National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Presents Global Leadership in Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Award to Dina Powell McCormick & Dina Powell McCormick and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women

On the occasion of its 31st Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (“National Council”) announced its first-ever GLOBAL LEADERSHIP IN EMPOWERING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS AWARD was presented to Dina Powell McCormick and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women. The award was bestowed in recognition of their exemplary efforts in fostering shared economic growth through providing training and resources to underserved populations.

 

National Council Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony noted that under Dina Powell McCormick’s leadership the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program had made extraordinary investments with the goal of empowering women in communities around the world. He commented on the ways in which the Council’s educational goals were aligned with the objectives of the 10,000 Women Program—with a particular focus of each being on educating the emerging generation of future leaders. Dr. Anthony also highlighted how tens of thousands of women in the Arab region had benefited from the 10,000 Women Program’s tools.

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony with 10,000 Women Program graduate Reem Fawzy, President and CEO of Rimo Tours and Pink Taxi, at the 31st Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference in Washington, D.C.

Traveling from Cairo, Egypt, to accept the award in-person at the conference was 10,000 Women Program graduate Reem Fawzy. The President and CEO of Rimo Tours and Pink Taxi, Reem noted how the 10,000 Women Program helped revive her tourism business and provided her a platform for further entrepreneurial endeavors.

 


 

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Presents Distinguished Global Developmental Assistance Award to the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development

On the occasion of its 31st Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations (“National Council”) announced its first-ever DISTINGUISHED GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTAL ASSISTANCE AWARD was presented to the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (“Kuwait Fund”). The award was bestowed in recognition of its humanitarian efforts to raise the standard of living of peoples and communities around the world.

 

National Council Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony noted that the Kuwait Fund has been and remains a regional pioneer in international development efforts. Since its establishment in 1961, the Kuwait Fund has remarkably supported the financing of more than 1,000 projects in 105 developing countries by providing approximately $22 billion. Dr. Anthony highlighted how the Kuwait Fund’s work included making possible development projects for agriculture and irrigation, transport and communications, energy, industry, water, and sewage. Its reach was extended outside of the Middle East in 1974 to include Africa; the Pacific and South, East, and Central Asia; Europe; Latin America; and the Caribbean.

H.E. Marwan A. Al-Ghanem, Director General of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, makes remarks upon accepting on behalf of the Kuwait Fund the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ Distinguished Global Developmental Assistance Award presented at the 31st Annual Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference in Washington, D.C.

The award was accepted by the Director General of the Kuwait Fund H.E. Marwan A. Al-Ghanem. His Excellency the Director General was joined by the Ambassador of Kuwait to the United States H.E. Jasem Albudaiwi.

 


 

Restoring Hope Amid Crisis: Responses to the Economic Collapse in Lebanon

On October 4, 2022, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations joined with Anera to convene a discussion on “Restoring Hope Amid Crisis: Responses to the Economic Collapse in Lebanon.” The program featured three longtime senior staff from Anera’s team in Lebanon who talked about their work, the current crisis facing the Lebanese people, and how civil society can respond.

 

 

Joining the program were:

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO; Author, inter alia, of Arab States of The Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum.

Featured Specialists:

  • Samar El Yassir, Anera Lebanon Country Director
  • Leen Ataya, Anera Lebanon Education Program Manager
  • Lama Ghaddar, Anera Lebanon Program Manager

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“Restoring Hope Amid Crisis: Responses to the Economic Collapse in Lebanon” podcast (.mp3)

Nawaf bin Mubarak bin Saif Al-Thani Joins National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations as Fellow

Washington, D.C.: The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations [ncusar.org] is pleased to announce that Sheikh Nawaf bin Mubarak bin Saif Al-Thani has been named a Distinguished International Defense Affairs Fellow. Serving in a personal capacity and offering his own individual views, Sheikh Nawaf joins a group of respected individuals who further the National Council’s educational, bridge-building mission through their scholarship and analysis. The Council’s Fellows and Scholars do not have a governing role in the organization. They contribute strategic support through their cutting-edge insights, research, and understanding of the complex global challenges facing Americans and Arabs alike.

A man in a suit and tie with a lapel pin showing the flag of Qatar

Sheikh Nawaf bin Mubarak bin Saif Al-Thani is the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations first Distinguished International Defense Affairs Fellow.

