• As War Rages in Syria, Presidential Election Looms

    New York Times | Anne Barnard | 4.16.14

    That did not stop the local governor, Talal al-Barazi, from declaring this broken city ripe for “relatively good elections.” His optimism is shared at the highest levels in Damascus, where officials have declared that a presidential vote will be ... Continue Reading held within three months, despite the raging war that has driven nine million Syrians from their homes. hide

    SEC okays awarding of SR7b projects

    Saudi Gazette | 4.16.14

    The Board of Directors of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has approved the awarding of 17 projects at a total cost of SR7.239 billion. This was  part of the company’s program to strengthen its electricity system and meet the growing demand for ... Continue Reading energy, according to a company statement. hide

    April 15th, 2014 Edition

    Rebel videos show first U.S.-made rockets in Syria

    Reuters | Peter Apps | 4.15.14

    Rebel videos show first U.S.-made rockets in Syria "With U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles now seen in the hands of three groups in the north and south of Syria, it is safe to say this is important," said Charles Lister, visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution Doha Centre and one of the ... Continue Reading first to identify the weapons. hide

    Analysis: The Saudi succession question

    Al Monitor | Caryle Murphy | 4.15.14

    “The interesting thing is that they announced the percentage of votes for Muqrin,” said a Saudi university English lecturer. “Usually, they would not announce that there are objections.” While the House of Saud has a history of being pragmatic ... Continue Reading and of closing ranks behind a consensus, many Saudis fear potentially rancorous infighting as members of the younger, second generation of princes vie to assume the reins of power. Muqrin’s projected ascension to someday become king now means that that day of reckoning is further postponed. hide

    Energy in Saudi Arabia – Infographic

    Visual.ly | 4.14.14

    Energy in Saudi Arabia – Infographic The Saudi Energy convention will be held in Riyadh May 26-28, 2014. The organizers produced an infographic on Saudi energy use and production as well as desalination projects and waste to energy initiatives. hide

    Flash of Purple Reveals Saudi Progress on Women’s Rights

    Bloomberg | Glen Carey and Deema Almashabi | 4.14.14

    Flash of Purple Reveals Saudi Progress on Women’s Rights As change ripples through Jeddah, women are also taking charge in high-powered and visible roles. In March, Jeddah-based National Commercial Bank, the country’s largest, appointed Sarah Al-Suhaimi as chief executive of its investment banking ... Continue Reading unit, NCB Capital. A month earlier, Somayya Jabarti was selected as editor-in-chief at the Saudi Gazette, becoming the first woman in Saudi’s modern history to run a newspaper. In October, Bayan Zahran, the first woman to receive a license to practice law in Saudi Arabia, opened a firm in the city. That the same isn’t happening as quickly in the conservative capital of Riyadh, about 950 kilometers (600 miles) inland, shows how fine a line the government has to tread between conflicting demands for a more open society in places like Jeddah and conservative voices elsewhere. hide

    Five IPOs in MENA raise $1.3bn in Q1, a ‘Slower Start’

    Arab News | 4.15.14

    “The MENA IPO market is off to a slower start in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, however compared to IPO performance over the past few years, Q1, 2014 has been one of the best performing quarters. The recently announced ... Continue Reading Emirates REIT and Marka IPOs will spur further IPO activity and point the way to high levels of activity through the first half of 2014.” hide

    Saudi Arabia says no political sermons inside mosques

    Gulf News | Habib Toumi | 4.14.14

    Saudi Arabia has warned that it would dismiss any preacher who refers to politics in his mosque sermon on Friday. “We will sack anyone who changes the religious content of his Friday sermon and turns into a political speech,” Shaikh Abdul ... Continue Reading Mohsin Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shaikh, the assistant undersecretary for mosque affairs, said. hide