Articles by Brian Whitaker

Below is a collection of my articles about the Middle East, mostly written for The Guardian newspaper and its website. The articles are grouped chronologically and according to country.

Articles in chronological order:
2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998

Articles listed by country:
Algeria | Bahrain | Egypt | Iran | Iraq | Kuwait | Lebanon | Libya | Oman | Palestine/Israel | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Syria | Tunisia | United Arab Emirates | Yemen

Archive 2004-2005


20 killed as Egyptian police evict Sudanese protesters
The Guardian, 31 Dec 2005

Sunnis shun government talks in protest at election results
The Guardian, 30 Dec 2005
Claims of electoral fraud threaten political stability - UN backing of poll angers Iraqi minority groups

Retired German diplomat and family seized in Yemen
The Guardian, 29 Dec 2005
A retired German diplomat and four members of his family were kidnapped in Yemen yesterday, apparently by tribesmen seeking the release of prisoners.

Boredom sets in over Saddam trial 'soap opera'
The Guardian, 24 Dec 2005
Ex-dictator's courtroom antics fail to keep up ratings across the Arab world.

Gulf states show concern at Iran's nuclear plans
The Guardian, 19 Dec 2005
Gulf Arab leaders yesterday discussed turning the Middle East into a nuclear-free zone amid growing unease over Iran's nuclear intentions.

An extraordinary meeting
The Guardian, 12 Dec 2005
For Muslim leaders to admit Islam is in crisis is a bold move, to act on it would be revolutionary, writes Brian Whitaker.

Islamic leaders unveil action plan to rescue a 'nation in crisis'
The Guardian, 9 Dec 2005
Summit rails at 'deviant ideas' behind terrorism - Saudis see deprivation as root cause of malaise

Dubai opens ski resort
The Guardian, 3 Dec 2005
Temperatures never rise above freezing and there is a fresh sprinkling of snow every day, but step outside and you will find a sunbaked desert.

Saudi women make electoral breakthrough
The Guardian, 1 Dec 2005
Two candidates became the first women to win elected office in Saudi Arabia yesterday when they took seats on the board of Jeddah's chamber of commerce.

'Gay party' guests face hormone treatment
The Guardian, 30 Nov 2005
More than two dozen men arrested at an allegedly gay party could face compulsory hormone treatment, officials in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, said yesterday.

Nowhere to run
The Guardian, 29 Nov 2005
After what has been described as the most foolish war in over 2,000 years, is there a way out of Iraq for President Bush, asks Brian Whitaker.

Iran sacks 40 diplomats as foreign policy hardens
The Guardian, 3 Nov 2005
President likely to replace envoys with supporters · Nuclear plant to resume uranium processing

Syria 'will let Hariri death inquiry see Assad relatives'
The Guardian, 2 Nov 2005
The UN commission investigating the murder of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri can question two relatives of the Syrian president, Syria's ambassador in London said yesterday.

UN demands Syria's cooperation in Hariri inquiry but retreats from sanctions threat
The Guardian, 1 Nov 2005
UN security council members unanimously adopted a resolution yesterday demanding that Syria cooperate with an international inquiry into the killing of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Israel launches UN offensive against Iran
The Guardian, 29 Oct 2005
Security council urged to act over president's threat · 100,000 march in Tehran for Jerusalem's 'liberation'

Saudi boy, 14, faces execution
The Guardian, 29 Oct 2005
A 14-year-old boy is facing execution in Saudi Arabia after being found guilty in a flawed trial of murdering a three-year-old girl, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.

23 dead as Shia and Sunni militia clash after raid to free hostage
The Guardian, 28 Oct 2005
At least 23 people died when supporters of the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr clashed with Sunni militants near Baghdad yesterday, an interior ministry official said.

Could Syria have been so stupid?
The Guardian, 25 Oct 2005
Yes, says Brian Whitaker , and full cooperation with the UN following its investigation into the assassination of Rafik Hariri may be the only way the Assad regime can survive.

Rogue Syrians must be held to account, says US
The Guardian, 22 Oct 2005
Rice calls for UN security council to act against Damascus to retain its credibility.

Cartoons herald return of cinema to Saudi Arabia
The Guardian, 19 Oct 2005
Clerics killed off public screenings in 70s and 80s · Women and children to make up first audience

Assad's brother-in-law named over Hariri death
The Guardian, 19 Oct 2005
A UN investigator has named the brother-in-law of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad as a suspect in the killing of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, a German magazine said yesterday

Britain and US give Iran new warning not to back insurgents
The Guardian, 17 Oct 2005
Britain and the US issued a fresh warning to Iran over its suspected support for Iraqi insurgents yesterday as Tony Blair and the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, met for talks at Chequers.

How Homer became Omar
The Guardian, 17 Oct 2005
As a treat for TV viewers during the month of fasting, the Dubai-based satellite network MBC has dubbed into Arabic 30 episodes of The Simpsons. By Brian Whitaker

Straw warns Iran over insurgents
The Guardian, 17 Oct 2005
Britain and Iran traded new accusations of meddling in each other's affairs yesterday, as London warned Tehran to stop helping Iraqi insurgents and the Iranian president accused British forces of involvement in weekend bombings in Iran.

Syrian state inquiry finds minister killed himself
The Guardian, 14 Oct 2005
An official investigation into the death of the Syrian interior minister, Ghazi Kanaan, has found that he committed suicide, government newspapers in Damascus reported yesterday amid growing international scepticism.

Revealed: Al-Qaida plan to seize control of Iraq
The Guardian, 13 Oct 2005
Memo to Zarqawi calls for founding of Islamic state · Clash with Israel seen as final stage of conflict

Home of al-Jazeera donates football stadium in Israel
The Guardian, 12 Oct 2005
Qatar, the Gulf state that is home to al-Jazeera television, has made a multimillion-pound donation towards building a sports complex in Israel, it emerged yesterday.

Blair links Iraq bombings to row over Iran's nuclear programme
The Guardian, 7 Oct 2005
Tony Blair warned yesterday he will not be diverted from the debate over Iran's nuclear programme by Tehran's suspected involvement in a series of deadly bomb attacks on British soldiers this year.

'The cardinal rule ... you don't target civilians'
The Guardian, 3 Oct 2005
Brian Whitaker on a new Human Rights Watch report examining the aims and methods of the insurgency in Iraq.

Language matters
The Guardian, 28 Sep 2005
A new online translation service provides the west with an English-language digest of the Arabic press, writes Brian Whitaker .

Middle East tension rises as UN prepares to accuse Syria of Hariri assassination
The Guardian, 23 Sep 2005
Defector claims to have heard plot being discussed · Investigator to interview senior figures in regime

Report attacks 'myth' of foreign fighters
The Guardian, 23 Sep 2005
The US and the Iraqi government have overstated the number of foreign fighters in Iraq, "feeding the myth" that they are the backbone of the insurgency, an American thinktank says in a new report.

Damascene subversion
The Guardian, 19 Sep 2005
UN investigators now look almost certain to lay the blame for the killing of Lebanon's former prime minister on the inner circle of the Syrian regime, writes Brian Whitaker .

Gadafy's son sets up human rights hotline
The Guardian, 17 Sep 2005
A charity run by Colonel Gadafy's son, Saif al-Islam, has set up a hotline for Libyans to report rights violations.

Politicians are voted the world's least trusted people
The Guardian, 15 Sep 2005
Most people believe their government does not act according to their wishes, a worldwide opinion survey shows.

