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. 365, March

A Crumbling Coalition: Despite the Rhetoric from Washington, Which Attempts to Persuade the International Community Things Are Improving, US Allies Are Peeling Away as the Crisis in Iraq Deepens
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION'S DECISION to cut the number of American troops in Iraq, seeking to reduce casualties in advance of this year's mid-term congressional elections, and push the Iraqis into taking primary responsibility for fighting the insurgency,...
After Hamas Victory, Now Israelis Go to the Polls
The victory by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Palestinian elections has presented the world (or more precisely America, Europe, the UN, Israel and Egypt) with Pontius Pilate's age old political dilemma: should we do what appears principled...
A New Chapter Begins: Fatah Is Held Accountable and Hamas Reaps the Benefits. Mariam Shahin Reports from the West Bank on the Results of the Palestinian Elections and the Politicians to Watch as a New Era Is Ushered In
OVER ONE MILLION PALESTINIANS WENT TO THE POLLS ON 25 January and changed the course of history. By overwhelmingly voting in favour of an Islamist list of candidates they ushered in a new era. With 77% of eligible voters casting their ballots, the...
A Voice for Freedom: An Algerian Singer-Songwriter Is Creating an International Sensation. Although She Rarely Signs in English, She Has Won Hearts Worldwide-For Souad Massi Is Not Only Blessed with a Golden Voice but Quite Remarkable Courage. Stephen Williams Profiles This Extraordinary Artist
WHEN SHE SINGS IN ARABIC, with all the rare sweetness that is her hallmark. Souad Massi creates a double effect. Not only has she the wonderful knack of transcending linguistic barriers, she is able to move an audience literally to tears with the hauntingly...
Bird Flu Threat Causes Mounting Concern: The Countries of the Middle East Are on Red Alert for Any Evidence of Avian Flu. However, as Richard Seymour Discovered, the Scale of the Problem Is Difficult to Assess and Will Remain So, Unless Certain Regional Precautionary Measures Are Introduced Soon
AVIAN FLU IS NOW NO LONGER A blight affecting only the rural areas of Southeast Asia with their overcrowded poultry markets and chickens roaming free in backyards. Every nation west of countries such as Turkey, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia...
Comment
The furore which swept through cities across the world following the publication, initially in Denmark and later further afield, of a series of cartoons deemed "offensive" to Muslims, was predictable. The scenes of outraged Muslims waving placards...
Egyptian Inspirations: Celebrating 50 Years of Creative Weaving, an Exhibition at the Brunei Centre in London Presents a Rare Opportunity to See a Dazzling Collection of Tapestries from One of the World's Greatest Schools of Weaving, Egypt's Ground-Breaking Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre in Harrania
TAPESTRIES PRODUCED BY weavers of the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre have been highly sought after by international museums across the world. Those fortunate enough to acquire examples include The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Royal Museum...
Energy Becomes an EU Election Issue
THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) WILL outline its new thinking on energy security this month, following the scare in January when Russian gas supplies to a host of East European countries, as well as Germany, France and Italy, were temporarily cut off. But...
Foiling the Fakers: Reports Claim the Middle East Region Is One of the World's Hotspots When It Comes to Counterfeit US Currency. Stephen Williams Looks at the Evidence
THIS MONTH, THE UNITED STATES Federal Reserve will put the new-design $10 note into circulation, the final note to be issued in a series of changes to US paper currency. It completes a process that the organisation began a decade ago in the hope that...
Get the Windfalls into Circulation, IMF Urges: Despite Record Oil Income, Arab Economies Are Growing Far Slower Than Those of the Oil-Dependent Asian Tigers. the IMF and Other International Development Agencies Warn That This Growth "Gap" Will Widen Sharply Unless Governments Undertake Major Infrastructure Investment and Fundamental Social Reform
IN THE MIDDLE OF WINTER, WHILE the Arab world seethed in anger over anti-Muslim cartoons published in a Danish newspaper, few turned a critical eye on the very real economic dangers which confront Muslims living in the oil states of the Middle East...
In the Eye of the Beholder
THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT 3,300 British soldiers were to be deployed to one of the most violent and unruly parts of Afghanistan coincided with the death in February of the 100th British soldier in Iraq. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, accused by parents...
Iran Takes on Us but at What Cost?
While Iran's nuclear aims are the accepted mainstream reason for the US's aggressive stance towards Tehran, these nuclear ambitions are not new, Speculation is increasing that the Iranian decision mighty US dollar from all its future oil trading is...
Oil and Gas: The Sky's the Limit: Analyst Neil Ford Looks at the Oil Market Which Appears Set to Soar, as Higher Than Anticipated World Demand Shows No Signs of Abating
RECORD GLOBAL DEMAND FOR OIL along with changes to the power sector generation mix around the world, are providing a host of opportunities for investors in the Middle East and North African oil sector. Oil production in the region is expected to increase...
Serving the Super Rich
In the first of six reports, Moin Siddiqi look into the foreign portfolio investments of Arab official, institutional and private investors. The 'super-rich' Arabs and public sector investment agencies over the decades have become sophisticated, wary...
Tehran Puts the Cat among the Pigeons
IRAN'S MULTIBILLION DOLLAR GAS deals with India should survive Delhi's decision to vote to refer the Iranian nuclear question to the United Nations (UN) Security Council. It had been expected Delhi would vote against the International Atomic Energy...
The Oil of Life
EVERYONE KNOWS THE POLITICS OF oil is crucial to life in the Middle East. In one corner of the region, however, "oil politics" has another connotation altogether. To Saudis, Kuwaitis, Iraqis, Omanis, Algerians and Libyans, oil means the vast petroleum...
Win Some, Lose Some
IN THE ROAD WHERE I LIVE THERE IS A RATHER BEAUTIFUL, if somewhat dilapidated old house, built over a hundred years ago, when Queen Victoria was on the throne of England. Some time ago a property developer offered the elderly couple who lived there...