Blog archive: All

  • 31st July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It’s almost two weeks since the latest Arab Human Development Report was published and, after the initial burst of news items which basically summarised its content, considered views are beginning to emerge. The theme of the 2009 report, as I noted last week, is “human security...
  • 31st July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Violence seems to be on the increase in Algeria again. Reuters reports that at least 14 soldiers were killed in an ambush on Wednesday. (Other reports give a death toll ranging from 11 to 20). "The past two months have seen an upsurge in the violence," Reuters says. "Insurgents killed...
  • 30th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    “Marhaban bikum,” says the elegantly dressed newsreader. She’s not wearing a headscarf and she sounds like a highly educated Arab. Her name, if I’ve deciphered it correctly, is Chiang Lu, and she’s presenting the TV news in Arabic – from Beijing. The main news of the day is President Hu...
  • 30th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I always thought there was something wrong with Fox News’s Middle East coverage. Now I know why. Posted by Brian Whitaker, 30 July 2009
  • 29th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It’s a sobering thought that despite all the turmoil in Yemen there are people who look to it as a haven of safety. Almost a quarter of a million Somalis have fled their homes since May 7 to escape fighting in Mogadishu and up to 12,000 of them have gathered in the northern town of Bossasso,...
  • 29th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It’s Wednesday and I’m still flabbergasted by the review of Bruce Bawer’s latest book that appeared in the New York Times at the weekend. The book is called Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom – so you needn’t read further to get the general drift. It’s part...
  • 28th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This video contains images, as they say on TV, “that some viewers may find disturbing”. Or amusing. Either way, the YouTube clip is causing a stir in Saudi Arabia because it’s said to show male employees of SABB (part of the giant HSBC banking corporation) having a knees-up in Riyadh. For...
  • 27th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I happened to be watching Moroccan television in July 1999 when the programme was interrupted. A newsreader appeared, announced the death of King Hassan and burst into a flood of tears. My Moroccan companion looked startled ( since the death was unexpected) but remained totally dry-eyed – which I...
  • 27th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Crown Prince Sultan of Saudi Arabia has sent a cable of congratulation to Sultan Qaboos of Oman on the anniversary of his country's Renaissance Day. The Crown Prince wished the Sultan permanent good health and happiness, and his people steady progress and prosperity. Sultan Qaboos has...
  • 26th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It’s beginning to look as if the Red-Dead Project – an imaginative (some would say fanciful) scheme to channel water from the Red Sea into the Dead Sea – may one day come to fruition. The Jordan Times reports that Egypt has dropped its reservations to the project, which was jointly...
  • 26th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last week I mentioned a fascinating article on The Long Slumber blog called The crisis of Arab masculinities. Well, the same blog has now come up with another one: Hymen: the Arabs’ finest fetish. It begins ... Contrary to common belief, fetishes do not just exist in the tents of...
  • 25th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It’s worth noting the arrests this week of three bloggers in Egypt – one of the 10 worst countries to be a blogger, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Those arrested are: Abdel Rahman Ayyash, Al-Ghareeb (The Stranger); Magdi Saad, formerly of ...

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