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 2006-2010


This week in the Middle East
The Guardian, 30 Dec 2010
This week in the Middle East: Can Tunisian protesters end the 'Arab malaise'? Will Egypt ever catch the people traffickers? What is a woman's life worth?

How a man setting fire to himself sparked an uprising in Tunisia
The Guardian, 28 Dec 2010
A relatively minor incident has become the catalyst for a wave of protests that may end the presidency of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali

This week in the Middle East
The Guardian, 23 Dec 2010
This week in the Middle East: Charities that fund the settlers; Egypt's vanishing migrants; Christmas extravagance in the Gulf, and an unhappy New Year

From discrimination to death – being gay in Iran
The Guardian, 15 Dec 2010
Ahmadinejad caused hilarity when he said gay people don't exist in Iran. But his regime's treatment of them is no joke

Qatar is more boring than backward
The Guardian, 3 Dec 2010
Many myths have done the rounds since Qatar was declared World Cup 2022 host – for a start, alcohol isn't illegal

Saudi fatwa on female cashiers is an own goal
The Guardian, 10 Nov 2010
In signing a fatwa about female cashiers, Saudi scholars have defied government policy and misjudged the public mood

Persian Gulf? Arabian Gulf? One big gulf in understanding
The Guardian, 27 Oct 2010
Has the US switched from calling the Persian Gulf 'Arabian' just to annoy Iran? It would seem that way

The politics of Egypt's feeble statistics
The Guardian, 25 Oct 2010
In Egypt the state has a virtual monopoly on data, which effectively stops public debate about government decisions

Death penalty is not the norm in the Middle East
The Guardian, 11 Oct 2010
Despite the grotesque cases that occur in Saudi Arabia and Iran, use of the death penalty is not the regional norm

The heavy price of blogging in Iran
The Guardian, 29 Sep 2010
Hossein Derakhshan, the Iranian 'blogfather', has been jailed for 19 years – a longer sentence than for commissioning a murder

The battle against cyber-jihad
The Guardian, 28 Sep 2010
New research suggests closing down extremist Islamic websites is no substitute for directly challenging their religious ideology

Can Yemen's friends really help?
The Guardian, 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

Saudi Arabia's juggling act on homosexuality
The Guardian, 13 Sep 2010
As a gay diplomat seeks US asylum, Saudi Arabia seems torn between wanting a civilised image and appeasing traditionalists

Arab regimes' autocratic nature masks their vulnerability
The Guardian, 9 Sep 2010
Lack of public debate makes Arab societies less compliant to new laws – and explains the heavy-handed state enforcement

Why taxes are low in the Middle East
The Guardian, 23 Aug 2010
High taxes help to build an effective state. That many Middle Eastern countries don't have them tells us much

Conflicting fatwas are good for Muslims
The Guardian, 16 Aug 2010
In a blow to Islamic freedom of thought, the Saudi king has ordered that all public fatwas must be approved by himself

Keep anti-terrorism and theology apart
The Guardian, 5 Aug 2010
A leaked memo, arguing that the state's anti-terrorism strategy should involve tackling nonviolent Islamism, is wide of the mark

Lebanon and Israel need a proper border agreement
The Guardian, 4 Aug 2010
Focusing on a pact to calm border tensions is far better than arguing over who fired the first shot in this week's confrontation

Journalism court threat to Iraqi media
The Guardian, 25 Jul 2010
Iraq's proposed new journalism court is a further blow to the country's already oppressed media

The trouble with Twitter
The Guardian, 8 Jul 2010
As the sacking of a CNN journalist for a tweet on an ayatollah's death has shown, it's hard to convey nuance in 140 characters

Divorcing fundamentalism
The Guardian, 6 Jul 2010
Nasr Abu Zaid was a brave and honest scholar disgracefully persecuted for his attempts to read the Quran historically

Iran's 'blogfather' on trial in Tehran
The Guardian, 24 Jun 2010
Hossein Derakhshan, the Iranian blogger and Cif contributor, is accused of producing propaganda against the Islamic regime

Salman Ahmad, Sufi rocker
The Guardian, 20 May 2010
Can extremism be defeated by rock music? Maybe not, but Salman Ahmad's message of tolerance deserves to be heard

Why Elton John is considered a danger to Egypt
The Guardian, 4 May 2010
A move to ban Elton's gig is about fear of social discord. Yet in other ways the Arab world fails to address 'the public good'

Egyptian law gives fanatics free rein
The Guardian, 28 Apr 2010
An attempt to ban One Thousand and One Nights for being 'obscene' shows the hesba principle is increasingly misused

Yemen: Dancing on the Heads of Snakes by Victoria Clark
The Guardian, 24 Apr 2010
on an authoritative survey of atroubled country

Not much blog for your buck
The Guardian, 25 Mar 2010
Home Office research has thrown up some blindingly obvious insights into the Muslim blogosphere. Why did they bother?

Why I love Come Dine With Me
The Guardian, 9 Mar 2010
The gooey meringues, the insufferable guests, the cutting commentary of Dave Lamb – Come Dine With Me has the best ingredients of any cookery show

Fatwa wars aren't the solution
The Guardian, 2 Mar 2010
Minhaj al-Qur'an's grand fatwa against terrorism, though well-meaning, does nothing to help progressive Islam

Are Saudis being served?
The Guardian, 22 Feb 2010
The kingdom has got its knickers in a twist over the delicate question of who should be allowed to sell underwear to women

Niger and the changing face of coups
The Guardian, 19 Feb 2010
Military regime change of the sort that seems to have occurred in Niger is being superseded by more subtle overthrows elsewhere

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh's murky world
The Guardian, 17 Feb 2010
Details of the Hamas official's murder resemble a movie script, but there's unlikely to be a neat Hollywood ending

Can Gulf states really help Yemen?
The Guardian, 10 Feb 2010
Keeping Yemen unstable and poor is in nobody's interests – except, perhaps, those of the Arab Gulf regimes

Saving Yemen
The Guardian, 28 Jan 2010
The international community now recognises that Yemen faces 'many urgent problems', but Saleh's regime is one of them

Yemen, where dead men eat lunch
The Guardian, 19 Jan 2010
The wily Yemeni president knows how to spin out his war on al-Qaida to win western support – and hype achievements

Method in Iran's conspiracy madness
The Guardian, 6 Jan 2010
A new list of subversive western organisations is not born solely of paranoia, but does show political naivety

Help Yemen, not its government
The Guardian, 4 Jan 2010
Yemen needs aid, but propping up its ailing regime will only perpetuate its problems

Beware the militant engineers
The Guardian, 2 Jan 2010
Is there a connection between the mindset of those who study engineering as a subject, and violent extremism?


When is a dictator not a dictator?
The Guardian, 18 Dec 2009
Bashar al-Assad leads an authoritarian regime, but the workings of power in a country such as Syria are surprisingly complex

In Dubai, they still don't get it
The Guardian, 9 Dec 2009
The emirate likes to see itself as a modern financial centre yet reverts to authoritarianism and censorship in the face of bad press

Self-righteous agonising over Muslims
The Guardian, 7 Dec 2009
In criticising the Islamic world's false 'narrative', an American writer falls victim to another: that US foreign policy is altruistic

The Business: The rise and fall of Dubai
The Guardian, 2 Dec 2009
Audio(21min 10sec): As Dubai's economy hits the skids, we ask if the crisis can be contained, and look ahead to next week's crucial pre-budget report

With all due respect, Mr President
The Guardian, 18 Nov 2009
Barack Obama has talked about 'respect' on his Asian tour, but risks getting into a muddle over its meaning

One year on, blogger languishes in jail
The Guardian, 1 Nov 2009
Hossein Derakhshan was arrested in Tehran and 12 months later his family still don't know why

Arab winds of change
The Guardian, 22 Oct 2009
Who is driving real change in the Arab countries? Not politicians, but feminists, gay people and bloggers

The world in muslim populations, every country listed
The Guardian, 8 Oct 2009
An American thinktank estimates there are about 1.57bn Muslims worldwide – roughly 23% of the total 6.8bn population

War crimes in Yemen?
The Guardian, 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

Democracy, Tunisian style
The Guardian, 9 Sep 2009
Tunisia has been praised as peaceful and competitive, but its next election will have little to do with democracy

