Looking Ahead: What to Expect in the Middle East in 2024

On February 8, 2024, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations hosted a discussion titled “Looking Ahead: What to Expect in the Middle East in 2024.” The program featured former United States diplomats Ambassador (Ret.) Michael Gfoeller and Mr. David H. Rundell. It was moderated by Colonel (Ret.) Abbas K. Dahouk, with Mr. H. Delano Roosevelt, the President and CEO of the Council, joining them for the proceedings.

The specialists provided analysis on the prospects of U.S. engagement with Iran and its proxies in the region after the recent deaths of three U.S. military service members in Jordan in an attack by the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization militia. The specialists also discussed the war in Gaza and prospects for a ceasefire agreement, looking in particular at U.S. diplomacy and Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s fifth visit to the region since the events of October 7, 2023.

 

 

Joining the program were:

Featured Specialists:

Moderator:

  • Colonel (Ret.) Abbas K. Dahouk, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Board of Directors Member; Former U.S. Department of State Senior Military Advisor; Former U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia Defense and Army Attache; HyphenPoint LLC President.

Introduction:

The discussion can be viewed on the National Council’s YouTube channel.

Geopolitical Crossroads in Yemen: Unraveling Yemen’s Future Amidst Trade Routes and Conflict

On December 14, 2023, the Washington Center for Yemeni Studies and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations hosted a discussion exploring the India-Middle East-EU trade route against the backdrop of regional conflicts and competing interests in the Bab al-Mandab Strait. The specialists addressed the potential impact of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict on negotiations between the Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia, and the growing Houthi threat to maritime security in the Red Sea. They delved into the potential impact of the recent development on the conflict in Yemen, and the prospects for lasting peace and sustainable development.

 

 

Joining the program were:

Featured specialists:

  • Mr. Sami Hamdi, Managing Director and Head of Political Risk of the International Interest.
  • Colonel (Ret.) Abbas K. Dahouk, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Board of Directors Member; Former U.S. Department of State Senior Military Advisor; Former U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia Defense and Army Attache; HyphenPoint LLC President.

Moderator:

  • Ms. Marwa J. Ghumrawi, Operations and Communications Manager of the Washington Center for Yemeni Studies.

The discussion can be viewed on YouTube.

Summer 2024 Washington, DC Internship Program

Washington, DC Summer Internship Program

June 3 – July 26, 2024

NCUSAR Washington, DC Summer Internship Program Students

The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ 2024 Washington, DC Summer Internship Program offers undergraduate and graduate students an eight-week professional, academic, and career opportunity internship with an organization in the nation’s capital. The program features a demanding mix of professional involvement, intellectual challenge, career exploration, and cross-cultural encounters designed to provide students with a rich and varied experience.

  • Professional work experience: Students are placed with one of over a dozen Near East and Arab region-related organizations with offices in Washington, D.C., where they are expected to work 35-40 hours per week under the direct supervision of their host organizations. Internships are unpaid.
  • Academic seminars: Students take part in twice-weekly seminar sessions designed to provide them with greater depth of knowledge about the Arab region, 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: Students receive a behind-the-scenes look at many of the central institutions of the 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 specialists and experienced foreign policy practitioners to meet with students in candid off-the-record discussions and dynamic question-and-answer sessions. Its objectives are:

  1. to provide a realistic work experience in a Washington, D.C.-based office that will provide pathways for career development;
  2. to offer interns exposure to the foreign policy analysis and advocacy processes in the nation’s capital;
  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 Washington, 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 the nation’s capital. 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 D.C.
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[Preview] Geopolitical Crossroads in Yemen: Unraveling Yemen’s Future Amidst Trade Routes and Conflict – December 14, 2023

The Washington Center for Yemeni Studies and the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations invite you to:

Geopolitical Crossroads in Yemen: Unraveling Yemen’s Future Amidst Trade Routes and Conflict

Tune in for a thought-provoking exploration of the India-Middle East-EU trade route and its potential impact on Yemen’s economy. Against the backdrop of the Israel-Hamas conflict and maritime threats in the Red Sea, specialists will delve into the regional competition over the Bab al-Mandab Strait, and the prospects for lasting peace and sustainable development.

Speakers:

  • Sami Hamdi, Managing Director and Head of Political Risk of the International Interest.
  • Colonel (Ret.) Abbas K. Dahouk, Member of the Board of Directors of the National Council on U.S. Arab Relations, Founder and President of HyphenPoint LLC.

Moderator:

  • Marwa J Ghumrawi, Operations and Communications Manager of the Washington Center for Yemeni Studies.

