Opinion articles

The year that brought globalization to the Arab World

The year that brought globalization to the Arab World

Reading Time: 3 minutes Since the current wave of global change accelerated after the end of the Cold War, mention of globalization has tended to upset Arabs. However, 2007 could be the year that the Arab World really moved closer to the rest of the globe. Politically, this was evident in the Annapolis conference, where — under watchful American

Days of decision for damascus

Reading Time: 3 minutes Few Syria observers ventured a guess at the New Year as to what the coming 365 days may hold for the country. The region’s topsy-turvy politics is the primary reason, but so is a trait unique to Syria: its seeming inability to set targets and meet them. The final date of the June 2005 Baath

Even big powers want friends

Reading Time: 3 minutes A friend at the State Department relates a meeting he had recently with a high-level official from a one-time Soviet satellite state, one in fact where the US waged a major, and very unsuccessful, war. But with the Cold War over and the US having won it, this nation, like most others, wants a deal

Government vague on Paris III

Reading Time: 3 minutes If I appear vague, forgive me, but looking at the document the Lebanese government was supposed to show the assembled international donors in Paris, a group that included sovereign governments, the IMF, the World Bank and other supranational institutions, one can only have a deep feeling that it was published half-cocked. Based on this, we

Abizaid: the Mad Arab who disagreed with the President

Reading Time: 3 minutes Gen. John P. Abizaid, the most senior military officer of Arab descent to serve in the US armed forces, disagreed with President Bush over the president’s Iraq strategy—and he is out. On Dec. 20, 2006, the Pentagon announced that Abizaid, an American of Lebanese origin, would step down from his position as Commander of CENTCOM

Ras Al Khaimah set to grow

Reading Time: 3 minutes Ras Al Khaimah (or RAK as it is affectionately known by the sprinkling of expats that have lived and worked there) was the Gulf’s best kept secret—until it positioned itself as a serious investment destination. An important milestone in this respect was the May 2005 investors’ conference held in the emirate by the RAK government

Sri lankans still opt for Lebanon

Reading Time: 3 minutes Sharjah International Airport looks exactly like you would expect for an airport in the United Arab Emirates: drop boxes collect money for your favorite Islamic charities and Qur’anic societies; security checkpoints have separate rooms for women to preserve modesty during frisking; and more than half of the airport is “under construction,” an adequate description of

The last dance

Reading Time: 2 minutes Last month saw the cream of the world’s leaders, businesspeople, economists and experts meet at the World Economic Forum in Davos to discuss today’s most pressing issues. And they are plentiful as they are urgent: poverty, climate change, trade barriers, famine and disease, to name a few. But as the world works together against malaria,

Saddam Hussein: 1937-2006

Reading Time: 8 minutes In February 1991, former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, visited Tehran and met with Iran’s president, Ali Akhbar Rafsanjani. Neighboring Iraq figured high in the conversation. The US and its allies had just launched the ground war to liberate Kuwait from Iraqi occupation forces, this coming three years after the end of the disastrous Iran-Iraq

Hariri’s legacy continues

Reading Time: 3 minutes There were few more poignant and telling indicators of the impasse that has befallen Lebanon in the past two years since Rafik Hariri’s assassination than the shuttered shops, restaurants and cafés and empty cobble-stoned streets of the downtown district during this holiday season. The Solidere-run city center was regarded as the jewel in Hariri’s reconstruction