Arabian Peninsula الجزيرة العربية

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Meeting Slogans With Gunfire: Saudi Security Forces Use Live Ammunition Against Protesters (Video)

On the eve of Saudi Arabia's "Day of Rage," country-wide protests planned for Friday March 11, 200-300 protesters took to the streets in the city of Qatif, located in the eastern province of the Kingdom. Participants chanted a range of slogans, inlcuding "peaceful, peaceful" and "freedom, ...  Read More »

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Distortions of Dialogue

"I've had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone, “so I can't take more.” “You mean you can't take less,” said the Hatter, “it's very easy to take more than nothing." Recent news reports on the current uprising in Bahrain are all talking about the talk; we hear, or read, that, “Clinton, Saudi ...  Read More »

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Bahraini "Coalition for a Republic" Issues First Statement

[The following statement was released on March 7, 2011, by the "Coalition for a Republic" in Bahrain shortly after their creation was announced. Both English and Arabic versions of the statement have been circulated together.] A statement on behalf of the Coalition for a Republic In the name of our ...  Read More »

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"Coalition for a Republic" Announced in Bahrain (Video)

On Monday, March 7, 2011, Hassan Mushaimi, Secretary General of al-Haq Movement, one of the leading opposition groups in Bahrain, announced the formation of the "Coalition for a Republic" in Bahrain, comprised of al-Haq Movement for Liberty and Democracy, al-Wafa National Islamic Movement, and Bahrain ...  Read More »

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Personal Revolutions: One Woman's View from the Bahraini Frontline

Since February 14th 2011, Bahrain has been experiencing a massive popular uprising in which large numbers of women from different socio-economic, political and religious backgrounds have taken to the streets to demand greater rights, freedom and democracy. They were met with a brutal crackdown from the Interior ...  Read More »

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The Center or Bust: Will the various forces in Bahrain finally compromise on a centrist approach to power?

The events in Bahrain are most tantalizing.   Should the opposition gain some ground and succeed in breaking the 240-year old stranglehold of the al-Khalifa family on the island, it would make Bahrain a beacon of social and political progress in the Gulf.  Should they fail and see their movements ...  Read More »

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Demands of Saudi Youth For the Future of the Nation

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Our precious country is experiencing a relative openness in different fields, and we can feel the tireless efforts of reform in religious, social, and economic areas and organizations, all of which seek to meet the demands of the people. However, we ...  Read More »

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Saudi Government Forbids Media From Reporting Yesterday's Protests, Issues Warning

The Saudi Ministry of Interior Issued the Following Statement Today: Based on recent attempts to circumvent rules, regulations, and procedures for illegal purposes, and confirming its December 30, 2008 declaration, the security spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior clarified that Saudi laws and regulations ...  Read More »

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Gathering to Protest: Videos from Saudi Arabia

The $35 billion question for the last month has been whether the recent wave of protests that erupted across the Arab world, from its far west in Morocco to US-occupied Iraq in the east, will reach the Saudi Kingdom. Today, Friday March 4, 2011, witnessed two small protests, one in the capital city Riyadh, the other ...  Read More »

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Notes from the Bahraini Field [Update 3]

[The following constitutes a series of email reports from Jadaliyya affiliates in Manama. They will be updated regularly to reflect the latest developments in Bahrain.] Bahrain - Thursday March 3, 2011 A lot has been happening in a short space of time, and it is difficult to summarize the subtle shifts, dips and ...  Read More »

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Yemen's Popular Uprising in Photos

“Thanks, Tunisia!  Congratulations Egypt!  You are the trailblazers of freedom.” The day after Tunisia’s leader fled his country on January 14, a group of Yemeni students at Sanaa University and members of Women Journalists Without Chains, led by Tawakul Karman, marched toward the Tunisian Embassy to show ...  Read More »

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A Letter to the Omani Sultan Qaboos

[The following translation from Arabic is provided by Khuloud] A Statement Regarding the Sultanic Decrees   Sunday, February 27, 2011 Your Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Saeed- Sultan of Oman In reference to each of the following: First: The Sultanic Decrees issued on February 26, 2011 to address the ...  Read More »

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A Call From Saudi Intellectuals to the Political Leadership

[The following translation from Arabic is provided by Khuloud] Declaration of National Reform It is no secret that the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have led to crises and political agitations in many Arab countries- at the heart of which is our country. This has imposed new conditions on us to reevaluate our ...  Read More »

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Agency and Its Discontents: Between Al Saud's Paternalism and the Awakening of Saudi Youth

Public life has been calmer than usual in Saudi Arabia for the last month. Invigorated by the people’s revolutionary movements in Tunisia and Egypt and anxious about the increasing violence in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen, Saudis have been following the news obsessively, perhaps for the first time in a decade. Salon talk ...  Read More »

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Bahrain Then and Now: Reflections on the Future of the Arab Monarchies

