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: Yemen


Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh resigns – but it changes little
Comment Is Free, 24 Nov 2011

The president's regime, and all it stands for, remains intact. What Yemen needs is a more effective parliament

Yemen needs more than a UN resolution to oust Saleh
Comment Is Free, 17 Oct 2011

As his country faces economic and humanitarian disaster, Yemen's president seems concerned only with retaining power

Yemen power struggle: who's who – interactive guide
Guardian Interactive, 19 Sep 2011

As more protesters are killed by security forces we look at the main political figures in the country

Twenty things you need to know about Yemen
The Guardian, 5 Apr 2011

All you need to know about Yemen, from its tribal and often bloody politics to its coffee and qat culture

Yemen, and the trouble with 'democratic transition'
Comment Is Free, 7 Jun 2011

Politics in Yemen is beset by personal rivalries – it will be hard to keep the various players from each other's throats

Saleh is gone. What next for Yemen?
Comment Is Free, 5 Jun 2011

The president's departure for medical treatment has created an opportunity to resolve Yemen's political crisis

Yemen: attack on president keeps observers guessing
Comment Is Free, 3 Jun 2011

Confusion reigns in Yemen over President Saleh's injuries. Whatever the truth, the country is facing a decisive moment

Yemen needs balance, not another strongman
Comment Is Free, 21 Mar 2011

Yemen is not Egypt – a flood of high-level resignations could trigger a battle for the top


Can Yemen's friends really help?
Comment Is Free, 20 Sep 2010

The country's president is happy to take foreign aid with few strings attached while doing little to quell support for al-Qaida

Yemen: Dancing on the Heads of Snakes by Victoria Clark
The Guardian, 24 April 2010

Brian Whitaker on an authoritative survey of a troubled country

Can Gulf states really help Yemen?
Comment Is Free, 10 Feb 2010

Keeping Yemen unstable and poor is in nobody's interests – except, perhaps, those of the Arab Gulf regimes

Saving Yemen
Comment Is Free, 28 Jan 2010

The international community now recognises that Yemen faces 'many urgent problems', but Saleh's regime is one of them

Yemen: Saleh isn’t the solution
Middle East International, 22 January 2010

Yemen, where dead men eat lunch
Comment Is Free, 19 Jan 2010

The wily Yemeni president knows how to spin out his war on al-Qaida to win western support – and hype achievements

Help Yemen, not its government
Comment Is Free, 4 Jan 2010

Yemen needs aid, but propping up its ailing regime will only perpetuate its problems


War crimes in Yemen?
Comment Is Free, 18 Sep 2009

After Gaza, the next task for Judge Goldstone could be Yemen where the government continues to fight a rebellion in the north

Hero's homecoming for jailed sheikh
Comment Is Free, 12 Aug 2009

The shameful conviction of Yemeni Sheikh Mohammed al-Moayad during US post-9/11 hysteria has been overturned

Yemen – the next failed state?
Comment Is Free, 27 Jul 2009

Beset by rebels, poverty, crime and corruption, Yemen increasingly looks less like a fragile state than a failed one


Stampede at Yemen election rally kills 51
Guardian, Wednesday September 13 2006

At least 51 people were killed and more than 230 injured in a stampede yesterday in a Yemeni stadium where President Ali Abdullah Salih was holding a pre-election rally, a Yemeni official said. Most of the dead were believed to be schoolchildren and teenagers who had been bused to the stadium by the authorities.

A reluctant president?
Comment Is Free, June 23, 2006

By promising to stand down as president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Salih could be setting an important example for the whole of the Middle East.

Call to reinstate papers closed in cartoon row
The Guardian, February 11 2006

Press freedom groups yesterday urged the Yemeni government to reinstate three independent newspapers - the Yemen Observer, al-Hurriya (Freedom) and al-Ra'i al-A'am (Public Opinion) - which were closed after reprinting the controversial Danish cartoons.

Drawn conclusions
The Guardian, February 7 2006

In one of the less-reported protests against you-know-what, thousands of Yemeni women marched through the streets of Sana'a on February 1 with banners saying "Boykot Danish products".

Interpol alert for al-Qaida militants who tunnelled out of prison in Yemen
The Guardian, February 6 2006

Interpol was on worldwide alert yesterday after 13 al-Qaida militants convicted of attacking the American warship USS Cole and French supertanker Limburg escaped from jail in Yemen along with 10 other prisoners, according to a government-run website.


Retired German diplomat and family seized in Yemen
The Guardian, December 29 2005

A retired German diplomat and four members of his family were kidnapped in Yemen yesterday, apparently by tribesmen seeking the release of prisoners.

