Omani and Bahraini Fellows debate “dynamics of a changing global order” at JST events


Successful launch events in for the new John Smith Trust alumni networks in Oman and Bahrain took place in late January, with Middle East analyst and commentator H.A. Hellyer giving a wide-ranging speech about "the dynamics of a changing global order," and hosting a question and answer session on the same topic.

Subjects discussed at the events in Muscat on January 30 and Bahrain the following day included the region's fast growing youth population, the rise of Islamic State, and what lessons the Gulf might be able learn from developments in other parts of the world such as Ukraine.

Dr Hellyer, a Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC and the Royal United Service Institute in London, has written for a range of publications including the New York Times and the Guardian, and regularly appears on CNN and BBC News.

Alumni Event Bahrain Audience 2

He also gave his thoughts on the effects of the Arab Spring on the regional order, explaining his unique perspective as someone who moved from Oxford to Cairo with his wife and baby in December 2010 in search of a quieter life. His wish was swiftly overtaken by events, with the Egyptian revolution taking place the following month, following an uprising in Tunisia.

Now that alumni networks are in place in Oman and Bahrain, John Smith Trust Fellows from the two countries will have a formal structure to continue the discussions, ideas and friendships they developed during their JST Fellowship Programmes in the UK.

The Trust also recently launched the John Smith Associate Fellowship in Good Governance for the GCC countries, which will take place in February and March 2016. The initiative is delivered in partnership with the British Council and St Andrews University in Scotland.