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Commentaries


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Author: Umer Karim
The Chinese-Indian engagement within Ladakh suggests that the Rubicon has been crossed and the bilateral relationship of both sides will never be the same. This change in strategic and tactical picture is invariably bound to impact upon Pakistan’s political and security calculus towards India. India may exercise strategic restraint against China but its weaker neighbors particularly Pakistan could be a target of its ire. Yet, Pakistan will not remain silent and respond in a
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Author: Joseph A. Kéchichian
This commentary discusses sectarianism in Lebanon as demands for basic rights, meaningful political and economic reforms, and full-scale accountability in a country where successive leaders failed to tackle challenges. It asks whether Sunnis and Christians in Lebanon are in danger and raises the specter of forced expulsions of repatriations.
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Author: Karolen Eid, Maha Fallatah, Makio Yamada
  Over the past decade, Saudi women’s participation in the workforce has increased at a rapid pace. At the end of the 2000s, only 48,406 of Saudi women worked in the private sector; by the end of 2019, the number had leaped to 558,892. Although the figure is still half that of Saudi men (1,141,812), the change in the number of private-sector employees has lately been constantly higher among Saudi women than among Saudi men. While the number of Saudi men in the private sector decreased by 19,762 over the 12 months to the end of 2019, the number of Saudi women in the private sector increased by 16,493 in the same period.    From this, some
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Author: Maha Fallatah
To develop the tourism sector as a main pillar of economic diversification, Saudi Arabia has been investing in heritage sites, museums, luxury resorts, and state-of-the-art entertainment venues across the country. One noteworthy fact about Saudi tourism is that, while increasing numbers of tourists travel by air and railways, the primary mode of domestic transportation, largely for nationals and residents, remains by land. In the first quarter of 2019, roads were used for 90.5% of domestic tourist transportation and 21.8% of international tourist arrivals. This suggests the importance of taking into acc
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Author: Rasheed Al-Khayoun
 This month (April) marks the death of two Shite scholars, one of them Muhammad Kazem Shariatmadari (1985) who was imprisoned in his home and prevented from medical treatment for cancer by order of the Iranian regime and the Supreme Leader. He was diagnosed with cancer whilst in prison and was kept incarcerated despite being a great scholar. Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was executed in Iraq in 1980, due to his Islamic political activity and his connection to the new Iranian regime which supported an Islamic revolution in Iraq. Islamic political parties in Iraq and Iran celebrate Sadr’s life during the anniversary of his execution, whilst they do not acknowledge the death of Shariatma
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Author: Latifa Abdullah Al Saud
The commentary analyses the recent unprecedented decision undertaken by the Japanese government to dispatch Self-Defense Force deployments to the Middle East. It considers the rationales underlying this decision and, more importantly, whether it signals a fundamental shift in Japanese foreign policy towards the region.
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Author: Maha Fallatah and Makio Yamada
Local product development plays a significant role in attracting great numbers of tourists and sustainably creating employment opportunities in local economies. Governments, both central and local, can enact policies to facilitate the development of local products and services that harness distinctive local resources. In our previous commentary, we examined one such policy, the “One Village One Product” movement in Japan, which is characterized by its effective investment in human resources to promote R&D aimed at enhancing the quality of local products and marketing them to wide groups of consumers. The One Village One Product movement, as well
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Author: Hanin Alsudais
Ruhollah Khomeini was one of the last revolutionaries of the twentieth century and an exceptional case of evolutionism in the modern Iranian political sphere. In the 1979 Iranian revolution, Khomeini reshaped the modern history of Iran, giving it a different kind of governance that had never before existed. This paper discusses how Khomeini managed to gain legitimacy with both the masses and the intellectuals of Iran and analyze why this was possible.   
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Author: Hanaa Almoaibed
The Commentary discusses the education-employment linkage in the Kingdom highlighting how schooling practices at the high school level affect young Saudi citizens' transition to university and employment. It particularly focuses on the effect of free track choice and the screening mechanism in the secondary-to-tertiary transition and offers policy recommendations.  
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Author: Jennifer Peck
Saudi Arabia has recently experienced rapid growth in women’s economic participation, with female labor force participation nearly doubling from 10.1% in 2000 to 19.6% in 2018. Increasing women’s employment is a key economic and social goal for the Kingdom, and a series of ambitious labor reforms over the past eight years has corresponded with a historic growth of women’s employment in the private sector, which increased over eight-fold from just 71,000 in mid-2011 to 592,000 by the end of 2018.  
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