Summary: the digital transition is causing major changes across the world, from the adoption of AI chatbots like ChatGPT to major investments in IT infrastructure and fibre-optic cables. The Middle East is scrambling to keep up with the latest developments.
Summary: as outside players become more engaged and the violence in Sudan gathers pace so too does the risk of a major conflagration that could engulf the region.
Summary: the 2003 war lasted less than a month but the fall-out has reverberated violently for two decades leaving Iraq divided and Iraqis impoverished, fearful and uncertain about what the future will bring.
Summary: Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter could call time, for the time being, on Gulf states using the platform to spread disinformation and attack critics and regional foes.
Today we are pleased to bring you part 2 of our Arab Digest summer reading list, with all the books written by our newsletter and podcast contributors. From deep dive geopolitical analyses, to personal essays and reflections, from fiction to a delightful children’s book, it is a MENA festival of good reads. Enjoy!
Summary: while the world’s attention is focussed on Vladimir Putin’s war in the Ukraine his efforts to expand Russian influence in Africa continue at a pace that is causing disquiet in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott.
Summary: MENA hydrocarbons producers and most particularly Saudi Arabia play a strong hand and a waiting game as Europe fumbles its energy strategy.
Summary: a new report on organised crime around the world indicates Arab countries are amongst the world’s biggest offenders, with states in conflict or post-conflict at the bottom of the list.
Summary: Covid-19 second wave plunges Egypt’s national health system back into crisis. The regime deploys propaganda and disinformation as it engages in vaccine diplomacy with China.
Summary: As Arab regimes move their money and families to the West they are securing growing political influence while spreading and normalising corrupt practices.