NAWAF Al-SABAH WRITES– Rahaf Al-Qunun captured international attention at the beginning of the year as she sought to escape her allegedly abusive family. Rahaf, who is Arabian, barricaded herself in a Bangkok airport hotel room to prevent Thai authorities from deporting her. She had been detained at the Bangkok airport…Full Article SAUDI ARABIA: The Unending Labyrinth of Male Guardianship
ABDULMOHSAN ALMUTAIRI WRITES– What do football and a sociopolitical blockade in the Middle East have in common? Many of us would say, “not much.” Tensions between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar were apparent during the 2019 Asia Cup, held between January 5 and February 1, when the UAE…Full Article QATAR: Asia Cup Reveals Just How Deep the Political Crisis runs in the Gulf
ALEXIS CRUZ WRITES – More than 100 days of diplomatic crisis have taken their toll on Qatar. While fighting has yet to break out, proxy shots have most certainly been fired in the press and on the airwaves between Qatar and the quartet of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab…Full Article QATAR: BATTLE OF THE PRESSES
ALEXIS CRUZ WRITES – From its creation, Al Jazeera was bound to incite controversy. Though state-funded, it was the first allegedly independent news network in a region tightly regulated by the government. Contentious coverage of neighboring countries brought the network plenty of threats, but none lasted. Still, the threats to…Full Article QATAR: ISRAEL JOINS THE FIGHT AGAINST AL JAZEERA
ALEXIS CRUZ WRITES – In 1996, Qatar laid the foundation to become a regional power when it created the news network, Al Jazeera. Qatar’s growing influence even granted the Middle Eastern underdog the FIFA 2022 World Cup. Now, the same source that won Qatar’s recognition is threatening Qatar’s diplomatic relationships…Full Article QATAR: WHAT TO DO WITH AL JAZEERA?
ALEXIS CRUZ WRITES- This year, two pan-Arab television channels were launched with the aspirations of providing an independent media platform. Al-Arab launched in Bahrain on February 1. Its owner, Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, promised that he could run the channel without any political interference and set up the…Full Article QATAR: Changing the Channel
TRISTAN WILLENBURG WRITES– Western ideas clash yet again with Middle Eastern realities. Saudi Arabia will no longer issue or renew the visas of Swedish nationals and has withdrawn its ambassador from Stockholm in response to the comments of a senior Swedish official. An arms deal between the two countries has also fallen apart over the…Full Article SAUDI ARABIA: The Saudis Strike Back
ROBERT DYLAN FIELDS WRITES- Since its partial takeover of Iraq and Syria in the summer of 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS, has committed various acts of barbarism, including a series of live beheadings of international hostages. Most recent were the deaths of two…Full Article JAPAN: A Call to Arms and a Call to Honor
NICK ARMER WRITES – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced earlier this week that the U.S. strategy to defeat the Islamic State is “working”. It is hard to imagine how funding the organization’s expansion into Iran and Pakistan is helping to achieve national goals. Unfortunately, the American campaign to…Full Article IRAN and US: Helping or Hurting?
Tom Plate writes in his syndicated column: Since almost no one is coming to the defense of President Barack Obama, whose opinion poll numbers continue to slide, why don’t I give it my best effort? After all, back in 2002, before the actual invasion of Iraq, the then-senator from Illinois…Full Article IRAQ: Losing When You’re Right
ELODIE INTROIA WRITES – On October 23, three Asian and Middle-Eastern women were recognized for their journalistic bravery. It is well known that being a reporter is one of the most dangerous professions. But for women, the risks are even greater. The women who were honored with the Courage in…Full Article The ‘Big Guns’ of Journalism Show More Than Just Courage
AMBER VERNETTI WRITES – The 2013 Abu Dhabi Media Summit was conducted in the United Arab Emirates’ capital last week to discuss the world’s ongoing digital revolution. With Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) as an event partner, this three-day occasion focused on advancing the digital proficiency of the Middle East, the…Full Article UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Annual Media Summit Discusses Promising Digital Era
NICOLE SABA WRITES – Though Arabs are as Net savvy as anyone, many Arab universities rely on Western resources to build their digital media studies and literacy curricula. Fed up with the second-hand material, Lebanon has hosted the first digital academy by and for Arabs. Built on the example of…Full Article LEBANON: Promoting Digital Media Literacy in the Middle East
North Korean citizens are stranded in the Middle East, specifically Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and Kuwait. They are being prevented from returning home, for fear that they would spread news of the social unrest in the region throughout North Korea.Full Article NORTH KOREA: Communist Country’s Citizens Stranded Across the Middle East