Iran is one of the countries hardest-hit by COVID-19 in the Middle East. Iran’s regional neighbours, including its supposed competitors and adversaries in the Gulf, have quickly stepped up to provide aid to Iran. Is an end to the regional rivalry between Iran and its neighbours in sight?
Here's an update on the coronavirus situation in the Middle East, with everything you need to know about which Middle Eastern countries have been affected, how governments have responded, and what the crisis could mean for the future of the region.
Oman hit the headlines recently after the passing of the country’s ruler of 49 years, Sultan Qaboos Al Said, in January 2020. These three books constitute an essential reading list for anyone with an interest in Oman - whether academic, professional or otherwise. They include both non-fiction and fiction books covering useful information about the country’s fascinating history, complex politics, and the ever-evolving cultural dynamics that make the Sultanate so special.
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers tells the encapsulating story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a Yemeni-American who travels to Yemen to start a social enterprise to reignite the ancient art of Yemeni coffee. There’s only one problem – when Mokhtar set out in 2014, Yemen was on the brink of civil war.
Famously dubbed the Paris of the East, Beirut is a city of contradictions: It’s the city where you’ll see people on the street bearing nose jobs and flashy cars (usually paid for on finance), passing by buildings pocked with bullet holes left behind by the civil war and tangled electricity cables from the generators keeping … Continue reading 24 Hours in Beirut
Yemen: The poorest country in the Middle East; The corner of the Arabian Peninsula widely ignored as the oil monarchies of the Gulf rose to riches and global prominence; And now, embroiled in a deadly civil war protracted by the interference of external powers, further destabilising an already war-torn region. Yemeni politics can be highly confusing for outsiders. These 10 books will help you understand this complex country and the ongoing conflict.
We were deeply saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said, the Head of State and visionary leader of the Sultanate of Oman. After almost 50 years as Sultan, Qaboos leaves behind a legacy of economic and social development, regional peace-making, and an Omani culture with kindness and tolerance at its heart. Oman’s new Sultan Haitham bin Tariq was sworn into power in Muscat on Saturday. Here are five things you need to know about the new Sultan of Oman...
Iran, once home to one of the most impressive and world-shaping empires in history, is today among the most culturally rich countries in the modern Middle East. The ancient ruins, spectacular architecture, cosmopolitan cities and stunning mosques dotted across Iran today are like a canvas of this country's unique and rich history. Here are a … Continue reading 5 spectacular cultural sites in Iran
Protests erupted in Lebanon last Thursday in response to a government announcement of austerity measures, including a tax on WhatsApp calls. While the WhatsApp tax has made headlines worldwide and is being widely reported as the cause of the uprising, public anger actually runs much deeper, and the current demonstrations are in fact the eruption of years of frustration with a corrupt and ineffective political elite. These protests – which have brought people together across class, regional and sectarian divides – could mark a new era in Lebanese, and perhaps regional politics.
Halah Al Hamrani is a Saudi martial arts instructor and owner of the FLAG (Fight Like a Girl) Boxing gym in Jeddah. A pioneer in the emerging Saudi women’s fitness industry, Halah teaches women to challenge themselves and push their limits. Women in Saudi Arabia have typically been discouraged from sports, but as the country starts … Continue reading Halah Hamrani: The Saudi boxing instructor teaching women to ‘Fight Like a Girl’