In announcing the appointment, National Council Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony remarked, “We are honored that Sheikh Nawaf Al-Thani has accepted our invitation to join the Council as its first Distinguished International Defense Affairs Fellow. His record of public service is extensive, and the Council will benefit from his ability to provide critical frames of reference on defense and strategic issues in the Gulf too often absent in regional analyses. We look forward to sharing what he has to offer. Having the opportunity to benefit from Sheikh Nawaf’s views on geo-strategic issues will be very valuable for the Council as we work to continuously improve, strengthen, and expand our U.S.-Arab relations leadership development and educational efforts.”

Accepting his appointment, Sheikh Nawaf noted that he was “honored” to receive the National Council’s invitation. He added, “I have always appreciated Dr. Anthony’s vision and the Council’s mission. As I am pursuing my academic and research interests in the field of small state security I find it of great relevance to add a voice that represents the Arab and Gulf region that focuses on defense and security through the lens of research and the support of academe. The Council, with its reputation and resources, offers an excellent platform for me to contribute to the academic discourse.”

Two men in suits and ties shake hands

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President & CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony (left) with Sheikh Nawaf bin Mubarak bin Saif Al-Thani (right) at the National Council’s office in Washington, D.C.

Sheikh Nawaf has served in Qatar’s Armed Forces since 1996, including as the former Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché of Qatar to the United States, Mexico, and Canada in the rank of Brigadier General as well as the former Official Spokesperson for Qatar’s Ministry of Defense. He has an extensive background working with Qatar’s friends, partners, and allies, and has been a leader pioneering new roles through the growth and development of the Qatar Armed Forces. In recognition of his service, he has received numerous distinguished commendations and citations from the Qatar Armed Forces along with several NATO militaries and multinational organizations. Sheikh Nawaf has also been a columnist for Al-Arab and Al Raya daily newspapers (Qatar), and a lecturer at various institutions including Georgetown University. He holds a Master’s Degree from King’s College London and is currently a pursuing his PhD research at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom.

About the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations: Founded in 1983 and based in Washington, D.C., the National Council is an American non-profit, non-governmental, educational organization. The Council pursues its educational mission through a diverse array of programs, projects, events, and activities. Each is dedicated to enhancing American awareness and appreciation of the extraordinary benefits that the United States has long derived from its special relationships with countries in the Arab region – and vice versa.

At the center of the National Council’s efforts to advance American knowledge and understanding of Arab culture, societal dynamics, and systems of governance – and the nature and extent of their impact on U.S. national security, economic, and related interests – are the Council’s flagship education, training, and leadership development programs. These are designed to elevate the leadership skills and empirical Arab-centric educational experiences of the emerging generation of young Americans and Arabs. Upon their shoulders will rest the responsibility for ensuring that the relationships between the American and Arab peoples are continuously deepened, improved, and sustained far into the future.

Information about the Council can be found at ncusar.org.

Evaluating the Impact of President Biden’s Visit to the Middle East

On July 22, 2022, the National Council convened an online briefing program on “Evaluating the Impact of President Biden’s Visit to the Middle East.” It included Saudi Arabian and U.S. analysts, scholars, and former diplomats who reflected on the recent visit of U.S. President Joe Biden to Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Saudi Arabia.

 

 

Joining the program were:

Context Provider:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO; Author, inter alia, of Arab States of The Lower Gulf: People, Politics, Petroleum.

Featured Specialists:

  • Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, Gulf Research Center Founder and Chairman, and National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations International Advisory Board Member.
  • Mr. David H. Rundell, Author of Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads, Former United States Diplomat, and National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations International Advisory Board Member.
  • Ambassador (Ret.) Michael Gfoeller, Former United States Diplomat, and Consultant on Foreign Affairs and International Security.

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.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.

“Evaluating the Impact of President Biden’s Visit to the Middle East” podcast (.mp3)

National Council Administers Summer Arab-U.S. Relations Student Educational and Career Development Program

Washington, D.C., U.S.A.: The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ (“National Council” or “Council”) Annual 10-week University Student Summer Internship Program is successfully underway for 2022. It includes professional development opportunities, an academic seminar on the Arab region, and visits to central policymaking institutions in Washington, D.C. The program has resumed its in-person meetings and visits this summer after being administered exclusively online for the past two years. Serving as the lead lecturer and resource specialist for the program is the Council’s Founding President and CEO, Dr. John Duke Anthony.

Students gathered together at George Washington University with National Council President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony

Participants in the National Council’s 2022 University Student Summer Internship Program together with Council Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony (center front) following a lecture at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. In addition to professional development opportunities, the program includes an academic seminar heavily focused on Arabia and the Gulf as well as visits to a variety of Washington, D.C., institutions with international portfolios.

