Biden’s Dithering in the Middle East Is Forcing Old Enemies to Mend Broken Bridges

Biden’s Dithering in the Middle East Is Forcing Old Enemies to Mend Broken Bridges

In recent weeks, Arab countries, as well as Iran and Turkey have all been working out how they can move forward and get along with each other, all due to “sleepy Joe” Biden being asleep at the wheel. Where’s all this heading? In recent weeks, Arab countries, as well as Iran and Turkey have all been…

Christmas Arrives in Saudi Arabia as Kingdom Plays Catch-Up in Religious Soft Power Rivalry

Christmas Arrives in Saudi Arabia as Kingdom Plays Catch-Up in Religious Soft Power Rivalry

Long banned, Christmas has finally, at least tacitly, arrived in Saudi Arabia; just don’t use the name in marketing or be ostentatious about your tree. Coffeeshops serving beverages in red cups with snowflakes on them are ok. So is the sale of soap bars named ‘Tis the Season and Vanilla Bean Noel. Christmas trees that…

Qatar World Cup Sparks Culture Controversies

Qatar World Cup Sparks Culture Controversies

Footballers with diametrically opposed views on homosexuality and alcohol consumption have sparked heated controversy about Islamic mores and human and workers’ rights in Qatar’s final stretch in the run-up for next year’s FIFA World Cup. Two things stand out in the controversy beyond the specific arguments put forward by opposing camps. First, some fault lines…

Did French President Macron’s Gulf Tour Complicate US Regional Policy?

Did French President Macron’s Gulf Tour Complicate US Regional Policy?

These three outcomes could complicate the US’ regional policy and possibly even be interpreted as an asymmetrical form of revenge for stealing France’s historically unprecedented nuclear sub deal with Australia. French President Emmanuel Macron visited the Gulf countries of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, and Saudi Arabia last weekend during a two-day trip. His…

The Qatari–Turkish Joint Venture in Afghanistan

The Qatari–Turkish Joint Venture in Afghanistan

The Afghanistan fiasco has already touched off regional rivalries. The small but oil-rich State of Qatar and allied Republic of Turkey were the first off the rank, joining forces to assist the Taliban and their Pakistani backers to consolidate power and attract international recognition. What’s in it for these two distant actors? The camaraderie between…