How Mubarak won the election
The Guardian, 13 Sep 2005
Did the Egyptian president win a large majority of the votes in last week's poll. Maybe so, reports Brian Whitaker .

Mubarak wins with 88% of vote
The Guardian, 10 Sep 2005
Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, was officially pronounced the winner of the country's first contested presidential election last night, gaining a fifth six-year term.

Mubarak party out in force in Egypt poll
The Guardian, 8 Sep 2005
Hosni Mubarak's party machine put on an overwhelming display of organisational strength yesterday as Egyptians voted in the country's first contested presidential election.

New Mubarak means same old problems, say opponents
The Guardian, 7 Sep 2005
Egypt's 77-year-old president faces his first competitive election today - but the result is in little doubt.

Long shadow of the Beirut massacre
The Guardian, 6 Sep 2005
The UN's investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri threatens to bring down two presidents, writes Brian Whitaker .

Pro-Syria officials held in Hariri inquiry
The Guardian, 31 Aug 2005
Three former Lebanese security chiefs with close ties to Syria were detained yesterday and named as suspects in the murder of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri. The head of Lebanon's presidential guard was also named as a fourth suspect.

Syria accused of hampering inquiry into Lebanon bomb
The Guardian, 26 Aug 2005
A senior UN official accused Syria last night of hampering an investigation into the murder of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Rocket strike targets US in Jordan
The Guardian, 20 Aug 2005
A group linked to al-Qaida claimed responsibility yesterday for three near-simultaneous rocket attacks that targeted US warships in the Red Sea and an airport in Israel.

Member of 9/11 terror cell jailed
The Guardian, 20 Aug 2005
A friend of the September 11 suicide pilots was jailed for seven years yesterday after a German court found him guilty of belonging to a terrorist cell after a year-long retrial.

Saudis kill al-Qaida leader
The Guardian, 19 Aug 2005
Saudi Arabia's security forces killed the regional leader of al-Qaida yesterday in a gun battle in the holy city of Medina, the interior ministry reported last night.

Victory for the resistance, but only a small step towards peace
The Guardian, 19 Aug 2005
Arab TV viewers in the Middle East have been watching the Gaza eviction with a mixture of guarded approval and scepticism.

Egyptian censors block magazine
The Guardian, 12 Aug 2005
Egyptian censors have blocked sales of a news magazine that shows on its cover plainclothes security forces preparing to attack pro-democracy demonstrators.

A chilling message to Britons
The Guardian, 5 Aug 2005
Al-Qaida blames Blair and threatens more attacks · They have an ideology that is dark, dim and backwards, says Bush

Gangs threaten revival of civil war in Sudan
The Guardian, 4 Aug 2005
Fearful residents fled the centre of Khartoum yesterday as armed gangs roamed the streets in a third day of violence that threatened to undermine Sudan's tenuous north-south peace deal struck six months ago.

Short, simple funeral for extravagant Saudi king
The Guardian, 3 Aug 2005
Members of the Saudi royal family buried King Fahd yesterday in an unmarked grave at a public cemetery in Riyadh.

A traditionalist who watches 33 TVs at once
The Guardian, 2 Aug 2005
Among members of a royal family noted for their extravagant lifestyles, Saudi Arabia's new ruler stands out as one who hankers after the simple life of the desert.

Prince Abdullah ascends the Saudi throne - and insists it will be business as usual
The Guardian, 2 Aug 2005
Saudi Arabia moved quickly yesterday to reassure the world that the death of King Fahd, its ruler for the past 23 years, would not bring turmoil or a sudden change of direction to the world's largest oil exporter.

Long-lived the kings
The Guardian, 1 Aug 2005
Brian Whitaker contemplates what the future holds for Saudi Arabia in the reign of King Abdullah and beyond.

Mubarak to seek further term as Egyptian president
The Guardian, 29 Jul 2005
Egypt's 77-year-old president, Hosni Mubarak, announced yesterday that he would seek another six-year term in September, when the country holds presidential elections that for the first time permit more than one candidate.

Lebanese warlord released
The Guardian, 27 Jul 2005
Samir Geagea, the only Lebanese warlord to be jailed for crimes during the civil war, was released yesterday and welcomed by supporters throwing rice and roses.

A bridge too far
The Guardian, 26 Jul 2005
Egypt's police took a dim view of an innocent protest on the Nile condemning the Sharm el-Sheikh bombings, Brian Whitaker learns from some beleaguered bloggers

'I have never seen such destruction in my life'
The Guardian, 25 Jul 2005
British holidaymakers described scenes of chaos and horror and spoke of narrow escapes from death when they arrived back yesterday from Sharm el-Sheikh.

Holidays to go ahead after Foreign Office advice
The Guardian, 25 Jul 2005
Several British travel firms offering holidays in Sharm el-Sheikh are planning business as usual, despite the bombings.

36 die in riots after Yemen fuel price hikes
The Guardian, 23 Jul 2005
Looting broke out in the Yemeni city of Aden last night after two days of rioting over fuel price rises that left 36 people dead.

Intellectuals or extremists? The case for and against leading Muslim figures
The Guardian, 21 Jul 2005
Backgrounds of moderates and radicals reveal wide range of beliefs.

Weakening grip
The Guardian, 1 Jul 2005
State-run Egyptian media is fighting a losing battle to control news coverage, writes Brian Whitaker .

Anti-Syrian PM chosen in Lebanon
The Guardian, 1 Jul 2005
The Lebanese parliament yesterday chose Fouad Siniora, an anti-Syrian former finance minister, to head the country's first government since Damascus pulled out its troops.

Egyptian trial prompts protests
The Guardian, 29 Jun 2005
Amid chaotic scenes in a Cairo court, the main opposition candidate in Egypt's forthcoming presidential election went on trial yesterday accused of forgery.

US polls show support for conflict waning
The Guardian, 28 Jun 2005
President George Bush will make a crucial live TV address to the American people amid fresh evidence of domestic concern over the continued violence in Iraq.

Beirut murder mystery
The Guardian, 22 Jun 2005
A UN investigation into the killing of Rafik Hariri could prove a ticking bomb for Syria, writes Brian Whitaker .

Lebanese general in murder quiz
The Guardian, 22 Jun 2005
United Nations investigators questioned the head of Lebanon's presidential guard and searched his home and office yesterday as part of their inquiries into the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Anti-Syria alliance wins Lebanon poll
The Guardian, 21 Jun 2005
Final results in Lebanon's parliamentary election yesterday gave a clear victory to anti-Syrian candidates led by Saad Hariri, the 35-year-old son of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri who was assassinated in February.

Christian maverick makes surprise comeback in Lebanese election
The Guardian, 14 Jun 2005
Little more than a month after returning from 14 years in exile, the maverick Christian leader Michel Aoun has staged a dramatic political comeback in the third round of Lebanon's parliamentary elections.

Syria accused of having hit list in Lebanon
The Guardian, 11 Jun 2005
The UN special envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, is flying to Damascus this weekend for urgent talks with the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, amid concern that Syrian intelligence agents are still operating in Lebanon.

Egypt under fire for censorship
The Guardian, 9 Jun 2005
The Egyptian government is stifling academic freedom in universities by censoring course books, preventing research into controversial issues and intimidating student activists, Human Rights Watch says in a report published today.

Syria's deputy leader quits to make way for new blood
The Guardian, 8 Jun 2005
The most senior member of Syria's old guard, its 73-year-old vice-president, Abdel-Halim Khaddam, is to step down to make way for new blood, an official of the ruling Ba'ath party said yesterday.