Will Bahrain be the first Middle Eastern monarchy in recent times to collapse? The last one to bite the dust was Iran’s in 1979, following the demise of kingdoms in Libya (1969), North Yemen (1962), Tunisia (1956), Iraq (1958) and Egypt (1952). Like dominoes they seemed to be falling in that era, giving rise to the ...  Read More »

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Let's Talk About Sect

"This was an affluent crowd, far different from the mostly low-income Shiites who took to the streets to demand a constitutional monarchy, an elected government and a representative Parliament. The air was scented with perfume, and people drove expensive cars," writes Michael Slackman of the New York Times, ...  Read More »

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Notes from the Bahraini Field [Update 2]

The following constitutes a series of email reports (to be updated regularly) from Jadaliyya affiliates in Manama. They will be updated in the next few days to reflect the latest developments in Bahrain. For some important differences between Bahrain and Egypt/Tunisia, see our Jadaliyya article entitled "Is ...  Read More »

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So Who Will Be Next to Fall? AAS of Yemen?

Following the removal of Husni Mubarak from power in Egypt, the inevitable question was “who’s next?”   As events of the last week have shown, there are plenty of candidates in this extraordinary season of rotating power in Arab countries. King Hamad ibn Isa and the Khalifa family of Bahrain are feeling ...  Read More »

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Notes from the Bahraini Field [Updated]

As of Saturday February 19, 2011, several people have been killed and hundreds more have been brutally injured in Bahrain. The Bahraini police and military’s violent oppression of the peaceful demonstrators was further escalated after the GCC’s 28th extraordinary meeting that took place in Manama last Thursday, ...  Read More »

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Yemen's Turn: An Overview

To begin to understand the trajectory of recent political developments in Yemen, it is necessary to cast one’s eye back further than the heady days of 2011. Undoubtedly, events in Egypt and Tunisia have lent considerable force to demonstrations in the capital, Sana’a. However, it would be unfair to the thousands of ...  Read More »

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Statement of Civil Society Organizations in Bahrain Regarding the Brutal Attack on Protesters in The Pearl Roundabout

[This statement was prepared by a coalition of civil society organizations in Bahrain. Translation by Khuloud and Ziad Abu-Rish. The original Arabic version be found here.] Issued on February 17, 2011 Civil society organizations which represent all segments of Bahraini society and embody national unity have met ...  Read More »

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Is Bahrain Next?

On Monday hundreds of young Bahrainis poured into the streets in communities and villages across the small island country. Mobilized by decades of autocratic excess, torture, and years of anguish over the unfulfilled promises of political reform, the country’s activist community is struggling to tap into the ...  Read More »

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King Abdullah Announces a Discount for Dictators

Two Arab dictators are out of the game, but there are others. Here is a cartoon by Khalil Bendib about possible efforts to accomodate future ex-presidents.     Read More »

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Celebrations Shake Saudi Capital

Tonight, We Are All Egyptian. For the first time in decades, Arabs the world over will unite in celebration, not in protest against this imperial war or the next. We will dwell in victory, not in the shadows of yesteryear’s defeats. We will pontificate the future and its many possibilities, not arguments against ...  Read More »

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Saudi Arabia's Silent Protests

Riyadh feels a little less stale since the Tunisian people toppled their dictator-president Zine El Abidine Bin Ali on 15 January 2011. In cafes, restaurants, and salons (majalis), friends and colleagues greet me with a smug smile, congratulations, and a ‘u’balna kulna (may we all be next). On my daily afternoon ...  Read More »

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It’s Not The Morality Police, Stupid

It is becoming increasingly more common to blame Saudi Arabia’s social, economic, and political ills solely on Wahabiyya and its official enforcers, the Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, also known as al hai’a, al mutawa’a, or simply the morality police. In Washington D.C., London, ...  Read More »

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The Modernization of Bribery: The Arms Trade in the Arab Gulf

The New York Hall of Science in Queens is currently showcasing “1,001 Inventions,” an exhibit documenting scientific advances made in the Islamic World while Europe was mired in the Dark Ages. The standards are all there – the advances in surgery, astronomy, and mathematics without which we might still be engaged ...  Read More »

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Choking Mecca in the Name of Beauty — and Development (Part 2)

Mecca During the Hajj  As the annual hajj draws to a close, millions of Muslim pilgrims in Mecca celebrate the four-day Eid al Adha together ritually, festively, and with a jubilant spirit of giving. They will pray, eat, and spend time with loved ones. Those who can afford it will give alms to the less ...  Read More »

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Choking Mecca in the Name of Beauty--and Development (Part I)

In the last decade, Mecca, Islam’s birthplace, has been the target of some of the world’s largest commercial development schemes. Over one hundred buildings are under construction around the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Ḥarām) and will soon replace the historical, architectural and socioeconomic landscape of this rapidly ...  Read More »

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Poverty in the Oil Kingdom: An Introduction

When Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz went to see one of Riyadh’s many poor neighborhoods in November 2002, pundits and lay people alike heralded the landmark visit as the beginning of the end of poverty in Saudi Arabia. After all, it was the first-and only- such visit by a high-ranking member of the Saudi ruling ...  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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