Archive: oman

5th July 2020
By: Brian Whitaker
During the last two weeks the Gulf state of Oman has seen a shift in the pattern of its coronavirus epidemic. Previously, most of the new infections were occurring among foreigners – predominantly migrant workers from poor countries. That has now changed and the majority of new cases are Omani… Read more
4th June 2020
During the past week confirmed Covid-19 cases in Oman have risen by 62% and now total more than 13,000. On Wednesday alone, the Gulf state recorded 738 new infections. Health minister Ahmed al-Saidi blames the increase on people socialising during the Islamic month of Ramadan (24 April-23 May)… Read more
10th May 2020
Indian citizens have begun returning home from Arab states in the Gulf as part of a massive operation to repatriate them. Migrant workers in the Gulf have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and many have been anxious to leave. Some nationalities have been able to do so and… Read more
10th August 2017
By: Brian Whitaker
Covering the face with a burqa has become a contentious issue, and several countries have imposed bans or restrictions. The debate, to quote a BBC report, "takes in religious freedom, female equality, secular traditions and even fears of terrorism". What people usually have in mind during these… Read more
23rd February 2017
By: Brian Whitaker
When it comes to reporting the conflict in Yemen, Fox News is exceptionally bad. Fox has been fooling its viewers for years but now, with Donald Trump installed in the White House, the problem is becoming a more serious. Trump is a devotee of Fox News: it tells him what he wants to hear – about… Read more
17th January 2017
By: Brian Whitaker
One much-repeated argument in favour of Brexit is that it will "liberate" Britain from the "burden" of complying with EU regulations. For several weeks now, the British government has been trumpeting the prospect of compensating for lost trade with Europe by boosting trade with the Gulf… Read more
7th January 2017
By: Brian Whitaker
There was exciting news from Oman last month when Sultan Qaboos – the Gulf state's despotic ruler for the last 46 years – was honoured with the 2016 Arab Human Rights Award. Previous winners have included the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey. The… Read more
20th October 2016
By: Brian Whitaker
In a story labelled "exclusive", Reuters reports that Iran has stepped up transfers of weapons to Yemen's Houthis: "The increased pace of transfers in recent months, which officials said include missiles and small arms, could exacerbate a security headache for the United States ... "Much of the… Read more
3rd October 2016
By: Brian Whitaker
The repressive Sultanate of Oman is to be honoured next month by an official visit from Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne. But one Omani newspaper will definitely not be reporting on the prince's trip: last week a court ordered the permanent closure of Azamn newspaper and sentenced… Read more
24th February 2013
By: Brian Whitaker
Rampant military splendour: the despotic Sultan Qaboos    With the killing of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011, Sultan Qaboos of Oman inherited the mantle of the Middle East's longest-surviving despot. Qaboos – described by the US State Department as "a longtime friend of the United States and a valued… Read more