National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Hosts U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid

The National Council honored Ambassador John Abizaid ahead of his departure for Saudi Arabia.

On April 15, 2019, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations was honored to host an evening discussion with newly-appointed United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid. Attendees from the National Council included Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony, Chairman John Pratt, and Executive Vice President Patrick Mancino. Joining the discussion were State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Arabian Gulf Affairs Timothy Lenderking, LEO A DALY Chairman and CEO Leo A. Daly III, Chargé D’affaires of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Washington Sami Al-Sadhan, and select American private sector leaders.

The Passing of a Knight: A Remembrance of Shafiq Kombargi

In the field of U.S.-Arab relations and much more, Shafiq Kombargi was an extraordinary individual. He was not just my friend. He was the friend of untold numbers of others. Those who loved and admired the man were countless. His passing brings a moment of great sadness.

Shafiq Kombargi

Numerous specialists in the Arab region and U.S.-Arab affairs never met Shafiq, and some may not even have heard of him. Yet few individuals can match the outsized positive and enduring influence that Shafiq had on so many people’s lives.

The evidence is abundant. Shafiq’s sustained imprint upon innumerable United States-affiliated educational and cross-cultural institutions is massive.

Reaching Out to Others

Shafiq’s contributions were not those of a renowned researcher, scholar, university professor, or publicist. He was none of those. Yet all who labor in one or more of those fields have long been in his debt.

Shafiq’s gifts to Arab-U.S. cooperation and cross-cultural understanding were mostly made indirectly. In various instances, his accomplishments were achieved through and apart from his decades-long career with what was originally known as the Arabian American Oil Company, which in time became Saudi Aramco, and that, to this day, operates a subsidiary entity in the United States known as Aramco Services Company. Indeed, these entities had Shafiq’s back.

Often, Shafiq’s contributions were made from behind the scenes. Reduced to a single word, he was an enabler. Certainly, in addition to the example he set in other areas of endeavor, that’s how he influenced my life; doubtless, others can say the same.

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Yemen: How Near or Distant a Resolution to its Present Conflict?

On March 21, 2019, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations hosted a public affairs briefing in Washington, D.C. exploring “Yemen: How Near or Distant a Resolution to its Present Conflict?”

Specialists at the National Council’s March 21, 2019 public affairs briefing included Dr. John Duke Anthony, H.E. Dr. Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Mr. Timothy Pounds, Ms. Summer Nasser, Dr. Stephen W. Day, and Colonel (Ret.) Abbas Dahouk.

The featured specialists included:

  • H.E. Dr. Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen to the United States; Office of Yemen’s President Chief of Staff; Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference Secretary General;
  • Mr. Timothy Pounds, U.S. Department of State Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs Director; former U.S. Embassy in Bahrain Deputy Chief of Mission;
  • Dr. Stephen W. Day, Editor of Global, Regional, and Local Dynamics in Yemen’s War (early 2020) and Author of Regionalism and Rebellion in Yemen: A Troubled National Union (2012); Rollins College Adjunct Professor of International Affairs;
  • Ms. Summer Nasser, Yemen Aid Chairperson; Speaker and analyst on Yemeni affairs; and,
  • Colonel (Ret.) Abbas K. Dahouk, former U.S. Department of State Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Senior Military Advisor; former Embassy of the U.S. in Saudi Arabia Defense and Army Attaché.

Dr. John Duke Anthony, Founding President and CEO, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, served as context provider and moderator.

A podcast recording of the program is available below.

 

 

“Yemen: How Near or Distant a Resolution to its Present Conflict?” podcast (.mp3)

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Presents Global Interfaith Peace Award to His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Ibn Abdulkarim Alissa

Washington, DC: On February 15, 2019, in Washington, DC, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations was honored and privileged to present its GLOBAL INTERFAITH PEACE AWARD to His Excellency Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Ibn Abdulkarim Alissa. The Award was conveyed in recognition of His Excellency’s efforts to promote peace and justice through interfaith dialogue and understanding.

Muslim World League Secretary General H.E. Dr. Sheikh Mohammad Ibn Abdulkarim Alissa with National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony.

Sheikh Alissa is the Secretary General of the Muslim World League, an international, non-governmental Islamic organization based in the Holy City of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He is also Chairman of the International Body of Muslim Scholars. Sheikh Alissa additionally serves as the General Supervisor at the Ideological Warfare Center of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense as well as a Member of the Senior Scholars Organization in Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Alissa has hosted dialogues around the world to promote tolerance, co-existence, and peace. A leading voice for moderation, he lectures regularly in Saudi Arabia and abroad about Islamic jurisprudence and judicial theories as well as comparative legal and religious systems. He has authored numerous books and publications on legal, doctrinal, and human rights issues.

Strategic Implications of Recent U.S. Decisions on Syria

On February 6, 2019, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations hosted a public affairs briefing in Washington, D.C. exploring “Strategic Implications of Recent U.S. Decisions on Syria.”

Specialists at the National Council’s February 6, 2019 public affairs briefing included Dr. John Duke Anthony, Dr. Anthony H. Cordesman, Mr. David Des Roches, and Dr. Elias Samo.

The featured specialists included:

  • Dr. Anthony H. Cordesman, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
  • Mr. David Des Roches, Associate Professor at the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Security Studies and a Senior International Affairs Fellow at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. And,
  • Dr. Elias Samo, Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of International Service and a Distinguished International Affairs Fellow at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

Dr. John Duke Anthony, Founding President and CEO, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, served as context provider and moderator.