Afraid to let go
The Guardian, 6 Jun 2005
An underlying control-freak mentality often results in disastrous attempts at reform in Arab countries, says Brian Whitaker

South Lebanon backs pro-Syrian parties as election exposes split
The Guardian, 6 Jun 2005
Allies of Syria claimed victory yesterday in the latest round of Lebanon's parliamentary elections - the first since international pressure and street protests forced Syrian troops to leave the country.

Syria blamed as booby trap kills journalist in Beirut
The Guardian, 3 Jun 2005
A Lebanese journalist noted for his criticism of Syria was killed yesterday when his booby-trapped car exploded in Beirut.

Hariri campaign claims victory in Beirut parliamentary election
The Guardian, 30 May 2005
Lebanese voters went to the polls yesterday at the start of the first parliamentary election in 30 years that has not been marred by civil war or heavy-handed Syrian meddling.

Saudi alert as King Fahd rushed to hospital
The Guardian, 28 May 2005
Saudi Arabia declared a state of alert and cancelled all military leave last night as speculation swept the capital that King Fahd had died.

Hariri's son poised for landslide in Beirut poll
The Guardian, 28 May 2005
Saad al-Hariri, the son of Lebanon's assassinated former premier, looks poised to sweep the board in Beirut tomorrow in the first parliamentary elections since Syrian troops left.

Egypt claims 83% yes vote for change
The Guardian, 27 May 2005
Egypt's constitutional referendum won an 83% yes vote, officials said yesterday. The campaign was hit by sporadic violence after boycott calls from opposition parties and pro-democracy activists.

Dissent quashed as Egypt votes on reform
The Guardian, 26 May 2005
Security forces and violent gangs cracked down on dissenters yesterday as Egyptians voted in a constitutional referendum that opposition parties have denounced as a sham.

A crucial test
The Guardian, 23 May 2005
Genuine US support for the advance of democracy in Egypt would help dissipate Arab suspicion about Washington's wider motives in the Middle East, writes Brian Whitaker .

Egypt says Bush backs poll reforms
The Guardian, 19 May 2005
President Bush has given unqualified support for Egypt's plans to change the rules of its presidential elections, the prime minister, Ahmed Nazif, said yesterday after talks at the White House.

Egyptian police 'too forceful'
The Guardian, 17 May 2005
Egyptian police have made a large number of arrests following a rise in street demonstrations during the past fortnight and have used excessive force against protesters, a human rights group said yesterday.

Egypt must let its people go
The Guardian, 16 May 2005
The Mubarak regime's resistance to scrutiny of the forthcoming presidential election shows how much Egypt has to learn about democracy, writes Brian Whitaker .

Reform but little change for Egypt's voters
The Guardian, 11 May 2005
Pro-democracy protests grow as opposition candidates face restrictive rules and state intimidation.

200 held in Cairo swoop on militants
The Guardian, 2 May 2005
Egyptian police yesterday rounded up 200 people for questioning in a district that was home to three people who attacked foreign tourists in Cairo at the weekend.

Bravado and cheers as Syrians leave Lebanon
The Guardian, 27 Apr 2005
Amid celebrations, UN warns that Syria has not yet met all security council demands

Syrian intelligence chief abandons base as 29-year occupation of Lebanon ends
The Guardian, 26 Apr 2005
Syria will declare a formal end to its 29-year military involvement in Lebanon today with a "farewell" ceremony in the Beka'a valley - four days earlier than expected.

Clerics' choices clean up in Saudi election
The Guardian, 25 Apr 2005
Candidates backed by conservative religious scholars have almost swept the board in the final stage of Saudi Arabia's local elections amid complaints of unfair practice from defeated candidates.

Lebanese officials stand down
The Guardian, 23 Apr 2005
Two of Lebanon's most powerful security chiefs agreed to step aside yesterday while a UN team investigates the assassination of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Bush tells Syrians: get out of Lebanon altogether
The Guardian, 20 Apr 2005
The US will press Syria to 'get completely out of Lebanon', President George Bush said in an interview with Lebanese television last night.

Iran bans Arab TV station after riots
The Guardian, 20 Apr 2005
Iran has closed the Tehran office of al-Jazeera television and suspended its activities in the country after accusing the Arabic-language channel of stirring up ethnic unrest.

Cabinet named in Lebanon
The Guardian, 20 Apr 2005
Lebanon's prime minister-designate, Najib Mikati, yesterday announced the formation of a new government, raising hopes that parliamentary elections can take place as scheduled before the end of May.

Egypt's students protest against emergency laws
The Guardian, 13 Apr 2005
Thousands of students across Egypt demonstrated on campuses yesterday, calling for political reform and an end to the country's emergency laws.

War-torn Sudan wins pledges of $4.5bn in aid
The Guardian, 13 Apr 2005
Donor states pledged $4.5bn (£2.4bn) yesterday to help Sudan recover from the 21-year civil war that cost more than 2 million lives and made more than 4 million homeless.

Picnic protest
The Guardian, 11 Apr 2005
A mass eat-in revives Beirut streets, which have been starved of people since Rafik Hariri's assassination, writes Brian Whitaker .

Saudis' tough line on gays
The Guardian, 9 Apr 2005
Dozens of Saudi men caught dancing and "behaving like women" at a party have been sentenced to a total of 14,200 lashes, after a trial held behind closed doors and without defence lawyers.

Hariri murder comes under fresh scrutiny from UN special team
The Guardian, 9 Apr 2005
The UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, will begin assembling a new international team next week to investigate the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Bomb kills tourists in Cairo street
The Guardian, 8 Apr 2005
A French tourist was one of two people killed, and several Americans were among at least 18 injured, when a man hurled a bomb in Cairo's old city yesterday.

Two al-Qaida suspects on most-wanted list die in Saudi gun battle
The Guardian, 6 Apr 2005
Saudi forces overpowered a group of gunmen last night after a ferocious three-day battle in which officials said they had killed two of the kingdom's most wanted men.

Seven Islamist militants killed as Saudi gun battle rages for a second day
The Guardian, 5 Apr 2005
A bloody confrontation between Saudi troops and suspected Islamist militants entered a second day yesterday as gunmen hurled grenades at the forces besieging them.

Syria to meet US deadline for pullout of troops and agents from Lebanon
The Guardian, 4 Apr 2005
Syria will withdraw all its troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon by April 30, it was announced yesterday.

Lebanese interim PM drops out
The Guardian, 30 Mar 2005
The acting Lebanese prime minister, Omar Karami, dropped his efforts to form a new government last night, casting doubt on whether parliamentary elections can be held as planned in May.

Bombings recall Beirut's years of terror
The Guardian, 28 Mar 2005
President urges unity after third blast rocks Christian area.

Beirut warehouse blast injures eight
The Guardian, 27 Mar 2005
A bomb exploded in a mainly Christian district of Beirut last night just three hours before many Lebanese were due to celebrate the Easter midnight mass.

UN claims of negligence cause Lebanese crisis to deepen
The Guardian, 26 Mar 2005
Lebanon's political crisis deepened yesterday in the face of a scathing United Nations report which called for an international inquiry into the assassination of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Hariri killing may need wider inquiry says Annan
The Guardian, 24 Mar 2005
A more comprehensive investigation of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri's assassination may be needed, the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, said yesterday.

Syria feels heat as evidence in Lebanon PM's murder points to bomb under road
The Guardian, 22 Mar 2005
Kofi Annan will present the findings of United Nations investigators later this week, and they are likely to challenge the initial theory that Hariri was killed by a suicide car bomber.

