This House believes that oil has been more of a curse than a blessing for the Middle East
Tuesday November 15 2005
MOTION PASSED by 63% to 37%
Hossein AskariSpeaking for the motion
Hossein Askari is the Iran Professor of International Business and Professor of International Affairs at the George Washington University.
Dr. Askari served on the executive board of the International Monetary Fund and was special advisor to the Minister of Finance of Saudi Arabia. He was the director of an international team of energy experts that designed a long-term energy plan for the government of Saudi Arabia in the mid 1980s. He has served the governments of both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as an intermediary to improve bilateral relations with Iran.
He has written extensively on Islamic economics and finance, economic development in the Middle East and on international trade and finance. His three latest books on the Middle East include 'Middle East Oil Exporters: What happened to Economic Development?', 'Economic Development in the GCC: The Blessing and the Curse of Oil and Saudi Arabia's Economy: Oil and the Search for Economic Development'.
He received his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering, attended the Sloan School of Management and received his PhD in Economics, all at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was an instructor at MIT, Assistant Professor at Tufts University, and Professor at the University of Texas at Austin.
Nawaf ObaidSpeaking against the motion
Nawaf Obaid is a Saudi national security consultant based between Riyadh and Washington DC. He is currently the managing director of the Saudi National Security Assessment Project. He is also an adjunct fellow in the Office of the Arleigh Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC.
Obaid is the author of 'The Oil Kingdom at 100: Petroleum Policymaking in Saudi Arabia' (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2000) and the co-author, with Anthony Cordesman, of 'National Security in Saudi Arabia: Threats, Responses, and Challenges' (Praeger & CSIS Publications, 2005). He is currently working on a book, with co-authors Anthony Cordesman and Khaled Al Rodhan, on Saudi Arabia's oil industry to be published in 2006.
He has a B.A. from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, an M.A. from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and completed doctoral courses at MIT's security studies program.
Carole NakhleSpeaking for the motion
Carole Nakhle is an independent petroleum analyst based in London, specializing in international petroleum fiscal regimes and the geopolitics of oil and gas. She is also working as advisor to the British Parliament on energy issues and is a senior consultant to Middle East Consultants International Ltd.
Dr. Nakhle has published papers and articles on petroleum fiscal regimes, sharing the oil wealth, and the role of women in the oil industry. Her work has appeared in various magazines and newspapers including the International Energy Law and Taxation Review and the International Herald Tribune. She is currently co-authoring with Lord Howell, the UK former Secretary of State, a book on past mistakes in world energy policies and how they can be rectified.
Dr. Nakhle holds a PhD in Energy Economics from the University of Surrey-UK and will shortly be taking up a university fellowship in oil and Middle East issues. She also teaches management studies and international relations.
Ramzi SalmanSpeaking against the motion
Ramzi Salman, advisor to Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry, has been involved in the oil industry for more than half a century. Before taking his current post in Qatar, he served six years as deputy secretary general for OPEC in Vienna, from 1991 to 1997.
Dr. Salman began his professional life teaching at Baghdad University a nd later became head of petroleum engineering for the Iraq National Oil Company. With the nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company in 1972, he moved to oil marketing, establishing the State Oil Marketing Organization. He remained that body's president and CEO until 1991, when he left Iraq to take his post with OPEC. He moved to Doha in March 1997.
He is also the current chairman of the executive board of the International Energy Forum Secretariat and secretary of the Qatar National Committees for the World Energy Council and the World Petroleum Congress. He has written and contributed a vast number of papers, articles and commentaries for many oil publications and newspapers.
Dr. Salman has a first-class honors B.Sc. in petroleum engineering and a PhD in chemical engineering, both from Birmingham University in the UK. He is an honorary fellow in the Centre for Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee.