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Research Collections

In addition to the many research links to information about specific countries and topics, here are some excellent collections of research data that should be helpful to anyone with an interest in the Persian Gulf or many other related issues.

These collections are regularly updated and reflect the judgment of top research and reference organizations about the best sites on the Web. Needless to say, many of the same sites appear in more than one of these collections.

Although these collections are produced by reputable organizations, we cannot vouch for the accuracy of the data they contain.

  • General/Search Engines
  • Media/Internet
  • Government and Politics
  • Human Rights
  • Demographics/Population
  • Oil/Energy/Commerce/Finance
  • Terrorism and Security
  • Libraries/Research Centers

  • General/Search Engines

    1. MERLN: US Defense Department documents
      The document library of the National Defense University, with collections on Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and defense strategy.

    2. Arab Gulf States in Washington (AGSIW)
      A new site featuring original articles about Gulf states politics by experts.

    3. World Oil Chokepoints
      Maps and descriptive material/statistics concerning the flow of oil throughout the world, by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA)

    4. The Qatar Digital Library (QDL)
      A vast archive featuring the cultural and historical heritage of the Gulf and wider region freely available online. It includes archives, maps, manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs and much more, complete with contextualised explanatory notes and links, in both English and Arabic.

    5. The Indian Ocean in World History
      A teaching site prepared by the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center in Oman.

    6. Arab Uprisings
      A comprehensive bibliography of books and articles from the Project on Middle East Political Science.

    7. The Middle East Institute, Washington DC
      Research, events and publications from the Institute.

    8. The Iran Primer
      A compilation of short, informative articles about US-Iran relations from the earliest days, plus blog entries on current events -- an encyclopedia written by more than 50 of the best experts on the subject.

      A search engine on Middle East issues.

    10. Legatum Prosperity Index
      Rankings of more than 100 countries based on factors that help drive economic growth and produce happy citizens over the long term. Very attractive interactive presentation.

    11. Global Governance Monitor -- Council on Foreign Relations
      Tracks, maps and evaluates multilateral efforts to address today's global challenges. Useful and innovative multimedia reports on the state of the world's oceans, finance, non-proliferation and other global issues.

    12. Nuclear Developments
      Reporting and expert analysis from the Institute for Science and International Security on nuclear issues, with Iran as a major topic.

    13. World Digital Library
      Original documents and commentary in many different languages from cultures in all parts of the world sponsored by UNESCO and others.

    14. Mianeh Iran Media Report
      Collected news items of interest; also available in Persian

    15. The Newseum Interactive News Map
      Click on any major capital city and the day's headlines pop up.

    16. Al-Arabiyya
      Access to one of the most important Arab TV news channels

      Middle East business news from a research center in Dubai.

    18. Jihadica
      Expert analysis and (Western) commentary on the worldwide jihadist movement, operated by Princeton PhD and Counter-Terrorism Center (West Point) Fellow William McCants.

    19. Library of Congress Country Profiles
      Detailed profiles of most countries in the world, prepared and regularly updated by the Library of Congress.

    20. Right Web
      Monitors and critiques U.S. organizations and individuals "that promote militarist foreign and defense policies, with a special focus on the 'war on terror' and the Middle East."

    21. Bibliographies on the states of the Arabian Peninsula
      Compiled by Glenda Armstrong, Bibliographer, Maxwell Air Firce Base. Strong on security and official documents.

    22. Background and Analysis of the operations of the UN Security Council
      Compiled by an independent academic body affiliated with Columbia University.

    23. Online Maps of the Middle East
      A list of sites with good maps (including this one)

    24. Google automatic translations from/into many languages
      Sometimes better than others, but always better than nothing.

    25. The RAND Corporation
      Research and analysis from the original "think tank"

    26. Resource Shelf
      Declassified documents on many subjects

    27. The History Guy
      Search engine that includes a well-organized summary of major events and links to additional research sites by Roger Lee, the "history guy."

    28. Pars Times
      Collection of websites about Iran and the Middle East

    29. National Council on US-Arab Relations
      Resources include GulfWire e-letter and several resources on Saudi Arabia and US-Saudi relations; also publications, fellowships and other services.

    30. Assyrian Communities in the Middle East

    31. J.E. Peterson Web Site
      and source materials on the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula, including several complete books and many articles; some hard-to-find materials.

    32. Global Connections: Middle East
      General background on Middle East history, culture, politics, economics; timeline of events since 1900; also search by theme. WGBH Boston in collaboration with several academic institutions.

    33. Wayback Machine
      Archive of billions of web pages, past and present, every conceivable subject, the ultimate web library.

    34. Middle East & Asian Governments on the WWW
      History, personalities, and a vast array of useful information on the states of the region.

    35. CIA World Factbook
      A wealth of facts, maps, by country.

    36. New York Times Reference Links
      An annotated collection of search engines and links to resources on U.S. government, politics, and many other subjects selected by the editors of the NY Times.

    37. A Shi'ite Encyclopedia
      Stanford Univ. Part of a series on Islam, from a Sunni perspective. Other Islamic resources can be accessed via this link.