British theatre director is Qatar suicide bomb victim
The Guardian, 21 Mar 2005
A British theatre director was named last night as the victim of a suicide car bombing in Qatar which officials believe is the first attack on western interests by al-Qaida in the tiny Gulf state.

Beirut car bomb stokes fears
The Guardian, 19 Mar 2005
A car bomb rocked a suburb of Beirut last night, injuring six people and aggravating fears of violence in a country plunged into turmoil by last month's assassination of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri.

Arrests at Saudi 'gay wedding'
The Guardian, 18 Mar 2005
The Saudi Arabian security forces have arrested 110 men at a "gay wedding" party in Jeddah, according to a Saudi online newspaper.

Syria's spies leave Beirut
The Guardian, 17 Mar 2005
The once-feared Syrian intelligence agents vanished from Beirut and large parts of Lebanon yesterday, but not before repainting the jail in the basement of their headquarters.

Bush takes softer line with Hizbullah
The Guardian, 16 Mar 2005
George Bush has signalled a softer line towards the Lebanese-based Hizbullah militia, calling on it to turn its back on violence and take a political path.

Anti-Syrians outdo Hizbullah in street protests
The Guardian, 15 Mar 2005
The battle for the streets of Lebanon reached new heights yesterday when hundreds of thousands of anti-Syria protesters, some with Lebanese flags painted on their faces, swamped the centre of Beirut.

No full Syrian withdrawal until April, Lebanon announces
The Guardian, 14 Mar 2005
Tens of thousands of pro-Syrian demonstrators took to the streets of Lebanon yesterday, as Lebanon's foreign minister, Mahmoud Hammoud, announced Syrian troops would not withdraw completely until after a joint meeting of senior military officers on April 7.

Crisis unites protesters in Beirut's tent city
The Guardian, 12 Mar 2005
After a night sleeping out in Beirut's tent city, anti-Syria demonstrators sneak into the Virgin Megastore across the road for a wash and brush-up. Three lads from the camp are in the toilets talking politics and one is re-gelling his hair.

Syria rallies to Assad's defence
The Guardian, 10 Mar 2005
Tens of thousands answer call to support president and denounce American pressure.

Writing on the wall
The Guardian, 9 Mar 2005
Brian Whitaker ponders the Lebanese capital's graffiti

500,000 mass for Hizbullah in Beirut
The Guardian, 9 Mar 2005
Shia poor throw their weight behind status quo.

Hopes dim for early Syrian exit from Lebanon
The Guardian, 8 Mar 2005
Damascus summit agrees only on pullback to east.

Syrian forces to begin Lebanon pullout
The Guardian, 7 Mar 2005
Syrian forces will today begin withdrawing to the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon amid intense international pressure for a swift and total pullout.

Hizbullah backs Syria to force political divide in Lebanon
The Guardian, 7 Mar 2005
Shias call for pro-Damascus protests in Beirut.

Syrian troops will pull out of Lebanon
The Guardian, 6 Mar 2005
US fury at unscheduled announcement of 'staggered' and partial withdrawal.

Syria poised to start Lebanon troop pull-out
The Guardian, 5 Mar 2005
As Lebanese opposition prepares for elections in May, Assad is expected to outline plans to bring 11,000 soldiers back home.

Syrian isolation grows as France and US demand Lebanon pullout
The Guardian, 2 Mar 2005
Syria found itself increasingly isolated yesterday as the US and France stepped up their pressure for withdrawal of its forces from neighbouring Lebanon.

Earthquake in Iran kills hundreds
The Guardian, 23 Feb 2005
A powerful earthquake hit south-eastern Iran early yesterday, killing hundreds of people and destroying mountain villages.

Farewell to Lebanon's Mr Fix-it
The Guardian, 15 Feb 2005
Rafik Hariri was more than a politician; in many ways he was Mr Lebanon. Besides serving as prime minster, he was a hyperactive businessman, a self-made billionaire who controlled huge chunks of the Lebanese media.

Shunned prime minister Allawi becomes outsider
The Guardian, 14 Feb 2005
Despite having the advantages of an incumbent, Allawi's list of candidates came third with slightly less than 14% of the votes, though he could still emerge from backroom deal-making as a compromise choice to run the country.

Suspected al-Qaida leader dies in custody in Kuwait
The Guardian, 10 Feb 2005
Militant preacher captured in gun battle suffers fatal collapse after questioning as key US ally faces upsurge in Islamist violence.

Limited elections test strength of Saudi reforms
The Guardian, 9 Feb 2005
Conservative monarchy's first local elections for 40 years marked by voter apathy and a single-sex electorate.

Middle East four are shown the carrot and stick
The Guardian, 4 Feb 2005
Four Middle East countries were singled out by Mr Bush in his state of the union speech. Two, Iran and Syria, were criticised for their terrorist connections, and two, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, were urged to make greater progress towards democracy. Brian Whitaker looks at what lies behind the comments.

Fig-leaf freedom
The Guardian, 31 Jan 2005
One election does not a democracy make, writes Brian Whitaker .

World's news channels play to prejudices
The Guardian, 31 Jan 2005
In the studios at Fox News, Rupert Murdoch's American channel, they could scarcely contain their joy at the "incredible" reports that voter turnout in Iraq had reached 95% "in some areas".

Fundamental union
The Guardian, 25 Jan 2005
When it comes to defining family values, conservative Christians and Muslims are united against liberal secularists, writes Brian Whitaker .

Saudis use hajj to call on Muslims to shun militants
The Guardian, 21 Jan 2005
With more than 2 million pilgrims from around the world gathered for the annual hajj in Mecca, Saudi leaders seized the opportunity yesterday to claim that militants were using "misguided and void" interpretations of Islam to justify violence.

Muted response from Arab world
The Guardian, 20 Jan 2005
Anger expected to increase.

Saudi security braced for hajj
The Guardian, 18 Jan 2005
Watched by 9,000 security cameras, more than two million Muslim pilgrims have gathered in Mecca for the annual hajj amid assurances from the Saudi authorities that they have done everything possible to guard against terrorist attacks or deadly stampedes among the crowds.

Iraq violence spreads to 'safe' areas
The Guardian, 18 Jan 2005
Insurgents in Iraq intent on derailing elections due in less than two weeks stepped up a campaign of violence across the country yesterday, claiming dozens more lives in shootings and car bombings.

Iranian hardliners aim to ban west's advertising icons
The Guardian, 14 Jan 2005
The Iranian parliament has taken the first steps towards banning advertisements for imported goods as part of a campaign against foreign cultural influence, newspapers in Tehran said yesterday.

Holy joke
The Guardian, 10 Jan 2005
Serious reaction to a spoof news article tells us plenty about humour and religion, says Brian Whitaker .

Cash and medicines - not food - the priority now, says Indonesia
The Guardian, 6 Jan 2005
American amphibious force to relieve cut-off areas.

Criminals may be trafficking orphans
The Guardian, 5 Jan 2005
Fears are growing for children orphaned in the tsunami disaster after a senior UN official warned of credible reports that criminal gangs in Indonesia are offering them for adoption or exploitation.

Indonesia pins faith on four-year recovery plan
The Guardian, 4 Jan 2005
Indonesia is planning to impose a one-year state of emergency in its devastated Aceh province, followed by a four-year recovery plan.

Record aid operation, but progress slow
The Guardian, 3 Jan 2005
With promises of aid in the tsunami disaster touching $2bn (£1.1bn), relief workers were focusing yesterday on how to get help to those who most need it.


