Commentaries


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Author: Mohamed Al-Sbitli
This publication is available in Arabic only.    
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Author: Hamza Kashgari
This publication is currently available only in Arabic. Its English version is currently under translation.
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Author: Mohamed Al-Sbitli
This publication is available in Arabic only.    
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Author: Sarah Aljishi
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Nile river, the world’s longest river, is part of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s vision to transform Ethiopia into a major regional player, and to a unite what is now a divided Ethiopia. However, negotiations between Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia, the three states sharing the river, on how to operate and allocate this water supply has come to a deadlock. In 2011, Ethiopia officially announced the construction of the GERD, and these three states have been in negotiations ever since. The African Union (AU) led by South Africa has been involved as mediator in these negotiations to ease tensions between the nations, and make su
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Author: Fahad L. Alghalib Alsharif
In recent decades, the Gulf states’ kafala sponsorship system (henceforth “kafala”) has been systematically scrutinized due to widespread violations of international labor and human rights conventions and norms. While some Gulf states have previously attempted to reform their kafala, Saudi Arabia has boldly announced comprehensive labor reforms in October 2020 by rigorously imposing strict and clear Islamic rules, which are principally rooted in fair and just treatment of migrant labor. These kafala reforms are in line with Saudi Arabia’s economic and political interests, as well as complementary to its Islamic religiou
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Author: Faisal Abualhassan
Recent debate about Islam in France and the discourses of French President Emmanuel Macron, following his October 2020 speech on the “fight against separatism” and his government’s calls for strengthened security laws to control French mosques following the beheading of the high-school teacher Samuel Paty in the same month, have seen the French president and his supporters rally around the need for “republican values” in French Islam, namely respect for laïcité, a word that is too often accepted in France as synonymous with secularism. This commentary seeks to clarify the concept of laïcité, both in French history in
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Author: Joshua Yaphe
With a transition in Washington, discussions in Western capitals will inevitably turn to the issues of how to deal with Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the wars in Yemen and Libya, and so forth. Alongside those issues, almost underpinning some of them in a sense, is the matter of reassessing the security architecture in the Gulf and in the region more broadly. Policy planners in Western capitals will have their own ideas for desired outcomes in the region, but as they weigh their options they should consider how the format and structure of a security architecture can inadvertently shape and limit its effectiveness. The design and process of con
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Author: Mohamed Al-Sbitli
This publication is available in Arabic only.
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Author: Joseph A. Kéchichian
This Commentary asks whether Turkish and Iranian officials’ aspirations to lead the Muslim world are realistic. The author states that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Turkey, claiming to represent Sunnis, challenges Egypt and Saudi Arabia in the Arab world while ‘Ali Khamenei’s Iran seeks revenge on the Arab successors to the ‘Umayyad Empire, to avenge the “martyred” family of the Caliph ‘Ali, especially his son Hussein. The Commentary argues that such goals are unrealistic to implement.
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Author: Mark C. Thompson and Hanaa Almoaibed
Multiple estimates suggest that Saudi Arabia may have one of the highest rates of wasted food globally. Key contributors to waste include culture, food valuation, policy, and industry factors, as well as societal awareness and concern. However, the Saudi National Transformation Program aims to transform healthcare and avoid health risks, a goal that involves improved food preparation and better food consumption practices. Hence, this commentary highlights key issues related to food and sustainability in the Kingdom. Considering Saudi Arabia’s limited arable land and scarce water resources, the commentary discusses the local dimensions of environmental and socioeconomic imp
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