Image for The Great

Abraham Accords: Social and Strategic Dimensions from the Gulf

Abraham Accords: Social and Strategic Dimensions from the Gulf
Image Credit: Wikimedia / Itzuvit (CC BY-SA 3.0)

This panel will address strategic and social dimensions of the Abraham Accords and the decision of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel.

Thursday, June 3, 2021
10:00 AM (Pacific Time)
Zoom Webinar
 Image for Calendar ButtonImage for Calendar Button

This panel will address strategic and social dimensions of the Abraham Accords and the decision of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel. What do these Gulf states hope to achieve regionally and domestically from this new partnership? What concrete forms of both popular support for and rejection of this decision have emerged? How are Gulf political discourse and identity being reshaped by both the agreement and the debate surrounding it?


PANELIST— Dr. Ebtesam Alketbi is the founder and president of Emirates Policy Center (EPC), a professor of political science at UAE University, and a member of the Consultative Body of the GCC Council. She attained her PhD in political science at the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences at Cairo University. EPC undertakes the task of studying and foreseeing future regional and international geopolitical projects and their impact on the Gulf region, based on the region’s self-perception of its concerns and interests. The Center is now considered one of the most renowned think-tanks in the region, ranking 7th in the Middle East and North Africa region in the University of Pennsylvania’s annual Global Think Tank Index Report 2018. The Center has also ranked 10th in the top best think-tank conference worldwide.


PANELIST— Mohammed Baharoon is the director general of the Dubai Public Policy Research Centre (b’huth), which he established with Ahmed Al Mansoori in 2002. He obtained his Master’s in English literature from Texas Tech University in 1995. He found that reading literature helped him create the big picture, since he always needed to listen to things that were not said. This led to a career in media, where he worked as a reporter for Al Arabi Magazine, as a writer for a newspaper, and as an editor for a defense magazine. A turning point for him was when he started to see that the worlds of literature and politics were not very different. It was a launching point for the establishment of b’huth. Since then, he has been reading world politics as the ultimate literary genre.


MODERATOR— Kristin Diwan is a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. She works at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations with an emphasis on social movements. Her current projects concern generational change, nationalism, and the evolution of Islamism in the Gulf states. Her articles have appeared in both academic and policy journals such as Geopolitics and Foreign Affairs, and her commentary in prominent media such as the New York Times, Financial Times, and Washington Post. Dr. Diwan teaches in an adjunct capacity at the George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs and was previously an assistant professor at the American University’s School of International Service. She holds a PhD from Harvard University.


MODERATOR—Ambassador Douglas Silliman is president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. He served as US ambassador to Iraq from 2016 to 2019 and to Kuwait from 2014 to 2016. He was a senior advisor in the Department of State in Iraq and the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, was deputy chief of mission and minister counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, and deputy chief of mission in Turkey. In Washington, Ambassador Silliman headed the State’s Southern Europe Office, and worked in the Counterterrorism Office and the Office of Soviet Affairs. He also served in Jordan, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Haiti. He received the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Secretary’s Award for Public Outreach, and other awards. He retired in 2019 after 35 years.


*** Additional Panelists To Be Announced***

Please register here for the Zoom webinar. After you register, we will forward Zoom access instructions for the event. The talk is viewable using a desktop or laptop computer, tablet, smartphone, or by calling with a telephone. You may also view the webinar via YouTube live stream by returning to the CMED event page on the day of the event. For those who are unable to join the live event, a recording will be available on the CMED website afterwards.


Image Credit: Wikimedia / Itzuvit (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sponsor(s): Center for Middle East Development, Burkle Center for International Relations, Y&S Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, Department of Public Policy