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. 265, March

$2 Billion Project to Make the Desert Bloom
By detonating a symbolic explosion at a site that Egypt claims will be the biggest water pumping station in the world, President, Hosni Mubarak's plan to make the desert bloom is underway but not without attracting a variety of criticisms and objections....
Caspian Neighbours Seek Accord on Offshore Deals
The five countries surrounding the hydrocarbon-rich Caspian must resolve their conflict over the development of their seabed resources. A series of tough negotiations could lead to a convention later this year. Russia and Kazakhstan hope that they have...
Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell
Pat McDonnell Twair talked to Janet Wallach, the author of a new book on the fascinating life of explorer, author and adventurer Gertrude Bell. In this latest biography of desert explorer/archaeologist and mentor of Iraq's King Faisal, the author Janet...
Hebron - Living with the Deal
Three years ago a deranged fanatic, Baruch Goldstein, shot into a crowd of worshippers at the Haram al Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron and murdered 29 Palestinians. Since then the name Hebron has been connected with violence, hatred and mistrust. Many analysts...
Jewel in the Crown
Egypt's steel sector is on the verge of phenomenal growth. In December the privately owned Ezz Group signed an agreement with Italian plant equipment manufacturer, Danieli, to build Egypt's first flat steel products plant. State-owned ANSDK (Alexandria...
Khartoum in Isolation
For Sudan's radical Islamic government 1997 started badly and promises to get worse.The January offensive of a reinvigorated and united, temporarily at least, opposition has in part demonstrated the increasing isolation of Khartoum by its neighbours....
Land of Black Gold
While the government of the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan plans to start distributing privatisation vouchers in April, the promise of oil has led many to talk of a new Dubai. Despite resembling a spy from a B-grade movie the finance ministry...
Not for Sale
The new war between Jews and Palestinians is not being waged on a battlefield. It is a struggle by Not For Sale Muslims and Christians to retain ownership of their properties in East Jerusalem, threatened with takeovers by extremist Jews who hope someday...
Playing a Waiting Game
There is a growing belief in Damascus that the United States' condemnation of South Africa's proposed arms deal with Syria could be part of a broader US campaign to force Syria to resume talks with Israel over a land-for-peace deal. "We know that the...
Principles at a Price
"I have to go out on the street and sell what I own," says a man holding a child's bicycle in one hand and a radio in the other in the Shashaheed district in the centre of Kabul. "I support my parents, my wife and five children, but I cannot earn any...
Regional Round-Up
In the final part of an overview of regional economies, ANDREW ALBUM looks at the performance of the North African and Levantine states. Egypt is rapidly establishing itself as the region's economic success story and this situation looks set to continue...