Blog archive: All

  • 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...
  • 1st August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Not to be sidelined amid Yemen’s growing mayhem (the Houthi rebellion alone has cost 338 civilian lives during the last 12 months according to government figures), al-Qaeda elements attacked a military vehicle in the eastern province of Marib on Thursday. AFP says three soldiers...
  • 1st August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Shortly before dawn on Friday, Saudi security forces raided a “satanist ceremony” (i.e. a rock concert) at a private residential compound in Riyadh. A number of Saudis, Syrians and others were arrested (it is not known how many) and all the equipment was seized, including cameras and computer...
  • 1st August 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Not to be sidelined amid Yemen’s growing mayhem (the Houthi rebellion alone has cost 338 civilian lives during the last 12 months according to government figures), al-Qaeda elements attacked a military vehicle in the eastern province of Marib on Thursday. AFP says three soldiers...
  • 31st July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It’s almost two weeks since the latest Arab Human Development Report was published and, after the initial burst of news items which basically summarised its content, considered views are beginning to emerge. The theme of the 2009 report, as I noted last week, is “human security...
  • 31st July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Following the death threat to the head of al-Jazeera's bureau in Yemen, sahwa.net (the Islah party's website) reports that Naif al-Qanis, the spokesman of the Joint Meeting Parties (the opposition alliance) "was threatened on Thursday with killing by a caller who claimed that he...
  • 31st July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Violence seems to be on the increase in Algeria again. Reuters reports that at least 14 soldiers were killed in an ambush on Wednesday. (Other reports give a death toll ranging from 11 to 20). "The past two months have seen an upsurge in the violence," Reuters says. "Insurgents killed...
  • 30th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I always thought there was something wrong with Fox News’s Middle East coverage. Now I know why. Posted by Brian Whitaker, 30 July 2009
  • 30th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    “Marhaban bikum,” says the elegantly dressed newsreader. She’s not wearing a headscarf and she sounds like a highly educated Arab. Her name, if I’ve deciphered it correctly, is Chiang Lu, and she’s presenting the TV news in Arabic – from Beijing. The main news of the day is President Hu...
  • 29th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It’s a sobering thought that despite all the turmoil in Yemen there are people who look to it as a haven of safety. Almost a quarter of a million Somalis have fled their homes since May 7 to escape fighting in Mogadishu and up to 12,000 of them have gathered in the northern town of Bossasso,...
  • 29th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It’s Wednesday and I’m still flabbergasted by the review of Bruce Bawer’s latest book that appeared in the New York Times at the weekend. The book is called Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom – so you needn’t read further to get the general drift. It’s part...
  • 28th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This video contains images, as they say on TV, “that some viewers may find disturbing”. Or amusing. Either way, the YouTube clip is causing a stir in Saudi Arabia because it’s said to show male employees of SABB (part of the giant HSBC banking corporation) having a knees-up in Riyadh. For...

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