The Middle East

A monthly magazine of current events, trends, and news from the Middle East region. Articles cover economics, politics, and the relationship between the two in the region.

Articles from No. 235, June

A Little Late in the Day
Can Algeria's long-awaited agreement with the IMF start to solve its problems? Or is the agreement too little too late? Susan Morgan reports from Algiers on the latest developments in Algeria's chronic economics problems. THE AGREEMENT between Algeria...
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An Age-Old Dispute
The city of Hebron is considered by Muslims and Jews as holy to their respective faiths. But it is in Hebron where the two sides have fought each other most vehemently for the past 60 years. A 1929 massacre of religious Jews by Palestinians is now being...
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Berbers in Distress
At present, the main threat to the Algerian government is posed by the fundamentalist movement. But the regime may yet face a war on two fronts - the Berbers on the one hand and the fundamentalists on the other. Susan Morgan looks at the background to...
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Building on Ancient Foundations
Commentators and journalists have dubbed it "a sleepy oasis", the new "Kingdom of Arafat", and the "capital of Palestine". This is Jericho. After a 45-year exile and an equally long struggle to create the state of Palestine, it appears that it will...
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Ciller under Pressure
Turkey's embattled prime minister, Tansu Ciller, is facing mounting pressure to step down as the country confronts its most serious economic crisis in the past decade, writes Amberin Zaman from Ankara. Since coming to power less than a year ago, the...
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Cold War across the River
The PLO and Israel signed an historic self-rule agreement in Cairo last month, though not with much grace. This small step towards a settlement must now be shown to be a stepping stone towards a wider resolution of the problem. Correspondents for The...
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Dubai Duty Free - 10 Years On
DUBAI DUTY FREE has seldom been out of the headlines since its launch in 1983. Not only did it lead a revolution in the Middle East by being the first to develop a modern, Western style duty free shopping, but it is a key part participant in the promotion...
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Eco-Genocide in the Marshes
Southern Iraq's ancient marshlands, the largest wetland ecosystem in the Middle East and home to the Marsh Arabs for nearly 5,000 years, will disappear entirely within the next 10 to 20 years if the Iraqi government continues to drain them at its current...
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Holy Check Points
As the Palestinians of Jericho and Gaza ready themselves for the prospects of self-rule, their brethren in Jerusalem can look forward to no such future. Plagued by daily confrontations with the Israeli military and a virtual siege dividing them from...
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How Not to Do It
For all those who believe that "co-existence", rather than a parallel existence, between Palestinians and Israelis is an ideal solution to the century-old conflict between the two peoples, visiting an Arab town in Israel may be an unexpected shock. One...
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Liquid Diplomacy
Multilateral negotiations on water issues held in Oman in April and attended by a high-profile Israeli delegation produced agreement on five projects and were described by participants as the most successful of the six rounds on water held so far. Peter...
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Marital Breakdown
Whether united with the south or alone once more, north Yemen is facing an uncertain future. Outside observers have been placing so much emphasis on predicting the future of a united Yemen that few have stopped to think what the implications might be...
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Mummies at Rest
A number of Egyptian royal mummies have gone on show once again in Cairo, after having been removed from the public eye on the instructions of former president Anwar Sadat. The remains of some of the country's best known rulers have been on the move...
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Paradise Lost
Desert mountain ranges back palm-fringed beaches on the shores of one of the world's prime deep sea diving locations where the sun shines all year. But in the resort town of Dahab on the South Sinai coast, residents are waging a battle against a very...
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Poor but Happy
In the westlands of Gaza, Palestinian labourers, banned from working inside the Israeli green line, vigorously toil away for half their normal salaries - yet they are happy. For the first time, as far back as they can remember, Palestinians are building...
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Restoration of Holy Shrine Complete
The third holiest mosque in the Muslim world The Dome of the Rock has been restored to its former glory by the completion of a $6.5m renovation programme. Since the site was chosen for Muslim worship by the second Caliph Omar in 638 AD and built by the...
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Saudi's Tough Task in the USA
Saudi Arabia confounded the pundits and startled the soccer world by finishing at the top of the Asian qualifying group for the 1994 World Cup. To qualify for the world's biggest single sporting festival was an outstanding achievement for a country that...
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Special Report
Years ago, when airports were cavernous places where people reading newspapers sat in orderly rows awaiting transportation, duty free shopping, where it existed, was regarded largely as something to fill the time between check in and boarding. Cigarettes...
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The Stasi Connection
Colonel Gaddafi, his lawyers and his public relations men must think Christmas comes early. If German press reports are to be believed, the case against the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing on the brink of collapse. Why? Because a new culprit...
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Turning the Screw
TOURISM BRINGS VAST amounts of much needed foreign currency into countries around the Middle East. Some states, Egypt for example, have relied heavily on tourist receipts to keep their economy afloat, for decades. Others, like Turkey, are just beginning...
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