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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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Author: Karolen Eid, Maha Fallatah, Makio Yamada
  Over the past decade, Saudi women’s participation in the workforce has increased at a rapid pace. At the end of the 2000s, only 48,406 of Saudi women worked in the private sector; by the end of 2019, the number had leaped to 558,892. Although the figure is still half that of Saudi men (1,141,812), the change in the number of private-sector employees has lately been constantly higher among Saudi women than among Saudi men. While the number of Saudi men in the private sector decreased by 19,762 over the 12 months to the end of 2019, the number of Saudi women in the private sector increased by 16,493 in the same period.    From this, some
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Author: Maha Fallatah
To develop the tourism sector as a main pillar of economic diversification, Saudi Arabia has been investing in heritage sites, museums, luxury resorts, and state-of-the-art entertainment venues across the country. One noteworthy fact about Saudi tourism is that, while increasing numbers of tourists travel by air and railways, the primary mode of domestic transportation, largely for nationals and residents, remains by land. In the first quarter of 2019, roads were used for 90.5% of domestic tourist transportation and 21.8% of international tourist arrivals. This suggests the importance of taking into acc
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Author: Rasheed Al-Khayoun
 This month (April) marks the death of two Shite scholars, one of them Muhammad Kazem Shariatmadari (1985) who was imprisoned in his home and prevented from medical treatment for cancer by order of the Iranian regime and the Supreme Leader. He was diagnosed with cancer whilst in prison and was kept incarcerated despite being a great scholar. Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was executed in Iraq in 1980, due to his Islamic political activity and his connection to the new Iranian regime which supported an Islamic revolution in Iraq. Islamic political parties in Iraq and Iran celebrate Sadr’s life during the anniversary of his execution, whilst they do not acknowledge the death of Shariatma
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Author: Latifa Abdullah Al Saud
The commentary analyses the recent unprecedented decision undertaken by the Japanese government to dispatch Self-Defense Force deployments to the Middle East. It considers the rationales underlying this decision and, more importantly, whether it signals a fundamental shift in Japanese foreign policy towards the region.
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Author: Maha Fallatah and Makio Yamada
Local product development plays a significant role in attracting great numbers of tourists and sustainably creating employment opportunities in local economies. Governments, both central and local, can enact policies to facilitate the development of local products and services that harness distinctive local resources. In our previous commentary, we examined one such policy, the “One Village One Product” movement in Japan, which is characterized by its effective investment in human resources to promote R&D aimed at enhancing the quality of local products and marketing them to wide groups of consumers. The One Village One Product movement, as well
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