The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations is pleased to provide the twenty-second edition of the Council Chronicle, the Council’s periodic newsletter. The Chronicle seeks to keep the Council’s alumni, donors, and other supporters informed and updated. One among other efforts to do so on an ongoing basis is achieved by presenting highlights and special reports on the Council’s programs, events, and activities. For new readers interested in learning more about the Council’s vision and mission, together with the ways and means it utilizes to pursue both objectives, please visit the Council’s website at ncusar.org.
UAE, Japan sign MoU on nuclear energy
General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, on Wednesday witnessed the signing ceremony of a number of agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). The two sides signed the schedules on amending the Air Services Agreement between the UAE and Japan. The deal was signed by Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, and Fumio Kishida, Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. The two foreign ministers also signed a MoU on the development of joint cooperation committee work between the UAE’s Ministry of Development and International Cooperation and Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The full story of the Saudi arms gift to Lebanon
Despite the insistence of Beirut and Riyadh on the rapid implementation of Saudi Arabia’s $3 billion plan to arm the Lebanese army and strengthen its defensive capabilities, the French are approaching this issue from the standpoint of the interests of Israel and other international matters, mainly how to maintain the status quo in southern Lebanon in the face of the Israeli enemy. This tripartite political deal suggests that the world and the Gulf want to strengthen the Lebanese army and enable it to control the border so as not to repeat the example of Hezbollah’s involvement in the Syrian crisis.
Summer Intensive Language Program at The Arab-American Language Institute in Morocco
The National Council, in collaboration with The Arab-American Language Institute in Morocco (AALIM) for the summer of 2014, is pleased to announce a Summer Language Program in the Kingdom of Morocco. Students will spend six weeks in historic Meknes, Morocco taking part in intensive Arabic language instruction. Students at all levels of Arabic proficiency are encouraged to apply. The AALIM center is a host to a community of Arabic learners throughout the summer, providing for a fully immersive program. Those selected will also gain direct personal expertise in Moroccan culture, history, and society through a variety of day excursions, local outings, workshops, and demonstrations.
For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/14-aalim
Students should submit completed applications to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Applications are due April 10, 2014.
Intensive Arabic Language Programs at the Center for International Learning in Oman
The National Council is pleased to offer students a partial scholarship opportunity for intensive Arabic language study with our partner organization in Muscat, Oman, the Center for International Learning (CIL). Comprised of Americans and Omanis with PhD and Masters Degrees, the CIL faculty facilitates experiential education, cultural exchange, and comparative studies to deepen understanding, promote common interests, and explore the shared aspirations of people from different cultures. CIL offers all three levels of Modern Standard Arabic (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), as well as Omani dialect, media Arabic, and skills classes. A limited number of partial scholarships to study at CIL are available through the National Council.
For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/14-cil
Students should submit completed applications to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.
Arabic Language & Area Studies Programs in Sana’a at the Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies
The Yemen College of Middle Eastern Studies (YCMES) is a fully accredited, non-profit college that provides students and scholars from around the world the opportunity to develop a complex knowledge of the Arabic language and the contemporary Middle East. Students can study at YCMES for 5, 10, or 15 weeks, or more — programs are tailored to meet students’ needs. Sana’a, Yemen is an ideal location for language acquisition and cultural immersion. Unlike many other Middle Eastern cities where English or French or both are pervasive, Sana’a is one of the few remaining places in the world where Arabic is spoken exclusively. In short, it is nearly impossible to remain isolated in a Western bubble.
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If you have questions or need more information about any of the National Council’s student programs you can contact the Council’s Director of Student Programs Megan Geissler (email@example.com) or Deputy Director of Student Programs Josh Hilbrand (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Riyadh briefed on Geneva talks
American and Saudi officials held top-level talks Sunday on the visit by US President Barack Obama in March. US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman met with senior Saudi and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) officials at the meeting. Sherman, who led the American negotiating team at talks in Vienna aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program, also discussed this issue and other regional and bilateral matters with Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the foreign minister. ”Sherman met with Foreign Minister Prince Saud and discussed regional issues, bilateral cooperation, and the upcoming visits of President Obama and senior US officials,” said a statement released by the US Embassy on Monday.
Sabahi running for president to protect the Egyptian revolution
Hamdeen Sabahi, an Egyptian politician who has been named as a potential candidate for the presidential elections, has confirmed that he decided to run to achieve the objectives of the January 25 Revolution. In an interview with As-Safir, Sabahi said that he gave in to pressures to run from the revolutionary youth, who believed that his absence from the elections would contribute to the continuation of the current situation. Egypt is witnessing a decline in political freedoms and a return to a security grip that is greater than the one present during the reign of former President Hosni Mubarak. Sabahi said there is an open dialogue with a number of political forces to coordinate before the official start of the election battle. He added that a meeting will be held with the former presidential candidate Khaled Ali to discuss the level of available consensus on a single candidate to represent the revolutionary forces.
Iran boosts military support in Syria to bolster Assad
Assad is now benefiting from the deployment by Tehran of hundreds more military specialists to Syria, according to Iranian sources familiar with deployments of military personnel, Syrian opposition sources, and security experts.
These include senior commanders from the elite Quds Force, the external and secretive arm of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as well as IRGC members.
On February 19, 2014, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and The Maghreb Center hosted a conference on “Tunisia: The Way Forward.” The program assessed the latest developments in Tunisia and discussed its economic challenges as it moves down the path of democratization and political stability. The program also analyzed U.S.-Tunisia relations, particularly in the areas of trade and economic development. The keynote speaker was His Excellency M’Hamed Ezzine Chelaifa, Ambassador of the Republic of Tunisia to the United States. Also featured were Mr. Andrew Haviland, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs’ International Finance and Development Unit at the U.S. Department of State, and Dr. Caroline Freund, Senior Fellow at The Peterson Institute for International Economics and former Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank. Founding President of The Maghreb Center, Dr. Néjib Ayachi, served as moderator and Founding President and CEO of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, Dr. John Duke Anthony, delivered opening remarks.
A podcast of the program is available through the link below as well as in iTunes with recordings of other National Council programs: http://bit.ly/itunes-ncusar.