Saudi News

Saudi Arabia to build world’s tallest building one kilometer tower

CNN | 4.18.14

Dubai -- long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive -- will soon have some competition from neighboring Saudi Arabia. Building a structure that tall, particularly on the coast, where salt water could potentially damage it, ... Continue Reading is no easy feat. The foundations, which will be 200 feet (60 meters) deep, need to be able to withstand the saltwater of the nearby ocean. As a result, ACTS will test the strength of different concretes. hide

Gulf Arab states agree on measures to heal internal rift

Reuters | Sami Aboudi | 4.18.14

Gulf Arab states agree on measures to heal internal rift Gulf Arab states took a step towards resolving a severe rift in the U.S.-backed alliance on Thursday by agreeing on ways to implement a security agreement they reached last year. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates withdrew ... Continue Reading their ambassadors from Qatar on March 5, accusing Doha of not abiding by November's agreement, which called for not interfering in each other's internal affairs. hide

The gloomy future of the Saudi economy

Saudi Gazette | Abdulaziz Al-Dekhayel | 4.17.14

Officials in the Kingdom believe we are witnessing a golden economic era which many people envy. When I view this golden era from the perspective of sustainability, the picture tends to turn gray and gloomy. Let me explain. hide

Film in Arab Countries: What to see and what not to see – Poll

Saudi Gazette | Al Arabiya | 4.17.14

Film in Arab Countries: What to see and what not to see – Poll The majority of Arabs want tighter censorship of films and TV shows, according to a six-nation poll. Around 69 percent of respondents felt romantic content should be more regulated, while 74 percent said more should be done about on-screen ... Continue Reading violence, according to the survey by Northwestern University in Qatar in partnership with the Doha Film Institute. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said films or other entertainment programs should be banned altogether if they are found offensive. hide

Middle East ‘Mad Men’ Embrace Social Media

Wall Street Journal | Rory Jones | 4.17.14

Middle East ‘Mad Men’ Embrace Social Media Some two million Saudis have watched Abo Hayat, an aloof character in a recent YouTube video, slap a coffee salesman across the face because he's slow offering up a second cup of instant coffee. The scene is from a show called La Yekthar ... Continue Reading sponsored by Nestlé SA, and it provides a window onto how YouTube owner Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., and other video platforms are reshaping the Middle East's video advertising market. hide

How Many Sufis Are There in Islam?

Huffington Post | Stephen Schwartz | 4.17.14

As a Muslim Sufi adherent, however, I am troubled especially by another expression of contempt very widely cast against Sufism by Islam-hating amateur experts in the West. That is the claim of Sufi irrelevance. Since the horror of Sept. 11, now ... Continue Reading almost a decade past, the identification of a moderate and contemplative form of Islam, which can oppose radical and fundamentalist doctrines, has seemed of considerable importance both for the moral health of Muslim believers and for the security of non-Muslims and Muslims alike. hide

SMEs versus small overseas enterprises

Arab News | Khalil Hanware | 4.17.14

The commitment of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to empower SMEs by incorporating the concept of knowledge-based economy has come at a time when Saudi Arabia is showing its readiness to facilitate all national and foreign ... Continue Reading stakeholders interested in trade and investment. Investment in SMEs in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow to more than SR260 billion by the end of 2015. hide

End of an era as Prince Bandar departs Saudi intelligence post

The Guardian | Ian Black | 4.17.14

Prince Bandar bin Sultan's departure as head of Saudi intelligence, confirmed this week, marks the end of an era for a flamboyant and powerful character on the Middle Eastern stage. The big question is whether it signals a meaningful shift in ... Continue Reading the kingdom's policy towards Syria and its commitment to the overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad. hide

Regional & Related News

Turkish president rules out role swap with Erdogan

Reuters | Orhan Coskun and Humeyra Pamuk | 4.18.14

Turkey's president appeared to rule himself out as a potential future prime minister on Friday, saying a "Putin-Medvedev model" under which he might swap roles with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was not suitable for Turkey. hide

Islamist militants kill 30 in attacks around Iraq

Reuters | Raheem Salman | 4.18.14

Suspected Sunni Muslim militants killed at least 30 people around Iraq on Thursday including 12 soldiers in an assault on a remote army base in the north, deepening insecurity with a national election just two weeks away. hide

Syria’s Real Scoreboard

New America Foundation - Weekly Wonk | Jessica Ovington | 4.18.14

Syria’s Real Scoreboard It’s simpler when war is binary. Easier to understand – and discuss – when one side is winning, and the other is losing. When it comes to Syria, which entered its fourth year of civil war this spring, many policymakers and media elites here have ... Continue Reading fallen into the binary trap, suggesting that President Bashar Al Assad is the inevitable victor, and characterizing his snowballing power as inexorable. hide

Arab-Israeli Activist Is Moved to House Arrest

New York Times | Isabel Kershner | 4.17.14

Mr. Kayyal is a web editor at Adalah, a legal center promoting Arab minority rights in Israel, and a freelance contributor to several publications. He had been invited to Beirut, the Lebanese capital, to attend a conference marking the 40th ... Continue Reading anniversary of As Safir, a Lebanese newspaper where his writings have appeared regularly. hide

In Egypt, terrorism expands from Sinai to Cairo

Al Monitor | Safaa Saleh | 4.17.14

The violence in Egypt has taken a marked geographical shift in recent months from the remote areas of the Sinai Peninsula and the Suez Canal to the metropolises of Cairo and the Nile Delta. Analysts have two divergent opinions to explain this ... Continue Reading shift. Some analysts believe that the move by armed extremists toward the capital did not happen voluntarily and was not a planned strategy, but rather a shift enforced on these groups due to security measures and army operations in the Sinai Peninsula. The second opinion argues that what happened was a premeditated step taken by armed groups, to extend the war against the post-Muslim Brotherhood regime. hide

Israel-Palestine: Not the Same Old, Same Old

New York Times | Thomas Friedman | 4.17.14

These small stories tell a bigger one: We’re not dealing anymore with your grandfather’s Israel, and they’re not dealing anymore with your grandmother’s America either. Time matters, and the near half-century since the 1967 war has changed both ... Continue Reading of us in ways neither wants to acknowledge — but which the latest impasse in talks only underscores. hide

As Syrian army steps up Homs offensive, rebels look for exit or prepare for final fight

Washington Post | Loveday Morris | 4.17.14

As the Syrian army steps up its assault on the last rebel-held areas of Homs, those holed up inside say they fear that the city, once dubbed the capital of the revolution, is close to slipping completely from their grip. Jets bombarded ... Continue Reading pro-opposition neighborhoods of the Old City on Wednesday, as cornered rebels responded with mortar fire, convulsing Homs in the worst violence the city has seen in months, residents said. hide