On June 24th, the women of Saudi Arabia woke up and did something radical: they got behind the wheel of their family car and drove. This was radical, of course, because up until that day women in Saudi Arabia were not permitted to drive in the only country in the world to perpetuate such a … More Why Were the Women Jailed?
An American embassy hasn’t been the source of this much ire since 1979. While the opening of an embassy is usually a stolid diplomatic occasion, filled with polite goodwill and handshakes between dignitaries, the opening of the new American embassy in Jerusalem was anything but. At best contentious and at worst (and it was indeed … More The US Embassy in Jerusalem: For What Purpose?
Has there been anything like it in modern-day diplomacy? Perhaps not. Perhaps because world leaders are not given the luxury of time to spend on what has been an elaborate PR campaign of both man and country. Perhaps because no country has essentially the luxury of picking and choosing what aspects of itself to improve … More The Prince’s Publicity Tour
He’s back. If it had previously seemed as though the January 25th Revolution had come full circle the past few years, what with the “election” of yet another military man and an all-around death to democracy, the final nail in the proverbial coffin was hammered in by none other than Hosni Mubarak himself. The former … More Guess Who’s Back: Egyptian Revolution, 7 Years Later
“Where are you moving to?” “Bahrain.” “Where??” (Emphasis). Trying to tell people where I was moving to was futile. No one had ever heard of a country called Bahrain. I would usually tell them it’s a small island in the Arabian Gulf. Or I would tell them it’s near Dubai (since they’d all heard of … More Reflections on Three Months in Bahrain
Moving to a new country is tough. Now, imagine that, when you touch down after more than 13 hours in transit, it’s 10 pm at night. The meal you’re about to ravenously eat is the last one you’ll have until 6:30pm the next evening. This pattern will repeat itself day after day. You will not … More Eid Mubarak! My First Ramadan
American Independence Day has nothing-I repeat nothing-on the United Arab Emirates’ National Day. I love the Fourth of July, because of the symbolism behind it and because, on the Eastern End of Long Island, it means high summer is in full swing. But Independence Day here is lowkey-parties, barbecues, a parade, lots of red, white … More A National Day Like No Other in the UAE
What has caused the sudden massive influx of Syrian refugees in Europe? Was it the warmer summer months, which made risking a passage by rickety boat across the Mediterranean more inviting? Is it the fact that the situation has grown worse in Syria, as Bashar Al-Assad’s regime seems to be losing steam against rebels and IS, and the … More Do Syrian Refugees in Hungary Have the Luxury of Choice?
August 6 marked the second American Presidential Primary debate for the Republican party, an event that promised to be full of interesting (read: highly questionable) soundbites, particularly on American foreign policy in the Middle East. The candidates did not disappoint, sharing their (scary) views on the future of the Islamic State aka Daesh; how to … More MENA Viewpoints: USA Presidential Primaries Debate (R) #1
what’s happening: the Holy month of Ramadan does not mean that there’s a lack of stylish ladies around: au contraire. Between sohours, iftars and other events the fashionistas of the Middle East were kept busy one-upping each other. One star-studded event was singer (and recent Murex D’or winner) Shatha Hassoun’s sohour at the Sofitel Hotel … More Nogomi Fashions #10: Ramadan Styles Part 1