Blog archive: All

  • 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
    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...
  • 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...
  • 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
    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
    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
    It’s probably reassuring for Iraq’s neighbours that the “democratic” Maliki government is gradually acquiring the characteristics of a bog-standard authoritarian regime. Its latest move, reported in the New York Times, is to ban websites “deemed harmful to the public, to require internet...
  • 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...
  • 3rd August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    You will be pleased to hear that even if Yemen is on the brink of  turning into a failed state, its banking sector is in fine fettle and unaffected by the global financial crisis. The central bank’s governor, Ahmad al-Samawi, delivered the good news on Saturday and also “reviewed...
  • 3rd August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    With the holy month fast approaching, it’s time for a look at this Google graph. It shows internet searches for “sex” in Egypt during the last 12 months (or, if you want to Arabise it, searches for سكس). Notice the sudden dip at the beginning of September. That was the start of Ramadan...
  • 3rd August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The London-based Women Solidarity for Unified and Independent Iraq has appealed to Arab governments to help save the lives of nine women believed to be facing imminent execution in Iraq. Amnesty International says Iraq's presidential council has ratified the death sentences...
  • 2nd August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Several recent reports from Gaza suggest a steady erosion of personal liberties as Palestinian society retreats into supposedly “traditional” values. Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights says there has been anoticeable increase in “honour” killings – the most recent case being that of a 27-year...

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