Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 8th June 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yesterday, CNN suggested that Russian hackers may have been behind the planting of a fake news item on the website of Qatar's government news agency last month. The news item – a fictitious account of a speech purportedly made by Qatar's emir – provided the spark for a barrage of attacks on...
  • 7th June 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    It is hard to imagine that when the Saudis and Emiratis embarked on their ferocious confrontation with Qatar they would have done so without believing they had Donald Trump's support. Their quarrel with Qatar was far from new but Trump's stance at the "Muslim summit" in Riyadh last month appeared...
  • 6th June 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The extraordinary propaganda offensive against Qatar which has been raging in sections of the Arab media for the last couple of weeks shifted from words to deeds yesterday when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt in effect placed Qatar under siege. There are four possible outcomes...
  • 1st June 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In a rare turning-of-tables in the land of the Prophet, a Saudi court has sentenced a cleric to 45 days in prison for defaming a comedy actor. The case arose out of a popular Saudi TV series, Selfie, which satirised ISIS/Daesh. One episode poked fun at religious figures who smash...
  • 31st May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The emir of Qatar is reportedly flying to Kuwait today to exchange Ramadan greetings with Kuwait's emir – something that he apparently has to do in person rather than by phone. There is not much doubt, though, about the real purpose of the visit. It's an attempt to cool down the war of...
  • 28th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On his recent trip to the Middle East, Donald Trump posed for cameras sitting side by side with the emir of Qatar. "We are friends," Trump said, shaking the emir's hand. "We have been friends now for a long time. Our relationship is extremely good." So good, apparently, that Trump was hoping to...
  • 26th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The first tangible result of Donald Trump's visit to the "Muslim summit" in Riyadh last weekend has been the reopening a long-standing feud among Arab Gulf states. Over the last few days Saudi and Emirati media have been attacking Qatar ferociously, especially over its attitude towards Iran and...
  • 25th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Earlier this week a story appeared on the website of Qatar's government-run news agency quoting what it said was a speech made by the emir at a military graduation ceremony. The remarks attributed to the emir brought a furious reaction from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Qatar...
  • 24th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Hot on the heels of Donald Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia and the festivities surrounding it, a new feud has erupted among the Arab Gulf states. The Saudis and Emiratis are blocking the websites of al-Jazeera and other Qatari news sources. Qatar, meanwhile, says reports of a controversial speech...
  • 18th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For more than a week clashes have been taking place in Awamiyah, a town in Saudi Arabia's predominantly Shia Eastern province. What began – ostensibly – as a redevelopment project is now being portrayed in Saudi media as an anti-terorrism operation. Awamiyah has long been a centre of...
  • 9th May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For the last two years a Saudi-led coalition has been waging a war in Yemen to restore the "legitimate" government headed by Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. But that goal is now in doubt because Hadi's lacklustre performance has opened up a rift between Saudi Arabia and its key ally in the conflict,...
  • 2nd May 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Belgian government has admitted supporting Saudi Arabia's election to a UN body which champions women's rights – and now says it regrets doing so. Meanwhile, numerous other countries supposedly committed to gender equality are refusing to say how they voted. Saudi Arabia has a long history...

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