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Study group members at the Harvard Art Museum

Sultan Al Qassemi

Investigating the Politics of Modern Middle Eastern Art

| Dec. 08, 2021

This fall, Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, an Emirati columnist and researcher who specializes in social, political, and cultural affairs in the Arab Gulf and the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation in the UAE, joined the Middle East Initiative as the Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar. One of the ways he has engaged with the Harvard community and shared his expertise is through his study group, “Investigating the Politics of Modern Middle Eastern Art.” 

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Journal Article - World Politics Review

Vaccine Rollouts Are an Uphill Battle in the Middle East and North Africa

| Aug. 31, 2021

Many countries across the Middle East and North Africa, or MENA, region have faced critical challenges in ensuring the effective and equitable vaccination of their citizens against COVID-19. With a few exceptions, like Morocco, Israel and several Gulf states, countries in the region have faced difficulties in securing sufficient doses due to logistical constraints, poor planning and vaccine hesitancy. As of mid-August, only 21 percent of the region’s population had received at least one dose, and less than 13 percent were fully vaccinated. This puts the region far behind the developing country average of 36 percent with at least one dose and 22 percent fully vaccinated. Moreover, while some countries have accelerated their vaccination campaigns under the pressure of recent COVID-19 surges, other campaigns seem to be slowing or stalling. As countries brace for new waves of the pandemic, MENA governments—and their international supporters—must find ways to address the root causes of their halting vaccination campaigns.