Blog archive: All

  • 13th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Don’t pretend you’ve never wanted to know. The American Bedu blog has the answers to two vital questions: what Saudi men wear under their thobe and what women wear under the abaya. Posted by Brian Whitaker, 13 July 2009
  • 12th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Last April, Egypt became a worldwide laughing-stock when the Mubarak regime ordered a mass slaughter of pigs in the mistaken belief that this would keep swine flu at bay. Swine flu duly arrived – one victim being a young man whoreturned from Saudi Arabia with the disease after...
  • 12th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Action by the Saudi religious police is being blamed for a double “honour” killing in the kingdom. Two sisters, identified as Reem, 21, and Nouf, 19, were arrested by the mutawwa on July 2 after being caught “in suspicious circumstances with two unrelated men”. They were...
  • 11th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    English is a wonderfully flexible language. We make up new words all the time, often combining bits borrowed from Latin and Greek: photography (light+drawing), submarine (under+sea) etc. In Arabic this is much more difficult because the whole language is based on a system of three-consonant word...
  • 11th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Four members of the same family in a pick-up truck – a father, two sons and a son-in-law – were ambushed by gunmen in Radfan, southern Yemen, in the early hours of Friday while apparently on the way to open up their sweet shop. Three died immediately, the fourth was seriously wounded and...
  • 10th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A report from Saba, the official Yemeni news agency, on the 15th anniversary of the north’s victory in the 1994 war: Subversives attacked Tuesday security forces and people in Yemen's eastern province of Hadramout killing a citizen and injuring two soldiers, the state-run 26sep.net ...
  • 10th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    1. A 24-year-old Jordanian man killed his unmarried sister after she became pregnant. He "stabbed her 10 times in different parts of her body with a dagger in front of a group of people before handing himself over to police and confessing to the crime," a police spokesman said....
  • 10th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    No idea why I like this picture, but I do. Definitely, I do. Posted by Brian Whitaker, 10 July 2009
  • 9th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I’ve received an email from Corporal Timothy Reece, a linguist in the British Army. He has been looking at my list of 
  • 9th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Here we go again. While Egyptian protesters chant that “Germans are the enemies of God”, Yemenis are venting their wrath against France over the Yemenia plane crash. A headline in the Yemen Observer claims the Airbus was “possibly” hit by a French missile (scroll down...
  • 8th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Back to the subject of blogging. The recent report from the Internet and Democracy Project at Harvard is well worth a look. As far as I know it’s the first detailed study of the Arab blogosphere. The researchers found about 35,000 blogs in Arabic, which sounds a lot but when you...
  • 8th July 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    I’ve been reading some very gloomy reports from Yemen recently. With unrest in both the far north (the long-runningHouthi rebellion) and the south (revival of separatism), and complaints about the economy almost everywhere, it sounds very bad. But … People have been making dire predictions about...

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