Gulf States' Hard Power vs. Soft Power: A Line in the Sand - A Talk by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi

Date: 
November 9, 2015 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Type: 
Location: 
Columbia Global Centers | Amman

Please note that we have reached full capacity, and will only be letting people who have sent in there RSPVs.

The six Arab states of the Gulf Cooperation Council have played an increasingly decisive role in the past few years. The Gulf states' soft power, including their media powerhouses, such as Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera, as well as their financial clout have allowed them to project influence in the Arab world and beyond. Recently, the Gulf states have taken a more assertive role, including Oman's quietest diplomacy that allowed it to host the Iran-US nuclear talks, to the Saudi-led war on Yemen's Houthi militia. This talk will explore this soft to hard power turn, its background and repercussions, and discuss the future of the Gulf state's influence across the region. 

 

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is a United Arab Emirates-based columnist whose articles have appeared in The Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The New York Times Room for Debate, Foreign Policy, Open Democracy, and The Globe and Mail, as well as other notable publications.

Al Qassemi is also a prominent commentator on Arab affairs on Twitter. Rising in prominence during the Arab Spring, his tweets became a major news source, rivalling the major news networks at the time, that TIME magazine listed him in the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.”

Al Qassemi is an MIT Media Labs Director’s Fellow, and in 2014, Arabian Business placed Al Qassemi in its list of World’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs under the Thinkers category. He continues to write and tweet about the Arab world both from his home in Sharjah, as well as while giving lectures internationally.

Al Qassemi is also the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent initiative established to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region by building a prominent and publicly accessible art collection in the United Arab Emirates. Barjeel Art Foundation currently has exhibitions at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

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