10/06/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Ali Al-Amin*): The messages Iran has been receiving from various directions are no longer oblivious to anyone. Even Iran’s decision makers now realize that the four Arab capitals, which they celebrated seizing a few years ago, have changed and are no longer the same cities that’s policies Iran had dominated. The so-called ‘Resistance Crescent’ or the ‘Shiite Crescent,’ as some like to call it, is no longer a bright crescent lit with Soleimani lights, in reference to Qassem Soleimani. The disastrous scene reveals how the four destroyed or weakened Arab cities from Sanaa to Baghdad to Damascus and Beirut are now trying to avoid death, which is trying to kill whatever is left of them…
*Ali Al-Amin is a journalist based in Lebanon and is the Editor of news site Janoubia.com.
20/05/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Fahad Shoqiran*): No concept has been distorted by Arabs and Muslims as much as secularism. It all began with the poor translation of the term and which did not end with explaining what it means. The explanation “the principle of separation of the state from religious institutions” remained common even among academics and intellectuals. However, secularism is more than that and carries several interpretations, dimensions, and multiple implementations. Thus, we cannot confine ourselves to just one political model as a basis to judge the difference between true and false secularism. The aim of the concept is to establish a more earthly atmosphere, to keep religion impartial and spare it from the conflicts between the masses or between different individuals in the one state.
*Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group.
29/04/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Adnan Hussein*): “Do we have a state in the first place?” I concluded a column earlier this week with this question that has been asked for 15 years, and it seems it is going to be asked for perhaps another 15 years. Political Islam groups have governed Iraq for all this time and despite their failure, they’ve been clinging on to authority. Yes, we do not have a state in Iraq but it just looks like a state to us. There is no country in the world, even an underdeveloped one, which does not, for example, have a traffic law. It is in our “state” that you do not see any sign of traffic laws on the streets, squares and highways. Car drivers, motorcycle riders and pedestrians do not abide by the traffic law. The traffic police also does not abide by it or work to impose it. Even the traffic lights lack a functional system!…
*Adnan Hussein is the executive editor-in-chief of Al-Mada newspaper and head of the National Union of Iraqi journalists.
07/04/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi*): The Cold War dynamic in the Middle East, which is now also playing out in other theatres internationally, is finally being accepted by many analysts in the region after being rejected for years. History has again become a living reality for the entire world. Historically, Iran has sought to achieve its hegemony over the region by exporting its revolution, and has succeeded in four Arab capitals. Many observers during the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ had believed that Iran and its axis in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Qatar and within the Brotherhood in Egypt and its branches in the Arab Gulf and the world, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and extremist groups in Libya and in the triangle of south of Algeria, northern Mali and eastern Mauritania, Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and others can dominate the region and the Arab world…
*Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher.
23/03/2018 (Arab News – KSA by Hafed Al-Ghwell*): An Egyptian friend of mine from college was doing exceptionally well in 2010 with his property investments and developments in Egypt and Libya. Things were also looking better the following year — and then revolts took place in both countries within a month of each other. Suddenly, through no fault of his own, he was faced with ruin and failing businesses in both countries. He decided to close his shops, take all his savings and move to the US to start over. His story is not as tragic as those of the estimated 87 million other Arabs whose lives have been deeply affected by what was ironically called the Arab Spring. Nevertheless, it represents the many types of lawlessness of the period stretching from December 2010 to the end of spring 2011, when many countries in the Arab world were shaken to their core by revolts, violence and bloodshed…
*Hafed Al-Ghwell is a former adviser to the board of directors at the World Bank Group.
17/03/2018 (Arab News – KSA by Camelia Entekhabifard*): Since the beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump has surprised the world — and the American people — on many occasions. His executive orders restricting travel to the US, changing key aides and officials in his administration, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, none of this was expected by politicians and ordinary people. Only last year, Trump was threatening “fire and fury” against North Korea if its nuclear program endangered the US, terrifying the world with the prospect of a nuclear war. Now he has agreed to direct negotiations with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un. And no sooner had the political establishment recovered from that shock than Trump fired his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. The president has nominated Mike Pompeo, the head of the CIA, as Tillerson’s replacement. For both hard-line Republicans in the US Congress and the so-called “moderate” government of Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, the nomination was quickly interpreted as a death sentence for the 2015 deal curbing Iran’s nuclear program…
*Camelia Entekhabifard is an Iranian-American journalist, political commentator
10/03/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Mashari Althay*): Without dwelling on the political and economic aspect of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s deliberations during his recent trip to Egypt, the United Kingdom and then the United States, let us focus solely on the human and cultural aspects of the tour. In Egypt, the Saudi Crown Prince had a unique meeting with the highest representative of Egyptian Christians and the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District in Cairo. He also met with other Christian figures. The discussions revolved around the situation of Christians and the Copts in Egypt and reaffirmed both parties “common commitment to eradicating extremism and terrorism.”…
*Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.
04/03/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Sawsan Al Shaer*): The Security Council voted for a resolution that prevents Iran from providing the Houthis with weapons, but Russia vetoed this resolution. This implies that Russia opposes the resolution that prevents Iran from supplying Houthis with ballistic missiles that bombard our cities. Leveraging economy for security. The question is how Russia justifies to Gulf countries the veto it exercised against the resolution that prevents Iran from supplying Houthis with weapons. I hope that GCC countries will deal seriously with this Russian decision. It is time to link our economic strength with our security interests, either by suspending our business deals, or by canceling them. What is important is that the international community should know that we will not accept what undermines our security…
*Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist.
24/02/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Fahad Shoqiran* ): The concept of secularism has been linked to the Christian tradition itself, not only on the fundamental ideological plane but even at the academic and intellectual levels.The benefits of secularism. Analyzing secularism has thus not taken into account the development of the concept as seen in several countries in the east and the west. “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s,” has often been cited. If it had not been for secularism, massacres and bloodshed would have been rampant across the world. Many intellectuals, including Mohammed Abed al-Jabri, a prominent critic and thinker, made the mistake of equating “secularism” with ‘religion’. This was evident in Jabri’s book ‘The religion, state and application of Shariah.’ Georges Tarabichi criticized Jabri in his book ‘Heresies.’ His criticism is in fact justified as Jabri had proposed “democracy” as an alternative to “secularism.”..
*Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group.
17/02/2018 (Al Arabiya News – UAE by Huda al-Husseini*): The war in Syria has not ended. In fact, the phase of ‘post-ISIS wars’ has just started. Syria remains a dangerous link between regional conflicts and the great powers, despite the defeat of ISIS in the east. The recent confrontation between Iran and Israel in Syria is only one of the few possibilities that could fuel the next phase of civil war in Syria. Turkey has opened a direct confrontation with the People’s Protection Units in the northern Kurdish town of Afrin. Turkey, Iran and Russia are also competing with each other in a three-way struggle over Idlib and the downing of the Sukhoi-25 plane on February 3 is a sign of this rivalry. Meanwhile, the US-led coalition is encountering intense challenge from the Russian-Iranian coalition after US warded off a major pro-regime attack in Deir al-Zour on July 7 last year…
*Huda al-Husseini is a writer who focuses on Middle East geopolitics.