February 8, 1999 |
The elevation of 37-year-old Crown Prince Abdullah to succeed his father, Hussein, on the throne of Jordan is a stark reminder to the band of geriatric monarchs, emirs and presidents-for-life now in command of most Arab countries to put their houses in order. After having clung to office for two, three or even four decades, Arab rulers from the Persian Gulf to Morocco must face the inevitable: The time to pass the torch to a new generation is fast approaching.
February 25, 2000 |
Iran's exercise in democracy during last week's parliamentary election has prompted an intriguing reaction among the Persian Gulf state's Arab neighbors: unadulterated envy. In country after country, commentators have been asking: Why don't we have the same thing?
March 21, 1991 |
As the chattering friends sat down to a meal of delicately roasted pigeon and glazed vegetables a few days after the Gulf War, the host raised a glass of French wine. "A toast: to the Americans and the defeat of Iraq." All the guests but one raised their glasses. He got up and walked out of the room. Breaking the embarrassed silence, a woman dismissively waved her bejeweled arm and remarked to an American guest: "Oh, don't pay any attention to him. He belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood."
January 17, 1995 |
On a foggy morning a year ago, Syria's vice president and a senior security aide telephoned President Hafez Assad and suggested, tentatively, that they come around for coffee. The aging president was wearing a long, Arab robe and his face was drawn when his visitors arrived. "He opened the door and said, 'Is it the army in revolt?' " said one Damascus palace watcher, recalling the now often-told account. Apparently, neither man answered for a moment. "No one wanted to tell him, you see."
January 31, 1986 |
The Arab League on Thursday renewed its condemnation of American sanctions against Libya and U.S. military exercises in the Mediterranean but turned down Col. Moammar Kadafi's request for joint economic retaliation by Arab nations. Kadafi's government requested the special meeting in hopes of obtaining a counterboycott of the United States, including withdrawal of Arab funds from American banks and companies.