Workshop: Arab Nationalism and its Legacy in the Gulf States

Arab Nationalism

Participants convened in 202 Jones Hall for a two-day workshop on November 9-10, 2019 to discuss various issues relating to Arab Nationalism.


In the field of Middle Eastern Studies, the history of the Arab nationalist movement is predominantly narrated from the perspective of the centers of its intellectual and political production and propagation--the Levant, Egypt, and Iraq. Arab nationalism, however, was also a significant movement in the Gulf where it played an important role in local politics and intellectual life. Anti-colonial movements, for one, drew heavily upon the Arab nationalist claims for self-determination and to push for independence from British protectorship. It was also viewed by the ruling monarchical regimes as a threatening ideology. Broadly speaking, the workshop explores the genesis, life and decline of Arab nationalism in the Gulf. The workshop brings together scholars working on both the Gulf and Arab nationalism to engage with the general question of how the movement shaped local social, cultural, and political dynamics as well as national narratives in the Gulf region, and to identify what the legacies of the movement are and in what realms it was particularly influential. 

Princeton University Co-Convenors:

Prof. Bernard Haykel

Dr. Lindsey Stephenson 



Name Affiliation Presentation title
Sultan Alamer George Washington University "Arab Nationalism and the 
Emergence of the Welfare State in Saudi Arabia"
Nelida Fuccaro NYU Abu Dhabi "Fragmenting and Enlarging the Arab Nation: Histories and Narratives of Saudi Arabian and Gulf Oil"
Ali Al-Kandari Kuwait University "The Political Identity of 'Ajam Sunna in Kuwait"
Maryam Al-Kuwari University of Exeter "Tribes, Tribalism & the Impact of Arab-Nationalism and Islamist Ideologies"
Ahmed AlMaazmi Princeton University "Redefining Indian Ocean World Mobilities in Nationalist Times: The Production of Foreignness in Oman"
Tareq Alrabei Gulf University of Science and Technology "The Pearl-Diver speaks in Ful-ha': Cultural Reinventions of Maritime Heritage in the Gulf"
Talal Al-Rashoud Kuwait University "The Omani Union (1952-1965): Would-be Vanguard of the Imamate's Uprising"
Wafa Alsayed London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) "Arab Nationalism and the Foreign Policy of Kuwait: Beyond the Instrumentalist Approach"

Discussants: Mandana Limbert, Abdel Razzaq Takriti

Listening Participants: Michael Brill, Majid Aldohan, John A. Dempsey, Nora Doaiji, Mohamed A. Al-Marri, Ahmed Alowfi, Makio Yamada