An Interview with Guido Steinberg, expert on Terrorism and the Middle East
Understanding the complexities of Islamist terrorism is a daunting task, but with the right guidance, it can become much more manageable. Guido Steinberg, an expert in this field, is someone who possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to explain this subject in...
GCC Efforts To Aid Syria and Turkey
GCC rescue teams have joined the international efforts to help the people of Turkey and Syria after the catastrophic earthquake. The wider population has started to make efforts to assist by collecting clothes, medicine and other things that are needed. Saudi...
Divorce: A Dignified Option for Saudi Women
Saudi Arabia recorded an unprecedented increase in divorce rates during 2022, reaching 168 cases per day, with 7 divorce cases every hour, and at a rate exceeding one case every 10 minutes.
Arab Traditions on UNESCO Heritage List
UNESCO's Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage were first started in 2008, to highlight and safeguard intangible knowledge and traditions that make up our cultural world heritage, such as the art of Arabic calligraphy and falconry (both listed in 2021), camel racing...
Saudis Must Look for a New Moral Compass
Saudi Arabia has had an enormous facelift in the past 6 years. The effects of modernization are fundamental and have benefited the economy and society a great deal in its process of development. Will the opportunities be used wisely by a society that has experienced...
Couch Surfing in Saudi Arabia
Travel writer Stephan Orth went to Saudi Arabia with a tourist visa and shares what he experienced as a couchsurfer. He pointed out the fantastic hospitality. Stephan Orth wollte testen wie ernst #SaudiArabien es mit seiner Tourismus Offensive meint. Hier sein „Test...
Travel Destination Saudi Arabia (Part 1)
Once considered one of the most difficult countries to visit, boosting tourism in Saudi Arabia is in full flight. By launching new cultural festivals, sporting events like the Dakar Rallye, easing visa restrictions, opening new tourist sites Saudi Arabia is clearly...
12th Arab Youth Survey 2020: An In-depth Insight on Arab Youth
This month ASDA’A BCW, a public relations consultancy, presented its 12th Arab Youth Survey. The annual survey is an independent study on Arab youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and their opinions on a range of subjects. Conducted by interviewing...
Haddad: Saudi Arabia’s Outlook Still Positive
For statesmen worldwide would not mind a crystal ball that tells them how they can fix economies and societies after the Corona crisis. The fear is big for economic collapse and loss. Carmen Haddad, CEO of Citi SaudiArabia is a voice that sees KSA’s future positively.
The Splendour of Ramadan
Ramadan under Covid-19 in Saudi Arabia
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this year Ramadan in the Saudi Arabia and the entire Muslim world will not be the same.
On 10 April, the government in Saudi Arabia announced it what it considers the last in a series of restrictions which it has imposed on the nation to combat COVID-19, even before the first case was reported in the country. The holy cities of Makkah and Madinah will shut down completely. In addition, no prayers will take place in the holy mosques of Makkah or Madinah, or any other mosques in the country. People may only move within their district, from 8 AM to 3 PM, and only to shop for food or medicines.
Saudis in Lockdown
At first, I could not grasp the depression that overcame me with the gradual lockdown. I tried to reason with myself, but still continued feeling trapped.
Like many other cities in the world, Dubai went into lockdown. The closure happened gradually, making it easier for citizens to adjust overtime in anticipation of the upcoming situation, thus avoiding the shock of an instant shutdown.
The Coronavirus Crisis in the Gulf
This is the Grand Mosque of Makkah without people after Saudi authorities banned public attendance. It is a heartbreaking scene for anyone who has been there.
This is the second time in Saudi Arabian history that worshippers are not allowed into the Grand Mosque (the first was the Makkah siege in 1979), and that it is empty illustrates the risk of the Coronavirus spreading.
Is Clean Energy a Catalyst for Females in Business?
I came across this article published by the London School of Economics written by Saudi researcher Aisha Al-Sarihi. I liked the piece because it combines three important factors for the future of Saudi economy; women, energy and employment. And shows how changing mindset is important to realize economic development in Saudi Arabia.
Aljubeir Grilled by the Media
Saudi State Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel Jubeir took part in a discussion at British think thank Chatham House. It is interesting to witness Mr. Al Jubeir, a seasoned foreign affairs expert, how handled the discussion with reasonable arguments.
Harrer: It Is Not Only Misunderstandings Between Arabs and Europeans
I came across Gudrun Harrer for the first time on Twitter and was surprised for not having known of her before. Reading her articles was smooth like reading prose rather than a political analysis. This was not due only to the Austrian charm and irony in her writing, but her deep knowledge and vision of things that make it easy to understand and learn. Despite a few points here and there that I would say are a Western mentality, I would agree with much of what she writes.
Haifaa Al-Mansour in Second Oscars Race
This month, Saudi Arabia nominated the movie The Perfect Candidate as best foreign language film for the Oscars. This is not the first nomination for the director and script-writer Haifaa Al Mansour, whose movie Wajda was nominated in 2012. In January 2019, Al Mansour received a Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum for her leadership in cultural transformation in the Arab World. So who is Haifaa Al Mansour?
