and their future repercussions on Tehran's regional and international relationship, on one hand, and the future of the Iranian regime in light of the domestic and foreign crises and the policy of pressures and containment that Washington is exerting against it on the other hand.
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Author: Dr.Mark C Thompson
Based on a survey of more than 300 Saudi youths, this Commentary provides a ‘snapshot’ of current viewpoints and concerns of Saudi youth on their personal future, and specifically, their perceptions of the effect of the pandemic on their education.
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Author: Dr.Rasheed Al-Khayoun
This paper provides a detailed analysis of the motivations and ramifications of the assassination of the Hisham al-Hashemy, the expert on militant organizations. It reveals the importance of al-Hashemy’s work in exposing the activities of Iran’s allies in Iraq, which ultimately led them to silence him. It shows how his report on al-Hashd exposed the activities of the leadership of that organization towards undermining the Hashd factions loyal to Sistani, making al-Hashemy a threat to their existence. It elaborates on the response of the Iraqi government and show how their actions against the perpetrators will test the will and determination of the Iraqi Prime Ministe
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Author: Jacopo Scita
The commentary examines the recent 25-year China-Iran agreement, arguing that it is not, as had been claimed in various media sources, a 'game-changer' in the Gulf. Rather, the agreement establishes a road-map for bilateral cooperation that is similar to those between China and other actors in the region. The commentary argues that long-term cooperation is undermined by three macro elements: the lack of clear objectives and implementation mechanisms in the agreement itself; Iran's international situation; and China's relationship with the Gulf states.
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Author: Professor Lord David Alton, Dr. Wael Aleji
This article reflects on the deteriorating situation of religious freedom in Iran and warns Western politicians of the complex nature of the Iranian regime and the extremist ideology underpinning its politics and behaviors. This article argues that the phenomena, or notion of “global Jihad” is not an “exclusively Sunni product” but an ideology shared across all Political Islam Movements, Sunni and Shia alike, this fact is widely overlooked in the West. And whilst many Arab countries have taken drastic measures to counter extremism by challenging its narratives and interrupting its supply routes, Iran continues to spread sectarianism and religious extremis
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Author: Umer Karim
The Chinese-Indian engagement within Ladakh suggests that the Rubicon has been crossed and the bilateral relationship of both sides will never be the same. This change in strategic and tactical picture is invariably bound to impact upon Pakistan’s political and security calculus towards India. India may exercise strategic restraint against China but its weaker neighbors particularly Pakistan could be a target of its ire. Yet, Pakistan will not remain silent and respond in a
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Author: Joseph A. Kéchichian
This commentary discusses sectarianism in Lebanon as demands for basic rights, meaningful political and economic reforms, and full-scale accountability in a country where successive leaders failed to tackle challenges. It asks whether Sunnis and Christians in Lebanon are in danger and raises the specter of forced expulsions of repatriations.
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