Blog archive: Saudi Arabia

  • 16th December 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Daniel Kawczynski is the member of parliament for Shrewsbury in England, though he is jokingly known as the member for Riyadh. "I feel passionately about Saudi Arabia," he told the House of Commons during a debate in 2011. "I have been battling against extraordinary...
  • 30th November 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A Yemeni journalist has become the latest victim of Saudi Arabia's laws against religious disbelief. Thirty-year-old Ali Muhsin Abu Lahoum worked in Sana'a for the Yemen Times before moving to Saudi Arabia in 2015 and taking up a job with a TV station. More recently he is said to have been...
  • 21st October 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Leaked documents show that Saudi Arabia and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have been lobbying to water down a crucial scientific report on climate change. News of the lobbying comes just days before the start of the COP26 conference on international action to slow...
  • 10th June 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When Saudi Arabia's Haramain railway opened in 2018 it was hailed as a triumph of technology and engineering. The 450-km line linking the holy cities of Mecca and Medina was designed to carry passengers at 350 km an hour. It took 10 years to build and cost more than $16 billion. A year after...
  • 28th January 2021
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When Antony Blinken, the newly-appointed US Secretary of State, gave his first press briefing on Wednesday the first topic to come up was the war in Yemen. It's rare for Yemen to receive much attention in Washington but there are signs that the Biden administration intends to take an active...
  • 30th December 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The American University of London is no ordinary university. Instead of having a campus it has a mailbox at a shop in the Old Brompton Road. And it once offered to sell a degree in business administration to a dog for £4,500. Though operating from the UK, the American University of London (...
  • 21st June 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia ended its coronavirus lockdown this morning despite record numbers of new infections during the past week. Lifting the lockdown brings an end to the night curfews first imposed in March. It also means mosques can reopen and all economic activity can resume, subject to...
  • 15th June 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Regional round-up ● Saudi Arabia reported 4,233 new Covid-19 infections yesterday – the kingdom's highest daily total so far. Around 40% of the new cases are in the capital, Riyadh, and according to the health ministry they were found mainly "among young people who may not have been...
  • 8th June 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi Arabia's Covid-19 epidemic passed two unwelcome milestones at the weekend when the daily number of new cases rose above 3,000 for the first time and the overall total of confirmed cases crossed the 100,000 mark. During the last couple of months the kingdom has reported more new infections...
  • 14th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Every day this month Saudi Arabia has reported more new Covid-19 infections than any other country in the Middle East. A further 1,905 cases were confirmed yesterday and the cumulative total since the virus first arrived in the kingdom is frighteningly large – just under 45,000. There are tentative...
  • 10th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    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...
  • 5th May 2020
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Saudi firms that run into financial trouble because of the coronavirus epidemic will be allowed to cut workers' wages by 40% – and then sack them after six months – under a decision approved by the kingdom's ministry of human resources. In legal terms, it means companies can break existing...

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