Islam's 'enemy within'
The Guardian, 24 Aug 2009
Across the Sunni world, growing fear of Shia influence exposes the cultural schism that exists between the two traditions

Hero's homecoming for jailed sheikh
The Guardian, 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?
The Guardian, 27 Jul 2009
Beset by rebels, poverty, crime and corruption, Yemen increasingly looks less like a fragile state than a failed one

Shock of the new media
The Guardian, 16 Jul 2009
As Fatah shuts down al-Jazeera in the West Bank, other anxious administrations are cracking down on Middle East media

A tale of two parties
The Guardian, 25 Jun 2009
While 69 revelling Filipinos face prison and flogging in Saudi Arabia, wealthy British expatriates are left to party in peace

A night out in Riyadh
The Guardian, 22 Jun 2009
More than 70 men have been arrested in the Saudi capital for being in an 'unnatural state' and wearing women's clothing

What Obama will say in Cairo
The Guardian, 2 Jun 2009
Obama in Cairo: Changing Arab and Muslim perceptions of the US will be top of Obama's agenda – but don't expect too much on Israel or Iran

Abu Hamza and The Italian Job
The Guardian, 29 May 2009
Abu Hamza's sons' botched luxury car scam was the kind of thrill-seeking that led other no-hopers to the cleric's twisted vision

Iran and the west: lessons from history
The Guardian, 20 May 2009
Ever since Shah Abbas tried to reach out to Europe, our dealings with Iran have been lost in translation

Afghan-wards Christian soldiers?
The Guardian, 6 May 2009
The US military stands accused of breaking its own rules by attempting to convert Afghans to Christianity

Pigs to the slaughter in Egypt
The Guardian, 30 Apr 2009
Amid swine flu hysteria Mubarak has ordered pigs to be killed – but is this just another assault on Egypt's Christian minority?

Sheikhs, lives and videotape
The Guardian, 29 Apr 2009
A member of the UAE royal family is accused of torture – but is there any chance of justice when the country's rulers are the law?

Saudi Arabia's sewing machine stitch-up
The Guardian, 21 Apr 2009
Learning by rote at school has no real value – and it certainly doesn't prepare you for life in the scam-filled modern world

Mutual friends: secularism and Islam
The Guardian, 14 Apr 2009
The Middle East will only be convinced by Islamic arguments for a secular state

The killing of Islamic secularism
The Guardian, 8 Apr 2009
Debate about the relationship between religion and state has been stifled by history – and the influence of a colonising west

God's own countries?
The Guardian, 7 Apr 2009
In the debate about Islamism it's often forgotten that most Middle Eastern regimes claim a special relationship with God

Should faith override the will of the people?
The Guardian, 3 Apr 2009
Islamism links the state with religion – this brings it into direct conflict with the principles of democracy

Alienating British Muslims
The Guardian, 24 Mar 2009
Labour's actions against the Muslim Council of Britain destroy any credibility its engagement policy might have had

Is exclusion the best policy?
The Guardian, 19 Mar 2009
The editor of a Hezbollah newspaper has been denied entry to Britain. It demonstrates the Home Office's confusion on the issue

Egypt's step towards freedom of belief
The Guardian, 17 Mar 2009
A court ruling that Egyptians will no longer be forced to pick from three approved religions is a crucial victory for equal rights

Hello, democracy – and goodbye
The Guardian, 24 Feb 2009
Saudi Arabia has quietly abandoned the municipal elections that were due to take place this year

Warsi wades in
The Guardian, 20 Feb 2009
Is there a serious problem with polygamy in the UK, or is the Baroness's attack simply cultural point-scoring?

Egypt has got its priorities wrong
The Guardian, 19 Feb 2009
The regime is more likely to enforce petty rules to protect its sense of authority than laws that serve the public good

Ousted by a gay sheikh
The Guardian, 16 Feb 2009
An author whose book touched on the sexual hangups of the local establishment has been disinvited from a Dubai literary festival


History according to Bibi
The Guardian, 22 Dec 2008
Israel's possible future PM has been warning again of the danger posed by Iran. But has he indulged in a touch of hyperbole?

Family confirms blogger's arrest
The Guardian, 10 Dec 2008
Blogger and Cif contributor Hossein Derakhshan disappeared in Iran on November 1. His family say he was arrested

Derakhshan 'confesses'
The Guardian, 20 Nov 2008
The blogger reportedly arrested in Iran appears to be spilling the beans on dissidents living in the west

The Derakhshan mystery
The Guardian, 19 Nov 2008
Amid reports of his arrest, the Iranian blogger has been silent on the internet since November 1

Arrested in Tehran
The Guardian, 18 Nov 2008
Iranian authorities have reportedly arrested blogger and Cif contributor Hossein Derakhshan

A letter to Barack
The Guardian, 6 Nov 2008
Please resist the temptation to fix the Middle East, and make sure your own country leads by example

Minority rights? No thanks!
The Guardian, 19 Sep 2008
When so many people face discrimination and oppression in the Middle East, is there any point in focusing on the rights of minorities?

The leaders that go on and on
The Guardian, 19 Aug 2008
Musharraf's detractors can console themselves with the fact that his reign was short – at least by the standards of the Arab world

Posthumously yours
The Guardian, 15 Aug 2008
Filmmaker Youssef Chahine is yet another artist whom the Egyptian state finds more palatable dead than alive

Death on the Nile
The Guardian, 20 Jun 2008
It's a story straight out of Agatha Christie. The victim lies dead in the embassy garden – but was it foul play or an accident?

Reclaiming orientalism
The Guardian, 19 Jun 2008
Orientalism at 30: Research for the sake of genuine mutual understanding should not be confused with the imperialism of the Iraq war

Incuriosity killed the qat
The Guardian, 16 Jun 2008
It's dangerous, addictive and should be banned, according to Sayeeda Warsi. But has she bothered to do her research?

Middle of where?
The Guardian, 4 Jun 2008
The Middle East may be a crucially important region politically and economically, but try getting your hands on a decent definition of it

Scratching secularism's surface
The Guardian, 1 May 2008
Today's launch of British Muslims for Secular Democracy showed the need for a more rigorous debate on religion in politics

Islamic Newspeak
The Guardian, 26 Feb 2008
A new version of the Prophet's sayings is due to appear - as approved by Turkey's Department of Religious Affairs

Your flexible friend
The Guardian, 22 Feb 2008
It's smart, organised and, er, can squeeze through very small gaps. Let's hear it for the humble cockroach

Foreign dictates?
The Guardian, 28 Jan 2008
Faced with complaints about its human rights abuses, Egypt is sheltering behind specious arguments about religion and national sovereignty

Boys will be boys - or else
The Guardian, 23 Jan 2008
Kuwaitis who defy very narrowly defined gender stereotypes now face prison or a hefty fine

The long drip of change
The Guardian, 14 Jan 2008
Human Rights Watch published practical recommendations for dealing with 'honour' killings in 2004. What has happened since?

Is the end in sight?
The Guardian, 11 Jan 2008
It's easy to understand the scepticism over Bush's current intervention in the Middle East, but we shouldn't write off the initiative just yet

Goodbye, Hillary
The Guardian, 9 Jan 2008
US elections 2008: The New York Times' latest on the presidential race: Clinton's political obituary, by debut columnist William Kristol

Rights in practice
The Guardian, 7 Jan 2008
Considering how to deal with 'honour' killings may provide a model for human rights activism in other situations

Rights and wrongs
The Guardian, 5 Jan 2008
The view that support for human rights around the world is tantamount to imperialism is based on a series of misconceptions


A king's kindness?
The Guardian, 17 Dec 2007
A rape victim sentenced to 200 lashes has been pardoned, but the case highlights the need for wholesale reform of the Saudi justice system

Party time
The Guardian, 14 Dec 2007
Revellers at a get-together in Morocco have ended up in jail after a wave of moral panic and accusations of staging a gay wedding

A question of receipts
The Guardian, 13 Dec 2007
How far has the Policy Exchange report on extremist literature in British mosques been undermined by the discrepancies found by Newsnight?

