Summary: as temperatures rise the impact of climate change on the Middle East and North Africa grows ever more dire and the challenge for the region’s leaders to work together to head off a climate catastrophe ever more urgent.
Summary: having presided over the most brutal repression in modern Egypt’s history, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi now finds himself in a dilemma, facing an economic crisis that could precipitate a new revolution. So he has begun to release political prisoners in the hope that will help to ease growing popular anger.
Summary: as the war in Ukraine enters an ever more dangerous phase, MENA states continue to take a fence-sitting posture that keeps their options open and avoids annoying Putin.
Summary: the media landscape in MENA shows a harsh story of journalists jailed, criticism silenced and authoritarians in absolute control.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back Andreas Krieg of the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London and their conversation focusses on the battle that liberal democracy now finds itself engaged in as its MENA partners play the neutral card while quietly backing their ideological ally Putin in his war in Ukraine. It is an existential struggle, one encumbered with a stark hypocrisy.
Summary: as the Egyptian president drives the country ever deeper into a massive debt swamp, he is capitalising on Saudi and Emirati fears of another revolution the keep the Gulf money flowing in.
Summary: the dominant narrative in Western media is that Vladimir Putin is losing his war in Ukraine but MENA expert Christopher Davidson, looking at the war through a Gulf lens, offers an alternative and thought-provoking take.
Summary: more than three years after Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated, Arab regimes continue to run aggressive foreign intelligence operations targeting critics and dissidents in the West.
Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the author and MENA analyst Christopher Davidson. Their conversation focusses on how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is proving beneficial for the region’s autocratic leaders and not simply because the price of hydrocarbons has soared. Amongst other windfalls Russia’s oligarchs are finding new homes in the Gulf and bringing their wealth with them.
Summary: when the Israeli foreign minister met in the Negev Desert with his counterparts from four Arab states together with the US secretary of state, most commentators hailed it as significant, which it may well be but for reasons other than those proclaimed.