Deaths, new dangers and relief efforts
The Guardian, 30 Dec 2004
Latest news from the countries affected by the tsunami.

Race to deliver emergency supplies to survivors
The Guardian, 28 Dec 2004
Pledges pour in from around world.

After the devastation, the grief
The Guardian, 28 Dec 2004
Tsunami death toll climbs to 25,000 · 30,000 missing on remote Indian islands · Disease fear as huge relief effort launched

UK backs sanctions against Saudi dissident
The Guardian, 23 Dec 2004
A London-based Saudi dissident who has been declared a "specially designated global terrorist" by the US is expected to have all his assets frozen today by the UN security council.

Sudanese government agrees to end hostilities
The Guardian, 20 Dec 2004
The Sudanese government agreed to stop military operations in Darfur yesterday, several hours after a ceasefire deadline expired.

'They are trying to ignite a civil war'
The Guardian, 20 Dec 2004
Shia leaders blame Iraqi bombings on Sunni militants.

Bugging device found at UN offices
The Guardian, 18 Dec 2004
A secret bugging device has been found behind wooden panels at the UN's European headquarters in Geneva, bolstering claims that the international body is a routine target for eavesdroppers.

Bin Laden tape put online
The Guardian, 17 Dec 2004
A new audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden was put on the internet yesterday, praising gunmen who attacked a US consulate in Saudi Arabia last week and blaming the royal family for unrest in the kingdom.

Oh what a lovely jail
The Guardian, 16 Dec 2004
Al-Qaida supporters detained in Saudi Arabia have appeared in a television documentary about al-Haer jail, 25 miles south of the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and delivered rave reviews of life inside.

France bans Hizbullah TV station
The Guardian, 15 Dec 2004
The French government has banned broadcasts by a satellite TV channel run by the militant Hizbullah organisation on the grounds of anti-semitism. By Brian Whitaker

Hamas target of bomb in Syria
The Guardian, 14 Dec 2004
A member of Hamas, the militant Palestinian organisation, survived an apparent assassination attempt yesterday when his car blew up in the Syrian capital, Damascus, a Palestinian source said.

Ballot boxing
The Guardian, 13 Dec 2004
Brian Whitaker looks at the prospects for democracy in upcoming elections in three very different Arab countries.

Saudi militant was ex-policeman
The Guardian, 9 Dec 2004
The leader of a militant gang that stormed the US consulate in Jeddah was a former member of Saudi Arabia's religious police who had been jailed for 'extremist ideas', local newspapers said yesterday.

Militants storm US consulate in Jeddah
The Guardian, 7 Dec 2004
Five suspected al-Qaida gunmen stormed the US consulate in Jeddah and fought a three-hour battle with security forces yesterday before three of them were shot dead and two others arrested.

Legally brutalised
The Guardian, 30 Nov 2004
Women in Egypt have no way out of violent marriages in a society where beatings are acceptable and their rights systematically violated, reports Brian Whitaker

The power of words
The Guardian, 23 Nov 2004
Damascus would do well to defuse anti-Syrian sentiment in Beirut and the wider world with an offer of dialogue, writes Brian Whitaker

Bereaved father to sue over jihad call
The Guardian, 22 Nov 2004
The father of a young Saudi fighter who died in Falluja is planning to sue religious scholars who have called for jihad against the US-led occupation of Iraq, a Saudi newspaper reported yesterday.

Sudan factions promise UN to finalise peace deal this year
The Guardian, 20 Nov 2004
Hopes for an end to Africa's longest-running civil war rose yesterday when the Sudanese government and southern rebels promised the UN security council they would finalise a peace deal by December 31.

Marines defend soldier's killing of Iraqi
The Guardian, 17 Nov 2004
US marines yesterday rallied around their colleague who is being investigated for shooting an unarmed, wounded insurgent in a Falluja mosque, as a senior UN human rights official called for an inquiry into alleged abuses in the city.

Arab world mourns 'father of nation'
The Guardian, 12 Nov 2004
Grief, gunfire and burning tyres in Palestinian refugee camps marked Yasser Arafat's death yesterday.

Blair's tribute to Arafat breaks ranks with Bush
The Guardian, 12 Nov 2004
Tony Blair paid tribute to 'a huge icon for the Palestinian people' yesterday, while suggesting that the death of Yasser Arafat had created an opportunity.

Death as a beginning
The Guardian, 11 Nov 2004
Yasser Arafat's passing may lead to a more cooperative and consultative style of Arab government, writes Brian Whitaker .

Sudan's culture in focus
The Guardian, 11 Nov 2004
An ancient lyre, once used to charm away evil spirits, sparked a heated debate on Sudan and the Darfur crisis at a public forum in the British Museum last night.

Militants call for Muslim uprising
The Guardian, 11 Nov 2004
The Saudi wing of al-Qaida has called on Muslims to rise up to defend the Iraqi city of Falluja from "crusaders" in a statement posted on the internet.

Saudi call for jihad
The Guardian, 8 Nov 2004
A group of Saudi religious scholars have signed an open letter urging Iraqis to support jihad against US-led forces.

Population boom set to stabilise at 9bn by 2300
The Guardian, 6 Nov 2004
UN study predicts falls in fertility but greater life expectancy.

Al-Qaida is bleeding US to bankruptcy, Bin Laden claims
The Guardian, 3 Nov 2004
Al-Qaida is "bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy", Osama bin Laden claims, in a section of his latest videotape which has just come to light.

Middle East sees benefits of Bush
The Guardian, 29 Oct 2004
There is surprising support for a second Bush term in Iran and the Arab world, writes Brian Whitaker .

Al-Qaida behind hotel attack that killed 30, says Israel
The Guardian, 9 Oct 2004
Israel's military intelligence chief yesterday blamed al-Qaida for the devastating hotel bombings that killed at least 30 people, mostly Israeli tourists and Egyptian workers, in the Sinai.

Bigley given Irish passport in move to sway captors
The Guardian, 6 Oct 2004
The Irish government issued a passport to Iraq hostage Ken Bigley in the hope that the country's long history of conflict with Britain might sway those holding him.

Death for USS Cole bombing
The Guardian, 30 Sep 2004
A Yemeni court sentenced two men to death and jailed four others yesterday for their roles in a bombing which killed 17 American sailors and almost sank a £540m guided-missile destroyer.

Language barrier
The Guardian, 23 Sep 2004
Reluctant publishers, translation difficulties and tired preconceptions have all hampered the progress of Arabic literature in the west, says Brian Whitaker .

Cairo reformers say free election is not on agenda
The Guardian, 22 Sep 2004
Egypt is pressing ahead with 'very progressive' ideas for reform, but changing the way the president is elected is not one of them, at least for the time being, a spokesman for the government party said yesterday.

Egypt scours globe for ideas on how to update its wobbling infrastructure
The Guardian, 21 Sep 2004
Today Egypt's National Democratic party begins a three-day conference which it has heralded as a big step towards sorting out the country's social mess.

Reading between the lines
The Guardian, 13 Sep 2004
As Frankfurt prepares to celebrate Arab literature, Brian Whitaker deconstructs US claims of a Middle East 'knowledge deficit'.

Yemeni forces kill anti-US cleric
The Guardian, 11 Sep 2004
Yemeni forces yesterday killed an anti-American cleric and dozens of his supporters, apparently ending a rebellion that cost the lives of up to 600 civilians, rebels and troops, according to unofficial estimates.

