Blog archive: All

  • 17th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Following the conviction of Lubna Hussein in Sudan for "indecently" wearing trousers, Egypt's government-appointed Grand Mufti, Ali Gomaa, says it's OK for women to wear trousers so long as they are loose-fitting and not see-through. Posted by Brian Whitaker, 17 September...
  • 17th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Attacks by warplanes reportedly killed as many as 87 displaced civilians in northern Yemen yesterday. Details are sketchy but the Associated Press report cites several witnesses to the large number of casualties. Human Rights Watch, which has called for an investigation, said in a...
  • 16th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Next week sees the official opening of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia,described as “a bridge between world cultures”. The university, intended to promote international research, has been established by the king outside the control of the...
  • 16th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A Jordanian doctor could face legal action after reportedly abandoning his Indonesian maid near Directorate of Chest Diseases and Foreigners' Health after she developed tuberculosis. The 28-year-old woman was allegedly beaten by the doctor’s mother and received no wages during the 19 months that...
  • 15th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Under the headline "Areas outside state control", the Yemen Post has published a round-up of the country's multiple security problems, noting that in most governorates, the state controls only the main cities. Some key points: Bani Dhabian, Sanaa: "Bani Dhabian is a tribal...
  • 15th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Tapes attributed to Osama bin Laden rarely cause much of a stir these days, and the latest one is being interpreted (perhaps correctly) as evidence of al-Qaeda's current weakness. However, Marc Lynch on the Foreign Policy blog suggests "it deserves attention in ways which...
  • 14th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In theory it’s very simple. A group of people get together to form a political party, then the voters decide if their policies are worth supporting. But in those Arab countries where parties are allowed – which rules out Bahrain, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE for a start –...
  • 13th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There's an intriguing tale about Tunisia on the French-language blog, Chakchouka Tunisienne, and I'm hoping readers may be able to shed some more light on it. It says a businessman in Sfax was getting married and invited  Belhassen Trabelsi, the president's brother-in-law to his...
  • 13th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    "Operation Scorched Earth" against the Houthi rebels in Yemen has been going on for a month now, with no end in sight. The  government media continues with its vague reports of military successes and "heavy losses" inflicted on the rebels (the latter may well be true).  The...
  • 13th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A shocking report in the Observer by Afif Sarhan and Jason Burke: Sitting on the floor, wearing traditional Islamic clothes and holding an old notebook, Abu Hamizi, 22, spends at least six hours a day searching internet chatrooms linked to gay websites. He is not looking for new...
  • 12th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Four men in two cars were stopped near the US embassy in Sanaa on Tuesday and found to have in their possession nine grenades, a machine gun, 296 bullets, five detonators, a siren device as used by ambulances and 20 fuel containers. According to a security source they were just...
  • 12th September 2009
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Economist is the latest publication to raise serious questions about the future of Yemen.  It says (rightly, I think) that much of the reason for the Houthi rebels' success lies with the Yemeni army: "Its aerial bombing and artillery fire have proved better at enraging locals...

Pages