Has journalism failed to reflect our harrowing, blood-soaked reality?

Ramzy Baroud17/06/2017 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Ramzy Baroud*): Media coverage of any subject is as good as the people behind it. When those people are propagandists, sectarian and deliberately skew or drum up their own facts, then the outcome, predictably, becomes a gross mispresenting of reality. This becomes more urgent when the media coverage pertains to the Middle East, a region that is undergoing a massive upheaval, where violence has grown dramatically in degree and dimension, and where the parties – enemies and allies – are in constant flux.  Indeed, the conflicts inspiring this unprecedented violence are compound, and at times confusing even for those who are familiar with the region and its history…


*Ramzy Baroud  is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com.


Qatar crisis and individuals who influence relations between countries

09/06/2017 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran*): After God saved Moses and his followers from the Egyptian Pharaoh, they headed to Palestine. On their way, they saw people worshipping statues and not God. Moses’ followers then asked Moses to make them a statue so they worship it but he refused, and they continued their journey. Moses had asked his brother Aaron to look after everyone in Mount Tabor during his absence. A deceitful and cunning man named Samiri took gold from Moses’ followers, melted it and turned it into a golden calf that was making a lowing sound and deceived them into worshipping it. The Quranic Surah Ta Ha details this incident. Samiri misled and deceived Moses’ followers with his trick. We’ve seen people similar to Samiri throughout history. These characters are experts in sowing hatred among people…


*Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group.


Iran’s energy sector: No boom ahead?

03/06/2017 (Arab News – KSA by Naser Al Tamimi*): Iran might be boasting the world’s fourth-largest proven oil reserves and the second-largest natural gas deposits but its energy sector, hampered by years of mismanagement, sanctions and lack of advanced technology, is in dire need of new international investments. To be sure, Iran has not been able to make its Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) quota since 2005, not to mention the return to the shah’s period of 6 million barrels per day (bpd). Importantly, Western companies with the technology needed to develop Iran’s energy sector are worried that US President Donald Trump will tighten the secondary sanctions that may leave them vulnerable to punitive measures…


*Dr. Naser Al-Tamimi is a UK-based Middle East researcher, political analyst and commentator


Has Trump brought a peace deal any closer?

28/05/2017 (Arab News – KSA by Yossi Mekelberg*): In tenuous Israeli-Palestinian relations, the only thing worse than not reaching a peace deal is prompting false expectations of bringing about a peaceful end to this never-ending conflict. Palestinians and Israelis are so accustomed to failures in peace efforts that they are almost immune to expectations. At best they are ready to be nicely surprised, while resigning themselves to the fact that in the absence of courageous and capable leadership or genuine drive by the international community, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and blockade of Gaza will continue. Enter US President Donald Trump, and the confusion is reaching epic proportions. Before he took office, it was anticipated that the Israeli-Palestinian issue would be low on his agenda. After all, what would convince him that he could succeed where so many before him failed miserably? But for whatever reason, in his unique and over-simplistic way, he convinces himself that his alleged business acumen of deal-making can do the trick on this occasion too…


*Yossi Mekelberg is professor of international relations at Regent’s University London


Dubai Brings Strong Business Events Presence

20/05/2017 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): Dubai Business Events (DBE), the city’s official convention bureau and a division of Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM), has been showcasing Dubai’s dynamic business events offering at IMEX, which has been taking place this week in Frankfurt. DBE has brought a total of 27 stakeholders and partners to the global events industry exhibition, which has been running 16-18 May, including Emirates, Dubai World Trade Centre and Jumeirah Hotels. Expo 2020 Dubai has been co-exhibiting with DBE for the first time, introducing planners to the mega-event and explaining the opportunities it will afford them. Along with its co-exhibitors, DBE has been showcasing significant developments in Dubai’s business events offerings, further reinforcing the city’s status as a major business events destination. Emphasis also remains on the growing role that business events are playing in transforming Dubai into a global knowledge hub, as well as the emirate’s state-of-the-art facilities, world-class infrastructure and renowned hospitality sector that support the industry…