Row with ambassador
Middle East International, 28 October 2005

Ice cream man guilty
Middle East International, 30 September 2005

Press war escalates
Middle East International, 2 September 2005

36 die in riots after Yemen fuel price hikes
The Guardian, July 23 2005

President is 'fed up'
Middle East International, 22 July 2005

Journalists under fire
Middle East International, 18 February 2005

Attack on website
Middle East International, 21 January 2005


Cleric on trial
Middle East International, 3 December 2004

Population boom set to stabilise at 9bn by 2300
The Guardian, November 06 2004

Charges against Abu Hamza
Middle East International, 5 November 2004

USS Cole verdict
Middle East International, 8 October 2004

Death sentence
Middle East International, 10 September 2004

Conflict in Saada
Middle East International, 9 July 2004

US warship bombing trial begins in Yemen
The Guardian, July 8 2004

Abu Hamza arrested
Middle East International, 11 June 2004

Satellite phone gives US vital evidence
The Guardian, May 28 2004

Guest of the G8
Middle East International, 28 May 2004

Journalist arrested
Middle East International, 19 March 2004

Beware instant democracy
The Guardian, March 15 2004

Treat the cause, not the symptoms
The Guardian, March 2 2004

A wall of its own
Middle East International, 20 February 2004

Saudi security barrier stirs anger in Yemen
The Guardian, February 17 2004

Democratic dressing
Middle East International, 23 January 2004

A prize arrest
Middle East International, 9 January 2004


Yemen overview 2003
British-Yemeni Society Journal

200 held in Yemen 'to placate US'
The Guardian, September 24 2003

Arms at large
Middle East International, 12 September 2003

Islam at the electronic frontier
On internet cafes in Yemen. The Guardian, August 11 2003

Islamic Army revived
Middle East International, 11 July 2003

Magnanimous gesture
Middle East International, 30 May 2003

Saleh wins again
Middle East International, 2 May 2003

Jarallah Omar al-Kuhali
Obituary. The Guardian, February 04 2003

Islamist targets
Middle East International, 24 January 2003

Yemen interrogation links hospital killings to Islamist cell
The Guardian, January 2 2003


Yemen overview 2002
British-Yemeni Society Journal

Three US missionaries shot dead in Yemen
The Guardian, December 31 2002

The ‘So San’ affair
Middle East International, 20 December 2002

Sailing on, the ship with a hold full of Scud missiles
The Guardian, December 12 2002

The US makes a mess
Middle East International, 22 November 2002

Threats close UK Yemen embassy
The Guardian, November 18 2002

Killing probes the frontiers of robotics and legality
The Guardian, November 6 2002

CIA missile kills al-Qaida suspects
The Guardian, November 5 2002

Al-Qaida suspect killed in Yemen car blast
The Guardian, November 5 2002

Maritime wars
Middle East International, 25 October 2002

Tanker blast was work of terrorists
The Guardian, October 17 2002

Mass arrests
Middle East International, 27 September 2002

US elite force gets ready for Yemen raid
The Guardian, September 19 2002

Big Brother
Middle East International, 28 June 2002

Middle East International, 3 May 2002

Evasive manoeuvres
Middle East International, 22 Mach 2002

Cornered Yemeni al-Qaida suspect blows himself up
The Guardian, February 14 2002

Tight with the US
Middle East International, 8 February 2002

Britons sent home after Yemen crackdown
The Guardian, February 8 2002

The American way
Middle East International, 11 January 2002


Yemen overview, 2001
British-Yemeni Society Journal

Violence dominates lawless province
The Guardian, December 19 2001

Storing up credit
Middle East International, 23 November 2001

Honey and jihad
Middle East International, 26 October 2001

Piecing together the terrorist jigsaw
One year ago this month, a man with a beard and spectacles drove down to the beach in Aden and gave a 12-year-old boy some money to mind his car. He dragged a rubber dinghy from the car roof and put out to sea, but he never came back.The Guardian, October 15 2001

