Madain Saleh: An Archeological Marvel in the Saudi Arabian Desert

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

This photo essay illustrates her visit to Madain Saleh, one of Saudi Arabia’s “hidden treasures.”

 

 

When he was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir gave me an extended visa. He had two good reasons for doing that. One was professional. I am the Executive Vice President of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, where one of my missions has been to build alliances with Saudi Arabia’s excellent cancer researchers. The other was personal. As a writer and photographer, I was endlessly curious about Saudi Arabia’s people — and its landscape.

It’s a cliché to say that a picture can be worth a thousand words. These pictures were worth more than that for me — they are the story of a rare and extraordinary adventure. It’s a privilege to share it here.

 

Map depicting location of Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is located on the continent of Asia. It shares land borders with 8 countries: Kuwait, Iraq, Yemen, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. Saudi Arabia’s geography is dominated by the Rub’ al Khali desert, the second largest desert in the world with only the Sahara being larger. The Kingdom’s population is over 28,000,000.

Saudi Arabia is the 13th largest nation in terms of land area. The United States is about 5 times bigger than the Kingdom. Saudi Arabia is four times the size of France, western Europe’s largest country.

Two bodies of water border Saudi Arabia, the Arabian Sea to the East and the Red Sea to the West.

The flight to Al-Ula was one hour and fifteen minutes from Jeddah.

Prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Airport.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by local nature photographers who had an exhibition of their work at the airport. Notice the distinctive ways men can wear their ghutra (headscarf).

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CCUSAR Spring 2018 “NEWSLINES”

CCUSAR NEWSLINES NewsletterThe Carolinas Committee on U.S.-Arab Relations (CCUSAR), with Dr. Joe P. Dunn serving as Director, is an affiliate of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations. Dr. Dunn is an alumni of the Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies Program, the coordinator of the Southeast Model Arab League, and the faculty advisor heading the Converse College Model Arab League program. CCUSAR recently published its Spring 2018 “NEWSLINES” newsletter featuring:

  • an essay on “My ‘Gateway’ to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” by Converse College student Laura Gill, summarizing a study visit to Saudi Arabia made possible by her participation in the Model Arab League program;
  • recaps from the 2018 Southeast and National Model Arab League debate forums where Converse College won top delegation awards;
  • a Model Arab League testimonial, “The Benefits of Debate: A Call to Support Model Arab League Participation,” from a South Carolina high school student;
  • a reflection from Dr. Dunn, titled “Planting Trees and Building Orchards,” about the educational community that Converse College’s Model Arab League program has fostered; and
  • a book review of Nadia Murad’s The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State.

The full issue of CCUSAR’s Spring 2018 NEWSLINES is available for download through the link immediate below.

DOWNLOAD “CCUSAR NEWSLINES (Spring 2018)” (.pdf file)

Dr. Anthony Honored by the Sultanate of Oman

SULTANATE OF OMAN RECOGNIZES NATIONAL COUNCIL ON U.S.-ARAB RELATIONS PRESIDENT AND CEO DR. JOHN DUKE ANTHONY AT A SPECIAL EVENT IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL

 

Washington, DC: Dr. John Duke Anthony, Founding President and CEO of the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, was recognized by the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in Washington, D.C., on May 24, 2018, at their Fifth Annual Ramadan Iftar Celebration (an Islamic dinner marking the end of a day’s fasting observed by devout Muslims worldwide). The recognition singled out Dr. Anthony’s special contributions as an educator and practitioner of public diplomacy regarding the Arab countries, the Middle East, and the Islamic world.

National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO Dr. John Duke Anthony with Her Excellency Hunaina Al-Mughairy, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United States and Vice-Dean of the Arab Ambassadors to the United States, and Embassy of Oman Information Attaché Ms. Hanan Al Kindi. Photo: National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations.

Included among the event’s distinguished guests were the highest-ranking U.S. Department of State official responsible for America’s relations with the Arab region, Arab government officials, including the Arab world’s first-ever Minister for Human Rights, current and recently retired U.S. Ambassadors, additional representatives of the U.S. Departments of Defense and State, members of the international diplomatic corps, representatives of Fortune 100 Corporations, international media networks, and numerous foreign affairs specialists, together with political and religious leaders.

