Blog archive: All

  • 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
    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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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 ...
  • 25th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Numerous violent incidents reported from southern Yemen on Saturday suggest the situation is deteriorating rapidly: The house of Abyan governor Ahmed Al-Miysari was attacked with light and medium-sized weapons; no casualties. The home of the director of political security in Abyan was also...
  • 25th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There are conflicting reports of the latest attacks by Houthi rebels in northern Yemen.  The Yemen Post says seven soldiers were killed on Thursday and Friday in al-Khamees district of Saada province. AFPquotes a military source as saying: "Clashes broke out after Houthi...
  • 24th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I’m in two minds about Mazen Abdul Jawad, the 32-year-old Saudi who has been arrested after bragging on TV about his sexual conquests. He does come across as appallingly sexist. On the other hand, that’s no reason for the religious police to swing into action and have him flogged. Abdul Jawad, a...
  • 24th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Moqtada al-Sadr, the rabble-rousing Iraqi cleric, visited President Assad in Damascus earlier this week to discuss “brotherly and friendly relations and mutual interests”. The Syrian president underlined “the importance of strengthening national unity among the Iraqi people, and Syria's care...
  • 23rd July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Writing about the Arab Human Development Report yesterday, Inoted with pleasure that Capmas had not been involved in the research, and promised to explain more about this dreadful Egyptian institution. Capmas, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics, is a hangover from the...

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