Qatar

Putin’s war plays well for MENA authoritarians

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the author and MENA analyst Christopher Davidson. Their conversation focusses on how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is proving beneficial for the region’s autocratic leaders and not simply because the price of hydrocarbons has soared. Amongst other windfalls Russia’s oligarchs are finding new homes in the Gulf and bringing their wealth with them.

The trap: male guardianship in Qatar

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest is Dania Akkad, an investigative journalist with Middle East Eye. Their conversation is about the practice of mahram, male guardianship, in the tiny and enormously wealthy Gulf state of Qatar. Despite the image it projects of an ultra-modern society embracing tolerance and openness, Qatar holds on to a practice that treats women as second-class citizens and that can enable domestic abuse and even murder.

Net zero chasing in the Gulf

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back author and analyst Jim Krane. Jim is energy research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute and an expert on Gulf energy matters. Their conversation focusses on the quest for net zero. Are Gulf hydrocarbons producers serious about hitting their ambitious targets or is this little more than a PR mirage?

The UAE, Saudi Arabia and the JCPOA

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back the Baker Institute’s Kristian Coates Ulrichsen for a conversation about how the UAE and Saudi Arabia are on the sidelines but acutely watching how talks to revive the nuclear deal with Iran are faring in Vienna. Also on the table: Yemen, Syria, the Biden White House and the growing competition between the two GCC neighbours on the economic front.

Russia’s MENA finesse

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back the geopolitical analyst and commentator Samuel Ramani to discuss how, in the past decade, Russia has consistently played a strong hand in the Middle East, buttressing relations with MENA states and presenting itself as an honest disputes mediator while exploiting anxieties and uncertainties to advantage as America continues to pull away from its longstanding role as the region’s guarantor of security.

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