Arabian Peninsula الجزيرة العربية

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MESA Membership Passes Bylaw Amendment Removing 'Non-Political' Clause and Affirming 501(c)3 Status

[Geometric arabesque tiling on the underside of the dome of Hafiz Shirazi's tomb in Shiraz. Image by Pontecelo via Wikipedia] [Geometric arabesque tiling on the underside of the dome of Hafiz Shirazi's tomb in Shiraz. Image by Pontecelo via Wikipedia]

The general membership of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) has approved (with 81% of voters supporting) a bylaw amendment that does two things: first, it removes term "non-political" from its self-description; second, it reaffirms the committment to operating in accordance with its 501(c)3 status.

The amendment was introduced by a diverse array of MESA members during the business meeting of the 2016 Annual Meeting. It was then that those in attendance voted 247-57 in favor of putting the amendment up to a general membership vote, which was held between 1 February and 15 March 2017. According to the organization's bylaws, the amendment needed to be supported by a two-thirds majority of votes cast.

Since the business meeting, the debate around the bylaw amendment featured genuine discussion, questions, and concerns around the nature and future of MESA as an academic association. However, the voting period  also featured the odd intervention of first-time MESA member Carry Nelson. A number of long-time MESA members spoke out in favor of the resolution to convince their colleagues who were either unsure or skeptical of the resultion:

At approximately 4:15pm on Friday 17 March 2017, the Secretariate of MESA emailed all members indicating that the bylaw amendment passed, with 81% of votes in favor of the amendment.

About the Arabian Peninsula Page

Despite its regional and global significance, the Arabian Peninsula has played a tangential role in the study of the modern Middle East. Jadaliyya’s Arabian Peninsula Page seeks to further the debates on the region and its eighty million inhabitants from a myopic focus on statistics, conjecture, and religious violence to one on people and communities, everyday hardships and popular struggles, culture and politics. It will bring together scholars, writers, artists, bloggers, journalists, activists, and photographers who work on or live in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. The goal is to provide an open and collaborative space for the production of knowledge on a region that has largely escaped critical engagement.

 

Arabian Peninsula Map and Stats

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BAHRAIN

Population:                                                   1,261,835
GDP ($ US billions 2009):                                      20.6
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions 2009):                17,609
Health Expenditure per capita ($ US 2009):      1,108
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  3.0
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+):                            86.5
Internet Users (2010):                                     694,009

KUWAIT

Population:                                                    2,736,732
GDP ($ US billions 2009):                                     109.5
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions 2009):                 41,365
Health Expenditure per capita ($ US 2009):      1,416
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  3.0
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+):                            93.3
Internet Users (2010):                                   1,100,000

OMAN

Population:                                                    2,782,435
GDP ($ US billions 2009):                                       46.9
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions 2009):                 17,280
Health Expenditure per capita ($ US 2009):         497
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  7.6
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+):                            81.4
Internet Users (2010):                                   1,741,804

QATAR

Population:                                                    1,758,793
GDP ($ US billions 2009):                                       98.3
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions 2009):                 61,532
Health Expenditure per capita ($ US 2009):      1,715
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  2.3
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+):                               89
Internet Users (2010):                                   1,213,567

SAUDI ARABIA

Population:                                                  27,448,086
GDP ($ US billions 2009):                                     372.7
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions 2009):                 15,711
Health Expenditure per capita ($ US 2009):         714
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  8.0
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+):                            82.9
Internet Users (2010):                                 11,253,715

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Population:                                                    7,511,690
GDP ($ US billions 2009):                                     270.3
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions 2009):                13,901
Health Expenditure per capita ($ US 2009):      1,520
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  4.3
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+):                            88.7
Internet Users (2010):                                   5,859,118

YEMEN

Population:                                                 24,052,514
GDP ($ US billions 2009):                                      26.4
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions 2009):                  1,130
Health Expenditure per capita ($ US 2009):           64
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  4.4
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+):                            54.1
Internet Users (2010):                                  2,609,698