The Gulf matters because it is rich in people, ideas and hydrocarbon resources. Those resources and the enormous wealth they bring to its ruling families give them global power and unrevealed influence. It is the birthplace of Islam and sits on the fault line between Sunni and Shia. The Gulf matters because it is under reported and not well understood. It matters because it has so many important stories to tell.
From my first visit to Saudi Arabia in 2002 to my many trips to Gulf countries since, I have written and broadcast on extremism, the Iraq war, the economy, social change and upheaval, the Arab Spring and its aftermath. The Gulf matters to me as a journalist.
Bill Law is a Sony award-winning journalist. He joined the BBC in 1995 and since 2002 has reported extensively from the Middle East. He has travelled to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia many times. In 2003 he was one of the first journalists to cover the beginnings of the insurgency that engulfed Iraq. His documentary The Gulf: Armed & Dangerous which aired in late 2010 anticipated the revolutions that became the Arab Spring. He then covered the uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Bahrain. He has also reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Before leaving the BBC in April 2014, Mr Law was the corporation’s Gulf analyst. He now works as a freelance journalist focusing on the Gulf and is a regular contributor to the Independent, Middle East Eye, Monocle Radio, Gulf States News, the BBC and the New Arab.