middle east

MENA Soft Power

Meet the region’s leading female politicians BY Leila Hatoum and Bilal Aziz  Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is led by a woman—Angela Merkel. The United States may just elect its first ever female president, Democrat-nominee Hillary Clinton, who has gained further support on the ground according to recent polls. Many people from the Middle East, especially women, wonder if

[ Read More ]

New Tunisian Premier Tries to Break Economic Reform Curse

By Tarek Amara TUNIS, Aug 10 – Tunisia has gone through five prime ministers in as many years since its revolution, each pushing a widely-praised transition to democracy. None, though, has made much progress in building the economic stability and opportunity that young Tunisians demand. Now the sixth post-uprising premier, French-educated technocrat Youssef Chahed, is

[ Read More ]

Saudi Arabia: Quietly Does It

The Saudi transformation few are paying attention to BY Fahad Nazer Media coverage of Saudi Arabia over the past year has largely focused on its new, more assertive foreign policy, as demonstrated by its military campaign in Yemen. More recently, a blueprint for economic reform known as “Vision 2030” aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on

[ Read More ]

Middle East’s Smart Cities

Solar energy is creating the Middle East’s very own smart cities BY Vicente López-Ibor Mayor The formation of the first cities more than 9,000 years ago, stands as civilization’s greatest milestone. Yet, it was technological innovation—the invention of the wheel—that made agriculture, farming and by extension, civilization itself, possible. That same spirit of technological innovation

[ Read More ]

Saudi Arabia Expands its Anti-Iran Strategy Beyond the Middle East

By Angus McDowall RIYADH, June 5 – Under King Salman, Saudi Arabia is expanding its confrontation with Iran well beyond the Middle East, no longer relying heavily on Western allies to smother Tehran’s ambitions outside the Arab world. Since Salman came to power early last year, and Tehran struck a nuclear deal with world powers,

[ Read More ]

Hardliner Elected as Head of Iran’s Top Clerical Body

DUBAI, May 24 – A powerful anti-Western cleric was chosen on Tuesday as the head of Iran’s new Assembly of Experts, in a sign that hardliners are still in firm control of the body in charge of choosing the next supreme leader. Ahmad Jannati, 90, is a an outspoken critic of President Hassan Rouhani and

[ Read More ]

Dissent Stifled, Not Crushed, in Turkish Ruling Party as PM Exits

By Orhan Coskun and Ercan Gurses ANKARA, May 9 – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan may have stamped his authority on the ruling AK Party with the exit of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, but the move has pushed dissent underground rather than cementing unity in its ranks. Davutoglu’s announcement that he will not run again for

[ Read More ]

Saudis Await Prince’s Vision of Future with Hope and Concern

By Marwa Rashad RIYADH, April 24 – Saudi Arabians are anticipating with hope, doubt and worry the release this week of a government plan to liberate the kingdom from its reliance on oil, which could solve deep-rooted problems but bring economic pain. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 30-year-old son of King Salman, is

[ Read More ]

With Alliances Strained, Obama Seeks to Reassure Gulf States on Iran

By Angus McDowall, Roberta Rampton and Sylvia Westall RIYADH/WASHINGTON/KUWAIT, April 19 – President Barack Obama travels to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday with a familiar message: the United States will not abandon its Gulf allies in their struggle against Iran, a regional power they fear is seeking to undermine their security. Tired of what they see as a reduced commitment

[ Read More ]

Erdogan Says Turkey and Iran Must Cooperate to Fight Terrorism, Sectarianism

ANKARA, April 16 – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday his country and neighboring Iran must work together to help tackle the terrorism and sectarianism shaking their region. Ankara and Tehran are deeply divided in their views over Syria’s war, but they are looking to boost trade ties after international sanctions on Iran were

[ Read More ]