Arabian Peninsula الجزيرة العربية

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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 »

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A State of Violence [Notes from the Bahraini Field- Update 7]

In the early hours of the morning on Wednesday March 16th, the Bahraini army attacked and “cleansed” (the word used on national TV was تطهير) the Pearl roundabout using helicopters, tear gas and live ammunition. Below is a first-hand account from a Human Rights Watch Correspondent in Bahrain: "At 7.30 this ...  Read More »

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Darker Than Black Tuesday [Notes From the Bahraini Field- Update 6]

Amid an atmosphere of extreme tension a number of Asian men, mostly from Pakistan, have reportedly been attacked with swords and iron rods during the last two days. The government seems to have taken up their cause to point blame at opposition protesters although as of yet the circumstances in which they were ...  Read More »

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Bahraini Protesters to Obama: Foreign Troops Unleash Violence Against Bahrainis And Claim to Have American Green Light!

[This is a public letter addressed to US President Barack Obama from by protesters in Bahrain under the name “Movement of 14 February.” The letter was circulated on March 15, 2011] Mr President, You certainly know about the Saudi and other gulf troops arriving to Bahrain to aid the government in clamping down the ...  Read More »

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Bahrain's "Coalition for a Republic" Responds

[The following statement was issued by the Bahraini Coalition for a Republic on March 14, 2011. Both English and Arabic versions of the statement have been circulated together. For more information on the Coalition, see our reports on their formation's announcement as well as their first statement.] The position ...  Read More »

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Different Kinds of Intervention: Groups Respond to GCC Troops Entering Bahrain

Troops from the GCC Peninsula Shield Forces, originating mostly from Saudi Arabia but also the United Arab Emirates, arrived in Bahrain today. When the Bahraini Crown Prince visited Saudi Arabia last week, he was given an ultimatum and a deadline: either the Bahraini government takes control of the situation and ends ...  Read More »

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Notes from the Bahraini Field [Update 5]

[The following is part of a series of email reports from Jadaliyya affiliates in Manama. They will be updated regularly to reflect the latest developments in Bahrain.] Friday March 11, 2011 Thousands of protesters marched towards the King's Court in Riffa, an area where many members of the royal family live. The ...  Read More »

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Bahrain this Weekend: An Invitation to Dialogue Through Violence (Videos)

Today, Sunday March 13, 2011, on the same day that Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa claimed the regime was open to a national dialogue on all issues, security forces violently dispersed peaceful protesters at several locations--inlcuding the Bahrain Financial Harbor and the Pearl ...  Read More »

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Notes from the Bahraini Field [Update 4]

[The following is part of a series of email reports from Jadaliyya affiliates in Manama. They will be updated regularly to reflect the latest developments in Bahrain.] Friday March 11, 2011 Ahead of a protest march to the King's Court in Riffa today (where most of the royal family live), tensions are high. For ...  Read More »

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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 »

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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