The Arabian Peninsula NOW
S 2018


The Arabian Peninsula is located at the cross-roads of the Middle East.  It is the birthplace of Mohammed and the heart of Islam.  It’s a hot spot, sometimes the hottest.   Other SDGs have examined the peninsula along with neighboring Arab and Muslim countries, using core books.   The problem with core books: current events make core books obsolete before the SDG starts.  This SDG is different.

After some historical review, we examine current status.  There has been peninsula oil wealth, but what about now?  Saudi’s are at the top of Arab heap, aren’t they?  Yemen’s failure is due to the Saudi’s aggressions or due to Iran's interference or…?  What’s going on with Bahrain, with the UAE, with the boycott of Qatar?   What will happen to them all in the future?  The religious and political challenges are so great that these countries risk internal turmoil and even collapse.  What will happen with regards to religion, human rights, women, and economies? 

To find out, we read the latest on-line references, including: The Economist,,,,,,  For those of you unaccustomed to finding references on-line, the coordinator and co-coordinator will show you how.

Our discussions will also include substantive underlying issues in the peninsula which contribute to these current challenges and potentials.  We will know what’s going on right now in the Arabian Peninsula, and endeavor to understand why.

Weekly Topics

The Arabian Peninsula after the Ottoman Empire

History of Oil in the region

Saudi Arabia


Oman and Qatar

The UAE 

Kuwait and Bahrain

Sunni / Shia divide and potential consequences

Mecca, Medina and the Hajj

Relations with Iran

Women in the Arab World

Terrorism (internal and external)

Relations with the US

The Future


Recommended reading:

Davidson, Christopher.  2011.  Power and Politics in the Persian Gulf Monarchies

Miller, Kory.  2016.  To Global Powers:  The Rise of the Arab Gulf

We will primarily rely on breaking news as stated above