It’s dangerous to be so cosy with the Gulf’s autocrats
Comment Is Free, 11 Nov 2014
Why is the west still so close to reactionary monarchies in the Middle East when all the evidence suggests they’re on their way out?
Most Arab states share Isis’s ideology. They’re trying to have it both ways
Comment Is Free, 28 Oct 2014
Isis may be more brutal but many Arab governments are on the same ground – asserting the superiority of Islam
Yemen is being reshaped by rebellion and intrigue
Comment Is Free, 9 Oct 2014
While the world’s attention is on Syria and Iraq, the pieces of the kaleidoscope have been shaken in Yemen – with regional implications
Beyond Syria: five Middle East stories you may have missed
Comment Is Free, 3 Sep 2013
Syria is rightly dominating the news. But from Egypt's spying stork to Israeli-Palestinian talks, here's a look at what else is going on
The US view of Yemen as an
al-Qaida hotbed is a travesty of the truth
Comment Is Free, 7 Aug 2013
Yemen is a real place where people are demanding social justice and democracy. Their cause is only harmed by the US
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delivery of Arab revolts
A review of the first books about the Arab Spring.
Portal 9, Autumn, 2012.
The ongoing battle for gay rights in the Arab world
The Middle East Channel, 12 March 2012
Slow thaw for gays in Arab world
Haaretz, 2 March 2012
There is more awareness now that gay Arabs do exist and that the challenges posed by sexual nonconformity won't go away.
Syrians should beware of some of their foreign 'friends'
Comment Is Free, 26 Feb 2012
Syrians should fear eastern, not western, intervention – especially autocratic 'friends' like Saudi Arabia
Syria's protesters are on their own
Comment Is Free, 9 Jan 2012
While Arab League monitors have failed to stop the bloodshed, this may be preferable to protracted talks about political 'reform'
This week in the Middle East
Comment Is Free, 23 Dec 2010
Charities that fund the settlers; Egypt's vanishing migrants; Christmas extravagance in the Gulf, and an unhappy New Year
Persian Gulf? Arabian Gulf? One big gulf in understanding
Comment Is Free, 27 Oct 2010
Has the US switched from calling the Persian Gulf 'Arabian' just to annoy Iran? It would seem that way
With all due respect, Mr President
Comment Is Free, 18 Nov 2009
Barack Obama has talked about 'respect' on his Asian tour, but risks getting into a muddle over its meaning
What Obama will say in Cairo
Comment Is Free, 2 Jun 2009
Changing Arab and Muslim perceptions of the US will be top of Obama's agenda – but don't expect too much on Israel or Iran
Is exclusion the best policy?
Comment Is Free, 19 Mar 2009
The editor of a Hezbollah newspaper has been denied entry to Britain. It demonstrates the Home Office's confusion on the issue
Warsi wades in
Comment Is Free, 20 Feb 2009
Is there a serious problem with polygamy in the UK, or is the Baroness's attack simply cultural point-scoring?
A letter to Barack
Comment Is Free, 6 Nov 2008
Please resist the temptation to fix the Middle East, and make sure your own country leads by example
Comment Is Free, Jun 19 2008
Orientalism at 30: Research for the sake
of genuine mutual understanding should not be confused with the imperialism
of the Iraq war
Comment Is Free, Jun 4 2008
The Middle East may be a crucially
important region politically and economically, but try getting your hands on
a decent definition of it
Comment Is Free, Feb 22 2008
It's smart, organised and, er, can
squeeze through very small gaps. Let's hear it for the humble cockroach
Is the end in sight?
Comment Is Free, January 11, 2008
It's easy to understand the scepticism over Bush's current intervention in the Middle East, but we shouldn't write off the initiative just yet
Comment Is Free, November 22, 2007
YouTube has a policy against violent
postings. Fine, but what happens when you need to highlight state brutality?
spoof too far?