By unpopular demand
The Guardian, 6 Sep 2004
Syria increased its international alienation by pushing Lebanon into extending Emile Lahoud's presidential term, reports Brian Whitaker .

Syria on offensive as Israel threatens to avenge bombings
The Guardian, 3 Sep 2004
Israel's threats against Syria after the Beersheba suicide bombings would "exacerbate the deteriorating situation in the region," the Syrian foreign minister said yesterday.

Al-Jazeera has made news in Arabic ... now it hopes to make its mark in English
The Guardian, 2 Sep 2004
The Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera, denounced and bombed by the US and banned by the Iraqi government, has begun recruiting staff for a channel in English that will show news and documentaries. By Brian Whitaker

Barrier protecting Israelis, army claimed before latest attack
The Guardian, 1 Sep 2004
Yesterday's double suicide bombing in Beersheba was the first inside Israel for five months.

Be reasonable, Sudan urges UN
The Guardian, 31 Aug 2004
Sudan is hoping for a "reasonable" security council decision on sanctions, its foreign minister said yesterday as the deadline for compliance with UN demands expired.

Taking up peace, putting down arms
The Guardian, 31 Aug 2004
Sistani won his peaceful protest in Najaf. But Gandhian methods in the Middle East must substitute rather than supplement violence, writes Brian Whitaker .

Sistani's intervention pulls Najaf back from the brink
The Guardian, 27 Aug 2004
Iraq's interim government and the US military forces in Najaf were adopting a 'wait-and-see' approach last night after giving Shia rebels 24 hours in which to agree a peace deal with the senior Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

Attack on pax
The Guardian, 23 Aug 2004
Gandhi's model of non-violent resistance has met with suspicion and repression in the Middle East, writes Brian Whitaker .

Bhutto's husband now admits owning £4m estate
The Guardian, 21 Aug 2004
The jailed husband of the former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto has admitted owning a £4.35m estate in Surrey which the Pakistani authorities say was bought with the proceeds of corruption.

Saudis polish their image in US ads
The Guardian, 18 Aug 2004
Saudi Arabia has begun an advertising campaign in 19 American cities to counter scepticism of its commitment to fighting terrorism. By Brian Whitaker

Survivor denies counterfeit note scam
The Guardian, 10 Aug 2004
The latest allegations against Ahmad Chalabi go back to the US decision to replace old Iraqi banknotes carrying pictures of Saddam Hussein with new ones.

Wanted for murder of finance official
The Guardian, 10 Aug 2004
The accusations against Salem Chalabi relate to the murder of an Iraqi finance ministry official, Haitham Fadhil, on May 28.

Sudan receives Arab help to avert UN sanctions
The Guardian, 9 Aug 2004
Sudan won help from Arab countries yesterday in its attempt to head off sanctions the UN has threatened to impose if it fails to rein in militias accused of atrocities in the Darfur region.

Ailing Sistani flies into London for medical care, leaving a vacuum
The Guardian, 7 Aug 2004
Iraq's highest-ranking Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, yesterday flew into London at short notice for heart treatment as fierce battles raged in his home town, Najaf.

Saudis arrest militant cleric after surveillance operation
The Guardian, 7 Aug 2004
Security forces in Saudi Arabia have arrested one of the kingdom's most wanted al-Qaida suspects, the official Saudi news agency said yesterday.

Musharraf profits under US pressure
The Guardian, 6 Aug 2004
The arrests in Pakistan which appear to have sparked security alerts in Britain and the US followed months of work against al-Qaida suspects in the region - activity that has been urged upon the president, General Pervez Musharraf, by the Bush administration.

'Political' youth group criticised
The Guardian, 6 Aug 2004
A Jewish youth organisation has asked to be removed from the register of charities after complaints that it backed Robert Kilroy-Silk's views on Arabs.

Key al-Qaida suspect arrested in Pakistan
The Guardian, 4 Aug 2004
Pakistan has detained an al-Qaida suspect with a multimillion dollar bounty on his head after a string of arrests in recent days, the interior minister said yesterday.

Pakistan arrests revealed US targets
The Guardian, 3 Aug 2004
Key information behind the latest terror alert in the US came from two Islamist militants arrested in Pakistan and computer equipment that was seized with them, it emerged yesterday.

Polls apart
The Guardian, 26 Jul 2004
Two new surveys of opinion in the Middle East reveal increasing disregard not only for US policy but for the country as a whole, writes Brian Whitaker .

Lawyer to pursue Iran jail killer
The Guardian, 26 Jul 2004
A lawyer for the family of a journalist who died in custody in Tehran threatened international legal action yesterday after an Iranian court failed to identify the killer. By Brian Whitaker

UK could send troops to Sudan 'quickly'
The Guardian, 24 Jul 2004
Britain could send 5,000 troops to Sudan very quickly if the government decides to intervene in the humanitarian crisis, the head of the army said yesterday.

'Plot' to help Bin Ladens leave is ruled out
The Guardian, 23 Jul 2004
The Bush administration has been dogged by criticism and conspiracy theories after relatives of Osama bin Laden were allowed to leave the US soon after September 11. But the report dismisses claims that family members were allowed to go without proper checks.

Saudi security forces find hostage's head
The Guardian, 22 Jul 2004
The head of a murdered American hostage was found in a freezer yesterday after a raid by Saudi security forces on a villa where the kingdom's leading al-Qaida militant is thought to have been hiding.

Amnesty surrender by al-Qaida man
The Guardian, 14 Jul 2004
A supporter of al-Qaida yesterday became the third person to surrender under Saudi Arabia's month-long amnesty for militants.

Saudi textbooks 'demonise west'
The Guardian, 14 Jul 2004
Saudi schoolchildren are being taught to disparage Christianity and Judaism in a textbook issued by the education ministry, a report said yesterday.

Hopes of reform in Egypt grow as new PM takes up reins
The Guardian, 12 Jul 2004
President Hosni Mubarak has raised hopes that Egypt is embarking on reform at last with the appointment of a modernising technocrat as prime minister over the weekend following the mass resignation of the cabinet.

Marine in kidnap mystery turns up in Lebanon
The Guardian, 9 Jul 2004
Conflicting reports about Muslim corporal's lost weeks in Iraq to be investigated as relatives are caught up in fatal gun battle.

Marine thought beheaded in Iraq arrives in Beirut
The Guardian, 9 Jul 2004
A Lebanese-born US marine who disappeared in Iraq and was thought to have been beheaded by kidnappers has arrived safely at the American embassy in Beirut, a Pentagon official said last night. "He is safe, he appears to be healthy," the official told Reuters.

US warship bombing trial begins in Yemen
The Guardian, 8 Jul 2004
The long-delayed trial of six men accused of involvement in a suicide attack which killed 17 American sailors and almost sank a £540m guided-missile destroyer opened in Yemen yesterday.

.iq test
The Guardian, 5 Jul 2004
As Iraq tries to rebuild itself, a struggle over the country's internet identity is on the cards, reports Brian Whitaker .

Saudi militant turns himself in
The Guardian, 29 Jun 2004
A Saudi militant hunted by security forces for more than a year gave himself up yesterday - the first important suspect to surrender under an amnesty announced last week.

Iraq's problems passed on
The Guardian, 28 Jun 2004
The US handover of power to the Iraqis provides no guarantee that the security situation will improve, says Brian Whitaker .

Taliban murders voters to derail election
The Guardian, 28 Jun 2004
Taliban gunmen shot dead 16 people after discovering that they had registered to vote in the general election scheduled for September, Afghan officials said yesterday.

