As the situation in Syria deteriorated, tens of thousands of desperate Syrians began to embark on the dangerous journey to Europe by boat. Criticism grew of the Gulf States – the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman – who until recently were the ‘elephants in the room’ when it came to their lack of support and resettlement for fleeing Syrian refugees. Read more »
Archives for 2015
Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi’s illustrated talk looks at ways in which Arab youth — and specifically young artists from North Africa and West Asia — engage with diverse types of media to comment on and interact with current social and political events. He explores how new digital tools and platforms are instrumental in creating a network that connects artists to one another and to their community. Read more »
Sunni vs. Shia sectarian tension and violence is raging, and ISIS — a Sunni terrorist group — is taking advantage of it. We cannot defeat ISIS unless parties on both sides — particularly Iran and Saudi Arabia — stop fueling sectarianism. A security-only minded strategy in tackling ISIS will likely fail. We need a more comprehensive solution that tackles incitement on television and social media as well as in educational curriculums. It is difficult to see how a solution to many of the region’s problems will be achieved as long as Iran and Saudi Arabia maintain a zero-sum game approach with each other.
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In the Gulf Arab States, the Iranian nuclear deal has been met with celebration and apprehension. The business community in the Gulf is no doubt glad that the Iranian market, long shuttered under heavy sanctions, will finally be open for business. Yet political tensions caused by the Iranian government in the region continue to be a concern. Read more »
A project to launch a Mars probe is the Middle East’s chance to make a giant leap to the present, both symbolically and scientifically. The fact that it is staffed by young Middle Easterners and based in the region makes the project twice as important. Read more »
This panel, moderated by Global Art Forum co-director Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, discussed the advent of technology on the UAE culture and the impact it has on shaping the identity of the UAE over the past 50 years. Read more »