Blog archive: All

  • 12th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    “Broad offensive”, “iron fist”, “all-out onslaught” … the news agencies are reporting a large-scale government attack on the Houthi rebels (Reuters and dpa) in northern Yemen.  The army launched “aerial, artillery and missile strikes on the strategic heights of Matra and Dhahian,...
  • 11th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Egypt’s real estate tax collectors are due to start an open-ended national strike today. Strikes are commonplace in Egypt but this one is especially significant. The tax collectors won a major victory in 2007 after a series of protests that  … culminated with a 12-day sit-in...
  • 11th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Despite mediation efforts, the Houthi rebellion in northern Yemen shows no sign of abating. President Salih, speaking at a meeting of Yemen’s Supreme Security Committee, warned the rebels “that the continuation of their assaults and attempts to disturb public security and tranquillity...
  • 10th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    No two ways about it: 
  • 10th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A young man blew himself up in Nouakchott, the Mauritanian capital, on Saturday evening. Nobody else was killed. It was the country’s first suicide bombing. Some reports suggest the intended target may have been the French embassy and point a finger at Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (...
  • 10th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Mohammad Abdul Fatah, a 73-year-old Egyptian Muslim, has been awarded custody of his seven-year-old grandson because the boy’s parents changed their religion. Following the parents’ conversion to the Baha’i faith, the grandfather sought advice from Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Gulf News says. "...
  • 9th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The United Arab Emirates is seeking to have falconry recognised by Unesco as part of the world’s “intangible heritage”. The application will be submitted to Unesco this month for consideration under the auspices of the international Convention for...
  • 8th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    At long last, the system of employers’ sponsorship for foreign workers – a major cause of exploitation in the Arab Gulf states – seems to be coming to an end. Sponsorship, in effect, ties foreign workers (and their continued residence in the country) to a single employer, often with dire...
  • 7th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    “Imagine a place where you can shoot a film from start to finish in one location. From scripting to casting to pre-production to filming in exotic locations to editing to sound recording to visual animation to processing to distribution and finally to the premiere night. Imagine a place like Dubai...
  • 7th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    King Abdullah is still having difficulty with his cabinet appointments in Lebanon. He is discussing the problem with his prime minister designate, Saad Hariri. The Daily Star has more details. Posted by Brian Whitaker, 7 August 2009
  • 7th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A five-sentence news item on the Islah party’s website, under the rather inconsequential headline “MP urges Yemeni president to step down”, says that the opposition member of parliament Hamid al-Ahmar has called on President Salih to hand over power to Vice-President Abdu Rabo Mansour...
  • 6th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Hwida Price, a reader of this blog, writes with more details about the heavy metal concert/party that was broken up by the Saudi authorities last Friday: A number of youngsters have been in police custody since early hours of Friday 31 July 2009, at the Oliyyha police station in Riyadh in Saudi...

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