The globalisation of ideas
The Guardian, 3 Dec 2007
Ideologies and values are no longer limited by cultural and geographical boundaries. With time, this should prove to be a good thing

Found in translation
The Guardian, 21 Nov 2007
A new initiative to translate important books into Arabic has announced the first 100 titles - and its a pretty good start

War on witches
The Guardian, 5 Nov 2007
How a candle, a Qur'an and some 'foul-smelling herbs' led to Mustapha Ibrahim losing his head.

Rubbish from Riyadh
The Guardian, 30 Oct 2007
A new report says inflammatory texts from Saudi Arabia can be found in British mosques. If so, they need to be challenged, not banned.

Satellite evidence
The Guardian, 25 Oct 2007
Pictures of what could be a nuclear reactor cast new light on Israel's mysterious bombing of a site in Syria.

A spoof too far?
The Guardian, 11 Oct 2007
A satirical US attack on a questionable conference has been taken seriously, a sad reflection on that country's ability to debate Islam.

Food for thought
The Guardian, 3 Oct 2007
As preparations are made for Benazir Bhutto's farewell dinner, there are ample grounds for asking whether she is fit to hold office in Pakistan.

'No homosexuality here'
The Guardian, 25 Sep 2007
The Iranian president's claims are difficult to sustain, faced with a centuries-old tradition of homoerotic themes in Persian and Arabic literature.

Required reading
The Guardian, 6 Sep 2007
A new initiative in the Middle East aims to translate 100 books into Arabic in its first year. Which titles do you think should be included?

Flowers? I shouldn't have
The Guardian, 5 Sep 2007
I recently sent my mother a bouquet for her birthday. Little did I realise I was also signing up to pay for membership of an online shopping club.

US hate department
The Guardian, 3 Sep 2007
An experienced American diplomat is facing trial on two charges of racial intimidation and sending threatening messages.

Another militant bites the dust
The Guardian, 29 Aug 2007
The burgeoning literary genre of political/religious recantations has a new, internet-based addition: welcome to the world of The Islamicist.

What a balls-up
The Guardian, 28 Aug 2007
The American effort to win hearts and minds in Afghanistan has scored another own goal, after the Saudi flag was included on a batch of free footballs.

Dressed to kill
The Guardian, 23 Aug 2007
The Taliban government in Afghanistan banned images of the human form, but a collection of photos show a less familiar side of the regime.

Birth of a myth
The Guardian, 21 Aug 2007
Rumours of the demise of Holocaust education have been greatly exaggerated, but that doesn't stop the chain emails flying.

Cheney: prophet of doom
The Guardian, 16 Aug 2007
A 13-year-old video shows Dubya's right-hand man opposing - yes, opposing - war in Iraq.

The wrong kind of surge
The Guardian, 2 Aug 2007
Despite escalating evidence to the contrary, the Bush administration continues to support the military surge in Iraq.

A green light to oppression
The Guardian, 31 Jul 2007
In the name of 'fighting extremism', the US is arming two of the Arab world's leading human rights abusers: Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Hamas is a fact of life
The Guardian, 23 Jul 2007
Tony Blair begins his job as the Quartet's Middle East envoy today. But if he can't talk to Hamas, what's the point?

Wish you were here?
The Guardian, 11 Jul 2007
The main goal of Hizb ut-Tahrir is to set up a theocracy based on discrimination against non-Muslims and women.

Family values
The Guardian, 13 Jun 2007
An 'honour' killing caused shockwaves in Britain but it is part of a wider social tyranny that has blighted the Middle East.

The battle for control
The Guardian, 7 Jun 2007
An event last night discussed why some people dislike the internet. Yet it is not the web itself that they fear, but what others can do with it.

Drawing conclusions
The Guardian, 31 May 2007
The investigation into Rafik Hariri's assassination sets an important precedent for Lebanon and the whole of the Middle East.

The evolution of daft ideas
The Guardian, 29 May 2007
Islamic creationism is growing and the movement is now repackaging ideas from reactionary American Christian groups.

Would you Adam and Eve it?
The Guardian, 25 May 2007
As a new creationism 'museum' opens in Kentucky I'm still puzzled as to why Darwin is such a problem for Christians but not Muslims.

The value of trash TV
The Guardian, 22 May 2007
Reality television may be thought of as lightweight in this country but elsewhere it can be a platform for subversion.

Arabic under fire
The Guardian, 15 May 2007
A child on Hamas TV talked of annihilating the Jews ... or did she?

Is there a doctor in the mosque?
The Guardian, 11 May 2007
The dubious medical advice of Dr Majid Katme, a respected figure in the British Muslim community, is placing lives at risk.

Bank of fundamentalism
The Guardian, 10 May 2007
Ed Husain's book on his life as an Islamic fundamentalist has elicited some debate. But the does it answer the real questions?

Beautiful Iraq
The Guardian, 4 May 2007
Want a reliable indicator of a country's mental tenacity? Don't underestimate the power of the pageant

Tentative steps
The Guardian, 1 May 2007
The Muslim Council of Britain has begun to move towards accepting homosexuality, but it's a slow journey.

Blog and be damned
The Guardian, 11 Apr 2007
Today's argument over the tone of online debate would be familiar to the pamphleteers of 18th-century Britain.

One angry poet
The Guardian, 10 Apr 2007
Naguib Surur was a rebel with a cause. It's time someone translated his greatest work into English.

Found in translation
The Guardian, 4 Apr 2007
Online language tools are a wonderful development, making Arabic newspapers and other writing on the internet far more accessible.

Peace in our time?
The Guardian, 2 Apr 2007
While there are grounds to be sceptical about Ehud Olmert's offer to meet with all Arab heads of state, there are also a few reasons to be hopeful.

Signs of progress
The Guardian, 30 Mar 2007
An encouraging comment on my blog yesterday pointed towards a positive change in Muslim attitudes to gay rights.

Righting wrongs
The Guardian, 29 Mar 2007
The Yogyakarta Principles are a victory for gay rights. The question now is what the UN will do about the document.

It's not funny
The Guardian, 22 Mar 2007
Telling jokes in Egypt can be a serious business, as a noted linguist recently discovered.

Mad Macs
The Guardian, 20 Mar 2007
The McDonald's chain wants to get the dictionary definition of 'McJob' changed. I'm sure many of its staff would like their terms revised, too.

Punk Muslims
The Guardian, 19 Mar 2007
A tale of sex and drugs among young Muslims is coming to Britain. It may shock, but their elders shouldn't rush to take offence.

Mobile madness
The Guardian, 14 Mar 2007
Aren't you sick of being forced to listen to other people's phone conversations?s

Land of the 72 Virgins?
The Guardian, 8 Mar 2007
A certain chain of music stores is planning to expand across the Middle East. Is this a sign that restrictions are gradually breaking down in the region?

Wiki ways
The Guardian, 21 Feb 2007
It contains information on a wide range of useful subjects - but is Wikipedia just a refuge for the lazy?

Hijab for men
The Guardian, 20 Feb 2007
Cover up, grow a beard, and avoid red: why is there more concern over a man who is 'improperly' dressed than one who beats his wife?

A new peril in Lebanon
The Guardian, 13 Feb 2007
Lebanon is no stranger to bombings, but today's attack is especially alarming.

The Nashville Qur'an
The Guardian, 8 Feb 2007
A new version of the holy book of Islam has surfaced, apparently aimed at American readers with a short attention span.

The end of history - or hysteria?
The Guardian, 31 Jan 2007
I am not convinced that Francis Fukuyama was ever a real neocon - at least, not the wild-eyed variety.

Laughing down the line
The Guardian, 24 Jan 2007
Now and again, Radio 4 does something quirky, funny and totally amazing, as one of its current comedy shows attests.

In God's name
The Guardian, 22 Jan 2007
The mainstream media should take a closer look at whose agenda they are following when they use the word 'Allah' to mean 'God'.

Western protests flood in over Chinese satellite killer
The Guardian, 20 Jan 2007
Test shows capability to knock out US system · Britain says attack will add to space debris problem

Bring on Mahatma Brown
The Guardian, 19 Jan 2007
It comes as a relief to learn that our amply-proportioned chancellor finds inspiration in the work of Mahatma Gandhi.

UN chief urges Maliki to stay executions
The Guardian, 8 Jan 2007
Ban Ki-moon, the new UN secretary-general, has urged the Iraqi government to grant a stay of execution to "those whose death sentences may be carried out in the near future".