A podcast recording of the program is available below.

 

 

“Strategic Implications of Recent U.S. Decisions on Syria” podcast (.mp3)

NCUSAR’s Summer 2019 Washington, DC Internship Program

Washington, DC Summer Internship Program

May 28 – August 2, 2019

NCUSAR Washington, DC Summer Internship Program Students

The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Washington, DC Summer Internship Program offers undergraduate and graduate students a ten-week professional, academic, and career opportunity internship in the nation’s capital. The program features a demanding mix of professional involvement, intellectual challenge, career exploration, and cultural encounters designed to provide interns with a rich and varied experience during their time in Washington.

  • Professional work experience: Interns are placed with one of over a dozen Near East and Arab world-related organizations in Washington, D.C., where they are expected to work 35-40 hours per week under the direct supervision of their host organizations.
  • Academic seminars: Interns take part in twice-weekly seminar sessions designed to provide them with greater depth of knowledge about the Arab world, to underscore the cultural, economic, and political diversity of Arab states, and to explore the intricacies of Arab-U.S. relations. There will be a particular emphasis, though not exclusively, on Arabia and the Gulf.
  • Site visits: Interns receive a behind-the-scenes look at many of the central institutions of federal government, national security policymaking, international diplomacy, and international business.

NCUSAR Washington, DC Summer Internship Program

About the Program

The National Council’s Summer Internship Program offers professional work experiences combined with twice-weekly evening seminars that bring academic experts and experienced foreign policy practitioners to meet with the interns in candid off-the-record discussions and dynamic question-and-answer sessions. Its objectives are:

  1. to provide a realistic Washington, D.C. work experience that will pave the way to career development;
  2. to offer interns firsthand exposure to the foreign policy analysis and advocacy processes in Washington, D.C.;
  3. to incorporate a strong academic component focusing on U.S. political, economic, and cultural relations with Arabia and the Gulf region;
  4. to help participants begin the process of career networking by introducing them to working professionals in government, business, journalism, and NGOs; and,
  5. to highlight the wide range of career opportunities awaiting those who aspire to work in the field of U.S.-Arab relations, as well as to provide counseling on graduate school and fellowship application processes.

As complements to the program, interns will also be exposed to D.C. in a less formal manner via films, cultural events, embassy and museum visits, off-the-record conversations with former diplomats, group dinners, and suggestions for exploring the sights and sounds of Washington, D.C. This allows students to not only experience working in the city, but also encourages them to appreciate the experience of living in a diverse urban environment, and to take advantage of the exciting cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities available in the nation’s capital.

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Twenty-Third Annual Oman Cultural Immersion Program – February 20 – March 6, 2019

The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations is pleased to offer, through its Joseph J. Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies Program, the Twenty-Third Annual Oman Cultural Immersion study visit to the Sultanate of Oman, February 22 – March 6, 2019. Fellows are required to participate in and complete a pre-departure orientation in Washington, D.C. to be held on February 20-21. This unique opportunity will provide a privileged first hand exposure to one of the Arab world’s most demographically, geographically, and socially diverse countries.

The National Council is currently accepting applications to participate in this study visit. APPLY NOW!

MALONE FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION:
https://ncusar.org/programs/Malone-Fellowship-Application.pdf

American professionals in academia, government, the military, non-governmental organizations, business, religious institutions, the media, civic associations, as well as the fine arts, humanities, and the social sciences are invited to apply.

The Twenty-Third Annual Oman Cultural Immersion study visit will provide participants an educational experience that few Westerners and even fewer Americans have had. The program is choreographed to provide Malone Fellows an unparalleled diverse exposure to Oman – one of the most historically and culturally rich of all Arab and Islamic societies. Until relatively recent times, the Sultanate languished in its status as one of the most forgotten corners of all Arabia. Anyone in doubt about the extraordinary opportunity that being able to visit Oman in this manner presents need only consult any of the several National Geographic Magazine features on the country in the past two decades.

End Pictures: inlaid Islamic niches at the Grand Mosque in Oman’s Capital Territory; Middle Pictures: Bedouin Omani girls in the Sharqiyyah Sands.

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Jeddah: Gateway to Mecca and A Living Cultural Artifact

Paige Peterson is the Executive Vice President of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation and a board member of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in Washington, D.C.

This photo essay illustrates her visit to Jeddah’s Old City, on the Red Sea, in Saudi Arabia.

 

 

Health conferences are held everywhere but there is a special pleasure in attending one in Jeddah. Having visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia many times for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, I have experienced the genuine warmth of Arab hospitality. To have the opportunity to visit friends there and attend the Saudi American Health Care Forum in Jeddah was a double pleasure.

Accepting an award on behalf of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation from Adel A. Shakoor and HRH Prince Mish’al bin Majed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of Jeddah.

While in Jeddah, I was invited to stay in the guesthouse of my dear friend Fawzia Algosaibi, wife of Saleh Alturki, a prominent Saudi Arabian businessman who was recently named Mayor of Jeddah. What was planned as a two week trip turned into a stay of almost two months but my hosts were beyond gracious. Their hospitality gave me precious time to tour the western seaboard of Saudi Arabia.

With Saleh Alturki, Mayor of Jeddah.

I spent time exploring and photographing the once walled-in city of Old Jeddah, which was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. It’s a cliché to say that a picture can be worth a thousand words. These pictures were worth more than that for me — this visit was like time travel, transporting me to another century. It’s a privilege to share my story here.

 

 

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