Trump in Riyadh and some lessons from Obama

20/05/2017 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Abdulrahman al-Rashed*): The visit of US president Donald Trump to Riyadh, which is his first international foray, has caused great concerns for Iran and all those who are on its side. In this context, nine senior officials from the administration of former President Obama participated in writing an article that was published on Politico’s website. In the article that was directed to President Trump before his visit to Riyadh, the nine officials warned him that his visit to Saudi Arabia and its consequences would harm the nuclear deal JCPOA and about the US involvement in Yemen, to satisfy the Saudis and Emiratis…


*Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel.


Identities that imprison us from birth to death

13/05/2017 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Mamdouh AlMuhaini *): Commentators and intellectuals routinely offer solutions to the problems we experience. Some say that economic stagnation is the reason we are still an undeveloped country. Others say that political reform is going to save us. A third opinion asserts that a return to the past will save us from suffering and bring blessings. Fourth, a future full of technology is the only solution that will save our slowly drowning boat. Perhaps all these solutions are part of the answer to the big question, but we forget an important point that may be bigger than all the above. In my opinion, the solution is to deepen the sense or humanism in the minds and hearts of people; everything without it will definitely fail and ruin…


*Mamdouh AlMuhaini is the Editor-in-Chief of Al Arabiya News Channel’s digital platforms.


On the importance of relations with Vatican, other religions

30/04/2017 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Abdulrahman al-Rashed*): The Pope’s visit to Egypt was preceded by a critical and hostile campaign. People affiliated with political groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, are behind these campaigns which were aided by ISIS attacks on two Coptic churches earlier this month.  The Pope insisted on visiting Egypt as scheduled despite all threats. Meanwhile, Al-Azhar sheikh also defied threats made against him and against his institution and publicly received his guest. Actually, the message which extremists want to send through this hateful campaign and through explosions is not directed against the Pope or against Egypt’s Copts but against the Egyptian authority and Arab governments which support it. The underlying message the extremists seek to convey is that they are the decision-makers and will confront any foreign relations with entities that are opposed to them…


*Abdulrahman al-Rashed is the former General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel.


Winds of change in Saudi Arabia

22/04/2017 (Arab News – KSA  by Gunter Mulack *): It had been a couple of years since my last visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and I arrived loaded with several critical views. The rather long passport control process in the old airport of Jeddah — waiting in a queue of Umrah pilgrims, and a few Westerners, for the entry stamp — reminded me of the former procedures. There was no friendly “ahlan wa sahlan” — I was greeted with a serious face. But the first surprise on this trip to Saudi Arabia came at the 5-star hotel where I was staying: The reception was manned by Saudi nationals, who did their jobs in a professional manner. If this was matched with friendliness it would have been even more successful; this is something that is especially important in the hospitality sector. I had the chance to participate in the Top CEO Conference, which took place for the first time in Saudi Arabia at King Abdullah Economic City, some 120 km north of Jeddah…


*Dr. Gunter Mulack is a retired German ambassador and at present the executive director of the German Orient Institute in Berlin.


How China is filling the investment vacuum in Africa

15/04/2017 (Arab News – KSA by John Defterios*)After living with my family in the UAE for six years, it was high time to take advantage of the reach of Gulf airlines and pursue an African safari. The goal was a simple one, to see the “Big Five”: Lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos and elephants.  The destinations were two of Kenya’s natural treasures: The Maasai Mara National Reserve and Lake Nakuru in the heart of the sprawling Rift Valley. Our journey, thanks in large part to our highly knowledgeable guide, was a success.  We spotted all five at both locations and took in more than one could imagine when it comes to other animals, birds and plants. While I certainly enjoyed what Mother Nature had to offer, I also witnessed firsthand what I had only read about in detail before, China’s presence in Africa, especially in Kenya…


*John Defterios, CNNMoney emerging markets editor and CNN anchor, is the host of “Marketplace Middle East.”