The Abraham Accord

Emirati Presidential Palace, Abu Dhabi Gulf/Saudi reactions to the "Abraham accord" normalizing relations between the UAE and Israel - my time is limited, so this post will be a work in progress (updated with column from Abdelrahman al-Rashed, 8.15.2020 + further columns, 8.16.2020 + further columns 8.24.2020). Saudi papers in general have seemed uncertain how … Continue reading The Abraham Accord

Football, Yemen and More

Newcastle United Football Club flag. Source. Newcastle Deal Last week the efforts of the Public Investment Fund to participate in the takeover of UK football club Newcastle United fell apart, mainly due to the lingering fallout over Saudi Arabia's tolerance and likely creation of a pirated version of Qatari sports broadcaster BeIN Sports. The dominant … Continue reading Football, Yemen and More

Omnibus (May and June 2020)

Saudi Flag on mountainside, author photo, Ad-Dayr, Jazan, KSA (Oct. 2019) It's been more difficult than I thought to keep up with this, so this is a fairly haphazard dump of links to commentary for the past month or so. Qatar 3 years on from the start of the Gulf rift, double-header op-eds from leading … Continue reading Omnibus (May and June 2020)

Workers, Finance woes, and Israel (May 1-7)

Foreign workers Saudi papers and media outlets have seen an uptick in discussions of foreign workers - probably concerns over Saudi citizens' employment once the economy starts to open up again + reported COVID-19 cases being disproportionately among expatriate workers in the Kingdom. These have ranged from fairly neutral discussions of statistics and labor markets … Continue reading Workers, Finance woes, and Israel (May 1-7)

Coronavirus

COVID-19 (U.S. Department of State) Government Reactions and Commentary [Update] The government has announced a wave of flight cancellations, although airlines have been left to fill in the details for many cases: First, several MENA destinations along with South Korea and Italy: https://twitter.com/KSAmofaEN/status/1236782999934509056 Then several European destinations, including Germany and France as well as Turkey … Continue reading Coronavirus

The Deal of the Century

The Palestinian Issue Through the (Very Recent) Ages First, check out Ian Black's excellent review of GCC-Israel ties. Now, a look back at the past 5 years or so of prominent commentator Abdelrahman al-Rashed's main articles related to Palestine and the Palestinians. From 2014 - "The Secret of Palestine's Negotiations" I doubt that Kerry’s plan … Continue reading The Deal of the Century

The Return of Dhari

This holiday week saw the effective return, or at least rehabilitation, of Saud al-Qahtani, once deemed "the loudest and most visible Saudi official" online or off. This came as part of a round of verdicts announced in the trial of those accused of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs made … Continue reading The Return of Dhari

Aramco, Pensacola, Etc.

" Maj. Gen. Terrence J. McKenrick, US Army Central deputy commanding and Gen. Dhafer bin Ali Al-Shehri, Royal Saudi Land Forces northwest area commander, attend the Earnest Leader 17 closing ceremony held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on August 10, 2017.  " U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Mark Hanson Pensacola Shooting After a … Continue reading Aramco, Pensacola, Etc.

Riyadh Agreement and Aramco IPO (11/4 to 11/11)

Riyadh Agreement One of the top stories for local media and commentary was the signing of the Riyadh Agreement, which "ended a three-month standoff that threatened to split the anti-Huthi bloc." (Peter Salisbury, ICG). A wide range of commentary presented this is a major diplomatic triumph for the Kingdom: Yemen could have been tossed into … Continue reading Riyadh Agreement and Aramco IPO (11/4 to 11/11)