Arabian Peninsula الجزيرة العربية

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A Family Under Siege: The Khawajas in Bahrain

An important aspect of many of the popular movements of the Arab Spring has been the emergence of different generations of activists from the same families. Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and his daughters Zainab al-Khawaja and Maryam al-Khawaja epitomize such cross-familial activism. Abdulhadi is among the most renowned human ...  Read More »

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Press Release: Activists Refute Bahrain Government Claim of Reform Implementation

Activists Refute Bahrain Government Claim of Reform Implementation Researchers launch "Government Inaction" website to track government’s implementation of BICI Recommendations [Manama] The Bahraini government has failed to fully implement any of the recommendations made by a prominent rights commission ...  Read More »

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Bedoon Rights: An Online Reference on Statelessness in Kuwait

Bedoon Rights is a network founded by stateless Kuwaiti advocate Mona Kareem putting together contributions by a number of stateless volunteers mostly based in Kuwait. The network is the only online reference in English devoted for the case of statelessness in Kuwai. It provides relevant official ...  Read More »

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(Un)Historic Errors: Bahrain One Year On

On the eve of the first anniversary of the uprising in Bahrain, it might be time to step back from our usual celebration of the opposition’s “good fight” and take a more critical look at its discourse to date. So enamored was the world with the fact that a wealthy Gulf Arab state was about to rise in revolt, so ...  Read More »

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Video: "Down with Hamad" Chanted at 10 February 2012 Protest in Bahrain

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لن أخون وطني

بمَ يمكن أن يشهد مثقف خارج طائفته، وخارج نظامها السياسي الحاكم عليها بالموت؟ أتحدث عن المنامة هنا بما هي واجهة للسلطة السياسية التي أسندت إليها مهمة الاحتفال بعاصمة الثقافة العربية. أنا مثقف معارض لهذا النظام السياسي، ومعارض برسالتي الثقافية التي أجدها تتمثل في توسيع مساحة الحرية: حرية الفرد والجماعات والتجمّعات ...  Read More »

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Crocodiles of Arabia

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The Omani Spring: Towards the Break of a New Dawn?

[The following is the latest from the Arab Reform Initiative on Oman.] From February to mid-May 2011, an intense wave of protests swept the sultanate of Oman. As a result, the country has undergone changes on many levels: political, social, and economic. It is striking that in contrast to ...  Read More »

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The Nature of Oil: Reconsidering American Power in the Middle East

Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil. New York: Verso, 2011. Toby Craig Jones, Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010. Robert Vitalis, American Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier. Palo Alto: Stanford ...  Read More »

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Bahrain's Past and Present: An Interview with Nabeel Rajab

During the period of the 1940s through the 1960s, regime forces and oil company private security contractors violently crushed anti-colonial and anti-imperialist protest movements in places like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (among many others), with the explicit approval of and material support from London and Washington ...  Read More »

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Red Lines and Human Rights: An Evaluation of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry Report

On 23 November 2011, in one of the royal palaces in Bahrain, a lavish ceremony commenced with all the pomp of a great occasion. In the era of the so-called Arab Spring, this should have been an occasion to announce the handover of power to the people, akin to the Hong Kong handover ceremony in 1997. This, however, was ...  Read More »

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Bahrain's Assault on Medical Professionals

Bahrain's doctors, nurses and emergency workers treated scores of injured and saw the dead after security forces launched a brutal crackdown on protestors. Many are now paying a steep price for speaking out about what they witnessed. After traveling to Bahrain as part of an Amnesty International fact-finding mission ...  Read More »

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What Happens in Yemen: The "End" of Citizenship and How We Got Here

When Troy Davis was executed in Georgia, despite the recantation of seven of the nine witnesses who had testified against him and despite the lack of other material evidence implicating him in the murder for which he was convicted, it seemed like things could not get much worse for due process. Two weeks later, the ...  Read More »

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Bahrain's 14 Feb Coalition Press Release: Winning the Psychological War against a Defeated Regime

[The following press release was issued in both English and Arabic by Bahrain's 14 February Coalition on 24 September 2011.] Winning the Psychological War against a Defeated Regime The call of the 14 February Youth Coalition to the masses to participate in the ‘Friday Crawl’ to Martyrs Square (formerly Pearl ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Adam Hanieh, "Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States"

Adam Hanieh, Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. Jadaliyya: What made you write this book? Adam Hanieh: Although this book is very much focused on the political economy of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and ...  Read More »

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Trafficking and Foreign Labor in the Gulf: An Interview with Pardis Mahdavi

Earlier this month, the US State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, an inventory of the world’s efforts at combating the global trade in people. The 2011 report marks a turning point of sorts for US foreign policy. For the first time ever, the new TIP includes an assessment—if ...  Read More »

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إنتفاضة البحرين حتى التدخل السعودي [The Bahraini Uprising Until the Saudi Intervention]

