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Gulf Studies Center forum discusses the US presidential elections

The Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University’s College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with The Brookings Doha Center, organized a discussion titled “What the U.S. Presidential Election Means for the Middle East” on 22 February.

The event shed light on the U.S. political landscape of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Attendees were Director of the Gulf Studies Center Dr Abdullah Baabood, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings, Deputy Director of the Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings John Hudak, Director of Research at Brookings Doha Center Sultan Barakat, and faculty members and researchers from the two centers.

Qatar University

The discussion tackled a wide range of questions such as Who is doing well? Who is underperforming expectations? Which foreign policy issues that are relevant to the Middle East are being talked about by the candidates? The issues being discussed, and which candidate is ultimately elected, will have far reaching effects—not just for American public policy but for leadership and policy throughout the world, especially the Middle East. What does the Middle East expect from the next president?  and Does the region have a preference for one of the candidates? 

Dr. Babood said, “As the US presidential elections are getting closer, the Middle East is watching with some anxiety the elections race between the remaining candidates. The changing international and regional dynamics have many implications on the Middle East region and whoever is finally elected in the United States is going to make a difference to the pressing regional issue like the Syrian crisis, the war against extremism and ISIL, the Arab-Israeli conflict as well many other regional political and economic challenges.”

Mr. Sultan Barakat said: “Qatar University and the Brookings Doha Center have a long history of collaboration. We have a formal MOU governing fellowship and internship opportunities for scholars and students, respectively. This event comes at a time when the political landscape in the Middle East is changing, and the 2016 U.S. elections are becoming rather difficult to predict. Given the importance of the US elections to the people in the Middle East, It made sense to organize a joint event with Qatar University’s Gulf Studies Program on such an important issue.”

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