Wow I was blown away by how incredible this book is! Not only is it impeccably researched, it is also a (completely not-boring) but compelling and enjoyable read.
I was interested in learning about what the future of the Gulf States would be, but this book also delves into the history and background of the region, as well as showing what other countries (Norway, Venezuela, some SE Asian nations) have done that have worked or not worked (some spectacularly so).
Each area including education, future energy sources, types of labor, environmental concerns, investments, and other things to understand to take care of future generations are presented in a thorough yet interesting way.
While he does not have a magic bullet for an answer to keeping the region wealthy once the oil runs out, he offers so many insights into what needs to be done. His charts and graphs at the end of the book are enlightening, but as he explains them all throughout the book, you do not feel the need to study every one of them in detail to understand what he is saying.
I am inspired to take many of these ideas and apply it to my own state of Alaska, which also has relied on oil, but must also make a leap into sustainable revenue for the future.
Thank you to NetGalley for an advance copy. This is one of my rare 5 star reviews.
by Jennifer Johnson
As an O&G journalist I was really interested to read this perspective on the Middle East and how it will be affected by oil inevitably becoming a thing of the past.
I found the book very well structured. Chapters were thoughtfully arranged and it was an easy read - something not many books on O&G can be accused of. I appreciated the level of depth the author went into on how the Middle East became so dominated by oil and exactly what will be affected by its inevitable decline. The case studies of other countries, Norway for example, was especially interesting as a comparison and the author's explanations were well reasoned and thoughtful.
A very worthwhile read.
by NetGalley review
"The Gulf oil industry's obituary will be written one day, though its demise is not yet on the horizon. The Gulf oil is past middle age. The combined oil reserves are projected to last another 60 years."
Being an ex-Gulf migrant as a child, this book was both a nostalgic, and at the same time, a sobering read on the 'idea' of the Gulf – real and imagined. Well-researched and far-reaching in its analysis of the current state of affairs, this book not only challenges the socio-economic status quo of the oil-rich states, but also provides some answers. I did feel at times though that the author pulls his punches and only skims the surface while critiquing some of the structural issues underpinning the cultural, social and political fabric of Gulf societies.
But overall, this does make a really good read for any one remotely interested in understanding the past and predicting future of a post-oil era.
"We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are."
by NetGalley review
Mirza H. Alqassab is a Bahraini citizen. He has witnessed first-hand the Gulf socio-economic
transformation induced by oil.
After primary school (Grade 6), Alqassab worked full time for 13 years to support his family.
In 1969, he earned a high school diploma (Tawjihiya) with distinction, by studying on his own while working. The Bahrain Government awarded him a scholarship to study abroad.
In 1973, Alqassab received a BA degree in economics from the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon. He secured a Fulbright Fellowship from the US Department of State, and a scholarship from the University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon. In 1975, he obtained a MSc degree in economics from the University of Oregon.
Alqassab's 40-year professional career (1975-2015) covered the oil industry, money and banking, academic teaching, management consultancy and managing businesses; and spanned several countries: Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Malaysia, Singapore and Egypt.