In its ongoing and ever-expanding program of Middle Eastern Studies, “Focus on Arabia: the Gulf Cooperation Council” (GCC) examines countries in one of the world’s most important sub-regional organizations. Founded in 1981, the GCC has emerged as a forum for the predominantly Sunni Arab monarchies which, blessed with abundant hydrocarbon resources, have not only accomplished a staggering transformation to modernity in less than three generations, but also managed to preserve their hold on hereditary power. However, the past two years have witnessed fissures within this privileged fraternity. As the combined profile of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E has grown, neighboring Qatar has withstood a draconian blockade by its former allies. An ongoing war in Yemen has wrought massive devastation and human suffering. As Oman and Kuwait stand poised to mediate tensions among its neighbors, the future of the GCC, and its original objectives hang in the balance. Join us as we explore the complexities of this strategically significant corner of the Middle East mosaic. These sessions include lectures, review of selected readings and films, guest speaker presentations, and group discussion.