    38. Baha'i Studies
      Background, documentation on the Baha'i religion by J.R. Cole of the University of Michigan.

    39. Central Eurasia Resources
      Soros Central Eurasia Project provides a wealth of information about countries just north of the Persian Gulf.


    1. Middle East Report
      An informative website on Middle East politics, culture and society. Select articles from the print journal (Middle East Report) is provided as well as blog entries and longer online analyses of current events.

    2. Jadaliyya
      An online editorial site providing extensive analytical articles on the politics, culture, society, law, and the media in the Arab world.

    3. AL Monitor
      A media site that covers news and commentary in the Middle East from contributors based in the region.

    4. Al-Jazeera The famous and controversial Arabic TV channel in a English version.

    5. Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
      Translations of selected (and often obscure) articles from the regional press, with special empahsis on terrorism, US policy, anti-semitism.

    6. The Arab Net
      Links to Arab businesses, institutions in the Middle East. Internet directory for the Middle East. News and other information in Arabic.

    7. Albawaba Middle East Portal
      An entry point to information on the region and each country.

    8. Middle East North Africa Internet Resource Guide
      An excellent compilation of listservs and on-line discussion groups for a wide range of academic disciplines. Managed by the Middle East Center at the University of Utah.

    9. Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA)
      Managed by Barry Rubin at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. On-line journal, original articles, survey of periodical literature, tips on Mid East research, links to many other sites.

    10. National Security and the Internet in the Persian Gulf Region
      Survey of regional internet resources by Grey Burkhart.

    Government and Politics

    1. Compare constitutions of the world, including the Persian Gulf states

    2. European Institute for Security Studies
      A European perspective on the Gulf, the Middle East, and beyond, from the official research institute of the European Union.

    3. Security Council Report
      An independent report on all activities at the UN Security Council, searchable by country, with informed background context and live links to relevant UN documentation.

    4. International Crisis Group
      Independent reporting on critical issues worldwide; good coverage of Middle East.

    5. Public Diplomacy & Media US public diplomacy projects involving the Middle East, related media resources, including links to MidEast media outlets.

    6. Background Notes - US State Department
      Background information by country and organization, plus maps and more.

    7. Programme on Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR)
      An information clearinghouse devoted exclusively to governance in the Arab states. Fact-filled essays, links and references on 8 different dimensions of Arab governments and societies.

    8. Chiefs of State and Cabinet Members of Foreign Governments
      Want to know the name of the Minister of Oil in Qatar? This site will give you the names of Chiefs of State and key members of government of every country in the world, updated daily by the CIA.

    9. U.S. Government (FirstGov)
      A powerful search engine to access all parts of the U.S. Government: foreign and domestic policy; military and defense; executive, legislative and judicial branches; business and economy; environment; and much more.

    10. Washington Institute for Near East Policy
      Useful archives of research, commentary.

    11. US Information Agency
      US official policy statements, interviews, USIA electronic journals (full text in multiple languages).

    12. George W. Bush Administration
      Documentation from January 2001.

    13. Clinton White House
      Documents from January 1993 to January 2001.

    14. G.W. Bush Administration State Department
      Documentation from January 2001.

    15. Clinton State Department/ Near East
      Documents from January 1993 to January 2001.

    16. British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
      "Focus International" -- Briefing papers on international issues from the FCO.

    Human Rights

    1. Human Rights Watch: 140 Characters
      A comprehensive survey of the state of freedom of expression in the Gulf Cooperation Council states, including 140 individuals who have experienced the effects of these repressive laws/

    2. Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence
      A historical compendium of genocides and other major human rights abuses.

    3. Human Rights Watch
      Reporting and archives. Includes some material in Arabic.

    4. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
      Full texts of UNHCR reports. Search by country name.

    5. Amnesty International

    6. Human Rights Library
      Global search engine for human rights issues, reports, institutions. University of Minnesota.

    7. US State Department: International Religious Freedom
      Annual Report on International Religious Freedom: Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, September 5, 2000.

    8. US State Department Country Reports (Bush Administration)
      On Human Rights.

    9. US State Department Country Reports (Clinton Administration)
      On Human Rights.


    1. World Bank - Country Data
      Search by country. PDF format.


    1. A primer on how to do business in the Middle East
      By Annie Plews of Cambridge University

    2. World Oil Transit Chokepoints
      An excellent visual and verbal presentation.

    3. Oil Maps/Data
      The location and relative size of oil and gas deposits throughout the world, from the U.S. Geological Survey.

    4. US Department of Energy
      Energy profiles of individual countries.

      A site in Dubai that advertises itself as the most comprehensive Middle East search engine. Current business news and a huge array of reference sites. Excellent place to find a company, a government agency or a private institution.

    6. The Gulf Business magazine
      Extensive business and finance reporting on the Gulf countries.

    7. The World Bank in the Middle East

    8. International Monetary Fund
      Search by country. Position of each country in the IMF. Internationalcapital markets. Publications & reports.