More troops will not solve crisis in Iraqi leadership, experts warn
The Guardian, 6 Jan 2007
Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is due to unveil his rescue package for the country next week. The question, though, is whether Mr Maliki's heart is really in it, and whether he can make much difference.

Iraq to go ahead with hangings despite UN call to halt them
The Guardian, 5 Jan 2007
The Iraqi government said yesterday it will execute two of Saddam Hussein's henchmen despite a call from the UN to refrain from hanging them.

Victim of the bloggers
The Guardian, 5 Jan 2007
Online conspiracy theorists have once again caused a stir by attempting to expose Iraqi police captain, Jamil Hussein, as a fictional AP source.

Official who filmed unruly scenes at Saddam's execution arrested
The Guardian, 4 Jan 2007
US general says process was Iraq's responsibility · Authorities set to hang ex-dictator's henchmen

Prescott attacks 'deplorable' Saddam execution scene
The Guardian, 3 Jan 2007
Verbal abuse at hanging inflames sectarian anger - Government inquiry held in Baghdad over footage

Saddam was model prisoner, says nurse
The Guardian, 2 Jan 2007
Captured tyrant fed birds and rarely complained - Cigar smoking and poetry reading helped pass time

Emotions in Arab world range from elation to outrage
The Guardian, 1 Jan 2007
Event underlines division between Shias and Sunnis - Timing during holy month is seen as significant


Saddam executed
The Guardian, 30 Dec 2006
End of tyrannical era as former dictator is hanged for crimes against humanity.

Soothsayer of the year
The Guardian, 29 Dec 2006
It used to be a fair bet that whatever a columnist predicted on January 1 would be long forgotten come December 31. Not any more.

Saddam's 'final message' urges Iraqis to unite against US
The Guardian, 28 Dec 2006
In what may prove to be the final message from Saddam Hussein before his execution, the ousted dictator urged Iraqis to unite against the US and Iran and portrayed himself as a potential martyr.

Saddam urges Iraqis to unite against 'invaders'
The Guardian, 27 Dec 2006
In what may prove to be the final message from Saddam Hussein before his execution, the ousted dictator has urged Iraqis to unite against the US and Iran.

Saddam to hang within 30 days
The Guardian, 27 Dec 2006
Saddam Hussein could be hanged within days after the rejection of his appeal by Iraq's highest court yesterday.

Hundreds burned alive in Lagos pipeline fire
The Guardian, 27 Dec 2006
Death toll could be as high as 500, says Red Cross - Fire engulfed locals after gang siphoned off fuel

A woman's place
The Guardian, 20 Dec 2006
A woman was beaten for sitting in the wrong seat on a sex segregated bus - you might be surprised to learn who the culprits were.

Anger as Libyan retrial hands death sentence to medics
The Guardian, 20 Dec 2006
Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor accused of deliberately infecting hundreds of children with HIV were sentenced to death for a second time by a court in Libya yesterday, drawing widespread international condemnation.

Losing their religion
The Guardian, 18 Dec 2006
In Egypt, computerised ID cards are providing the latest source of discrimination against members of the Baha'i faith.

A welcome from Beckett, but scorn and scepticism abroad
The Guardian, 7 Dec 2006
The British government gave a brief but favourable welcome last night to the Iraq Study Group's report, as other international reactions ranged from jubilant to sceptical.

A microcosm of Arab malaise
The Guardian, 6 Dec 2006
An article in a Lebanese newspaper provides an antidote to the simplistic picture of the Middle East found in some sections of the media.

World's youth believe 'war on terror' counterproductive
The Guardian, 4 Dec 2006
Young people overwhelmingly believe the US-led "war on terror" is not making the world safer, according to a poll conducted in major cities across the globe.

Beyond the brink
The Guardian, 28 Nov 2006
While politicians and large sections of the media are still reluctant to admit it, Iraq appears to be in the throes of civil war already.

A smoking gun
The Guardian, 24 Nov 2006
Pierre Gemayel's murder has been added to a list of 15 other attacks being investigated by the UN - but this case has one vital difference.

'This is the most panicked I've seen Lebanon'
The Guardian, 22 Nov 2006
Killing could be attempt to bring down government - Christian leader predicted murder of three ministers

It wasn't all right on the night
The Guardian, 20 Nov 2006
The lack of a viable plan for a post-Saddam Iraq should have been reason enough to hold off the attack, but the neocons went ahead anyway.

European states offer Middle East peace plan without UK
The Guardian, 17 Nov 2006
Spain, France and Italy go it alone with initiative Ceasefire and talks deal will be put to EU summit.

Al Jazeera English launch
The Guardian, 15 Nov 2006
In a studio in Doha, garishly illuminated in all the colours of the rainbow. two presenters, male and female (no sign of hijab), promised us stories from Russia, Jerusalem and Afghanistan, plus "an exclusive report from Iraq on the daily battle to bury the victims of sectarian conflict".

Veering off the road to recovery
The Guardian, 14 Nov 2006
Lebanon has run into a political impasse, and the country may once again be heading for a period of government paralysis.

UN says politics lies behind rift between west and Muslims
The Guardian, 14 Nov 2006
Politics - not religion - lies at the root of a growing divide between Muslim and western societies, according to a report presented to the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, yesterday.

Vanishing into thin air
The Guardian, 9 Nov 2006
To be stranded in foreign parts with only the clothes you are wearing is disconcerting, but for regular flyers it's almost a fact of life.

Hizbullah 'used cluster bombs'
The Guardian, 20 Oct 2006
Hizbullah fired cluster bombs into civilian areas of northern Israel in the recent conflict, Human Rights Watch said yesterday.

Hizbullah accused of using cluster bombs
The Guardian, 19 Oct 2006
Hizbullah was accused of firing cluster bombs into civilian areas of northern Israel in a statement by Human Rights Watch today.

Iraq: the Mad Max scenario
The Guardian, 17 Oct 2006
Never mind democracy - our current goal is to keep Iraq from being wiped off the map altogether.

Rush for deal as tests point to genuine nuclear test
The Guardian, 14 Oct 2006
The US last night refused to confirm that North Korea had joined the nuclear club, despite the discovery of a gas consistent with a nuclear blast in the atmosphere close to where Pyongyang claimed it had detonated a device on Monday.

The view from Egypt
The Guardian, 12 Oct 2006
It's not just Britain where the Great Niqab Debate is taking place.

All Libyan pupils to get laptop and web access
The Guardian, 12 Oct 2006
· Project pledges 1.2m hand-powered machines · Gadafy's son aims to set up first 'e-democracy'

Not so polls apart
The Guardian, 11 Oct 2006
Surveys of Arab opinions show that the clash of civilisation theory, promoted by Islamists and neoconservatives alike, is basically hot air.

Muslims angry at new Danish cartoons scandal
The Guardian, 10 Oct 2006
The world's largest international Muslim body complained of shrinking tolerance in the west yesterday as a new row erupted over Danish cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad. By Brian Whitaker.

Victory for the Riyadh girls
The Guardian, 9 Oct 2006
The hottest novel ever to hit Saudi Arabia has survived a legal attempt to ban it.

Condi's top priority
The Guardian, 6 Oct 2006
The purpose of Condoleezza Rice's visit to the Middle East is becoming clear - to encourage Arab states to form an alliance against Iran.

The cost of improper payments
The Guardian, 4 Oct 2006
Companies often try to shrug off bribes as a way of fitting in with local customs, but the consequences can be serious.

Palaces and prisons
The Guardian, 3 Oct 2006
Condoleezza Rice wants to meet with Middle Eastern moderates - but she's looking in all the wrong places.

Forbidding ways
The Guardian, 26 Sep 2006
The Egyptian information minister has issued a decree banning the latest edition of the Guardian Weekly - but it's hard to see why.

Conjecture over Bin Laden death
The Guardian, 25 Sep 2006
An informal chat between two diplomats at a social gathering in Pakistan appears to have been the trigger for a worldwide flurry of speculation over the weekend about the possible death of Osama bin Laden.

Death has no consequence
The Guardian, 25 Sep 2006
Stories about the demise of Osama bin Laden are being viewed with scepticism, but does it really matter if he is dead or alive?

