The National Council is pleased to share remarks from specialists who participated in the Seventh Annual Gulf Research Meeting in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
For the many who are unaware of the Annual Gulf Research Meetings (GRM) in Cambridge, it is a gold mine of information, insight, knowledge, and understanding regarding the Gulf. Among the many yearly international conferences that focus on Arabia and the Gulf, arguably at once the world’s most strategically vital yet least understood region, few if any come close to this one.
Certainly, no comparably focused international forum is known to match the timeliness and context, or the nature, background, and preparation, that go into the planning and administration of the GRM’s annual three-day event, which is held in one of the loveliest, liveliest, and most intellectually stimulating settings imaginable.
Participants at the Seventh Annual Gulf Research Meeting at Cambridge University. Photo: Gulf Research Center.
In this regard, the Seventh Annual GRM was no different. Included were eleven separate and simultaneous workshops. And, as in each of the previous years, 300 participants, among whom again were fewer than 20 Americans, actively engaged in the give and take of the discussion periods and the question and answer sessions integral to the proceedings.
Each of the presentations at the annual GRMs occurs only after nearly an entire year’s preparation.The brainchild of the GRM is Dr. Abdulaziz Sager, founder of the Gulf Research Center (GRC), with offices in Jeddah, Geneva, and Cambridge (About whom, see more below).
The National Council is proud to be a partner with the GRC as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding entered into in 2015.
The GRM has quickly established itself as an extraordinary example of what can transpire if the visionaries are extraordinary, the topics exceptionally timely and relevant, and the workshops carefully organized to exhibit the best of existing scholarship on the region from scholars from throughout the world, especially younger scholars, analysts, and academics among tomorrow’s emerging leaders. In all, more than two thousand scholars have participated in the seven GRMs to date. Some forty books produced and distributed by some of the world’s most prominent publishers have been but one among others of the remarkable results of the yearly proceedings.
GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani addresses a meeting organized by the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and its U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee on September 18, 2015, in Washington, DC. Seated to the right of the Secretary General is H.E. Shaikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Khalifa, Ambassador of Bahrain to the U.S., and seated to the left of the Secretary General is National Council Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony. Photo: National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.
In order to place the GRC and the GRM in context, three short, incisive pieces follow. The first is extracted from the Council Chronicle, the periodic newsletter of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. The second is the GRM’s introductory address by Stuart Laing, former Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Kuwait and Oman, Cambridge University Deputy Vice Chancellor, and Master of Corpus Christi College. The third, which will follow separately, is the keynote address at the opening session of the Seventh Annual Gulf Research Meeting by H.E. Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Dr. John Duke Anthony
Founding President and CEO
National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations