Author Archives: Riad Al-Khouri

Off the people, buy the people

The past year appears to have been a good one for Jordan; was the same true regarding the well-being of average Jordanians? On the positive side, the country continues opening up to the rest of the region and the world economy. This can be felt in the boardrooms of Amman — though to a lesser

Educated and out of work

Arab economies are experiencing a historic boom, but whether or not prosperity continues will depend on their ability to generate jobs for millions of young people seeking employment. In countries throughout the region, labor forces are growing at up to 4% annually, and Arab economies will have to create a total of around 60 million

Chary of the summer shop

The region’s rich are certainly getting richer, to the delight of the purveyors of luxury goods. As the jewelers of Paris and the watchmakers of Geneva will testify, the influx of rich Arabs into Western Europe each year turns the summer season into boom time; and the wealthy don’t care too much about the exchange

America reaps seeds it sows

Political scientists, along with other specialists as well as laypersons, have spent the last seven years grappling with the implications for international relations of the attacks of 11 September 2001 and their aftermath. The impact of 9/11 around the world, and on the Middle East in particular, has been enormous. The effects on development, democracy,

No menial task in Jordan

There is little doubt that reform over the past 15 years is helping Jordan to grow. The Jordanian economy has done especially well recently: Jordan’s real gross domestic product grew by 6.4% in 2006, while foreign and internal indebtedness fell last year to 73% of GDP, from 84% in 2005, and the deficit in the

Steps in the right direction

Damascus has taken yet another step to unpeg its currency from the US dollar by delinking the Syrian pound (SYP) from the greenback and replacing it as a foreign exchange anchor with the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The shift was partly due to Washington’s 2004 sanctions on Damascus, which

Global Arab finance comes of age

Surplus cash from Middle East energy producing countries has been running around the world for over three decades, seeking better returns in offshore havens. However, since the 1970s, investments by Arab states have had the potential to alarm destination countries. An important example of this came after the Kuwaitis acquired about 20% of British Petroleum

Oslo’s secrets

Despite its title, The Secret Israel-Palestinian Negotiations in Oslo (Routledge, Oxford: 2007) is no potboiler, being a recent publication in the scholarly Durham Modern Middle East and Islamic World Series. Rather it looks at the topic against the background of negotiation concepts and strategies, focusing particularly on the timely issue of non-recognition. That was certainly

Ties across the river

As reform bears fruit, Jordan’s economy may finally beready to take off into sustainable growth. Recentindications of this came at the Dead Sea World EconomicForum gathering in May, which witnessed the signature ofinvestment deals for Jordan totaling $2.5 billion. (Bycomparison, all of 2006’s direct foreign investment intoJordan totaled $3 billion) Given that and other strongeconomic

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