Comment Is Free, October 11, 2007
Comment Is Free, October 3, 2007
Comment Is Free, September 3, 2007
An experienced American diplomat
is facing trial on two charges of racial intimidation
and sending threatening messages.
of a myth
Comment Is Free, August 21, 2007
Rumours of the demise of Holocaust
education have been greatly exaggerated, but that
doesn't stop the chain emails flying.
prophet of doom
Comment Is Free, August 16, 2007
wrong kind of surge
Comment Is Free, August 2, 2007
Despite escalating evidence to the contrary, the Bush administration continues
to support the military surge in Iraq.
green light to oppression
Comment Is Free, July 31, 2007
In the name of 'fighting extremism', the
US is arming two of the Arab world's leading human rights abusers: Saudi
Arabia and Egypt.
you were here?
Comment Is Free, July 11, 2007
The main goal of Hizb ut-Tahrir is
to set up a theocracy based on discrimination against
non-Muslims and women.
Comment Is Free, June 13, 2007
An 'honour' killing caused shockwaves in Britain but it is part of a wider
social tyranny that has blighted the Middle East.
Comment Is Free, March 14, 2007
Aren't you sick of being forced to listen
to other people's phone conversations?
Comment Is Free, February 21, 2007
It contains information on a wide range of useful subjects - but is Wikipedia
just a refuge for the lazy?
end of history - or hysteria?
Comment Is Free, January 31, 2007
I am not convinced that Francis Fukuyama
was ever a real neocon - at least, not the wild-eyed variety.
down the line
Comment Is Free, January 24, 2007
Now and again, Radio 4 does something
quirky, funny and totally amazing, as one of its current comedy shows attests.
on Mahatma Brown
Comment Is Free, January 19, 2007
It comes as a relief to learn that our
amply-proportioned chancellor finds inspiration in the work of Mahatma Gandhi.
of the Year
Comment Is Free, December 29, 2006
It used to be a fair bet that whatever a columnist predicted on January 1
would be long forgotten come December 31. Not any more.
burned alive in Lagos pipeline fire
Guardian, Wednesday December 27 2006
More than 260 people were killed yesterday - burned alive when a ruptured oil
pipeline burst into flames in Lagos.
microcosm of Arab malaise
Comment Is Free, December 6, 2006
An article in a Lebanese newspaper
provides an antidote to the simplistic picture of the
Middle East found in some sections of the media.
youth believe 'war on terror' counterproductive
Guardian Unlimited, Monday December 4 2006
Young people overwhelmingly believe the US-led "war on terror" is
not making the world safer, according to a poll conducted in major cities across
the clash of civilisations
November 22 2006
“Clash of civilisations” is a catchy phrase but also a dangerous myth.
says politics lies behind rift between west and Muslims
Guardian, November 14 2006
Politics - not religion - lies at the root of a growing divide between
Muslim and western societies, according to a report presented to the UN
secretary general, Kofi Annan, yesterday.
for deal as tests point to genuine nuclear test
Guardian, October 14 2006
The US last night refused to
confirm that North Korea had joined the nuclear club,
despite the discovery of a gas consistent with a
nuclear blast in the atmosphere close to where
Pyongyang claimed it had detonated a device on
so polls apart
Comment Is Free, October 11, 2006
Condi's top priority
October 6, 2006
The purpose of Condoleezza Rice's visit to the Middle East is becoming clear - to encourage Arab states to form an alliance against Iran.
The cost of improper payments
Comment Is Free, October 4, 2006
Companies often try to shrug off bribes as a way of fitting in with local customs, but the consequences can be serious.
Comment Is Free, September 20, 2006
thinking person's Oscars
Comment Is Free, September 4, 2006
in our time?
Comment Is Free, August 31, 2006
British troops face in Afghanistan 'was underplayed'
Guardian, August 31 2006
Britons were probably not aware of
the daunting problems ahead when the government sent
additional troops to Afghanistan this year, the
Ministry of Defence conceded yesterday.
Comment Is Free, August 29, 2006
Comment Is Free, August 24, 2006
Learning a foreign language helps you to understand other
societies and cultures, and what makes people tick.
Comment Is Free, August 22, 2006
So far, so good. Despite predictions that
Iran would launch nuclear war today, the world has not ended quite yet.
Comment Is Free, August 14, 2006
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad does not really get
the point of blogging.
to end on August 22
Comment Is Free, August 9, 2006
While the Middle East smoulders,
commentators of an apocalyptic bent are lining up for a date with Armageddon.