“Subsidies from the Arab world are large and reflect Arabs’ love towards the Egyptian people, but we cannot depend on that to build an economy that can compete with other countries,” said economist Dr Alia el Mahdi.
The Arab world is widely perceived as blessed with an embarrassment of riches: an abundance of oil (Saudi Arabia), one of the world’s highest per capita incomes (Qatar), and home to the world's tallest luxury building (United Arab Emirates).
Saudi Arabia's unyielding opposition to last week's interim nuclear agreement with Iran has triggered speculation about its own projection of military power in the Middle East.
As civil war paralyses Syria’s transit routes and political flux in Egypt may affect security at the Suez Canal, Israel is busy repositioning itself as a transhipment hub and trade gateway to the Middle East.
The “first step” agreement between Iran and the United States that was sealed in Geneva over the weekend is supposed to lead to the negotiation of a “comprehensive settlement” of the nuclear issue over the next six months, though the latter has gotten little attention.
The devil is in the details. This cliché is already being invoked regarding the deal concluded this past weekend between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany, along with the European Union’s High Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton.
Married women in Lebanon who suffer abuse at home remain at the mercy of the country’s multitude of religious courts, because the hard-fought civil law against domestic violence has been stalled for a vote in parliament since the summer.
Israel, Saudi Arabia, and some of the other ArabGulf states are deeply sceptical of the Barack Obama administration’s efforts to reach a deal with Iran limiting its nuclear programme and to improve U.S.-Iranian relations generally.
The multi-billion-dollar Middle East arms market - bolstered by hefty purchases by oil-blessed Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Qatar - has always been one of the biggest bonanzas to the U.S. defence industry.
Concerns are rising that courts run by Islamic clerics in many of Syria’s rebel-held areas may serve as a prelude to Taliban-style justice in what was long a violently repressive but secular state.
The Middle East has some of the best and worst education systems in the world and they are attracting the attention of entrepreneurs keen to make a difference – and a buck.
Car accident in Omar Mokhtar Avenue in downtown Tripoli. Nobody was injured but there’s a bumper hanging off the back of a car. In just a few seconds, a group gathers around.
Saudi Arabia’s public anger against the United States masks the kingdom’s growing concern about its diminishing influence in the Persian Gulf and the wider Arab world.
In the municipal sports hall with an army officer to his side, Father Gabriel Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox Arab priest in full regalia, briefs Arab Christian twelfth-graders on the merits of serving in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). “It’s only natural that the country which protects us deserves that we contribute to its defence,” he tells them.
The almost three-year-old Syrian civil war has been a “silent war on human and economic development”, destroying the ability of ordinary Syrian citizens to maintain basic livelihoods, according to a report launched here Wednesday by two United Nations agencies.