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. 348, August-September

Access All Areas: If Knowledge Is Power the Internet Has Placed an Invaluable Tool in Our Hands. However, like All Forms of Power Its Use Is Open to Abuse
INFORMATION, CONSIDERED BY SOME to be the oil of the 21st century, has long been in the hands of a select few. Governments and wealthy media moguls who owned television stations and newspapers controlled the flow of information and became tremendously...
And Now for the Oil: With Diplomatic Rapprochement Almost Complete, Libya's Re-Entry into the International Political Economy Is Progressing to a New Stage. Attention Is Now Turning to Economic Matters in General and the North African Country's Hydrocarbon Riches in Particular
THE LIBYAN GOVERNMENT IS KEEN to attract foreign investment in a wide range of sectors but realises that only greatly increased nil and gas production can generate the income required to develop other areas of the economy. After years of diplomatic...
Arab Food Woos Us Market
Moroccan Clementines, Tunizan Olive oil, Lebanese preserves and Bahraini dates are winning growing numbers of American customers. Efforts by government export agencies as well as private food producers are paying off, accessing the multi-billion dollar...
Between a Wall and a Hard Place
Israeli Leader Ariel Sharon, who spearheaded lethal "retaliations" against Palestinians in the 1950s, conquered the Sinai in the 1960s, razed homes in Gaza and became godfather of the settlers the 1970s, invaded Lebanon in the 1980s, and fought the...
Comment
IT'S OFFICIAL: THE WALL IS ILLEGAL. THE INTERNATIONAL Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling in the Hague confirmed in July what most of the civilised world has been saying for many months--that Israel's planned erection of a concrete structure, almost 700km...
Entering the Labyrinth: Rafah Town and the Adjoining Refugee Camp Have Been a Constant Battleground throughout the Israeli Occupation. Central to This Is the Intricate Network of Tunnels, Some Up to 20 Metres Deep and 800 Metres Long, Used to Smuggle Weapons and Explosives from Egypt into the Gaza Strip
THE TUNNELS OF RAFAH, the network of subterranean passages through which the Palestinians smuggle arms and explosives into the Gaza Strip from Egypt, have been a thorn in Israel's side for decades, but especially since the Al Aqsa Intifada erupted...
Fahrenheit 9/11
Film reviews in The Middle East magazine are rarely seen outside the pages of the Mosaic section. However, the release of Fahrenheit 9/11 and the subsequent accolades it has received have turned the film into something of political phenomenon, bringing,...
Flavour of the Month ... Middle Eastern Films Drew Enthusiastic Audiences at Europe's Most Celebrated Film Festival. Alexa Dalby Reports from Cannes
'AS THE PRESS ARE SO QUIET, it's good that somebody's making a big noise," commented Salman Rushdie, himself no stranger to controversy, as the controversial Cannes Film Festival prize winner Fahrenheit 9/11 finally got its release in America on 25...
Friends in High Places? the NATO Summit Left Turkey in No Doubt of Its Standing with the US Administration, but Will the Praises of President Bush Fall on Deaf Ears in Brussels? Jon Gorvett Reports from Istanbul
WHEN THE SMALL ARMY of journalists, politicians, diplomats and workers had finally packed up June's Nato summit in Istanbul--and local residents breathed a sigh of relief--many were left wondering what the conference had demonstrated about the future...
Inside the Mummy: Archaeology Meets Technology to Reveal an Ancient Egyptian Workman's Blunder, 2,800 Years after the Event
EGYPTIAN MUMMIES contain a wealth of information about the past but until now to discover their contents, they had to be unwrapped. The process is irreversible; therefore unwrapping a mummy to discover its secrets meant destroying it for good, presenting...
Jobs for the Boys: As Al Qaeda Continues to Plot and to Threaten, the United States Has Embarked upon a Programme to Keep Iraq's Best Scientific Brains out of Bin Laden's Clutches
AMID WIDENING FEARS that Al Qaeda and its affiliates are striving to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and concern about another major terrorist attack on the United States before the November presidential election, the Americans are finally...
