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. 437, November

Alecso: A Tool for Accelerating Modernity
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Mohamed-El Aziz Ben Achour, the Director General of Alecso, is an academic and former Tunisian Minister of Culture. Since he joined the Organisation--which operates in the field of Arab culture and education--four years ago,...
Algeria Opens Its Doors to Foreign Investment
With a whopping $38bn earned primarily from its oil and gas exports in the first half of this year alone, Algeria is attracting a new influx of foreign investors, bankers, entrepreneurs and exporters seeking untapped markets. Given its lack of integration...
Arab Governments and the Social Media Revolution: Leaders in the Middle East Are Increasingly Using Social Media Networks in a Bid to Increase Transparency and Effectively Communicate with Their Citizens
TWITTER, FACEBOOK AND LINKEDIN WERE all the preserve of geeks, young urbanites and celebrities before governments all over the world realised the potential of social media and started using it to engage with their people. Statistics speak for themselves:...
Arabic Script Meets Proportional Science: Rhona Wells Talked to Ahmed Moustafa about His Artistic Journey
AHMED MOUSTAFA-KHALID KISHTAINY-ALECSO-BOOKS [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AHMED MOUSTAFA ORIGINALLY TRAINED AS a figurative artist in the neoclassical European tradition, drawing his inspiration primarily from Renaissance masters. It was a chance remark...
Comment
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE 15 YEAR OLD PAKISTANI GIRL MALALA Yousufzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban for being outspoken about pursuing her dream of an education, is now in England for life saving treatment. Messages of support from around...
Democracy Remains Deadlocked as Khamenei Cracks Down: Iran Is in Turmoil as the 2013 Presidential Election Race Starts to Heat Up amid a Tehran Power Struggle and a Crumbling Sanctions-Battered Economy. the Signs Are That Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei Is Taking a Tough Pre-Emptive Line to Keep Opponents in Line
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] WITH SEVEN MONTHS TO GO BEFORE Iran's presidential election, the extraordinary power struggle between outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah All Khamenei is heating up, against a backdrop of the...
East Jerusalem: Promoting Private & Foreign Investment
While the focus of the international community's aid to Palestine in the past few years has been concentrated on increasing the sustainability of its political institutions, the economic needs of Palestinians have often taken second place, not least...
Foreign Investors Eye MENA Healthcare Market
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] AS THE "DISEASE OF AFFLUENCE" INCREASINGLY affects the wealthier populations of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait and other Gulf states, at the same time less advantaged Arab countries including Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and the Sudan...
From London
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Talha Ahsan is a British Muslim citizen born in London in 1979. In the week of his arrest--six years ago--he had job interviews to train as a librarian. He has Asperger Syndrome (a form of autism) and in a report of June 2009,...
In Search of Arabian Sands: If Your Sense of Adventure Draws You to the Deserts of Arabia, as It Did the Intrepid Travellers Freya Stark, Wilfred Thesiger and So Many Others, There Are Now Multiple Resorts across the Region Offering Adventure and Escapism, with the Added Bonus of Luxurious Accommodation of a Calibre Those Early Explorers Could Only Have Dreamed Of
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] TOURISM IN THE MIDDLE EAST SUFFERED a major setback as a result of the popular uprisings that took place in the region during 2011. Until that point, the region had, over the past decade, been the fastest growing tourist destination...
Letter from Cairo
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] THE BATTLE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS IN EGYPT, as embodied in the new constitution, has begun, though few Egyptians are engaged in it. The Constituent Assembly, an Islamist, male dominated group is charged with the re-drafting of this...
Luxury Retailers Indulge Middle East Markets
The Middle East is one of the world's regions where retailers can most easily expand, in particular at the high end of the sector. There are compelling opportunities in the region for luxury companies currently experiencing low growth in their domestic...
New Role for Old Relations: Relations between Turkey and the Rest of the World Are Showing Healthy Signs of Economic Development and Growth and Nowhere More Noticeably Than in Africa
THE MASSIVE INVESTMENT MADE IN AFRICA by Chinese companies over the past few years has been well documented. From oil and mining to dams and housing, mainly state owned Chinese firms now view the continent as an excellent investment opportunity. Yet...
Oil Shale: The Challenge Ahead
WORLD ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND prices, especially oil prices, are on the increase and, since conventional crude oil resources are not infinite, it is essential to develop energy solutions. One future challenge of the market will be the exploitation...
Pay to Play: By 2014 Afghans Are Due to Take over Complete Responsibility for Defending Their Country, Basing It on Good Governance, Rule of Law and Transparency. but Is the Country So Riven by Corrupt Practices as to Render the Transition to Mature Statehood Almost beyond Hope?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A NUMBER OF RECENT PRESS REPORTS SHOW that wealthy Afghans, including many business leaders, are quietly leaving the country. Increasing numbers of Afghan entrepreneurs and members of the Afghan upper class, concerned about...
Qatar Plays a Strategic LNG Game
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] QATAR HAS SPENT A DECADE MAKING A virtue out of LNG necessity. The tiny peninsular state signed off vast LNG expansion in the early 2000s to become the world's largest (77mt/y) liquid player. It was deemed a low risk play,...
Smoke & Mirrors: The News out of Damascus Gives Little Cause for Optimism That an End to the Violence Is in Sight but, If There Are Any Lessons to Be Learned, It Is Vital Not to Lose Track of How and Why It Began in the First Place
SYRIA IS NO EXCEPTION TO THE OLD PROVERB that truth is the first casualty of war, and in any conflict, no party has a monopoly on propaganda. What is surprising, however, is the deployment of mythology that is easily refuted. One such example is the...
The Existential Essence of the Islamic Republic Is Interwoven with Insecurity
The principles on which Iran operates are dictated by a single voice but that voice does not belong to the president. So, however frequently the singer may change, the song will remain the same. In this editorial Dr Behrooz Behbudi, founder of the...
The Flood and the Women: Khalid Kishtainy Was Born in Baghdad and Has Lived in the UK since Shortly after the 1958 Coup in His Homeland. He Is a Highly Regarded Author, Translator and Broadcaster with a Popular Satirical Column in the Daily Asharq Al Awsat Newspaper
WHETHER TRYING IN Britain TO seduce your neighbour's wife or secure an overdraft from your bank manager, you start the conversation with the unfailing subject of the weather. In Iraq, the subject is always water, the water level of the twin rivers,...
Winds of Change in Washington?
"I ALMOST HAD TO SIT DOWN WHEN I heard that," said NBC's chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel, in response to US President Barack Obama's statement in September that he does not consider Egypt an ally. "That is a significant change in the perspective...