Socotra: Conflict and climate threaten Yemen’s “alien” island paradise

Famous for its bizarre natural life and dramatic scenery, the Yemeni island of Socotra is an almost other-worldly paradise in the Indian Ocean. But this isolated UNESCO World Heritage Site is under threat from extreme weather and a bloody conflict encroaching on its peaceful way of life. (image: Juan Herrero) Nicknamed ‘the Galapagos of the … Continue reading Socotra: Conflict and climate threaten Yemen’s “alien” island paradise

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‘Dancing on the heads of snakes’: Yemen after Ali Abdullah Saleh

Today marks the 7th anniversary of the beginning of the Yemeni uprising that unseated the country’s President, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh craftily played tribes, Islamist groups and foreign governments off against one another throughout his 33-year rule and he continued to do so after he was ousted from power in 2011. But his most recent … Continue reading ‘Dancing on the heads of snakes’: Yemen after Ali Abdullah Saleh

Trump in Saudi Arabia: What you missed while the media were obsessing over Melania’s wardrobe

Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia over the weekend on his first official foreign trip, signing a $100 billion arms deal and offering support for a new regional order in the Middle East. Meanwhile, the press focused on the First Lady and Daughter’s decision not to wear a headscarf. Ivanka and Melania Trump's decision to forgo … Continue reading Trump in Saudi Arabia: What you missed while the media were obsessing over Melania’s wardrobe

Yemeni town awaits an offensive that could turn the tide of the war – but at a cost

International eyes have, for once, been on Yemen in recent weeks, as the catastrophic humanitarian situation has brought the country to the brink of famine. The men, women and children who have survived the brutal conflict thus far are currently facing starvation, as military blockades prevent aid from reaching those in dire need. One such … Continue reading Yemeni town awaits an offensive that could turn the tide of the war – but at a cost

Saudi Arabia and Iran: Playing with Fire in Petroland

“Aren’t the Saudis your friends?” the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, once asked President Obama. “It’s complicated”, Obama replied. At present the House of Saud has adopted a zero-sum perspective in its relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Kingdom has positioned itself on a path of perpetual antagonism with Tehran and the chances … Continue reading Saudi Arabia and Iran: Playing with Fire in Petroland

Fire in the Desert: Nimr al-Nimr and the Future of Saudi Arabia

The death of one man in Saudi Arabia last Saturday has poured petrol on the sectarian fire currently engulfing the Middle East. The Saudi Interior Ministry announced last weekend that it had executed 47 people on charges of terrorism and incitement. Among them was Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric from the restive Eastern … Continue reading Fire in the Desert: Nimr al-Nimr and the Future of Saudi Arabia

Operation Restoring Hope: A Dangerous Game for Saudi Arabia

The people of Saada have suffered enough. Yet after six bloody wars between the Houthis and the Yemeni regime, Saudi Arabia has begun the next phase of the northern Yemeni province’s destruction. The Saudi campaign recently declared the province a direct target in their fight against the Houthis, endangering the lives of thousands of innocent … Continue reading Operation Restoring Hope: A Dangerous Game for Saudi Arabia