Ali Abdullah Saleh: The last dance of Yemen’s snake-charmer

Monday, 4 December 2017

No phrase is more associated with the three-decade rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh than “dancing on the heads of snakes”, his description of what it took to rule Yemen. Over the coming hours, as obituaries are written for the man who in essence created the situation of Yemen today, that phrase will be used more than any other. It is somehow fitting that Saleh will be remembered for a phrase that he himself used to describe his own political success. In a country ruled by one man for so ...

Faisal al-Yafai

Religious debate within Saudi Shiite community vitiated by polemics

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Conservative societies often fear renewal or any kind of critical review of their cultural, social and religious legacy, as “collective memory” lends a kind of communal strength and sanctity. Resistance to renewal is a common trait in most Arab societies as they are accustomed to lack of accountability and follow a culture of obeisance. Religious rhetoric runs deep to the extent that it governs most individual and public activities. ‘Guardians of faith’ I have my ...

Hassan Al Mustafa

Syria: Moment of truth in Geneva

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Will the new Geneva round of negotiations, under the supervision of the UN, finally help to break the political impasse over the future of Syria? Clearly, the crisis is entering a new phase as the regime of Bashar Al-Assad, supported by Russia, continues to gain traction. The West and Gulf countries that supported the opposition have moved on from the idea of wiping out the regime. Everyone is tired of the Syrian crisis that has resulted in nearly 350,000 deaths. Undoubtedly, the time has come ...

Christian Chesnot

Does Lebanon’s Aoun understand the bigger picture?

Saturday, 18 November 2017

What those complaining in Lebanon don’t understand, or what they don’t want to understand - those from the Free Patriotic Movement, before Nasrallah’s supporters - that what is happening in the region is not only a Lebanese story. It’s not just one page in the Lebanese story, it’s also a page dictating the fate and place of Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The story is a new regional and international policy designed and implemented against the Iranian Khomeini invasion ...

Mashari Althaydi

On leaving the old guard and welcoming the new

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

In the past, we used to view China as being very far away from us geographically, but this has changed in the age of globalization and the birth of the “global village.” The development that took place in China last week therefore concerns us in our economy and security because it concerns global international and economic balances. The 19th national congress of the Chinese Communist Party not only extended the term of President Xi Jinping for five years, but it went much more beyond ...

Ghassan Charbel

Syria: Should Astana negotiations be expanded?

Monday, 30 October 2017

The defeat of the self-proclaimed Caliphate of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is almost achieved. It's only a matter of weeks for the pseudo-state before it disappears from the scene, most likely before the beginning of 2018. In Syria, a new diplomatic-military dispensation is being set up, the one succeeding that which emerged in 2011.UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura summed up the current situation when he said: “ISIS has been routed in the desert (...) Terrorism is on the defensive, even if it ...

Christian Chesnot

Kennedy’s secrets, but what about our secrets?

Monday, 30 October 2017

What’s known and unraveled from history’s secrets is a minority unlike the hidden and unknown, a majority. That’s nature’s law. History writers, officials and those that go unnoticed, work hard and compile data yet, whether they are narrators interested in abstract facts, or interested in analysis and comparison, many documents and files have always been kept away from them. As such, history remains an open text, a sentence without parenthesis, and that is the beauty of ...

Mashari Althaydi

The Saudi revolution: It’s time for skeptics to stop doubting

Monday, 30 October 2017

It is time for the skeptics to stop expressing their doubt and surprise, to stop rubbing their eyes and start immersing themselves in the wave of change happening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Everyone, including the citizens of GCC and Arab countries, need to be aware that this Saudi renaissance today is bigger and more comprehensive than just the kingdom, and more impactful than you may think. We are facing a socio-economic revolution spearheaded by the leaders of the country of leaders, ...

Sawsan Al Shaer

Palestinian reconciliation ... anew!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Finally, the Palestinians reconcile with Fatah and Hamas agreeing to unite. I do not know how many times have they joined forces but the important aspect is they are reconciling. Egypt had put all its political weight and pressed the parties to reach a settlement. Now everyone has his hand on his heart for fear of failure of this agreement as many of the earlier agreements on rapprochement has failed. The situation of Palestinian inter-factional conflict is a sad picture of the most important ...

Hussein Shobokshi

Saudi Arabia, before 1979 and after 2017

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recently discussed the phase before 1979 and clarified that the Saudi society is not how extremists promoted it. He then made those historical words: “We are returning to what we were before -- a country of moderate Islam that is open to all religions and to the world. We will not spend the next 30 years of our lives dealing with destructive ideas. We will destroy them today.” The crown prince’s statements are important because when Saudi ...

Mamdouh AlMuhaini

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