Modernist V. Mullahs Row Holds Back Progress: If Iran Is to Press Home Its New Economic Advantage, Fiascos Such as the Recent Closure of the New Imam Khomeini Airport Must End
THE CLOSURE OF THE NEW TEHRAN airport by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in May has increased fears over the future viability of foreign investment in Iran. Even though the facility was reopened within days, the move caused real concern to President...
Olympic Hope
DEIR EL BALAH, GAZA STRIP -- FOR three hours a day, every day, a lone, tall, thin figure runs in the blazing heat across a dusty, rocky field here just opposite the road from the Mediterranean Sea, churning through construction sites and along rutted...
Power Struggle Goes On: The US Government Has Increased the Number of US Troops from 11,000 to 20,000 in the Hope of Destroying the Remnants of the Taliban in the South and Hunting Down Osama Bin Laden. but While the US Continues to Battle with Radical Militias and Terrorists, Security in Afghanistan Is Coming Apart
OUR PROBLEMS ARE not as big as they are in Iraq. But if we don't do something soon, Afghanistan will be in the same situation," explained Lutfullah Mashal, special assistant to the Minister of interior in Afghanistan. "We are getting ever closer to...
Slow, Slow, <Begin Strikethrough> Quick, Quick <End Strikethrough>, Slow
Much has been promised but little, so far, delivered on proposals outlined in the Baker Plan. But the dance continues with international partners increasingly attempting to influence the tempo. The United Nations will review the situation in Western...
Tapping Energy-Rich Iran: Iran's Strategic Importance to Global Energy Markets Cannot Be Underestimated. with over 9% of the Globe's Oil Reserves and 15%-17% of Worldwide Reserves of Natural Gas, the Hydrocarbons Resources of the Gulf's Most Populous State Are Tremendous
THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY constitutes the bedrock of Iran's $100bn-plus economy. It provides on average 80% 85% of total export earnings, one-half of the state budget and one-quarrel of gross domestic product (GI)P). Economic growth this year is anticipated...
Tool or Weapon?
A United Nations official has written to the giant US Caterpillar Company to express "deep concern" at the destruction Israel's army is wreaking with use of its American-made bulldozers. But can the US firm seriously be held responsible when even the...
VW to Close Deal with Abu Dhabi; a $2Bn-Plus Deal That Will See Gulf Interests Take a Substantial Stake in Europe's Largest Car Manufacturer Is Close to Completion
ABU DHABI'S STATE-OWNED Mubadala Development Company looks certain to formally sign a deal to take an undisclosed but significant stake in Europe's largest car-maker, Volkswagen (VW). Under the agreement, VW will sell Mubadala around 10% of its own...
Walking a Tightrope: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Has Few Natural Resources Compared with Its Neighbours, and the Spectre of Political Upheaval Continues to Hover Ominously on Its Eastern and Western Borders. It Is Not Easy Keeping Everybody Happy, but Creating an Economic Environment in Which All Sections of the Community Might Prosper Would Be a Good Start
JORDAN HAS GAINED FEW ADVANTAGES from its geographical location in recent years. War and instability lie on its eastern doorstep in Iraq, while the ongoing struggle between Israel and the Palestinians permeates almost every aspect of Jordanian life...
Who Holds Iraqi Purse Strings? the American Authorities in Baghdad Bypassed $18Bn of Congressionally Approved Money and Instead Spent $2.5Bn of Iraqi Oil Revenues-Without UN Authority-Prior to the Early Handing over of Sovereignty on 28 June. Milan Vesely Reports from Washington
"THE SECURITY NEEDS were just overwhelming," an occupation official said, justifying the unilateral spending of Iraqi money prior to the 28 June handover. "Would we rather have been able to save the money and have a nice kitty for the Iraqi government?...