We still have 20,000 rockets, says Nasrallah
The Guardian, 23 Sep 2006
Hizbullah leader emerges for first time since war - Hundreds of thousands in Beirut for speech

Bungs for fatwas
The Guardian, 21 Sep 2006
An investigative TV programme has claimed that tailor-made Islamic legal rulings are being offered for sale in India.

Mr Bush's mirage
The Guardian, 20 Sep 2006
The US president's speech yesterday highlighted his desire to see only what he wants to see in the Middle East.

Interrupting the dialogue
The Guardian, 19 Sep 2006
Pope John Paul II encouraged inter-faith activity - but his successor is now accused of ruining that legacy.

Saddam no dictator, says judge
The Guardian, 15 Sep 2006
Saddam Hussein was not a dictator, the chief judge at his genocide trial said yesterday.

A bad joke
The Guardian, 14 Sep 2006
An alleged quip about the Prophet's penis led to torture and 13-years in jail in Saudi Arabia.

Stampede at Yemen election rally kills 51
The Guardian, 13 Sep 2006
At least 51 people were killed and more than 230 injured in a stampede in a Yemeni stadium where President Ali Abdullah Salih was holding a pre-election rally, a Yemeni official said.

In the lion's den
The Guardian, 12 Sep 2006
Tony Blair met with demonstrators on his trip to Lebanon - as well as criticism from an unlikely source.

Zawahiri warns west of looming defeat in new video
The Guardian, 12 Sep 2006
Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are 'fighting their last battles', al-Qaida's deputy leader says in a new video apparently timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Mecca is for men
The Guardian, 11 Sep 2006
After 1,400 years of mingling with men in the Grand Mosque, an (all-male) committee is trying to push women out.

Ruin and defeat await you, al-Qaida tells west
The Guardian, 11 Sep 2006
Western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are 'fighting their last battles', al-Qaida's deputy leader says in a new video apparently timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington.

The race taboo
The Guardian, 8 Sep 2006
The existence of racist attitudes within some Arab countries is often denied, resulting in scandalous displays of prejudice against certain ethnic groups.

A wing and a prayer
The Guardian, 6 Sep 2006
Planes are kept aloft by aerodynamics, not divine intervention.

A collective punishment
The Guardian, 5 Sep 2006
The argument for Israel's continuing blockade of Lebanon's air and seaports doesn't stand up to much scrutiny.

The thinking person's Oscars
The Guardian, 4 Sep 2006
White, European, male, you could be in line for a Nobel Prize. So how does its selection process work?

Lebanon asks for $500m to help build homes and clear bombs
The Guardian, 1 Sep 2006
Lebanon's prime minister appealed yesterday for $500m (£263m) in aid after "15 years of postwar development" were wiped out by Israeli bombs in a month of fighting with Hizbullah guerrillas.

Peace in our time?
The Guardian, 31 Aug 2006
We are enjoying the longest period of peace between nations in more than half a century, apparently.

Peril British troops face in Afghanistan 'was underplayed'
The Guardian, 31 Aug 2006
MoD admits difficulties of task were not conveyed - Officials say struggle with Taliban still in early days

Growing pains
The Guardian, 29 Aug 2006
Is the rise of euro-cannabis necessarily a bad thing?

The Guardian, 24 Aug 2006
Learning a foreign language helps you to understand other societies and cultures, and what makes people tick.

Israel must pay
The Guardian, 23 Aug 2006
Lebanon is entitled to compensation for the devastation Israel has wrought.

Apocalypse postponed
The Guardian, 22 Aug 2006
So far, so good. Despite predictions that Iran would launch nuclear war today, the world has not ended quite yet.

At least 58 killed after trains collide in Egypt
The Guardian, 22 Aug 2006
At least 58 people were reported dead and 143 injured yesterday when two trains collided on Egypt's antiquated railway system north of Cairo.

Resolutions and irresolution
The Guardian, 18 Aug 2006
UN resolution 1559 calls for the independence of Lebanon from all outside interference - that means Israel too.

Dubai's big pink taxis
The Guardian, 17 Aug 2006
Are women-only taxicabs really the solution to gender discrimination?

Reconstruction alone estimated at $7bn in Lebanon
The Guardian, 16 Aug 2006
With the tenuous ceasefire still holding, Lebanese government ministers met to begin the laborious process of estimating civilian damage caused by a month of Israeli bombing.

Fragile ceasefire in danger amid ferocious fighting
The Guardian, 14 Aug 2006
Lebanon staggered towards a UN ceasefire deadline set for this morning with a ferocious increase in fighting between Israel and Hizbullah and little sign that peace was at hand.

Iran's cyber-president
The Guardian, 14 Aug 2006
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not really get the point of blogging.

Beirut bombarded hours before start of ceasefire
The Guardian, 14 Aug 2006
Bombs aimed at Hizbullah leadership in suburb - Northern Israel hit by barrage of 250 rockets

Resistance agrees truce, can it now resist a fight?
The Guardian, 14 Aug 2006
Twenty-four hours ahead of the Israeli cabinet's meeting to approve a ceasefire in the four-week-old war with Hizbullah, the Lebanese Shia organisation declared itself ready to abide by a truce, but with conditions.

14 die as bombardment goes on across Lebanon
The Guardian, 12 Aug 2006
Israeli warplanes and artillery continued to bombard Lebanon yesterday, from the southern border to the far north of the country, killing at least 14 people.

War and peace
The Guardian, 11 Aug 2006
A group of Arabs, Jews and others is trying to spread a 'message of shared humanity' by working at a personal rather than political level.

World to end on August 22
The Guardian, 9 Aug 2006
While the Middle East smoulders, commentators of an apocalyptic bent are lining up for a date with Armageddon.

Tears for Lebanon
The Guardian, 8 Aug 2006
Arab men are not supposed to cry. That is why Fousad Siniora's tears made such a refreshing change.

Towards a Lebanese solution?
The Guardian, 7 Aug 2006
Talk of an international peacekeeping force as a buffer zone in South Lebanon is misguided. Only the Lebanese themselves can provide a sustainable solution.

Militants merge with mainstream
The Guardian, 5 Aug 2006
Hizbullah emerges as symbol of resistance - Anger at Israel's actions unites Shias and Sunnis

The world must rein in Israel
The Guardian, 3 Aug 2006
The onslaught on Lebanon is fuelling recruitment to terrorist groups and denials of the Jewish state's right to exist.

A 10-step programme for peace
The Guardian, 1 Aug 2006
The solution to the crisis in Lebanon involves Israel, Hizbullah, Syria, the UN, the EU, Russia and the US as well as Beirut.

Syria stands to gain from Lebanon's pain
The Guardian, 31 Jul 2006
Hizbullah's stock is rising among the Arab public, and the Syrian regime is making the most of it, reports Brian Whitaker from Damascus.

Muslims unite in anger over Lebanon
The Guardian, 28 Jul 2006
From Egypt to Indonesia there were outpourings of popular anger today against the continued Israeli bombardment of Lebanon - though there is also growing frustration in the Middle East at the apparent impotence of Arab leaders.

Bin Laden's deputy calls for global war on 'crusaders'
The Guardian, 28 Jul 2006
Al-Qaida's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, made a dramatic intervention in the Lebanese crisis yesterday with a videotape calling on Muslims everywhere to rise up against Zionists and 'crusaders'.

The T-shirt seller of Beirut
The Guardian, 27 Jul 2006
The inhabitants of the Lebanese capital are making the most of a terrible situation, despite official incompetence and Israel's continuing air campaign, writes Brian Whitaker.

UN aid convoy heads to south Lebanon
The Guardian, 26 Jul 2006
The first UN relief convoy left Beirut today carrying emergency supplies to the devastated south of Lebanon, but without assurances from Israel that it would not be attacked.

Rice lacks recipe for success
The Guardian, 25 Jul 2006
The US secretary of state believes in a New Middle East, but her narrow focus on security leaves little room for the aspirations of ordinary people, says Brian Whitaker.

Scale of the human crisis emerges
The Guardian, 25 Jul 2006
The people of Lebanon are facing their "hour of greatest need", the UN said yesterday in launching an emergency appeal for $150m (£81m) to help an estimated 800,000 civilians whose lives have been disrupted by Israeli bombing of Lebanon.

Unfashionably late to leave
The Guardian, 24 Jul 2006
Beirut's trendy districts are emptying of their well-heeled clientele, leaving few others but western journalists and Shia fleeing the besieged suburbs, writes Brian Whitaker.

