March 2nd Issue

Saudi Arabia: The End of Oil

Austerity has hit the Saudi street. But this may kickstart a new, innovative economy By Khadeeja Balkhi “The wake-up call has arrived. The politics of waste must end,” Khaled Al Maeena says in his 27th floor office in the Saudi city of Jeddah. He was referring to a transformation plan that has shaken Saudi Arabia—the biggest in decades. At the turn of the year, a newly-consolidated Ministry of Economy and Planning announced ambitious reforms, some applied with immediate effect, that would have an impact on the daily lives of the nation’s residents. Among them was the removal of various key subsidies, the introduction of several fees—and perhaps most jarring of all—bold talk of privatization. Driven by the startling and sudden advent of a national deficit, these changes were unimaginable for residents even a few years ago. From nearly zero, the national deficit shot up to 367 billion riyals ($98 billion) in 2 (Read More)

Inside Cover

Lebanon: Strained Ties

Tension between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon reflects a wider regional one By Rami G. Khouri The sudden spat between Saudi Arabia…

Features

Iraq: The Last Resort

For Sunnis who have fled Daesh in Iraq, sanctuary is hard to find  BY Naina Bajekal Photographs by Moises Saman Not…

Yemen: Sweet Spot

Syrian refugees left for Yemen, and then war broke out. Some have turned their new home into a success story…

An Afghan Idol

A female contestant on a TV talent show threw off her burqa and sang about domestic violence BY Danielle Moylan…

JNU Protests: To Create a Nation

India’s state apparatus is getting personal—and dissidents are bearing the brunt BY Meena Kandasamy The suicide of Dalit research scholar and…

Down Time

Tracking the North Star

Theeb script-writer, Bassel Ghandour’s journey to film By Arfa Shahid “How do you track with the stars?” asks a Bedouin…

Palestine: Tuning In

Musicians defy Israeli roadblocks to spread music By Maher Abu Khater NEAR THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN town of Ramallah, the Naseeb…