Gulf States Christina Durano, Alex Lasky, Amera Ratliff, and Gabe Steinmeyer 12/4/12
Executive Summary • Saudi Arabia: • Women will be permitted in the Saudi Arabian government next year separated by a screen • Legislative branch (Shura): Consultative Council • Unsure how many would be permitted • Qatar • Financing of Terrorist Organizations in the Middle East • Bahrain • Experiencing Anti-Regime Protests • UAE • A UAE Islamist group, Al-Islah, denies it has an armed wing.
Saudi Arabia History: • Separation of men and women is based on Sharia (Islamic law) from the Qur’an and hadith • If the topic is not discussed in the Qur’an, many assume it is forbidden • Such as women driving • Princess Adila is a supporter of women driving and women’s rights • Current King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is a reformer • Allows women to go to US to study • Causes educated women to return to Saudi with no job • High unemployment for women • Will allow women to vote in the 2015 municipal elections (announced in 2011) • Electronic tracking on women crossing borders: SMS sent to male guardians Projection: • Women will continue to have reforms under King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud • Successor of King Abdulaziz is Mutaib bin Abdullah who is looking to reform SANG (Saudi Arabian National Guard) to allow women soldiers • Constant battle between what is part of culture and what is part of religion • Whether women having specific positions is permitted
Qatar • Financing of Terrorism • Hamas – annual budget est. $70 million • Al Qaeda – annual budget est. $30 million Sources of Funding for Terrorist Organizations • Funding from Arab supporters • Contributions through Islamic charities (est. 50%) • Criminal Activity • Projections • Continued aid to Gaza and attempts to shape Arab and public opinion both publically and privately • Strained relations with the United States if visible support of Hamas continues • Possible negotiating role in talks between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority *Qatar GDP: $170.7 billion (2011 est.)
Bahrain History: • Began as apart of the “Arab Spring” protests. • Movement initially called for greater political freedom and equality for the majority Shia population. • Now calls for an end to the Al Khalifa Dynasty, end of discrimination, establishment of justice and a democratically-elected government as well as freedom of detained protesters. • On October 30th the Bahraini government imposed a ban on all protest gatherings. • The Persian Gulf Cooperation Council has provided police and military aid to King Hamad • As of 11/26 the Government has revoked citizenship from 31 activists. • Saeedal-Shehabi, Ali Mushaima, Jawad and Jalal Fairooz , as well as clerics, human rights lawyers and other activists. • Dozens of people have been killed, hundreds are still missing, and thousands of protesters have been injured so far. Projections: • Expect the protests to continue and clashes against protesters to intensify. • The Government has shown willingness to quell the protests. • Don’t expect open revolt as of yet. Shia’s comprise 70% of Bahrain’s 525,000 or 367,500 March 9th, 2012 protest was attended by over 100,000 citizens
United Arab Emirates Current Issue: The UAE and the Jordanian Joint Committee held their first meeting November 19. The two states discussed UAE support in Jordan. Background: • UAE is responding to protests in Jordan over 53% increase in fuel prices. • Price increase due to pipeline attacks from Egypt to Jordan. • Egypt makes up approximately 80% of Jordan’s power generation. • December 2011: 2-day summit to Riyadh, GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) voted $5 billion fund over 5 years for Jordan and Morocco • Saudi Arabia refused to repeat $1.4 billion cash injection to Jordan. Projections: The UAE will offer the bulk of support to Jordan. This will help make Jordan less reliant on Egypt which will strengthen the Western-backed kingdom. By maintaining Jordan’s kingdom, emirates will retain close ties with other Arab kingdoms in order to contain pro-democratic states in the Arab world.
Sources • http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabias-women-allowed-to-join-countrys-main-advisory-body-but-must-be-separated-from-men-by-a-screen-8294615.html • http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/world/saudi-arabia-struggles-to-employ-its-most-educated-women-662581/ • http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/26/world/middleeast/women-to-vote-in-saudi-arabia-king-says.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 • http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/world/saudi-woman-sues-ministry-over-driving-ban/555884 • https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sa.html • http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-shura-insists-on-photo-id-for-women-1.1098453 • http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/11/qatar-worst-on-counterterroism-in-the-middle-east/67166/# • http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RL31718.pdf • http://www.cfr.org/terrorist-organizations/al-qaeda-k-al-qaida-al-qaida/p9126 • http://www.cfr.org/north-africa/al-qaeda-islamic-maghreb-aqim/p12717 • http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/world/middleeast/pledging-400-million-qatari-emir-makes-historic-visit-to-gaza-strip.html?_r=0 • http://www.drtomoconnor.com/3440/3440lect03asecure.htm • http://www.investigativeproject.org/documents/testimony/15.pdf • http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/10/2012103093735935103.html • http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9107119922 • http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wikileaks-files/bahrain-wikileaks-cables/8334600/BAHRAINS-SHIA-POLITICAL-LEADERS-VISIT-IRAQ.html • http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/02/2011214925802473.html