At Last Saudi Women Are Free to Travel
Passport for Saudi Women: The Saudi Arabian government announced this week on many different sites; AlArabiya TV news, “Akhbar AlSaudia“ portal, online newspaper “Sabq” and others that it has changed its laws and regulations to allow women to obtain passport without the permission of their guardian. Immediately after it announced that, it added that women over 21 years can travel without a guardian and most importantly, without his permission. This is overwhelming news.
Dubai Based Businessman: Saudis Dare to Be Different
Babak Chehrazi, an Iranian businessman who wants to do business in Saudi Obviously, Dubai is not enough. At least, this applies to Babak (Bobby) Chernazidi who runs a clothes store in Dubai Design District, Closet. His shop is for those dare to be different....
My First Visit to a Football Match in Jeddah
Al-Ittihad is my football team from Jeddah. I grew up in a family that sees the world through yellow and black (our team’s colors). It’s called “Dean of Saudi Football” because it is the oldest club, having been founded in the 1920s. The history of Al-Ittihad is filled with trophies and wins. Today, they are playing against AlTawaoun from Tabouk in the final game for the Crown Prince’s Cup. It’s a particularly important game because Al-Ittihad faced difficult financial times in the last two years, resulting in the team being in 13th place out of 16 in the Saudi Football League. Energy and enthusiasm were low as the team was facing the Second league.
Saudi Society Rediscovered: Abdulaziz AlKhedir’s Book on Saudi Arabia
This month, I came across a book on my shelf that I had bought many years ago but never read. It is called “Saudi Arabia: Biography and Nation”, written by Abdulaziz AlKhedir. The book is only available in Arabic, no English version. I found this book very informative on Saudi society and would like to share it with my readers.
Saudi Film and Entertainment Industry: A New Dawn
Saudi film producer Amr Al Qahtani believes that the Saudi film industry is experiencing new dawn through cinemas opening in Saudi Arabia, liberalization of the entertainment sector, and regulations concerning art being relaxed. He predicts a growing interest and demand for Saudi movies. In this interview, Amr talks about the rapidly changing entertainment sector why the nascent Saudi film industry faces a promising future.
Tasneem Sultan: Photographer Who Rejects Stereotypes
Tasneem Alsultan is a Saudi-American photographer based in Saudi Arabia. She is known for her work on gender and social issues in Saudi Arabia.
Born in the United States, Tasneem moved to Saudi Arabia when she was 16 and went to university at the same time she started her family.
Guardianship and women’s rights in Saudi Arabia
This week, I came across this balanced and informative article, which explains the aspect of guardianship and women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. This topic has been widely discussed in international media, creating a stigma for Saudi society, due to a lack of complete information.
This article gives the whole picture from all angels for the reader to understand the reality of the situation facing Saudi women.
The Youngest Photographer in the Middle East
At this year’s Arab Media Forum I met Muteib Alhadeif, the photographer. At the age of 6, he got the title “Youngest Photographer in the Middle East”.
He famously started after he met with Prince Muteib bin Abdullah at a horse riding event who admired this talent and gave him camera equipment as a gift. Today, he is 10 years old and dreams to pursue a career as a cameraman and a photographer.
The Poetess: The Makkah deal and its impact on Saudi society
Understanding the Saudi society requires a lot of patience and research. The society is weaved with intricate patterns of religion, culture, rules and a desire to break free. On the last day of this year’s Dubai Film Festival, I watched the documentary “The Poetess”.
It is an international co-production. The story and characters are Saudi. However, the two film directors were German, so was the funding. The film had German and UAE production as well.
Maan Al Sanea Arrested: Saudi Controversial Businessman Brought to Justice
Maan Al Sanea arrested finally. Yesterday in the early evening, Maan Al Sanea was arrested by Saudi security forces. The security forces arrested the well-known businessman, who had been evading justice and the enforcement of judicial decisions against him for a long time.
Trump’s Ladies Visit: What to Talk About?
Trump two-day visit to Saudi Arabia was an event that carried a lot of question marks with it – Trump’s performance on his first foreign trip – Russian affairs (and others) haunting him at home – his low ratings and many more. The one issue none expected were Melania and Ivanka. They became THE ISSUE.
Saudi Arabia and Women Rights
Poor women’s rights are associated with Saudi Arabia. It remains a big question mark how the government will create a change – despite its so many tiny efforts.
If you were a Saudi woman, like me, I am not sure how you would feel about all the recent talk about more rights for women. Not to forget the ongoing difficult status of women in Saudi Arabia. Honestly, I don’t know. It is a roller coaster of emotions that takes me from despair to ecstatic excitement on being a Saudi woman. Though, as said, it is never a set feeling or reaction.
Story of Dina: Running Away with a Reason
Saudi Arabia has the image – rightly so – suppressing women. Last week a Saudi woman Dina, in a bold act, was caught back home by her family on her flight to seek freedom in Australia and rose outrage. Was this the only solution to seek freedom?
Dina Ali Saloom’s case drew a lot of attention on social media, human rights organization called for her immediate release condemning Saudi Arabia’s human rights records and of course a Twitter hashtag was created to save her.