Islamist kidnap
Middle East International, 14 September 2001

Confrontation with opposition
Middle East International, 17 August 2001

Bizarre claims in bomb trial
Middle East International, 13 July 2001

Islah under fire
Middle East International, 1 June 2001

Where the qat is out of the bag
The Guardian, May 28 2001

Clear-out at the top
Middle East International, 20 April 2001

Elections marred
Middle East International, 9 March 2001

Opposition united
Middle East International, 26 January 2001

"Millennium plot"
Middle East International, 12 January 2001

Contested elections
Middle East International, 12 January 2001


Trial in the offing
Middle East International, 22-Dec-00

Protecting the presence
Middle East International, 24-Nov-00

Who sank the Cole?
Middle East International, 10-Nov-00

Middle East International, 27-Oct-00

Welcome to Yemen - but take care
The Guardian, October 16 2000

West's weak link is terror target
The Guardian, October 15 2000

Yemen bombers hit UK embassy
The Guardian, October 14 2000

Sixteen feared dead in attack on US destroyer
The Guardian, October 13 2000

Yemen likely to free jailed Britons early
The Guardian, 14-Sep-00

Avoiding elections
Middle East International, 1-Sep-00

The 'towel-heads' take on Hollywood
Yemen and the film, Rules of Engagement. The Guardian, August 11 2000

Too good to be true?
Middle East International, 30-Jun-00

Saudi border deal
Middle East International, 16-Jun-00

Living dead invade serial murders trial
The Observer, 11-Jun-00

Yemen's decade of unity
Middle East International, 19-May-00

Enter Israel
Middle East International, 21-Apr-00

The kidnappers' toll
Middle East International, 10-Mar-00

Reconciliations afoot?
Middle East International, 25-Feb-00

Trouble on the border
Middle East International, 11-Feb-00


Yemen overview, 1999
British-Yemeni Society Journal

Democratisation derailed
Middle East International, 26-Nov-99

New resolve?
Middle East International, 14-Oct-99

Salih's hollow poll win
Middle East International, 1-Oct-99

Guns and butter
Middle East International, 15-Sep-99

Surge in violence
Middle East International, 3-Sep-99

The "jihad experience"
Middle East International, 20-Aug-99

Salih and his shadow
Middle East International, 30-Jul-99

Competition suits Salih
Middle East International, 16-Jul-99

Showcasing democracy
Middle East International, 2-Jul-99

Weaning Yemen off qat?
Middle East International, 18-Jun-99

Abd al-Aziz al-Saqqaf
Obituary. The Guardian, June 05 1999

Death sentence dilemma
Middle East International, 21-May-99

Law and order
Middle East International, 23-Apr-99

Abu Hamza collared
Middle East International, 26-Mar-99

New trial threat
Middle East International, 12-Mar-99

Trials in progress
Middle East International, 26-Feb-99

Paying the price
Middle East International, 12-Feb-99

Briton held in Yemen is not Muslim
The Observer, 31-Jan-99

Kidnap damage
Middle East International, 29-Jan-99

Court chaos as five fight jail
The Observer, 31-Jan-99

Row with Britain
Middle East International, 15-Jan-99

Yemen kidnappers' call to London imam
The Guardian, 14-Jan-99

Yemen terror case suspects "signed false confessions"
The Guardian, 13-Jan-99

Yemen: the British link
The Observer, 10-Jan-99

Yemen kidnap "linked with London group"
The Observer, 10-Jan-99

Detectives "told to quit Yemen on next flight"
The Guardian, 6-Jan-99

Yemen: a year of living dangerously
The Observer, 3-Jan-99

Hostages fly home
The Guardian, 1-Jan-99


Kidnapped Britons "used as human shields"
The Guardian, 31-Dec-98

Gun battle survivors tell how captors
took their revenge

The Guardian, 31-Dec-98

Kidnap terror ends in death
The Guardian, 30-Dec-98

Hostage to fortune and Yemeni guns
The Guardian, 30-Dec-98

Bizarre tangle
Middle East International, 25-Dec-98

Favourable ruling
Middle East International, 16-Oct-98

Border row with the Saudis
Middle East International, 31-Jul-98

Tribal affairs
Middle East International, 17-Jul-98

Letter from Aden
Middle East International, 3-Jul-98

Riots over price hikes
Middle East International, 3-Jul-98

Border dispute flares
Middle East International, 5-Jun-98

New government
Middle East International, 22-May-98

Prime Minister resigns
Middle East International, 8-May-98

Harmless retribution
Middle East International, 10-Apr-98

Obituary: Dreams of Arab unity: Abd al-Rahman al-Iryani
The Guardian, 25-Mar-98

Mansour Rajih freed
Middle East International, 27-Feb-98


Tensions with the Saudis
Middle East International, 19-Dec-97

Spate of kidnappings
Middle East International, 7-Nov-97

Border deal nearer
Middle East International, 26-Sep-97

Row over Hadramawt
Middle East International, 12-Sep-97

Border tensions
Middle East International, 8-Aug-97

Radical shake-up
Middle East International, 25-Jul-97

Surprise prime minister
Middle East International, 30-May-97

Salih's election knockout
Middle East International, 16-May-97

Peek behind screen of Yemen's paranoid poll
The Guardian, 3-May-97

Polling day violence
Middle East International, 2-May-97

Sporadic unrest mars Yemen poll
The Guardian, 28-Apr-97

Hobson's choice of democracy:
Yemen goes to the polls tomorrow. Brian Whitaker drops in on the worryingly familiar campaign trail. The Guardian, 26-Apr-97

