middle east

P.J. Crowley

GW Professor and former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs on his most recent book, Red Line.

The Saudi foreign ministry published an infographic that shows the size of aid which the Saudi kingdom has provided to Yemen since April 2015 until April 2017. Saudi Arabia has provided $8.2 billion during this phase. The amount has been divided on different sectors. The development sector received the biggest share worth $2.9 billion while aid to the legitimate Yemeni government was worth $2.2 billion.

All the panelists asserted that media should exert efforts to enhance the image of Arabs. Arabs needs to have long-term partnership with the US in various fields. For example, there should be exchange of visits in the field of education. Arab governments should provide scholarships to young Americans to study and know the Arab culture and to have experience of their life, they suggested, noting that many Arab students receive scholarship in the US.

Mark Donfried, founder and director general of the Berlin-based Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD), is not surprised at the comparatively low level of knowledge in the US about the Arab world, as revealed in a recent YouGov/Arab News survey. “Between 70 and 80 percent of Americans don’t have passports and so don’t go abroad. Most of the ones who do go to Canada and Mexico, some to Europe, but few of them make it to the Middle East,” he said.

“Vision 2030” shows that Saudi Arabia is conscious about the necessity to reform the country’s economy. Its cut in social spending, the plan to introduce a tax on expenses by 2018, and –more importantly- its plan to privatise the state oil company Saudi Aramco are very positive. [...] The success of Saudi Arabia’s economic reforms is crucial to the West, who needs a stable Saudi Arabia in an already chaotic Middle East.

A high-profile media forum to be held in Dubai next week will feature an Arab News panel discussion examining the region’s image abroad. [...] A report titled “The Arab Image in the US” will be unveiled at the event. It is based on an exclusive survey of how the American public views the Arab world, conducted in partnership between Arab News, the Dubai Press Club and research and polling specialist YouGov.

The African continent has the world’s highest rate of girls leaving school to marry at a young age. Schools in Asian countries such as Laos have less female enrollment because society considers men the breadwinners and women the housekeepers. [...] A group of 21 international high school teachers gathered at the University of Massachusetts Lowell recently to tell their stories and discuss their nations’ efforts to decrease the gender gap in their education systems and workforce.

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