 

🔍 Key Focus

  • Implications for Yemen’s Economy
  • Geopolitical Challenges Unveiled
  • Prospects for Lasting Peace and Sustainable Development

 

🗓️ Date & Time:

December 14, 2023, 2:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

🌐 Virtual Venue:

Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/9294347323?omn=97332166419

Meeting ID: 929 434 7323

Keynote Remarks by HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud [40th Anniversary Gala]

On November 16, 2023, the National Council held a special evening celebration of the 40th anniversary of its establishment as a Washington-based, non-profit, educational NGO. The program featured keynote remarks by HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud.

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Presents ‘Public Service Achievement Award’ to H.E. Mohamed M. Abou El Enein

On the occasion of its 40th Anniversary Gala Celebration, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations presented its PUBLIC SERVICE ACHIEVEMENT AWARD to H.E. Mohamed M. Abou El Enein, Deputy Speaker of the Egyptian Parliament and Chairman of Cleopatra Group.

The Safer Oil Tanker: Diplomacy Averts Disaster

This is the story of a $20 billion disaster that did not happen.

Last month, while the United Nations General Assembly was meeting in New York City, I attended some programming on the summit’s sidelines together with my colleagues from the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Among them were meetings to learn more about the ongoing conflict and crisis in Yemen. While the situation in Yemen remains dire after 8 years of war, there is a recent bright spot for proactive international efforts: the successful operation to offload oil from the decaying Safer storage tanker. This enormous undertaking has prevented what could have been a colossal environmental disaster that exacerbated the situation in Yemen, and wreaked environmental, economic, and humanitarian havoc in the Middle East region.

Located on the southwestern end of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen is beloved by those familiar with its varied landscapes and its warm, smart, kind, and generous people.  It is bordered by the Red Sea to its west and the Gulf of Aden to its south.  The Romans called it Arabia Felix—Fortunate (and Fertile) Arabia.  In the United States, one is most likely to find Yemen identified with the Queen of Sheba (also known as Bilqīs or Makeda, she is one of the few female figures who appears in sacred texts of all three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), coffee (Yemenis are believed to be among the first to popularize the beverage), and the port of Aden (one of the most famous hubs in the world, connecting maritime traffic between Africa, Asia, and the Middle East).

Map of Yemen, 2012.

The past decade has seen Yemen embroiled in its fourth civil war in the post-World War II period. Its proximate cause was the response of the Zaidi Shiite-Houthis to the outcome of an all-inclusive National Dialogue Conference, which concluded in 2014. Displeased with the outcome of that political process, the Houthis’ militias, with resources and support from Iran’s government, seized Yemen’s capital of Sana’a in 2015.  That subversion of law and order in Yemen touched off a conflict that has resulted in what has been described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

One of the poorest countries in the Arab region even before the most recent stretch of violence, Yemen has been placed in a very precarious situation. Eight years of conflict, compounded by economic collapse, natural disasters, and the COVID-19 pandemic, have taken a toll on Yemenis’ ability to live with the dignity and meaning that all people deserve. The UN reported several months ago that this year “a staggering 21.6 million Yemenis require some form of humanitarian assistance as 80% of the country struggles to put food on the table and access basic services.”

Relief map of Yemen, 2002.

The National Council has a long history of engagement with Yemen through its founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony. Appreciating the richness of its cultural heritage, its natural beauty, the incisive and joyful qualities of the Yemeni people, and its long history, the Council has taken twenty delegations of American educators to the country, enabled hundreds of U.S. students to live and study Arabic in Sana’a, and sponsored educational programs about Yemen in Washington, D.C. Most recently, the Council partnered with a Yemen-based non-profit foundation dedicated to enhancing youth capabilities toward promoting peace – the Adalah (meaning “Justice” in Arabic) Foundation For Legal Development – to bring the Council’s Youth Leadership Development Model Arab League Program to Mukalla, Hadhramout.

Individuals stand together after signing an agreement

A cooperation agreement between the National Council and Yemen’s Adalah Foundation was executed last year. The two non-profit groups collaborated to bring the National Council’s Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League to Yemen. The program involves an experiential learning exercise where students have the opportunity to practice representing the needs and interests of someone other than themselves during the course of simulating a diplomatic summit.

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خور عبدالله الكويتي: بين التحديات الإقليمية والنظام الدولي

On September 26, 2023, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Board of Directors Member, former Senior Military Advisor to the U.S. Department of State, former U.S. Defense and Army Attaché to Saudi Arabia, and HyphenPoint LLC Founding Principal Colonel (Ret.) Abbas Dahouk took part in an online discussion about strategic ramifications for relations in the Gulf with reference to Dorra Gas Field and the the Khor Abdullah waterway. (Program in Arabic.)