Rice finally sets out in search of ceasefire formula
The Guardian, 24 Jul 2006
Twelve days into conflict, with mounting criticism of Israeli ferocity, US secretary of state embarks on peace talks.

Bombs on a Starry Night
The Guardian, 21 Jul 2006
Beirut is turning into a ghost town as the Lebanese flee, writes Brian Whitaker, amidst further blasts and erratic power supplies.

Battered Lebanon counts the cost of Israeli onslaught
The Guardian, 21 Jul 2006
Infrastructure damage will cost 'billions of dollars to repair'.

Lebanese who fled as youngsters forced to flee again with own children
The Guardian, 20 Jul 2006
Wearing a sweat-soaked vest and beach shorts and clutching a leather briefcase in one hand and a baffled five-year-old in the other, Joe Noujeim cut an odd figure as he walked down the gangplank of a 5,200 tonne British destroyer to a Cyprus tourist spot yesterday morning.

Relief as first group of Britons taken to Cyprus on Royal Navy warship
The Guardian, 19 Jul 2006
British evacuees exchanged the perils of Beirut for the rough comforts of below decks on a Royal Navy destroyer last night, with the ship's captain declaring that his 180 passengers were "buoyant and in good spirits".

Massive evacuation gathers pace
The Guardian, 19 Jul 2006
Thousands of Lebanese nationals and western expats were scrambling to leave the country as Israel's week-long bombardment of Lebanon continued.

Mass evacuation from Beirut under way
The Guardian, 18 Jul 2006
A mass evacuation of British, American and other foreign nationals from Beirut was under way today as Israel continued its bombardment of Lebanon.

A competent military force that should not be underestimated, experts say
The Guardian, 17 Jul 2006
Hizbullah will not only take war to Haifa, but "beyond Haifa, and beyond beyond Haifa", its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said in a televised speech last week - and some experts are prepared to believe him.

Two sides of the war
The Guardian, 17 Jul 2006
Viewed from Lebanon, the TV coverage of destruction in Israel seems wildly out of proportion compared with what is happening across the border.

Rescue of Britons depends on ceasefire, FO says
The Guardian, 17 Jul 2006
As the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious and the assault ship HMS Bulwark headed towards the eastern Mediterranean, the advice from the Foreign Office to the estimated 10,000 Britons in Lebanon last night was to stay put.

As the bombs rain down, a refugee crisis unfolds on the streets of Beirut
The Guardian, 17 Jul 2006
Thousands of homeless or trapped Shia seek shelter - Fleeing families killed in Israeli attacks on roads

A new war, but both sides recall old ones
The Guardian, 15 Jul 2006
Exodus from Beirut as Israel tightens vice and vows to disarm Hizbullah.

Blundering into Lebanon
The Guardian, 14 Jul 2006
Ehud Olmert has made some serious mistakes in his cross-border attacks.

Two US soldiers mutilated and killed 'in revenge' for girl's rape
The Guardian, 12 Jul 2006
A group linked to al-Qaida has released a gruesome video purporting to show the bodies of two US soldiers who were captured and killed in Iraq.

Borderline beneficiaries
The Guardian, 12 Jul 2006
Israel's UN resolution-breaching incursion strengthens the hands of the Lebanese government's enemies.

The unholy city
The Guardian, 10 Jul 2006
Arabs trying to move to one area of Jerusalem are reportedly running up against a campaign to keep them out.

A glimpse behind the screen
The Guardian, 8 Jul 2006
A novel about a gay newspaper editor was a hit in Egypt - but its movie release has caused a stir.

Egyptian MPs call for hit film to be cut
The Guardian, 7 Jul 2006
Soap-style work defames country, say politicians - Gay character's storyline attracts fiercest criticism

Four years on, little has changed for the two survivors of trio accused by Bush
The Guardian, 6 Jul 2006
"North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction while starving its citizens," President Bush declared in 2002 in his state of the union address.

Call to censor 'immoral' Egyptian film
The Guardian, 6 Jul 2006
Egyptian MPs are demanding cuts in a popular new film, claiming it defames their country with its gritty portrayal of corrupt politicians, police brutality, terrorism and homosexuality.

And then there were two ...
The Guardian, 5 Jul 2006
Four years on, Bush's 'axis of evil' is down to two members but little else has changed, writes Brian Whitaker.

High life in Dubai
The Guardian, 5 Jul 2006
The treatment of a music mogul arrested in Dubai on drugs charges smacks of double standards.

The moral minority
The Guardian, 4 Jul 2006
These are tough times for Saudi Arabia's unpopular religious police.

We are stuck in Afghanistan
The Guardian, 3 Jul 2006
MPs have finally spotted that Tony Blair's other great foreign policy adventure is proving no less disastrous than Iraq.

Seizure of Hamas MPs raises alarm
The Guardian, 30 Jun 2006
Israel's seizure of Hamas MPs and cabinet ministers raises "particular concerns", the G8 group of industrialised countries said yesterday, echoing appeals for calm from many other parts of the world.

Women fail to win seats in Kuwaiti polls
The Guardian, 30 Jun 2006
Women, participating for the first time in Kuwait's parliamentary elections, have failed to win any seats, according to official results announced on Friday, though pro-reform candidates made some gains.

Suffrage and slow motion in Kuwait
The Guardian, 30 Jun 2006
Without democratic reforms in the emirate, women's political role will continue to grow only at a glacial pace.

Seizure of Hamas MPs raises international alarm
The Guardian, 29 Jun 2006
Israel's seizure of Hamas MPs and cabinet ministers raises "particular concerns", the G8 group of industrialised countries said today, echoing appeals for calm from many other parts of the world.

Women take centre stage in Kuwait's handbag election
The Guardian, 29 Jun 2006
Interior ministry investigates complaints of votes being bought with designer bags stuffed with cash.

The puzzle of Gaza
The Guardian, 28 Jun 2006
I am asking you, Cif readers: is an abduction an abduction, regardless of who commits it?

Claims of fraud as Kuwait poll looms
The Guardian, 28 Jun 2006
Kuwaitis will be electing a new parliament tomorrow in what might be dubbed the handbag election - not just because women will be voting for the first time and form 57% of the electorate, but because many candidates have allegedly gone shopping for votes.

How to pass your exams in Egypt
The Guardian, 27 Jun 2006
The correct answer is: President Mubarak has renounced police-state policies and deserves all the US support he enjoys.

Security forces kill six suspected al-Qaida men
The Guardian, 24 Jun 2006
Saudi security forces stormed a suspected al-Qaida hideout in the capital early yesterday, killing six militants in a gun battle.

Saudi forces shoot dead six al-Qaida men
The Guardian, 23 Jun 2006
Saudi security forces stormed a suspected al-Qaida hideout in the capital early today, killing six militants in a gun battle, according to the interior ministry and local media.

A reluctant president?
The Guardian, 23 Jun 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.

A mockery of human rights
The Guardian, 22 Jun 2006
The UN's new Human Rights Council should cut the crap and concentrate on the first two articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Arms and the women
The Guardian, 20 Jun 2006
What do quotas and armed conflicts have in common? Both can improve the gender balance in parliaments, a survey reveals.

Who is Bush kidding?
The Guardian, 19 Jun 2006
A report from the US ambassador in Baghdad reveals what life in 'free and democratic' Iraq is really like.

End of a love affair
The Guardian, 15 Jun 2006
Should westerners mind their own business about injustices in the rest of the world?

Let's talk about sex, habibi
The Guardian, 14 Jun 2006
Audio: A Guardian debate explores the shifting boundaries of freedom of expression in the Middle East.

Sex and violence: the history
The Guardian, 13 Jun 2006
Is free expression just a matter of time, place and context? The Guardian and the British Museum aim to find out.

'People think it's a mental illness'
The Guardian, 13 Jun 2006
In the Middle East, coming out as a homosexual is often unthinkable. Brian Whitaker talks to young gay and lesbian Arabs about their secret private lives.

Where comment is not free
The Guardian, 9 Jun 2006
Growing numbers of cyber-dissidents imprisoned round the world need an organisation specifically to defend bloggers' rights.

After a three-year hunt, US kills Iraq target number one
The Guardian, 9 Jun 2006
Arrest days ago led Americans to Zarqawi - but little hope of end to insurgency.