Twenty-one students and young professionals from as many schools across the United States are taking part in the National Council’s Summer Internship Program. Their backgrounds and areas of study are diverse, representing majors and minors from Mechanical Engineering to Political Science to Economics, Marketing, International Relations, and beyond. Four of the participants are alumni of the Council’s Youth Leadership Development Program / Model Arab League. Council Student Programs Coordinator Katie Grandelli is herself an alumna of that educational activity.

Throughout his presentations, Dr. Anthony has placed a special emphasis on empathy with the Arab and Islamic countries and peoples analyzed and examined. He has simultaneously stressed the need for the development of leadership skills that are vital to success in whatever path the students’ futures take.

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Asir: Exploring the Cultural Heritage of the Arabian Highlands

عربی AR

Several times in the last decade, I travelled to the then-closed Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the Executive Vice President at the Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

In 2019, the Kingdom opened its doors and actively started encouraging tourism as part of its Vision 2030 strategic initiative. Increasing numbers of visitors are now discovering that Saudi Arabia is unexpectedly diverse.

There are mountains, beaches, coral rifts, grasslands and forests. Let alone the largest sand sea in the world. It has a human history that stretches back in time more than 7000 years. Tourism and travel bridge people, time, and cultures, leading to deeper understanding.

With the encouragement of HRH Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al Saud, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States, I recently spent 10 weeks traveling throughout Saudi Arabia.

I explored the Kingdom with the purpose of photographing and writing about Riyadh, AlUla, Madain Saleh, Tabuk, Neom, Jeddah, Taif, Jubbah, Hail, Al Khobar, Dammam, Al-Hasa, and Abha in the Asir Region.

This is the first in a series of articles about the Kingdom. It begins in Southwest Arabia – The Asir Region.

Location of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on a globe

Saudi Arabia is approximately the size of France, Spain, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom (twice), Greece, and Portugal combined. In reference to the United States, its land area is roughly equal to all states east of the Mississippi River.

Administrative divisions of Saudi Arabia

The area of modern-day Saudi Arabia formerly consisted of four distinct historical regions: Hejaz, Najd, Alhasa and Asir. The Asir Mountain range runs north to south, parallel to the southwestern coast of Saudi Arabia. Asir has a short border with Yemen and a coastline on the Red Sea. It is the fourth largest region in Saudi Arabia and encompasses four thousand villages. There are more than 2.2 million residents. Asir is the size of the country of Austria.

Springtime flowers in Southwest Saudi Arabia

It’s spring in Southwest Saudi Arabia, and green buds are popping on the bushes. Bougainvillea of all colors thrive. Almond and cherry trees are in bloom.

Jacarandas in Abha, Saudi Arabia

Jacaranda trees line streets in Abha, Saudi Arabia. Photos by Nourah Ayedh Alshahrani.

When I arrived in Abha, “The High City,” I reached out to the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ International Advisory Board Co-Chairman, HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Talal Al Saud. (I am a member of the National Council’s Board of Directors.) His brother, HRH Prince Turki Bin Talal Al Saud, is the governor of the Asir Region.

Prince Abdulaziz called his brother. The next call was from a deputy in the Governor’s office: Would I join the Governor that evening at 8 pm in his forest camp? Of course.

My driver made his way through a checkpoint. I was greeted and escorted to a large tent where twenty men were seated. They all made eye contact with me, and were warm and welcoming. I greeted them with my right hand on my heart. In turn, each put his hand on his heart. A slight bow of the head. Tradition.

I was seated next to Rahmah Yahya Alrabeai, a professor and a Ph.D. candidate in geography at King Khalid University.

Individuals sit inside a large tent

Our seats were draped in sheepskins. The design of the seating was a traditional sturdy red triangular pattern. The tent was lined in black goat hair. Rugs covered the sand. The tent was warmed by tables holding long-burning smokeless tube-shaped charcoal. A hard-black suitcase containing wireless radio communication equipment, office supplies, and personal items was set by the corner seat.

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عسير: استكشاف التراث الثقافي للمرتفعات العربية

English

سافرت عدة مرات في العقد الماضي إلى المملكة العربية السعودية التي كانت مغلقة آنذاك، بصفتي نائب الرئيس التنفيذي في مؤسسة هانتسمان للسرطان.

في عام 2019، فتحت المملكة أبوابها وبدأت بفعالية نشطة في تشجيع السياحة كجزء من مبادرتها الاستراتيجية لرؤية 2030. تُظهر الأعداد المتزايدة من الزوار حالياً تنوع بشكل غير متوقع للمملكة العربية السعودية.

