Middle East & North Africa

A World Drowning in Oil

Thanks to tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, major oil producers couldn’t come to an agreement in Doha to freeze their output to January levels to raise oil prices. The current low oil prices have a lot to do with the grim outlook for global economic growth while supply is growing. China, the second largest economy in the world, is slowing down. Not surprisingly, global oil demand is much lower at 94.8 million barrels a day vis-à-vis supply of 96.3 million barrels a day in the first quarter of 2016 according to the International Energy Agency.

Can an Animal Heist Fable Help Solve the Middle East Crisis?

Make no mistake-the Middle East is the longest and perhaps the most complex crisis in recent History, this explaining the innumerable, successive –and frustrating- attempts to solve it.

Desert Locust Invading Yemen, More Arab States

Now that Yemenis begin to hope that their year-long armed conflict may come to an end as a result of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the United Nations sponsored round of talks between the parties in dispute, scheduled on 18 April in Kuwait, a new threat to their already desperate humanitarian crisis has just appeared in the form of a much feared massive desert locust invasion.

Want to Feel Fit? Eat Falafel, Dahl, Cow Pea and…!

This is not a minor issue. Chickpea, faba bean, lentil, common bean, field pea, mung bean, black gram, pigeon pea, cowpea, and grass pea are the major pulse crops produced globally. And these especially play an important role in food and nutritional security and sustainable agricultural production systems in the drylands, which cover over 40 per cent of the world’s land area and are home to approximately 2.5 billion people.

War Zones Littered with More than Just Land Mines

Land mines are not the only type of explosive devices that families returning home after conflicts risk stumbling across, representatives from the UN’s Mine Action Service (UNMAS) told journalists here Monday.

The Arab Spring: Five Years On

Five years ago the Arab world blew up, and the flames are still raging. What at first had been euphoria quickly turned to chaos. What cannot be denied, though, is that the uprisings were the spark of an epochal change.

UN Chief Lauds Oman for Discreet Role in Peace Talks

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has singled out Oman as perhaps the only Arab country in the Gulf playing a discreet role – mostly behind-the- scenes – in helping resolve some of the military and political conflicts in the war-ravaged region.

Western Powers Unlikely to Impose Arms Embargo on Saudi Arabia

As hundreds of civilians continue to be killed in the ongoing conflict in Yemen, one of the leading human rights organization is calling for an arms embargo – specifically against Saudi Arabia which is leading a coalition of eight countries battling Houthi rebels in the war-ravaged neighbouring country.

DIHAD Emphasizes Relief and Development Efforts to Meet Humanitarian Challenges

The Dubai International Humanitarian Aid and Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) opened today with key speakers emphasizing the urgency to discuss innovative solutions to be applied in humanitarian operations. Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Dubai, the 13th edition of DIHAD was inaugurated by HE Mr. Ibrahim Bumelha, Cultural and Humanitarian Advisor of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Chairman of DIHAD Higher Committee, President of DISAB, on behalf of UN Messenger of Peace and Chairperson of International Humanitarian City HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Reaping the Gender Dividend

For the first time, an all-female flight crew recently operated a Royal Brunei Airlines jet from Brunei to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. Such a feat certainly appears noteworthy in a country where gender segregation is pervasive. When women are still not permitted to drive a car; where there are separate entrances for men and women in banks, is there a possibility of an all-female crew operating a Saudi Airlines plane from Jeddah to Brunei? Not immediately, as there are disturbing signs that the limited gains on the gender front might face reversals.

Civil Wars Threaten to Break up a Volatile Middle East

As civil wars and cross-border military conflicts continue to escalate in the Middle East, Syria, Iraq and Libya are in danger of breaking up —even as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) continues to make territorial gains in the volatile region.

Turkey’s Crackdown on the Press

On the evening of March 4, heavily armed police forced their way into the headquarters of the Turkish daily Zaman. The hundreds of protesters that had gathered in front of the building in an Istanbul suburb in solidarity with their newspaper were violently dispersed.

Palestinian Refugees from Syria

In the safety of his sister's bare flat in Beit Hanoun, Gaza, 42 year-old Iyad Yusef still shakes his head in disbelief when he recounts the journey that from war-torn Syria, brought him and his family to the relative safety of the blockaded strip.

Anti-Mining Protests in Turkey Book Temporary Victory

Over the past weeks, thousands of people across Turkey have protested against the planned construction of a gold mine in Cerattepe, close to the town of Artvin in the northeast of the country. Protesters fear that the mine will cause irreparable damage to the unique natural environment of the region.

New Nuclear Hysteria in the Middle East

Three years ago when the tsunami of panic around Iran's potential capability to develop nuclear weapons reached its peak, a combined diplomatic, media campaign warning that a Gulf Arab state would think of purchasing atomic bombs was spread like an oil spot.

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