A remote farm surrounded by date palms - Zarqawi's last hiding place
The Guardian, 9 Jun 2006
Intelligence on al-Qaida leader's whereabouts enabled US aircraft to pinpoint building and drop two 500lb bombs.

At least 26 killed in Baghdad bomb attacks
The Guardian, 9 Jun 2006
Bomb attacks in Baghdad showed no sign of abating yesterday. Three separate explosions in the Iraqi capital killed at least 31 people, with dozens more injured.

Zarqawi: don't celebrate too soon
The Guardian, 8 Jun 2006
Rather than being a blow against al-Qaida, the death of its leader in Iraq could relieve the terror group of a problem and give it a martyr.

Bush's victory in Iraq
The Guardian, 6 Jun 2006
Cheer up, George: there is one person at least who understands the nature of your triumph.

False prophets
The Guardian, 5 Jun 2006
The US loves listening to its Arab/Muslim 'reformers'. And they love telling the US just what it wants to hear.

Gall on the Nile
The Guardian, 2 Jun 2006
The Egyptian authorities are cracking down violently on dissent - and then daring to blame the protesters.

A very British balancing act
The Guardian, 1 Jun 2006
The new head of the Muslim Council of Britain will have to reconcile the competing claims of unity and reform.

The Teflon pharaoh
The Guardian, 19 May 2006
For western and Arab media alike, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is seemingly beyond criticism. Thank goodness for the bloggers.

Egyptian security forces beat up pro-democracy protesters
The Guardian, 19 May 2006
Police and security forces cracked down on demonstrators in Cairo, beating up pro-reform activists and arresting at least 240 members of the Muslim Brotherhood during protests in support of two judges who had complained about fraud in last year's parliamentary elections.

A welcome at the White House
The Guardian, 17 May 2006
Why is Bush cosying up to the Egyptian president while government thugs are beating up demonstrators in Cairo?

Compromise or collusion?
The Guardian, 13 May 2006
Everyone has a right to their own beliefs. But when two sets of practices come up against each other, which should give way?

Police beat election fraud protesters
The Guardian, 12 May 2006
Thousands of riot police broke up protests in Cairo yesterday, as crowds gathered to support two judges facing a disciplinary committee over their complaints about fraud in last year's parliamentary elections.

Jailhouse blogs
The Guardian, 11 May 2006
Monitored, arrested or jailed, the brave Egyptian bloggers refuse to be silenced.

When poachers turn gamekeeper
The Guardian, 10 May 2006
Can countries with distinctly dubious human rights records be trusted to halt abuses elsewhere? The UN seems to think so.

Flashpoint farmland
The Guardian, 10 May 2006
Lebanon's prime minister has been in Britain seeking support in a land row, writes Brian Whitaker.

What's wrong with being gay and Muslim?
The Guardian, 5 May 2006
The Qur'anic verses usually cited as condemning homosexuality are by no means as clear or unequivocal as people imagine.

N Korea tops censorship league
The Guardian, 4 May 2006
North Korea heads a league table of the 10 most censored countries, according to a survey by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. By Brian Whitaker.

Bush's historian
The Guardian, 2 May 2006
The tributes to Bernard Lewis, the man who coined the term 'clash of civilisations', fail to convey how controversial he is.

Fighting terror, Egyptian style
The Guardian, 28 Apr 2006
Faced with Egypt's worst terrorism crisis in more than seven years, the Mubarak regime seems to have completely lost its marbles.

Suicide bomb attacks at Sinai peacekeeping base
The Guardian, 27 Apr 2006
Two men blew themselves up yesterday close to a base in northern Sinai where multinational forces monitor Egypt's border with Israel.

Security for show
The Guardian, 26 Apr 2006
The clapped-out Egyptian regime must be held to account after three bombings in Sinai in 18 months.

Perfect timing for local militants to strike
The Guardian, 25 Apr 2006
Just one day after Osama bin Laden issued another chilling message, last night's bombings in Egypt will inevitably revive the suspicions voiced by Washington that al-Qaida tapes sometimes contain coded instructions for terrorists.

President lifts ban on women watching football in Iran
The Guardian, 25 Apr 2006
The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has announced that women will be allowed to attend football matches in big stadiums for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Saddam trial hears phone call linked to massacre claims
The Guardian, 25 Apr 2006
Prosecutors in the trial of Saddam Hussein played a recording yesterday said to be of a phone conversation in which the ousted Iraqi leader agreed to 'change the social reality' in the Shia town of Dujail.

Israel's nuclear ambitions
The Guardian, 24 Apr 2006
It's a pity that Israel appears not to have considered trying to make the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.

New Bin Laden tape issues threat to civilians
The Guardian, 24 Apr 2006
Osama bin Laden issues an ominous warning, apparently seeking to justify attacks on civilians in the west and calling on his supporters to open up a new front in al-Qaida's struggle.

Chinese flee backlash from Pacific cold war
The Guardian, 24 Apr 2006
Australia and New Zealand sent more troops to the troubled Solomon Islands yesterday as Chinese residents continued to flee violence sparked by claims of electoral corruption.

Beauty is only spin deep
The Guardian, 20 Apr 2006
Miss Iraq 2006 sounds like a psyops effort to persuade Americans that life in Iraq is carrying on as normal.

Sex and shopping in Israel and Saudi Arabia
The Guardian, 19 Apr 2006
Some interesting light has been cast on the similarities between Wahhabi Muslims and Haredi Jews.

Ten reasons to kill an Iraqi
The Guardian, 18 Apr 2006
Sunni, Shia or Christian, there is usually something.

Leaders call for calm over Iran's nuclear ambitions
The Guardian, 17 Apr 2006
Pope and UN secretary general urge caution - Senior US figures warn against conflict backlash

Irish troops and tanks salute Easter Rising
The Guardian, 17 Apr 2006
Thousands in Dublin to mark 1916 rebellion - Politically sensitive event revived after IRA ceasefire

Seven British soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan
The Guardian, 15 Apr 2006
Seven British soldiers were injured yesterday in incidents in Afghanistan and Iraq. Three were hurt in an attack in southern Afghanistan, and four in Shaibah, near Basra, in Iraq.

Anyone for Mecca?
The Guardian, 13 Apr 2006
In a rare bout of perspicacity, Colonel Gadafy suggests Jews and Christians - even George Bush - should be permitted to visit the Kaaba.

Bold, brave and incompetent
The Guardian, 11 Apr 2006
Opposition to Ibrahim al-Jaafari is based on partisan interests, but that does not mean he's a good prime minister.

Stop this 'civil war' debate
The Guardian, 10 Apr 2006
Let's just accept that Iraq is a military and political disaster and consider where we go from there.

'I saw people trapped inside asking me to break the glass. Most suffocated and died'
The Guardian, 1 Apr 2006
Twelve Britons among 57 feared dead in Bahrain - Captain arrested after overcrowding blamed

An avoidable disaster?
The Guardian, 31 Mar 2006
Accidents are a bigger killer in the Middle East than terrorism - and many of them are quite easily avoidable.

All quiet in Baghdad
The Guardian, 30 Mar 2006
Good news from Iraq, at last. It's going fine. We have the word of Howard Kaloogian.

Hello, is that Saddam?
The Guardian, 29 Mar 2006
Has the former Iraqi leader really been chatting by phone from his jail cell with the Arabic TV station?

Weapons of mass deception?
The Guardian, 28 Mar 2006
Did President Bush's dirty tricks department never consider planting weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Prince Charles, the Islamic dissident
The Guardian, 27 Mar 2006
Regarded as an anachronism at home, Prince Charles made a revolutionary speech in Saudi Arabia.

The Fukuyama experience
The Guardian, 24 Mar 2006
Audio: Listening to Francis Fukuyama these days can be a disconcerting experience.

'Straightforward is the word most often used to describe him, but it is not always meant as a compliment'
The Guardian, 24 Mar 2006
The Guardian profile: Saudi Arabia's ruler King Abdullah likes to appear ordinary but takes religion seriously.

Those sexy Arabs
The Guardian, 23 Mar 2006
The current portrayals of an "Arab threat" are increasing the popularity of "desert sheikh" novels.

