Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 28th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On his recent trip to the Middle East, Donald Trump posed for cameras sitting side by side with the emir of Qatar. "We are friends," Trump said, shaking the emir's hand. "We have been friends now for a long time. Our relationship is extremely good." So good, apparently, that Trump was hoping to...
  • 26th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The first tangible result of Donald Trump's visit to the "Muslim summit" in Riyadh last weekend has been the reopening a long-standing feud among Arab Gulf states. Over the last few days Saudi and Emirati media have been attacking Qatar ferociously, especially over its attitude towards Iran and...
  • 25th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Earlier this week a story appeared on the website of Qatar's government-run news agency quoting what it said was a speech made by the emir at a military graduation ceremony. The remarks attributed to the emir brought a furious reaction from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar...
  • 24th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Hot on the heels of Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia and the festivities surrounding it, a new feud has erupted among the Arab Gulf states. The Saudis and Emiratis are blocking the websites of al-Jazeera and other Qatari news sources. Qatar, meanwhile, says reports of a controversial speech...
  • 18th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For more than a week clashes have been taking place in Awamiyah, a town in Saudi Arabia's predominantly Shia Eastern province. What began – ostensibly – as a redevelopment project is now being portrayed in Saudi media as an anti-terorrism operation. Awamiyah has long been a centre of...
  • 9th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For the last two years a Saudi-led coalition has been waging a war in Yemen to restore the "legitimate" government headed by Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. But that goal is now in doubt because Hadi's lacklustre performance has opened up a rift between Saudi Arabia and its key ally in the conflict,...
  • 2nd May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Belgian government has admitted supporting Saudi Arabia's election to a UN body which champions women's rights – and now says it regrets doing so. Meanwhile, numerous other countries supposedly committed to gender equality are refusing to say how they voted. Saudi Arabia has a long history...
  • 24th April 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last week, unnoticed by most of the world's media, Saudi Arabia was elected to the UN's Commission on the Status of Women – with support from at least three EU countries. The commission is described on its website as "the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to...
  • 19th April 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A decorative concrete structure which had stood for more than 25 years at the entrance to a government building in the Saudi city of Buraydah was abruptly demolished at the weekend because of its alleged connection with Christianity, according to local media.  The structure, which...
  • 7th March 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia has confirmed the death of at least one transgender Pakistani among 35 who were arrested in Riyadh last week for "imitating the opposite sex". According to rights activists in Pakistan, two of those arrested were placed in sacks and beaten to death in police custody (see ...
  • 5th March 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In countries where gender discrimination is considered a social and religious necessity, the dividing line between male and female is not to be crossed. Men must behave and dress as men, and women as women – or face punishment.  In Saudi Arabia last week, police raided a gathering of...
  • 23rd February 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When it comes to reporting the conflict in Yemen, Fox News is exceptionally bad. Fox has been fooling its viewers for years but now, with Donald Trump installed in the White House, the problem is becoming a more serious. Trump is a devotee of Fox News: it tells him what he wants to hear – about...

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