Blog archive: All

  • 27th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Villagers in Awalad Yehia (Upper Egypt) are refusing to accept members of the Baha’i faith as their neighbours, Gulf News reports. The Baha’is in question were made homeless by torrential rain and the government is seeking to rehouse them. "Resettling the Bahais in our village will be on...
  • 27th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A ceasefire may be on the way in the war between government forces and Houthi rebels in northern Yemen. NewsYemen saysa ceasefire was agreed verbally on Wednesday and that air strikes have halted though warplanes are still flying over Saada province. A local official is quoted as saying...
  • 26th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Violent confrontations over water shortages continued for a fourth day in southern Yemen on Tuesday. Police reportedly  used tear gas and live bullets to disperse the crowds and one demonstrator was injured. On Sunday, a protester was shot dead, according to Reuters. Water has...
  • 26th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    More news from the world's most sinful city. Following the arrests of the cross-dressing Filipinos, the scandal of thedancing bankers and the "devil-worship" at a heavy metal concert, Riyadh police announce that 807 people have been arrested during the past month for "...
  • 25th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It's looking as if Lebanon will not have a new government until late next month – after the end of Ramadan. Ms Tee, blogging at B-side Beirut, outlines three current theories about the reasons for the delay: 1. Michel Aoun is making impossible demands 2. Saudi Arabia and Syria (the...
  • 25th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I came across some research the other day which seems very relevant to the Middle East. It seeks to explain why religion is so influential in some countries but not in others: Although it's commonly assumed (at least by atheists) that increasing wealth and all that goes with it (science,...
  • 24th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This has been widely reported elsewhere, so I’ll just note it for the record.  The Yemeni government says the bodies of 100 Houthi rebels have been found on roadsides around Harf Sufyan. "It seems these are members who had attempted to escape from the fierce fighting in Sufyan...
  • 24th August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This morning I noted, with a hint of scepticism, the Yemeni government's claim that the bodies of 100 Houth rebels had been found on roadsides around Harf Sufyan. The official government news agency has now issued a statement saying the claim was untrue. A previous government...
  • 23rd August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Not before time, the US embassy in Sana’a issued a statement yesterday expressing “deep concern” at the continuing conflict between the Yemeni millitary and the Houthi rebels. The statement continued: We call on both parties to return to the ceasefire that was established last year....
  • 23rd August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Not before time, the US embassy in Sana’a issued a statementyesterday expressing “deep concern” at the continuing conflict between the Yemeni millitary and the Houthi rebels. The statement continued: We call on both parties to return to the ceasefire that was established last year. In the...
  • 23rd August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    An interesting hijab debate has broken out in the Emirates after Dubai Bank, apparently without consulting staff, ordered all female employees – Muslim and non-Muslim alike – to wear a headscarf and abaya. "Our bank is Islamic and must follow sharia in all respects, which will satisfy...
  • 23rd August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Arabic has many expressions that you won’t find explained in a standard dictionary. This is not just a problem for foreigners: Moroccans talking to Saudis, or vice versa, can find themselves equally baffled. Abdullah Arif, a 23-year-old Saudi living in Dubai, has come up with a smart...

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