February 23, 2014 |
The Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar, flush with oil riches and seeking to push its way to the front of the international stage, is in the midst of an enormous, decade-long building boom to construct facilities and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament, the largest and most-viewed sporting event in the world. Unfortunately, Qatar is preparing for that moment of international cooperation and sport by grievously exploiting its foreign workers, subjecting them to dangerous conditions that should be drawing forceful condemnations from the world community.
February 20, 2014 |
The Obama administration is mobilizing across several fronts to shore up its relationship with Persian Gulf leaders who fear the United States is reducing its commitments in the Middle East. In unusually blunt remarks Wednesday, the State Department's No. 2 diplomat urged the Gulf nations to overcome their differences with Washington, warning that the two sides cannot afford to become competitors in nations in upheaval, such as Syria and Egypt. No other country can offer the rich but thinly populated Gulf states as much protection as the United States, said Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns.
January 15, 2014 |
The teenage girl Sepideh only wants to look at the stars. A student of astronomy and worshipful devotee of Albert Einstein, she dreams of joining the young men who trek out nightly in the desert south of Tehran to gaze at constellations. But such ambitions worry Sepideh's traditionalist Iranian family members, who issue her ominous warnings -- which, of course, only further fuels her desire. “We use the sky," Sepideh says in a new Farsi-language documentary, also named “Sepideh,” that premieres Friday at the Sundance Film Festival, “to vent the frustration that society has given us.” Sundance, which kicks off its 30th edition Thursday in the mountains of Utah, is largely known for unearthing new domestic voices.
October 30, 2013 |
ANTAKYA, Turkey - Two scruffy men with beards lean over assorted piles of military-style trousers, jackets and vests, all in different camouflage patterns. The pair examine a thick winter jacket, stroking the material as a salesman offers a discount for bulk orders. "We might take 40 pieces," one of the men murmurs in Arabic, as the two turn their attention to other wares. Near the Old Station district of this southern Turkish city lies the Aleppo Market, an animated jumble of pomegranate juice stalls, kebab stands and shops offering goods such as furniture and spices.
August 27, 2013 |
JERUSALEM - During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Israel endured dozens of Scud missiles launched by Saddam Hussein's forces, but refrained from retaliating because of U.S. concern that Israeli involvement would fracture the international coalition it had built against Iraq. As the United States prepares for a possible military attack against the Syrian government over its alleged use of chemical weapons, Israeli leaders are making it clear that they have no intention of standing down this time if attacked.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 2013 |
When Joseph Harounian came out of the closet to his Persian Jewish family, relatives told him to march right back in. Some worried he'd turn his cousins gay. Others feared for the family's reputation. They began excluding him from family events. It was only after his grandmother intervened that he was gradually welcomed back into the fold. Now, years later, Harounian says his family has come to terms with who he is. But he knows that the fear of ostracism still keeps other gay Persian Jews from coming out. Support for gay rights and same-sex unions has never been higher, according to numerous polls.