Anti-terror war 'pretext for abuses'
The Guardian, 23 Jun 2004
The US-led "war on terror" is having a profound effect on human rights in the Arabian peninsula, Amnesty International said in a report published yesterday.

Sacked sergeant is new al-Qaida chief in Saudi Arabia
The Guardian, 22 Jun 2004
A former sergeant in the Saudi security forces has been appointed head of al-Qaida in the kingdom after the death of Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin, the previous leader, in a gun battle on Friday.

Saudi security forces step up hunt for militants
The Guardian, 21 Jun 2004
Saudi security units renewed their house-to-house search for militants in Riyadh yesterday as officials claimed significant progress in the battle against al-Qaida.

American beheaded in Saudi Arabia
The Guardian, 19 Jun 2004
Al-Qaida's suspected leader in Saudi Arabia was reported killed last night, after the group he was believed to lead said it had beheaded a kidnapped US engineer.

Leader pioneered new, brutal style of violence
The Guardian, 19 Jun 2004
Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin, who was reportedly killed by security forces in Riyadh yesterday, became al-Qaida's leader for the Gulf region three months ago.

Killing hostage 'would be a violation of Islam'
The Guardian, 18 Jun 2004
Colleague of American held by Saudi militants insists he is under Muslim protection.

Fate of Saddam relics sparks debate
The Guardian, 16 Jun 2004
The undecided fate of Saddam Hussein's surviving monuments in Iraq sparked controversy last night at a public forum in the British Museum as debate focused on whether to demolish them or preserve them as a reminder of his rule.

Shaken expatriates rethink Saudi future
The Guardian, 2 Jun 2004
Foreign companies in Saudi Arabia are offering to repatriate the families of their staff in the wake of the bloody weekend rampage by militants that left 22 dead, most of them foreigners.

Paying the price for incompetence
The Guardian, 31 May 2004
Gunmen who carried out a weekend killing spree in Saudi Arabia escaped after yet another security fiasco. It is time for the interior minister to go, writes Brian Whitaker .

Security crisis that aids militants' cause
The Guardian, 31 May 2004
The weekend carnage in Khobar came less than a month after Saudi Arabia vowed to "strike with an iron fist" against militants who carried out attacks and said it was making every effort to protect foreigners in the kingdom.

Militants flee after chaotic Saudi hostage rescue
The Guardian, 31 May 2004
22 killed in shoot-out as trio escape using human shields.

Satellite phone gives US vital evidence
The Guardian, 28 May 2004
Towards the end of 1998, 10 young Muslims from Britain arrived in Yemen. All had links to Abu Hamza's Supporters of Sharia organisation and they included his 16-year-old son and 18-year-old stepson.

Friend of US and Iran has too many enemies
The Guardian, 25 May 2004
Ahmad Chalabi, Iraq's plausible former opposition leader now regarded as loose cannon in Baghdad.

Doubts cast over Arab leaders' resolution to reform
The Guardian, 24 May 2004
Arab leaders, struggling to produce a united response to US demands for democratisation in the Middle East, yesterday promised to carry out political and social reforms.

'Its best use is as a doorstop'
The Guardian, 24 May 2004
Brian Whitaker explains why a book packed with sweeping generalisations about Arabs carries so much weight with both neocons and military in the US.

Alleged scam linked to raid
The Guardian, 22 May 2004
Coalition says ex-US protege's villa was searched after millions went missing.

Iraqi governing council leader 'was killed by al-Qaida group'
The Guardian, 20 May 2004
A group led by al-Qaida figure Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is claiming responsibility for the bomb attack that killed the head of the Iraqi governing council on Monday, according to a statement on the internet.

Suspicious sanctions
The Guardian, 17 May 2004
George Bush's recent moves against Syria will play well at home but have little effect on President Assad's regime, writes Brian Whitaker .

Bin Ladens on building shortlist
The Guardian, 12 May 2004
A company run by Osama bin Laden's family has been shortlisted to construct the world's tallest building, according to officials in Dubai.

American beheaded in revenge for torture
The Guardian, 12 May 2004
A US hostage in Iraq was pictured being beheaded by Islamic militants in a video released yesterday that said that the grisly act was revenge for the abuse of Iraqi detainees by US troops.

A scandal, but not a story
The Guardian, 10 May 2004
The Arab and US press have taken a cautious approach to running images of Iraqi abuse, say; Brian Whitakerand; Gary Younge

'Bin Laden' tape offers gold rewards
The Guardian, 8 May 2004
A new recording attributed to Osama bin Laden is offering rewards in gold for killing top American and United Nations officials or citizens of any country which has troops in Iraq.

Medics face Libyan firing squad for 'giving HIV to children'
The Guardian, 7 May 2004
Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused of deliberately infecting more than 400 children with HIV were sentenced to death by a Libyan court yesterday.

Arab world scorns Bush's TV 'apology'
The Guardian, 6 May 2004
President George Bush told Arab TV viewers last night the treatment of prisoners by some members of the US military in Iraq had been 'abhorrent' and would be thoroughly investigated. By Brian Whitaker,; Suzanne Goldenbergand; Rory McCarthy

Saudis brandish 'iron fist' against militants who threaten foreigners
The Guardian, 5 May 2004
Saudi Arabia yesterday vowed to "strike with an iron fist" against militants who carried out attacks and said it was making every effort to protect foreigners in the kingdom.

Suspect packages
The Guardian, 21 Apr 2004
In the last of his articles on democracy in the Middle East, Brian Whitaker bemoans how progressive ideas are tainted by their association with the west

Core of the conflict
The Guardian, 12 Apr 2004
In the fourth of a series of articles on democracy in the Middle East, Brian Whitaker looks at how the Arab-Israeli conflict is stifling reform.

Fuelling the status quo
The Guardian, 5 Apr 2004
In the third of a series of articles on democracy in the Middle East, Brian Whitaker looks at the obstacles that oil resources can present to democratic change.

All together now
The Guardian, 29 Mar 2004
In the latest instalment of his series on democracy in the Middle East, Brian Whitaker examines the imperial legacy and the challenges of diversity.

The right answer or the wrong question?
The Guardian, 27 Mar 2004
Amid the furore over the former Archbishop of Canterbury's remarks about under-achieving Muslims, experts on the Islamic world said yesterday that he was partly right but had failed to understand the problem.

Zawahiri tape taunts Pakistanis
The Guardian, 26 Mar 2004
A tape purportedly recorded by Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaida's second-in-command, yesterday urged Pakistanis to overthrow their government.

The Guardian profile: Muammar Gadafy
The Guardian, 26 Mar 2004
He stunned the west by dramatically declaring that Libya was renouncing weapons of mass destruction. Though often portrayed as mad, bad or naive, there are many who believe that this time he has finally changed his ways.

Blair visit seen as reward for disarming
The Guardian, 25 Mar 2004
Tony Blair may get booed when he tours Britain but he can be sure of a gleeful welcome today when he becomes the first British prime minister to set foot on Libyan soil since Winston Churchill in 1943.

'Missiles adapted for Israeli hitlist'
The Guardian, 25 Mar 2004
Israel is developing missiles specifically for assassinations, an arms expert said yesterday.

Egypt leads chorus of outrage
The Guardian, 23 Mar 2004
The president of Egypt and the king of Jordan yesterday denounced the assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin as thousands of demonstrators in the Middle East took to the streets.

Assassination method: surveillance drone and a Hellfire missile
The Guardian, 23 Mar 2004
A small, pilotless plane circling above the home of Sheikh Yassin - unseen in the pre-dawn gloom and almost silent - was the only advance warning that anyone on the ground might have had.