    9. Business Directory of the Arab Gulf States
      Business contacts, addresses, exhibitions. By country.

    Terrorism and Security

    1. National profiles of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and missile development of countries throughout the world
      Prepared by the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies for the Nuclear Threat Initiative

    2. The Islamic Imagery Project: Visual Motifs in Jihadi Internet
      Produced by The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point; jihadist use of images on the internet.

    3. A Military Guide to Terrorism

    4. University of Maryland database of terrorist incidents
      A resource for comprehensive research on domestic and international terrorism, with information on terrorist incidents, terrorism-related court cases, and terrorist groups and leaders.

    5. Iraq War Bibliography.
      A working bibliography about the war in Iraq, much of it online, compiled by the bibliographer of the Air University Library, Maxwell Air Force Base.

    6. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
      An immense amount of documentation and information on international nuclear issues of all sorts."

    7. U.S. Homeland Security Resources on Terrorism
      Definitions, historical references, databases.

    8. Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis
      Includes a quarterly analysis of Middle East security issues, with a special focus on the Gulf and Israel.

    9. Institute for Science and International Security
      Nuclear non-proliferation studies and background data, prepared by David Albright and others.

    10. Carnegie Endowment Non-Proliferation Project
      Documentation on Weapons of Mass Destruction, with extensive reporting on Iran & Iraq.

    11. Center for Security Studies and Conflict Resolution, Zurich
      Links to International Relations and Security resources & organizations.

    12. Organization for Prevention of Chemical Weapons
      The Chemical Weapons Convention and its signatories.

    13. Center for Non-Proliferation Studies, Monterey Institute
      Research on nuclear, chemical, missile proliferation.

    14. US Department of State
      Annual report on global terrorism.

    15. "US Defense Policy: Dept of Defense
      Search by topic or country.

    16. Gulf War Illnesses
      US Dept of Defense: Background, documentation.

    17. Federation of American Scientists
      Arms sales, military analysis (esp. Iraq), intelligence programs.

    18. War Report
      Select articles, documents, and analyses compiled by Project on Defense Alternatives

    19. Voices of Dissent: Finding Alternative Media On-Line
      By the University of Windsor

    20. Project on Defense Alternatives
      Military/strategic reporting, with considerable emphasis on Iraq.

    21. Librarians Index to the Internet: War and Peace
      Well-researched and reliable resources related to the current Iraq crisis.

    22. Pentagon Coverage
      Official Pentagon coverage of the war on terrorism

    23. Nuclear Terrorism
      The Nuclear Control Institute, Washington DC.

    24. UN Counter-Terrorism

    25. Terrorism Q&A
      A terrorism encyclopedia prepared by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Markle Foundation.

    26. Indictment of Moussaoui as the "20th Hijacker"

    27. Internews: Open Media Watch/Sept. 11
      A collection of media stories from diverse sources and points of view.

    28. Social Science Perspectives Commentary by leading social scientists, organized by the Social Science Research Council.

    29. From the University of California at Berkeley Excellent collection of links on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US.

    30. Afghanistan
      Collection of background information on the country, history, people, women's issues, the Taliban etc.

    31. Attack on America
      US Documents--government and private--on the terrorist strike of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath.

    32. Afghanistan and current politics

    33. The Terrorism Directory
      A portal to major sites dealing with terrorism.

    34. Afghanistan: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1973-1990
      National Security Archive's collection of primary documents relating to U.S. policy in Afghanistan.

    35. International Crisis Group Databases
      Capsule histories, databases and maps of the conflicts that they study and report on; designed for quick reference; reliable

    36. Military affairs search engine
      More than 1 million pages, indexed, from; fast and very easy to use.

    Libraries/Research Centers

    1. Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Center for International and Regional Studies
      High quality research on Persian Gulf issues.

    2. Yale University Library
      Links and resources on the Middle East.

    3. Caspian Studies Program, Harvard
      The Gulf's next door neighbor.

    4. Columbia University: Middle East Studies Resources
      A comprehensive collection of bibliographies, links to other libraries with strong Middle East collections, and links to specialized sources on such topics as biographies, language, literature, and minorities in the Middle East.

    5. E-Prints from Durham University's Middle East and Islamic Studies Department

    6. Gulf Research Center (Dubai)
      Some documentary material free; library, database and most other resources require paid membership.

    7. Research Papers of the British Parliament
      Many research papers, prepared for Members of Parliament, are available to the public in .pdf form.

    8. The Arab Gulf Collection of Exeter University
      Catalogues, documentation on Gulf states, holdings of the Centre for Arab Gulf Studies.

    9. University of Texas
      Center for Middle Eastern Studies

    10. UCLA
      Middle East resources.

    11. The Middle East Institute, Washington DC
      Table of Contents of The Middle East Journal, with selected full text articles. Description of library, conferences, activities relating to the Middle East.

    12. The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies
      Journal of Islamic Studies; OCIS Newsletter.

    13. The WWW Virtual Library
      International Affairs Resources. More than 1400 annotated links on international affairs topics. Includes NGOs, research institutes, live news feeds, international development, communications, environment, and international business, in multiple languages.


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