Blog archive: All

  • 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
    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
    “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
    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
    ICANN, the body responsible for coordinating internet addresses (domain names) worldwide, has announced that website addresses in Arabic will be available from next year. At present, Arabic-language websites still have to use addresses in the Roman alphabet. The move will also benefit websites in...
  • 6th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The release of Hamas’s first feature film, produced in Gaza on a budget of only $200,000, is noted by the Guardian and theJerusalem Post. As might be expected in view of the filming location, it’s descibed as action-packed.  The film's producer, Fathi Hamad, is also the Gaza...
  • 6th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Official sources in Yemen said yesterday that “outlaws” planted two bombs outside government buildings in Abyan province. One exploded near a police building, blowing a hole in a fence. A larger device consisting of a mine and a timer was defused near the Central Organisation for Control and...
  • 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...
  • 5th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    NewsYemen says three soldiers died when Houthi rebels attacked a hospital in Sakain area on Monday and 13 rebels were killed in al-Hesama district close to the Saudi border yesterday. NewsYemen adds that farmers are suffering from the conflict. Roadblocks set up by the army and the...
  • 5th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The campaign by Saudi conservatives against Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the liberal-minded multi-billionaire, has moved up a notch with calls to shut down LBC television’s operations in Saudi Arabia. The Lebanese-based channel, which is 49% owned by Prince Alwaleed’s business empire, got into...
  • 5th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Whatever is the world coming to when you can’t get decent servants any more. Under the heading “Mission impossible”, the Saudi Gazette reports on the trials and tribulations of finding a housemaid for Ramadan. They expect so much money these days, and they don’t like staying up all night...
  • 4th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Mediation by a tribal leader from the Socialist Party has secured a truce between Houthi rebels and armed supporters of the Islah Party in al-Jawf province (north-eastern Yemen), according to the Yemen Observer. The Shi’a and Sunni rivals had been fighting for a couple of weeks with...

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