UK and Europe condemn killing
The Guardian, 23 Mar 2004
Jack Straw yesterday condemned the assassination of Sheikh Yassin as unacceptable, unjustified and unlawful.

Killing condemned as mourning starts
The Guardian, 22 Mar 2004
There was disbelief among world leaders after Israel's assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, Brian Whitaker reports

Hundred dead in Afghan violence
The Guardian, 22 Mar 2004
Assassination of minister prompts factional fighting in Herat, while besieged al-Qaida told to surrender.

Egyptian doctor who laid the foundations for global jihad
The Guardian, 20 Mar 2004
Bin Laden's deputy shaped al-Qaida tactics.

Baghdad hotel blast kills 27
The Guardian, 18 Mar 2004
Huge car bomb destroys building days before anniversary of invasion.

Clashes between Syrian Kurds and Arabs claim more victims
The Guardian, 17 Mar 2004
Eleven people have died in further clashes between Arabs and Kurds in north-east Syria, residents and the Turkish security forces said yesterday.

Spain's threat fails to sway Iraq partners
The Guardian, 16 Mar 2004
Members of the US-led coalition in Iraq were holding firm yesterday, despite a threat by Spain's new government to pull out its 1,300 troops.

Saudi women get the vote
The Guardian, 10 Mar 2004
Saudi Arabia is preparing to break with tradition and risk the wrath of religious conservatives by allowing women to take part in its first elections.

'They have put off every big issue for a later date, when the US is no longer ringmaster'
The Guardian, 9 Mar 2004
The signing of Iraq's new interim constitution may have brought sighs of relief in Washington but the arguments behind it are likely to continue in Iraq, according to experts interviewed by the Guardian.

Palestinian PM urges action to end conflict
The Guardian, 9 Mar 2004
Qureia warns UK that time is running out for peace process.

American troops are killing and abusing Afghans, rights body says
The Guardian, 8 Mar 2004
US troops in Afghanistan are operating outside the rule of law, using excessive force to make arrests, mistreating detainees and holding them indefinitely in a "legal black hole" without any legal safeguards, a report published today says.

Libya gives up last weapons equipment
The Guardian, 8 Mar 2004
Libya's international rehabilitation took another step forward at the weekend when a ship carrying the last known remains of its nuclear weapons programme set off for the United States.

Egypt rebuffs US over regional reform
The Guardian, 8 Mar 2004
Democratic reform cannot be imposed on the Middle East from outside, the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, told Tony Blair yesterday, rebuffing US proposals for the region.

Treat the cause, not the symptoms
The Guardian, 2 Mar 2004
A Yemeni judge is pioneering a religious re-education programme for Islamic militant prisoners and claims a 90% success rate, writes Brian Whitaker

Reality TV grips and enrages Arab world
The Guardian, 2 Mar 2004
It seemed the ideal formula for reality TV: Blind Date meets Big Brother.

Saudis deny anti-Jewish visa policy
The Guardian, 1 Mar 2004
Saudi Arabia has disowned a statement by its tourism organisation that Jews are not allowed to enter the country.

UN chief stood in way of war plans
The Guardian, 27 Feb 2004
In the last few weeks before the invasion of Iraq it became clear that President George Bush, with Tony Blair in tow, was bent on war - and one of the key people standing in his way was the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan.

Tourists invited to Saudi sea and sun
The Guardian, 26 Feb 2004
Saudi Arabia, normally a byword for stern and puritanical sobriety, is preparing to show the world its jollier side by issuing visas to tourists.

From Turkey to Tibet
The Guardian, 23 Feb 2004
Brian Whitaker tries to pin down the boundaries of the Middle East and discovers that over the years it has been all things to all (self-interested) people

Security fears close British embassy in Damascus
The Guardian, 18 Feb 2004
Britain's embassy in Syria has been closed to the public for a week for security reasons amid heightened fears of attacks in the Middle East.

Saudi security barrier stirs anger in Yemen
The Guardian, 17 Feb 2004
The leaders of Yemen and Saudi Arabia are due to meet today in an effort to settle a dispute over a security barrier the Saudis are building along their shared frontier.

10 cents a barrel: how Iraqi oil fuelled UK campaigns
The Guardian, 17 Feb 2004
Secret commissions paid to pro-Saddam middlemen by western oil firms found their way into George Galloway's anti-sanctions drives.

Voting for the wrong side
The Guardian, 16 Feb 2004
George Bush's professed support for democracy in the Middle East ignores the reality of what this would entail, says Brian Whitaker .

US may pay for Libya to dismantle weapons
The Guardian, 27 Jan 2004
The United States will consider a request from Libya to pay for dismantling its chemical and nuclear weapons programme, Congressman Curt Weldon said yesterday during a visit to Tripoli.

US tests the air in reformed Libya
The Guardian, 26 Jan 2004
Congressmen arrive on first friendly visit to Gadafy regime.

Saudi prince alleges kidnap
The Guardian, 22 Jan 2004
A Saudi prince who launched a campaign against corruption is claiming that he was kidnapped in Switzerland by members of the royal family.

Hate mail
The Guardian, 19 Jan 2004
Jewish activists opposing the Israeli government's policies face intimidation and harassment via email and on the internet. Brian Whitaker reports.

Saudis find al-Qaida training camps
The Guardian, 16 Jan 2004
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have discovered camps in remote parts of the country used for training Islamist militants to carry out attacks, an interior ministry official said yesterday.

Kilroy-Silk looks to be on the way out after interview with BBC rival
The Guardian, 13 Jan 2004
Robert Kilroy-Silk's career at the BBC was hanging by a thread last night as corporation bosses indicated their fury at his decision to appeal for support in an interview with Sir Trevor McDonald on ITV, report; Matt Wellsand; Brian Whitaker

Another rule for the Arabs
The Guardian, 12 Jan 2004
January 12: Robert Kilroy-Silk's outburst shows that there is one ethnic group about whom it is apparently still OK to be flagrantly racist, writes Brian Whitaker .

Swiss hold 8 over Saudi suicide bombs
The Guardian, 10 Jan 2004
The Swiss authorities have arrested eight people in connection with suicide bombings in Saudi Arabia.

Kilroy-Silk sorry for Arab article as BBC shelves show
The Guardian, 10 Jan 2004
The talk show host Robert Kilroy-Silk publicly apologised for the first time yesterday for offensive remarks about Arabs he aired in a newspaper column which have forced the BBC to suspend his programme and prompted a referral to the police by the race and equality watchdog.

Kilroy-Silk faces police inquiry over Arabs article
The Guardian, 9 Jan 2004
The BBC presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk was yesterday facing a police investigation over a newspaper column in which he expressed scathing views about Arabs, writes; Brian Whitaker

Kilroy-Silk investigated for anti-Arab comments
The Guardian, 8 Jan 2004
Chat show host Robert Kilroy-Silk came under fire yesterday for attacking Arabs in a newspaper article at a time when the BBC's other employees are being forbidden to express controversial views in the press, writes; Brian Whitaker

Iran and Egypt to resume ties
The Guardian, 7 Jan 2004
Iran and Egypt are set to resume full diplomatic ties after 25 years, Iran's vice-president, Mohammed Ali Abtahi, said yesterday.

Trouble looms after coalition tells Kurds self-rule can stay
The Guardian, 6 Jan 2004
Kurdish political leaders have been reassured that their region's semi-autonomous status will be allowed to continue after the handover to Iraqi self-rule on June 30.