هناك جبال وشواطئ وشِعب مرجانية ومراعي وغابات. علاوة عن أكبر بحر رملي في العالم. لها تاريخ بشري يعود إلى أكثر من 7000 عام. تشكل السياحة والسفر جسر بين الناس والزمن والثقافات، والذي يؤدي إلى فهم أعمق.

بتشجيع من صاحبة السمو الملكي الأميرة ريما بنت بندر آل سعود، سفيرة المملكة العربية السعودية لدى الولايات المتحدة، قضيت مؤخراً 10 أسابيع في السفر في جميع أنحاء المملكة العربية السعودية.

استكشفت المملكة بغرض التصوير والكتابة عن الرياض والعلا ومدائن صالح وتبوك ونيوم وجدة والطائف وجبة وحائل والخبر والدمام والأحساء وأبها في منطقة عسير.

هذه هي المقالة الأولى من سلسلة مقالات عن المملكة. تبدأ في جنوب غرب شبه الجزيرة العربية – منطقة عسير.

Location of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on a globe

تبلغ مساحة المملكة العربية السعودية تقريباً حجم فرنسا وإسبانيا وألمانيا وإيطاليا والمملكة المتحدة (مرتين) واليونان والبرتغال مجتمعة. وبالإشارة إلى الولايات المتحدة، فإن مساحة أراضيها تساوي تقريباً جميع الولايات الواقعة شرق نهر المسيسيبي.

Administrative divisions of Saudi Arabia

كانت منطقة المملكة العربية السعودية الحديثة في السابق تتكون من أربع مناطق تاريخية متميزة:
الحجاز ونجد والأحساء وعسير.
تمتد سلسلة جبال عسير من الشمال إلى الجنوب، بالتوازي مع الساحل الجنوبي الغربي للمملكة العربية السعودية.

عسير لها حدود قصيرة مع اليمن والساحل على البحر الأحمر. وهي رابع أكبر منطقة في المملكة العربية السعودية وتضم أربعة آلاف قرية. وهناك أكثر من 2.2 مليون نسمة. عسير هي بحجم دولة كالنمسا.

Springtime flowers in Southwest Saudi Arabia

إنه فصل الربيع في جنوب غرب المملكة العربية السعودية، حيث تظهر براعم خضراء على الشجيرات وتزدهر الجهنمية (البوغنفيلية) بجميع ألوانها وتتفتح أشجار اللوز والكرز.

Jacarandas in Abha, Saudi Arabia

أشجار الجاكرندا تصطف على شوارع أبها بالمملكة العربية السعودية. صور: نوره عائض الشهراني.

عندما وصلت إلى ابها “المدينة العالية” تواصلت مع صاحب السمو الملكي الأمير عبد العزيز بن طلال آل سعود، الرئيس المشارك للمجلس الاستشاري الدولي للمجلس الوطني للعلاقات العربية الأمريكية، (أنا عضو في مجلس إدارة المجلس الوطني). وشقيقه صاحب السمو الملكي الأمير تركي بن طلال آل سعود أمير منطقة عسير.

اتصل الأمير عبد العزيز بشقيقه. وكانت المكالمة التالية من مكتب المحافظ يسألني المندوب: هل سأنضم واشارك المحافظ في مخيمه بالغابة في ذلك المساء الساعة 8 مساءً؟ بالطبع نعم.

مضى السائق في طريقه الى المكان. تم الترحيب بي واصطحبوني إلى خيمة كبيرة كان يجلس فيها عشرون رجلاً. رحبوا بي جميعهم، وكانوا لطفاء ومرحبين. حييتهم بوضع يدي اليمنى على قلبي. في المقابل وضع كل واحد يده على قلبه مع انحناءة خفيفة للرأس (من التقاليد).

جلست بجانب رحمة يحيى الربيعي. أستاذة ومرشحة لدرجة الدكتورة في الجغرافيا بجامعة الملك خالد.

Individuals sit inside a large tent

كانت مقاعدنا مغطاة بجلود الغنم وكان تصميم المقاعد على شكل مثلث أحمر قوي تقليدي. كانت الخيمة مبطنة بشعر الماعز الأسود والسجاد يغطي الرمال. تم تدفئة الخيمة بواسطة طاولات تحمل فحماً على شكل أنبوب لا يدخن طويلًا. تم وضع حقيبة سوداء صلبة تحتوي على معدات اتصالات لاسلكية ولوازم مكتبية وأغراض شخصية بجوار مقعد الزاوية.

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