Riot by migrant workers halts construction of Dubai skyscraper
The Guardian, 23 Mar 2006
Construction of what is expected to be the world's tallest building was halted yesterday after 2,500 workers in Dubai rioted over pay and conditions, causing damage estimated at £500,000.

Beyond belief
The Guardian, 22 Mar 2006
A 41-year-old man is facing possible execution in Afghanistan for converting to Christianity.

Brokeback desert
The Guardian, 21 Mar 2006
It is a pity Brokeback Mountain isn't showing in the Arab world, because it resembles current reality there.

Men barred from selling women's lingerie
The Guardian, 21 Mar 2006
The Saudi labour ministry has warned shops selling lingerie that from June it will begin inspections to ensure men are not serving customers. Shops that fail to comply will face fines.

What to do about Iraq
The Guardian, 20 Mar 2006
We won't find the 'solution' Jeff Jarvis sought, but there is a way forward.

Assad pledges support for UN Hariri inquiry
The Guardian, 17 Mar 2006
Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad, said last night he would meet a UN commission investigating the murder of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.

US launches biggest Iraq air assault since 2003
The Guardian, 17 Mar 2006
Troops target Samarra to combat threat of civil war - Operation Swarmer likely to last for several days.

Mullah McQueen is back
The Guardian, 16 Mar 2006
Mullah Omar seems to be planning a sequel.

Jericho: an election stunt?
The Guardian, 15 Mar 2006
Israelis think it will benefit Ehud Olmert, who is already leading in the polls.

Googling for Israel
The Guardian, 14 Mar 2006
Last week the world's leading search engine launched Google News Israel - a compilation of headlines from Hebrew websites

Saudi driving ban on women extends to golf carts
The Guardian, 3 Mar 2006
Saudi Arabia's longstanding ban on female drivers went an extra mile this week when women were barred from using golf carts to move around a cultural festival, according to Saudi newspapers.

Disgrace in the desert
The Guardian, 28 Feb 2006
Libyan rape victims face arranged marriages or staying locked up in 'rehabilitation' centres, writes Brian Whitaker.

Saudis foil militant attack on world's largest oil plant
The Guardian, 25 Feb 2006
Suspected Islamist militants tried to attack a major oil facility in Saudi Arabia for the first time yesterday, ramming cars packed with explosives into the gates of a vast processing plant in the country's east.

Veil power
The Guardian, 21 Feb 2006
In the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sexual apartheid rules. But things are changing - the world of work is opening up to women and economic freedom is beginning to empower them in other ways, too. Brian Whitaker reports.

Bin Laden vows never to be captured alive
The Guardian, 21 Feb 2006
Osama bin Laden vowed never to be captured alive, in an audio message posted on a militant Islamist website yesterday.

Iran calls on Britain to withdraw from Basra
The Guardian, 18 Feb 2006
Foreign minister claims troops affecting security - Blair says Tehran is just trying to divert attention

Call to reinstate papers closed in cartoon row
The Guardian, 11 Feb 2006
Press freedom groups have urged the Yemeni government to reinstate three independent newspapers which were closed after reprinting the controversial Danish cartoons. By Brian Whitaker.

Ruling Shia coalition won election, results confirm
The Guardian, 11 Feb 2006
Final results in Iraq's election, announced yesterday almost two months after the poll, confirmed that the ruling Shia coalition, the United Iraqi Alliance, won 128 seats to become the largest parliamentary bloc but without an overall majority in the 275-seat assembly.

Relatives torch offices of Red Sea ferry firm
The Guardian, 7 Feb 2006
Angry relatives of passengers lost in the Red Sea ferry disaster ransacked the offices of the ship's owners yesterday, throwing furniture and other equipment into the street before setting fire to it.

Drawn conclusions
The Guardian, 7 Feb 2006
Arab governments have joined the fray over the cartoon row for their own political reasons, writes Brian Whitaker.

Crew accused over Egypt ferry disaster
The Guardian, 6 Feb 2006
Water to fight car deck fire unbalanced craft - Six-year-old rescued 17 hours after ship sank

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

Same news, different perspective
The Guardian, 6 Feb 2006
Al-Jazeera is branching out with an English-language version fronted by star names like David Frost and new signing Rageh Omaar. Brian Whitaker asks if it can work.

Parliament confirms new Kuwaiti emir
The Guardian, 30 Jan 2006
Kuwait's parliament yesterday unanimously confirmed Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah as emir, ending political turmoil over the royal succession.

Israeli politicians rush to condemn Hamas win
The Guardian, 28 Jan 2006
· Minister says window of peace slammed shut · Nearly half of public still want talks to go ahead

US frees five women, but denies deal with journalist's kidnappers
The Guardian, 27 Jan 2006
The US military freed five women detainees in Iraq yesterday, but officials denied any connection with the demands of kidnappers holding the American journalist Jill Carroll. By Brian Whitaker and agencies.

Watchdog hails Libya's human rights progress
The Guardian, 26 Jan 2006
Libya won praise yesterday for taking "important steps" to improve human rights but was warned it will have to do more to meet international standards.

Kuwaiti MPs declare emir unfit for office
The Guardian, 25 Jan 2006
Nine days after being proclaimed head of one of the world's wealthiest countries, Sheikh Sa'ad al-Abdullah al-Sabah, emir of Kuwait, was declared unfit for office yesterday and removed from his post by a unanimous vote in parliament.

Royal hush
The Guardian, 23 Jan 2006
Uncertainty over the condition of Kuwait's new emir reflects a tendency to keep rulers' ill-health shrouded in secrecy, says Brian Whitaker.

Kuwaiti paper calls for ruler to step down
The Guardian, 21 Jan 2006
In an unprecedented move for the Arab press, a leading Kuwaiti newspaper yesterday called for the abdication of the oil-rich country's ruler, less than a week after he inherited the throne.

Bin Laden talks of truce but threatens US with new attacks
The Guardian, 20 Jan 2006
Audio tape dismisses tightened security and says al-Qaida is ready to strike.

Seminal questions
The Guardian, 17 Jan 2006
As scholars question the place of nudity in marriage, Islamic clerics are hotly debating exactly what sexual practices are acceptable, writes Brian Whitaker.

The Emir of Kuwait
The Guardian, 16 Jan 2006
Obituary: Benign ruler whose national plans suffered after the first Gulf war.

Kuwait mourns after emir dies
The Guardian, 16 Jan 2006
Kuwait declared 40 days of mourning yesterday after the death of its ruler, Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah.

Hotel collapse in Mecca leaves at least 18 pilgrims dead
The Guardian, 6 Jan 2006
Tragedy struck the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca yesterday when a building collapsed just a few yards from the Grand Mosque, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more.

Few tears - and precious little joy
The Guardian, 6 Jan 2006
Few Palestinian tears were shed yesterday at the news of the illness of Ariel Sharon yet, at the same time, there was no great expectation that his demise would work in their favour.

More women win vote in Kuwait
The Guardian, 6 Jan 2006
Kuwait, where traditionalists and Islamists battled for years to keep women out of politics, now has more registered women voters than men, according to the interior ministry.

Suicide attack at Iraqi funeral kills 36, wounds 40
The Guardian, 5 Jan 2006
A suicide bomber caused carnage at a Shia funeral and gunmen ambushed a vital fuel convoy outside Baghdad in a series of attacks that killed more than 50 people yesterday, the deadliest day in Iraq for weeks.

Hospital drama casts huge shadow over Sharon's drive to Israel's centre ground
The Guardian, 5 Jan 2006
Prime minister's new party loses its focal point - Leader's illness could lead to disaster at the polls

Dubai in mourning after emir, 62, dies in Australian hotel
The Guardian, 5 Jan 2006
Cause not known but history of heart problems - Fatboy Slim concert among cancelled events

US warplane used to target Iraqi family home
The Guardian, 4 Jan 2006
Between six and 14 members of an Iraqi family were reported dead yesterday after US warplanes obliterated a house in the northern oil town of Baiji.

UN wants to question Assad in Hariri inquiry
The Guardian, 3 Jan 2006
Request to see president turns screw on Damascus - Refusal could lead to security council sanctions

Syria accuses former vice-president of treason for Hariri claim
The Guardian, 2 Jan 2006
Assad threatened former Lebanese PM, exile alleges - Prosecution could result in death penalty.