Latest blog posts

  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Hot on the heels of Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia and the festivities surrounding it, a new feud has erupted among the Arab Gulf states. The Saudis and Emiratis are blocking the websites of al-Jazeera and other Qatari news sources. Qatar, meanwhile, says reports of a controversial speech...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    For more than a week clashes have been taking place in Awamiyah, a town in Saudi Arabia's predominantly Shia Eastern province. What began – ostensibly – as a redevelopment project is now being portrayed in Saudi media as an anti-terorrism operation. Awamiyah has long been a centre of...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    There are three possible outcomes to the war in Yemen: reconstruction as a single state, partition into two states – north and south – or fragmentation into multiple statelets. Of these, only a single state can offer some hope of a more secure future for the Yemeni people but the prospects for...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    For the last two years a Saudi-led coalition has been waging a war in Yemen to restore the "legitimate" government headed by Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. But that goal is now in doubt because Hadi's lacklustre performance has opened up a rift between Saudi Arabia and its key ally in the conflict,...
  • By: Brian Whitaker
    Freedom of thought needs an atmosphere of tolerance where people can speak their mind and no one is forced to accept the beliefs of others. In the Middle East, though, tolerance is in short supply and ideas that don't fit the expectations of society and governments are viewed as a threat. Where...

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