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Furthering U.S.-GCC Trade, Economic Cooperation, and Investment Opportunities

On May 21, 2018, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, the Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce, and the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee hosted a public affairs briefing exploring how to “Furthering U.S.-GCC Trade, Economic Cooperation, and Investment Opportunities” in Washington, DC.

Mr. Patrick Mancino, Executive Vice President of the National Council, opens the discussion of U.S. economic relations with the Gulf countries at the Council’s May 21, 2018 public affairs briefing.

The featured specialists were:

  • Christopher Johnson, Chairman, Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce, and Chairman, American Business Group of Riyadh
  • Fred Shuaibi, Vice Chairman, American Business Council of Kuwait, and Secretary, Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce
  • Matthew Kirkham, Board Member, American Business Group of Jeddah, and Finance Chairman, Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce
  • Robert Hager, Member, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations International Advisory Committee, and Partner, Squire Patton Boggs
  • Timir Mukherjee, Board Member, American Business Group of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia
  • Anne Jaffery, Chairman, American Business Council of Dubai
  • Michael Jones, Washington Representative, Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce
  • Nahlah Al-Jubeir, Senior International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and Director of the Center for Career Development, Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission
  • Dr. Karl Petrick, Associate Professor of Economics, Western New England University; Coordinator, Middle East Council of American Chambers of Commerce/Western New England University Gulf Region Trade Project

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.

 

 

“Furthering U.S.-GCC Trade, Economic Cooperation, and Investment Opportunities” podcast (.mp3)

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Upcoming Visit to America: Implications and Opportunities for the US-Saudi Arabian Relationship

On March 15, 2018, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee hosted a public affairs briefing exploring “Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Upcoming Visit to America: Implications and Opportunities for the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Relationship” in Washington, DC.

Mr. Khush Choksy, Senior Vice President for Middle East and Turkey Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, discusses U.S.-Saudi Arabia trade and investment relations at NCUSAR’s March 15, 2018 public affairs briefing.

The featured specialists were:

  • Mr. Nawaf Al Thari, Distinguished International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and Political Adviser and Counter-Terrorism & Counter-Piracy Focal Point, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Permanent Mission to the United Nations;
  • Mr. Fahad Nazer, International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and Consultant, Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC;
  • Mr. David Des Roches, Senior International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and Associate Professor, Near East/South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, U.S. Department of Defense;
  • Mr. Khush Choksy, Senior Vice President for Middle East and Turkey Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce;
  • Mr. Mike Ryan, Strategic Markets Advisor, U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council; and
  • Colonel Abbas K. Dahouk, Former U.S. Defense and Army Attaché in Saudi Arabia (2013-2017).

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.

 

 

“Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Upcoming Visit to America: Implications and Opportunities for the US-Saudi Arabian Relationship” podcast (.mp3)

NCUSAR’s Summer 2018 Washington, DC Internship Program – Applications Due February 23

Washington, DC Summer Internship Program
May 29 – August 3, 2018

NCUSAR Washington, DC Summer Internship Program

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.

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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What’s the Status of President Trump’s Counter-Terrorism Campaign?

On January 11, 2018, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and the U.S.-GCC Corporate Cooperation Committee hosted a public affairs briefing asking “What’s the Status of President Trump’s Counter-Terrorism Campaign? Arab and U.S. Perspectives” in Washington, DC.

Dr. John Duke Anthony delivers opening remarks at the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations’ January 11, 2018 public affairs briefing asking “What’s the Status of President Trump’s Counter-Terrorism Campaign?”

The featured specialists were Mr. Nawaf Al Thari, Distinguished International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; and Political Adviser and Counter-Terrorism & Counter-Piracy Focal Point, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Permanent Mission to the United Nations; Mr. Christopher Blanchard, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress; Mr. David Des Roches, Senior International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; and Associate Professor, Near East/South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, U.S. Department of Defense; and Mr. Fahad Nazer, International Affairs Fellow, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations; and Consultant, Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC. Dr. John Duke Anthony served as context provider and moderator.

A podcast recording of the program is available below.

 

 

“What’s the Status of President Trump’s Counter-Terrorism Campaign?” podcast (.mp3)