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.
In the last 10 years, in light of China’s rise, the resurgence of Russia on the world stage, and the proliferation of non-state actors in the Middle East, the concept of soft power has taken on renewed significance. Definitions of it abound and expansions of the examples and explanations of its various forms are offered from across the academy. [...] The other major change affecting soft power definitions and policies is technological innovation.
Art is not a luxury, not an adornment of civilization. It is a necessity. It is one of the central purposes of civilization. Artists lead in ways politicians, chief executives, or generals cannot. They enable us to explore the mysterious - deep within us and all around us. They find the universal within the quotidian and in what has never before been imagined - the links that bind us to one another in the most profound ways.
Perceptions about the Middle East will come under the microscope this week at a panel discussion hosted by Arab News. The event, held at the Top CEO Conference and Awards, will probe the region’s image in Europe and wider world at a time of deep global division and upheaval. It will examine the region’s image, how it can be changed, and why there has arguably been a failure in communication with the rest of the world.
Doing nothing when war crimes are committed is immoral. It is also bad policy. But a response to war crimes such as those perpetrated by the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad must be more than a display of righteousness; it must become an element of a broader foreign policy initiative. This is the challenge facing the Trump administration after the missile strike launched by the United States