US/Polish conference in Warsaw shifts focus from Iran to a wider agenda. “A new era” (Mike Pence) – not
An ancient irrigation system still operating throughout the Middle East and elsewhere.
Autocrats love grandiose projects. Arab autocrats are no exception. Religion, railways, new cities and culture are favoured fields.
Mawlid popular holiday, widely celebrated by both Sunnis and Shia but condemned by some including Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Prophet’s Birthday (al-Mawlid al-Nabawi, or simply Mawlid) is celebrated in the month of Rabi’ al-awwal, by Sunnis usually on the 12th and by Shia on the 17th. There is some flexibility as the precise date is not recorded. This year 12 Rabi’ al-awwal coincides with 21 November, and in most Arab and Muslim states Mawlid will be today or tomorrow, though the celebrations begin the night before. In some countries …
Huge decline since 1990 in FGM in Africa where it is most prevalent. Information about the Middle East remains scanty.
With a record of mediating Oman breaks new ground receiving a visit by the Israeli PM.
Floods throughout the region this month causing death and destruction.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution impacts on every country in the Arab world but policymaking in response to new fintech like blockchain and cryptocurrencies varies widely.
Iraq and the six GCC states share the Gulf with Iran and with each other. In many cases, maritime boundaries between them have been agreed; in other cases, disputes remain. Where offshore oil and gas deposits do not fall neatly under the sovereignty of one state, cooperative arrangements have often been instituted.
For Arab states, controlling their borders is often a challenging business. Cross-border cooperation and physical measures, aided by the latest technology, may help. Beggar-my-neighbour policies certainly won’t.