عندما بدأت الإنتفاضة في البحرين في 14 من شباط/فبراير، تدفق الآلاف من المواطنين إلى الشوارع للمطالبة بالإصلاحات، بما في ذلك إصلاح الدستور، التحقيق في سرقة الأراضي العامة والذي يكلف خزينة الدولة مليارات الدولارات، وإنهاء التمييز المنظم. وسارعت الحكومة بإطلاق قواتها للتصدي للإحتجاجات. وفي خلال يومين، قتلت عناصر ...  Read More »

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Interview with Toby Jones on the Situation in Bahrain (Conducted by Sharam Aghamir)

[See Toby Jones on  Bahrain in Jadaliyya here] AUDIO PLAYER BELOW    On March 15th, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa declared a three-month emergency rule and invited armed forces of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf to help quash two months of growing ...  Read More »

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Is Bahrain Back to Normal?

“Your remarkable and unflinching efforts have protected the lives of innocent people, restored order and maintained security and stability across Bahrain,” Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa praised security forces on Friday March 25th for bringing life in Bahrain back to “normal.” As he thanked his dedicated ...  Read More »

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The Bidun of Kuwait: A Look Behind the Laws

In Kuwait, some young Bidun men and women often wonder what more they could offer the country to get accepted as one of its own. Their fathers had lost their lives liberating Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion in the 1990 Gulf War. Their ancestors had settled in Kuwait for three consecutive generations but Bidun ...  Read More »

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Kidnapped, Tortured, Killed: the 19th Victim of Police Brutality in Bahrain

Hani Abdul-Aziz Abdullah Jumah, 32,  is the nineteenth victim to fall prey to the Bahraini security forces' brutal attack on peaceful bystanders and protesters. Hani was killed on Saturday March 19th, 2011, but his family, who had been looking for him since, were only informed of his death on the evening of ...  Read More »

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Organizing for Change in Yemen

Much of the media attention has rightfully focused on the violence of the Saleh regime in the face of mass protests and various defections. At the heart of these dynamics, however, are everyday people that are out in the streets articulating their demands and organizing communities. Below are a number of videos ...  Read More »

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Saleh Defiant

In the face of popular protests as well as defections by Yemeni diplomats, government ministers, and military leaders, President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday invited the Yemeni youth to participate in a “transparent and open dialogue.” He also announced that he would step down as president by the end of this year, and ...  Read More »

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Bahraini Response to al-Qaradawi's Sectarian Accusation

[The below letter in Arabic was issued in the name of "The People of Bahrain" on 20 March 2011. It responds to Shaykh Yusef al-Qaradawi's accusation that the uprising in Bahrain was a Shi'a sectarian movement targeting Sunnis. While the letter criticiszes and counters al-Qaradawi's portrayl of the uprising ...  Read More »

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When Petro-Dictators Unite: The Bahraini Opposition's Struggle for Survival

For at least several decades, geopolitical, economic, territorial and ideological considerations have led to serious tensions, if not outright feuds, between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states. In recent weeks, however, the regimes of GCC states have shown their citizens that when their authoritarian ...  Read More »

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The Saudi Women Revolution Statement

[The following statement in English and Arabic (below) was written by Mona Kareem on Friday March 18th, 2011, and can be found on her personal blog.] After the recent importance of Social Media in creating change in our societies, a lot of Saudi women have been active on Twitter through the hash tag ...  Read More »

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How it Started in Yemen: From Tahrir to Taghyir

On February 11 after the Friday noon prayers Yemeni students and activists organized a demonstration in the capital city of Sanaa in solidarity with Egyptian demonstrators frustrated with Mubarak’s refusal to resign. At about 1 PM they met in front of the small roundabout by the new campus of Sanaa University and ...  Read More »

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Saudi Arabia's Week of Shame

Since King Abdullah returned to Riyadh last month, members of his ruling family have resorted to myriad political, economic, and personal measures to prevent public expressions of dissent against the Al Saud. The Ministry of Interior issued a statement warning that any act of public protest is prohibited in Saudi ...  Read More »

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Pearl No More: Demolishing the Infrastructure of Revolution

The Pearl Roundabout is gone. On Friday, March 18, Bahraini government forces exploded the structure that had been built in 1982 as a commemoration to the importance of pearl diving to Bahrain's pre-oil economy. The six twisted arms of the sculpture (meant to be dhow sails) that held the concrete Pearl in place ...  Read More »

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An Account of the Arrest of One of Bahrain's Opposition Leaders

[Late last night, early this morning Thursday March 17, 2011, Ebrahim Sharif Alsayed--who is Secretary General of the National Democractic Action Society, Wa'd (a Bahraini opposition group)--was taken from his home by plain-clothed men that identified themselves as amn al-dawlah [state security]. Below is a letter by ...  Read More »

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

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