The Arab Spring in Bahrain and the Gulf
Dr Omar AlShehabi, Director, Gulf Centre for Development Policies, GUST University, Kuwait
Dr Jasim Husain, Economist and Former Member of Parliament for Al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, Bahrain
Robin Lamb, British Ambassador to Bahrain (2003–06)
Chair: Jane Kinninmont, Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Bahrain, the smallest country in the Arab world, has been thrust into the international spotlight this year after mass protests were met by a violent clampdown. Troops from other Gulf countries, especially Saudi Arabia, have been deployed in support of the Bahraini government, emphasizing the country’s strategic significance for the other Gulf Arab monarchies. Bahrain is also an important ally for the United States, as the host of its main naval base in the region. Human rights concerns pose an ongoing dilemma for the US as it tries to lay out a new policy towards the Arab world. The discussion will analyse the recent events in Bahrain, place these in a regional context and assess the possible future scenarios as the country commences a new national dialogue.