Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 3rd May 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The number of job losses at the Binladin construction firm in Saudi Arabia has now reached 89,000, according to company sources cited by al-Watan newspaper. Some 77,000 expatriate workers have been dismissed and issued with exit visas – an increase on the 50,000 figure reported...
  • 30th April 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Newspapers in Saudi Arabia are reporting that the kingdom's largest construction firm, the Saudi Binladin Group, has axed 50,000 employees – thought to be about a quarter of its workforce. The move comes just days after the king's favourite son, Prince Mohammed by Salman, announced ...
  • 19th April 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia, elected to the UN Human Rights Council three years ago in dubious circumstances, continues to play a negative role in the organisation's affairs. During the most recent session of the council, last month, it took a stand against protecting women, children and sexual minorities...
  • 13th April 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There's a story told in the hadith that the Prophet Muhammad once saw a boy with a partly-shaved head – and disapproved. "Shave all of it or leave all of it," he is reported to have said. Fourteen centuries later, this little incident is causing ructions on Saudi Arabia's...
  • 29th March 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This year's Riyadh Book Fair, held in the Saudi capital earlier this month, acknowledged the war in Yemen with a military theme. Hala Aldosari writes: Guests browsing publishers’ stalls passed through “barracks row” honouring the Saudi troops camped on the...
  • 10th March 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    After waging war in Yemen for almost a year, Saudi Arabia is gradually beginning to realise what many said at the outset: that military victory is impossible. A few days ago the Saudis took the previously unthinkable step of engaging in direct talks with the Houthis, their...
  • 9th March 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As Saudi Arabia's economic problems worsen, thousands of construction workers are complaining about unpaid wages. Among those affected are 38,000 employees of Saudi Oger – the kingdom's second-largest construction firm – who have not been paid for four months. Saudi Oger is chaired by...
  • 17th February 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia's recent claim that it is preparing to send ground troops into Syria is either a transparent (and therefore ineffective) piece of psychological warfare or the latest step towards the collapse of the House of Saud. In an article for the American website, National Interest,...
  • 11th January 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Faced with falling oil revenue and an alarming budget deficit, Saudi Arabia is pinning some of its economic hopes on nationalising the production and sale of miswak, according to local media reports. Ibrahim al-Muaiqil, director-general of the kingdom's human resources fund, is quoted...
  • 9th January 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Is Saudi Arabia's Prince Muhammad bin Salman a reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady who reshaped Britain's economy in the 1980s? Or is he, perhaps, a reincarnation of Charles I, the seventeenth-century English monarch who lost his head in a civil war? In an interview for...
  • 16th December 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Pakistan's foreign minister, Aizaz Chaudhry, was taken by surprise yesterday when he read in the newspapers that his country has joined the new Saudi-led 
  • 16th December 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Five "top engineering and technical officials" are expected to go on trial in Saudi Arabia in connection with the world's worst crane accident last September, according to local media. More than 100 people died and several hundred were injured when a crawler crane toppled backwards...

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