The eighth Gulf Studies Forum, addressing the Gulf reconciliation and the Gulf response to Covid-19 came to a close in Doha on 28 November 2021. The conference has been held by the ACRPS every year since 2014 and this year welcomed 28 papers presented over 12 sessions and a public lecture, with both in person and remote attendance due to the ongoing pandemic.
The first session in the domestic (Covid-19 response) track looked at the The Omani Response to Covid-19 and its Repercussions under the moderation of Yousuf Hamed Al Balushi. Research Chair for Economic Studies at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ashraf Mishrif opened the panel with his paper, “Oman's Response to Covid-19: Policies and Implications.” He was followed by Mubarak bin Khamis al-Hamdani, a Social researcher at the Omani Shura Council, who presented “Crisis Response in an Unsettled Context: Covid-19 as an Omani Social Reality.”
The parallel session, “The Gulf Reconciliation: Relations with Egypt and Competition in the Horn of Africa,” chaired by Haider Saeed. Professor of Political Science at Cairo University, Hassan Nafaa, presented his paper “Egypt and the Gulf Reconciliation: Prospects and Repercussions,” followed by Hassan Al-Hajj Ali, Political Science Professor at Khartoum university, who spoke on “the Impact of the Gulf Reconciliation on the Rivalry Dynamics in the Horn of Africa.”
The next domestic track session looked at “Iraq and Yemen's Response to Covid-19 and Its Repercussions,” chaired by Auhoud AlBaloushi. Hasan Latif Kadhim, Professor of Economic Development at Kufa University spoke first on “Iraq and the Covid-19 Crisis: Political Imbalance and Response Failures,” followed by Salah Yassin Almaktary, Associate professor of Economics and Finance and Head of the Department of Economics and Finance at Sanaa University, who presented his paper “Covid-19: Response and Economic Implications for Yemen.”
The parallel international relations session, “The Impact of the Gulf Reconciliation on Relations with Iraq and Yemen,” was chaired by Abdul Aziz Al-Hurr. The first speaker, Non-Resident Researcher in the Gulf and Yemeni Affairs Program at the Middle East Institute, Ibrahim Jalal, presented his paper, “The GCC Reconciliation: Prospects and Implications for the Conflict in Yemen.” Iraqi Researcher, Firas Elias, followed with his paper, “Gulf Reconciliation: Prospects and Implications for Relations with Iraq.”
The final domestic track session “The Education Sector's Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic and its Repercussions” was chaired by Maryam Al-Khater. Head of the Research and Studies Department at the Omani Studies Center at Sultan Qaboos University, Auhoud al-Bulushi, gave the first presentation on “The Education Sector in the Arab Gulf States under Covid-19: Response and Future Planning.” She was followed by Khawla Mortazawi, Head of the Media and Publications Department at Qatar University, who presented her paper “The Role of Qatar's Education Sector in Responding to the Covid-19 Challenge: A Case Study of Qatar University.”
In parallel, the final international relations session was focused on “The Repercussions of the Gulf Reconciliation on GCC Regional Relations,” chaired by Abdulaziz Al Ishaq. Bülent Aras, Visiting Professor in International Relations at Qatar University, began by presenting “Turkey and the GCC states after the Ula Summit.” Emad Y. Kaddorah, Researcher and Head of the ACRPS Editing Department, followed with his paper “India's Policy Towards the Gulf Crisis.” Professor of International Conflict Resolution at George Mason University in Washington, Mohammed Cherkaoui rounded off the session with the final intervention, “Opportunities to encourage Gulf reconciliation in the post-US withdrawal from Afghanistan.”