Doves and eagles fight for votes:
Yemen prepares for elections. The Guardian, 24-Apr-97


The myth of Usama bin Laden
Middle East International, 2-Aug-96

Solution at hand
Middle East International, 24-May-96

Shuttle diplomacy
Middle East International, 10-May-96

To the Security Council
Middle East International, 1-Mar-96

French mediation
Middle East International, 2-Feb-96

Clash over islands
Middle East International, 5-Jan-96


Breaking the ice
Middle East International, 23-Jun-95

Explosion in Aden
Middle East International, 9-Jun-95

Limited agreement
Middle East International, 3-Mar-95

Seeking to reassure?
Middle East International, 17-Feb-95

Crisis over the border
Middle East International, 29-Jan-95


Political engineering
Middle East International, 21-Oct-94

"National Opposition Front"
Middle East International, 7-Oct-94

Yemeni exiles warn of growing instability
The Guardian, 7-Oct-94

New Yemen group
The Guardian, 1-Oct-94

Seeking stability
Middle East International, 9-Sep-94

Yemen reunited by force
Middle East International, 22-Jul-94

The South is beaten
Middle East International, 9-Jul-94

Yemeni war ends as rebel leaders flee
The Guardian, 8-Jul-94

Rebel Yemeni state ready to fall
The Guardian, 6-Jul-94

S Yemen leader 'may be abroad'
The Guardian, 30-Jun-94

North Yemen tightens the noose on Aden
Middle East International, 24-Jun-94

Leaders row as bombs hit Aden
The Guardian, 22-Jun-94

North Yemen offensive goes on despite ceasefire pledge
The Guardian, 18-Jun-94

Yemen's north tightens grip:
President Saleh is doing unexpectedly well against the separatists, writes Brian Whitaker. The Guardian, 15-Jun-94

Northern Yemenis 'will attack Aden in two days'
The Guardian, 11-May-94

Fierce battle erupts as south Yemen's troops swoop to cut off northern forces
The Guardian, 10-May-94

Five Scuds fired at Yemeni capital as war worsens:
Foreigners evacuated as north-ern presidential troops close in on Aden. The Guardian, 7-May-94

Yemen's rival armies turn on each other:
Failure to unite the two forces lies behind the struggle which is destroying the country from the inside, write Ian Black and Brian Whitaker. The Guardian, 6-May-94

Fighting erupts across Yemen
The Guardian, 6-May-94

Fragile union at mercy of outside forces:
The two Alis have brought Yemen to the point of disintegration, but other countries are players in the game: North and south accused each other yesterday of massing troops on the border for a civil war. Brian Whitaker weighs the situation. The Guardian, 7-Apr-94


Up to the brink
Middle East International, 22-Oct-93

Crisis could open door for Yemen's Islamists
The Guardian, 11-Oct-93

Three-party coalition
Middle East International, 11-Jun-93

Election milestone
Middle East International, 16-Apr-93

Pawns of Gulf war live forgotten in Yemen camps:
Tens of thousands of guest work-ers expelled by Saudi Arabia subsist in a Red Sea shanty town, reports Brian Whitaker. The Guardian, 7-Jan-93


Uneasy calm after Yemeni riots
The Guardian, 12-Dec-92

Books: Arabs in Exile
Yemeni Migrants in Urban Britain. The Guardian, 8-Dec-92

April election for Yemen
The Guardian, 6-Nov-92

Environment: Getting dug in to Sheba's terraces.
Brian Whitaker describes how Yemen's mountain farmers are learning to control rainwater. The Guardian, 24-Jan-92

Rumblings from a distant out-break of democracy:
Yemen's new political freedom is worrying the neighbours. The Guardian, 4-Jan-92

Anguish in the land of Sheba:
Of all the bystanders in the Gulf war none suffered more than Yemen. Brian Whitaker re-ports on Arabia's struggling democracy. The Guardian, 2-Jan-92


Yemen Vice-President hopes to heal rift with Saudis
The Guardian, 17-Aug-91