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Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent initiative established to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region through the establishment of a prominent and publicly accessible art collection in the UAE. The foundation currently has exhibitions at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

Al Qassemi is also a columnist whose articles have appeared in The Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Open Democracy, The National and The Globe and Mail, as well as other publications. In addition, he is a prolific commentator on Arab affairs on Twitter. His tweets rose in particular prominence during the Arab Spring, and became a major news source that rivalled the major news networks at the time. Time magazine listed his Twitter account among the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.”

Al Qassemi was an MIT Media Lab Director's Fellow, and in 2014 Arabian Business placed him on its list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Arabs, under the Thinkers category. He continues both to write and tweet about the Arab world from his home in Sharjah, as well as from overseas, where he frequently lectures. In the Spring of 2017, Al Qassemi was a practitioner in residence at the Hagop Kevorkian Center of Near East Studies at New York University, where he offered a special course entitled “Politics of Middle Eastern Art.”

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The world just passed a quiet milestone, topping 8 billion people on Earth. Embedded in this demographic story is an important developmental one: We are healthier, wealthier, and better educated than at any time in human history. And yet, macro numbers offer little solace to the 800 million people who still lack access to electricity, or the roughly same amount who go … Continue reading “The Eight Billionth Question”

Climate Change Could Stifle the Middle East’s Tourism Rebound By Suha Ma’ayeh - Nov 27, 2022

After a two-year slowdown, tourism is once again booming in the Middle East. As countries lift their COVID-19 travel restrictions and demand for travel returns, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) projects that the sector’s contribution to regional GDP will grow more than 36 percent in 2022 – to more than $256 billion. While this is undoubtedly great news for countries where tourism accounts … Continue reading “Climate Change Could Stifle the Middle East’s Tourism Rebound”

Spanish Decision Shows Tide Turning on Repatriating ISIS Brides By Faisal Al Yafai - Nov 26, 2022

In the murky world of ISIS families, all diplomacy is conducted quietly. On Monday, the Spanish government quietly admitted it would bring back several Spanish wives and children of ISIS fighters, before the end of the year. Newspaper reports placed the number at three women and 13 children – a figure which, while small, represents a significant … Continue reading “Spanish Decision Shows Tide Turning on Repatriating ISIS Brides”

Pakistan Pays Heavy Price For Domestic Turmoil By Arif Rafiq - Nov 25, 2022

Pakistan’s economy is in a deep mess. This summer’s epic floods took more than a thousand lives and inflicted billions of dollars in damage and devastation. In spite of an International Monetary Fund bailout, Pakistan’s external account position remains precarious. Foreign exchange reserves at hand cover less than two months of imports. Exports and remittances are in decline. Pakistan’s perceived default risk, as reflected by … Continue reading “Pakistan Pays Heavy Price For Domestic Turmoil”