December 6, 2009 |
The president's new mosque shimmers over this ancient city like an illusion of stability against images of MIG fighter jets screeching overhead toward rebellion in the north or the latest news of pirates seizing ships in the treacherous Gulf of Aden. In Sana's snug alleys, men speak of war, secession and Al Qaeda, which is busy scouring schoolyards and mosques for new recruits while much of the population spends hours each day getting a mellow buzz from chewing khat leaves.
April 21, 2009 |
Qatar, a glittering peninsula of skyscrapers and sand, reminds one of a well-dressed, ambitious little guy playing all the angles in a rough neighborhood. Its pushy rise to prominence is creating suspicion and hardening the Middle East split between moderate U.S. allies and more militant nations.
January 15, 2009 |
Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to wage jihad against Israel in a new message on websites used by Islamic militants. The Al Qaeda leader vowed to open "new fronts" against the U.S. and its allies and accused most Arab leaders of being allies of the U.S. and Israel. The White House dismissed the call to jihad, or holy war, saying it reflects Bin Laden's isolation at a time when his ideology and mission are being challenged. Bin Laden's first tape since May came nearly three weeks after Israel launched an offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
December 28, 2008 |
Angry demonstrations broke out across the Arab world Saturday and diplomats in the region called for emergency measures in the aftermath of Israel's deadly air attacks against Hamas security strongholds in the Gaza Strip. But few expect the uproar to do more than reinforce regional trends: Pro-U.S.
November 16, 2008 |
Despising America has long been a Middle East pastime, but then the country that brought war to Iraq and orange-suited prisoners to Guantanamo Bay elected a Facebook-friendly president who speaks in poems. What's a mullah to do? With the speed of a Twitter missive, the cultural game has shifted. Barack Obama's rise to the White House comes when the Arabs are intensely suspicious of U.S. intentions, and when Islam, through satellite TV and the Internet, is inundated with Western culture.
October 5, 2008 |
Israel accused North Korea on Saturday of covertly supplying at least half a dozen Middle East countries with nuclear technology or conventional arms. The allegation was made at an International Atomic Energy Agency meeting in Vienna, where world powers urged North Korea to stop reactivation of its nuclear weapons program. "The Middle East remains on the receiving end of the DPRK's reckless activities," Israeli delegate David Danieli said at the meeting.
September 28, 2008 |
Africa's abundant natural resources have long invited foreign exploitation. Over generations, foreign empires and companies stripped the continent of its gold and diamonds, then its oil. Rubber and ivory were plundered from Congo. Even Africa's people were exploited: captured and sold into slavery abroad. Now foreigners are enjoined in a new scramble in Africa. The latest craze? Food.
September 28, 2008 |
A popular Sunni Muslim cleric with a television show and a website that churns out religious edicts and dieting tips agitated centuries-old animosities in the Islamic world recently by referring to Shiite Muslims as heretics seeking to invade Sunni societies.
September 21, 2008 |
It is a season of egos, high-priced commercials, historical epics, strange comedies and prickly off-camera dramas involving Iranian makeup artists, Syrian directors and Egyptian movie stars. Ramadan may be a month of prayer, fasting and virtue in the Muslim world, but it is a less than holy time on TV.
May 22, 2008
Re "Arabs feel bias in Bush's visit to Mideast," news analysis, May 19 You've got to be kidding! The Times points out that President Bush praised Israel during his visit to celebrate the country's 60th anniversary, but that the "mood was markedly different" when he addressed the Arab nations. And this is held up as an example of bias? Some simple questions: Do women have equal rights in the Arab nations? What is the status of gay rights? What about religious freedom? How about freedom of the press and freedom of speech?