CGS at AUK presents a Lecture on GCC Countries’ Dreams and Realities
The Center for Gulf Studies at the American University of Kuwait began the Spring semester with a lecture by His Excellency Ambassador Abdullah Bishara on “GCC Countries’ Dreams and Realities” on Wednesday 5 February 2020. Ambassador Bishara has worked in the Kuwait Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over thirty years, serving as Kuwait’s permanent representative to the United Nations, the chairman of the United Nations Security Council, the first secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and a current member of AUK’s Board of Trustees. The talk was attended by over one hundred members of the AUK community, including AUK President Rawda Awwad and Mr. Faisal Al-Ayyar, Vice Chairman of Kuwait Projects Company (Holding) KIPCO, and member of the AUK Board of Trustees.
Ambassador Bishara recalled the beginnings of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the genuine hope and discourse shared by the founding leaders. He noted that one shared dream between the founders was diversification away from oil, but pragmatically, the economic shift had been and is currently facing obstacles. He also noted that there was discussion of a shared framework for security for years, but that bilateral, state-to-state alliances and partnerships had been and were being pursued. He suggested that one reason for this pursuit had been the increase of what he termed “tribal nationalism,” and emphasized the need to multilateral unity among GCC members.
In his call for unity, Ambassador Bishara reminded the audience of the strategic importance of the GCC to Kuwaiti diplomacy particularly during the 1990 Gulf War and throughout history. He also explained the importance of GCC unity for enhancing stability in the Middle East region and for pragmatic, economic, and political interaction with the rest of the world. He ended with a call to all, from GCC youth to GCC decision makers, to keep up the dialogue domestically and regionally, and underscored that there should be no fatigue in this pursuit.
Dr. Shareefa Al-Adwani, Director of the CGS, stated, “His Excellency Ambassador Abdullah Bishara has been and continues to be an influential figure in our region’s shared history. His talk tonight underlined the continuously important role of the GCC for Kuwait, for the region, and for the larger Arab world. He emphasized the criticality of member state reinvigoration and genuine discussion in order to take future GCC dreams and turn them into GCC realities. The Center for Gulf Studies extends its appreciation to the Ambassador for this reflective and thought-provoking talk and for his frank conversation with the community during the formal exchange and informal dialogue.”
His Excellency Ambassador Abdullah Bishara earned a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from St. John’s University. After retiring from the MoFA, Ambassador Bishara continued his involvement with politics and diplomacy in formal and informal capacities. He has also written multiple books, including Kuwait’s Diplomacy Wars
, writes weekly for AlQabas
, and has contributed several articles on politics and Economics in English-language periodicals.
About the Center for Gulf Studies:
The Center for Gulf Studies is a research center under the College of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Kuwait. The center aims to promote greater cultural understanding of and increased intellectual interest in the Gulf, by facilitating free and open academic discourse on a range of issues that both shape and challenge this critical region of the world. Their goal is to enable scholars as well as political and civil society actors both within and outside the region to contribute and add value to the burgeoning field of Gulf Studies. To this end, the center seeks to encourage, support, and cultivate interesting and original research on the Gulf, and to create an environment in which AUK students and faculty can interact and collaborate with researchers and activists from around the world in creative and engaging ways.
H.E. Ambassador Abdullah Bishara presenting his lecture at AUK