After some readings I have realized that I don’t know enough about Gulf countries.
Due to what is probably inter-Arab bias and priority, I always focused on things closer to “home” (Northwest Africa) or countries whose political stances or inability to form states (Palestine) are always at the center of the world’s attention. We are constantly riveted by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Egyptian politics have always said a great deal about greater Arab politics, and you could never ignore Iraq due to the nature of the previous regime and the subsequent US invasion and occupation.
Due to the changing nature of Arab states, as well as the ever evident strategic importance of countries like Saudi Arabia to countries like the US, Morocco, Jordan and even Israel, its becoming increasingly obvious that to ignore the history, nature of these governments and social structures of these countries would be quite a mistake. We will often say that countries like Saudi are hypocritical, Kuwait is small and rich and Bahrain is just another Gulf monarchy with repressed minorities, but there has to be more substance to these states and populations that we are not getting. We have looked at these places as being static for so long, that we tend to view them more as a variable in the dynamics of international relations, but not an evolving, driving force.
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