Arabian Peninsula الجزيرة العربية

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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 »

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Kafala Politics and Domestic Labor in Saudi Arabia

As we prepare to land at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, I grudgingly wear my abaya and wrap the headscarf around my neck. A few Saudi men in jeans and t-shirts rush to the bathrooms and change into their long, white thobes. When we touch down, I call my wakil, a male agent who has to be physically present ...  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 (2016):                                         1,378,904
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                     66.37
GDP Per Capita ($US billions; 2016):                50,300 
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                      5
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2016):                4.59
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2016):                   95.7
Internet Users (/million; 2015):               1.259 (93.5%)

KUWAIT

Population (2016):                                        2,832,776     
GDP ($ US billions; 2016):                                    301.1
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions; 2016):                71,300
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                   3.0
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                3.65
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  96.3
Internet Users (/million; 2015):               2.289 (82.1%)

OMAN

Population (2016):                                        3,355,262 
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                    173.1      
GDP Per Capita ($US billions 2016):                 43,700
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                   3.6
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2016):             12.75
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  91.1
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              2.438 (74.2%)

QATAR

Population (2016):                                        2,258,283
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                    156.6
GDP Per Capita ($US billions; 2016):              129,700
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2015):                   2.2
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2008):                  2.3
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  97.3
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              2.039 (92.9%)

SAUDI ARABIA

Population (2016):                                       28,160,273
GDP ($US trillions 2016):                                      1.731
GDP Per Capita ($US billions 2016):                  54,100
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                   4.7
Military Expenditure (% of GDP 2015):                13.5
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  94.7
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              19.32 (69.6%)

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Population (2016):                                       5,927,482
GDP ($US billions 2016):                                     667.2
GDP Per Capita ($US billions 2016):                67,700
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2015):                 3.6
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):              5.66
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                93.8
Internet Users (/million; 2015)              5.274 (91.2%)

YEMEN

Population (2016):                                     27,392,779
GDP ($US billions; 2016):                                    73.45
GDP Per Capita ($ US billions; 2016):                2,500
Health Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):                  5.6
Military Expenditure (% of GDP; 2014):               3.97
Adult literacy rate (% age 15+; 2015):                  70.1
Internet Users (/million; 2015):              6.711 (25.1%)

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