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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 30)

[The King, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain. 28 November 2007. Image from flickr/Chris Price] [The King, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain. 28 November 2007. Image from flickr/Chris Price]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Monday night of every week.]

Regional and International Relations

Saudi Looks to Lebanon for Regional Boost A news report on the Saudi-Lebanese relations in light of the Lebanese prime minister’s meeting the Saudi crown prince in Riyadh, on Al-Akhbar English.

Qatar Leaks: The Business of Foreign Affairs Radwan Mortada writes on Al-Akhbar Newspaper’s publication of leaked minutes from the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Al-Akhbar English.

Arm Syrian rebels to contain jihadis, says Saudi royal Ian Black reports on Prince Turki al-Faisal’s call for the arming of Syrian rebels to “ensure that 'extremist' groups do not dominate the opposition,” in The Guardian.

Reports and Opinions

Rizana Nafeek: Mother forgives over Saudi beheading A new report on Nafeek’s mother’s assertion that her daughter did not kill the baby in her care and her forgiveness of the Saudi parents who insisted on the execution of her daughter, on BBC.

Sri Lanka curtailing S Arabia maid supply A news report on the Sri Lankan government’s decision to ban women under twenty-five from going to Saudi Arabia after the beheading of Rizana Nafeek, on Al Jazeera English.

Saudi Arabia: Forced into extinction An article on the sarcastic tweets following the religious police's dismantling of an educational exhibition featuring models of dinosaurs in a mall in Dammam, in The Economist.

A Road to Mecca A film by George Misch, tracing the journey of Leopold Weiss, who converted to Islam in 1926 in Saudi Arabia and came to be known as Muhammad Assad, on Al Jazeera English.

A biography of King Faisal: Unexpectedly modern An article on Alexei Vassiliev’s King Faisal of Saudi Arabia: Personality, Faith and Times, in The Economist. 

Qatar poet final verdict expected in February A media report on the upcoming trial of Mohammed al-Ajami, who is facing a life sentence for “incitement against the ruling system,” on Al Jazeera English.

UAE to try 94 over ‘plot to seize power’ A news report on the trial of ninety-four people who are charged with attempts to seize power and establish an Islamist state, and with links to the international Muslim Brotherhood organization, on Al Jazeera English.

Repression in Bahrain

Bahrain government says reconciliation talks set to resume A news report on the latest invitation for a dialogue sent from King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa to the opposition, on Reuters.

Bahrain Opposition Gives Cautious Nod for Talks A news report on the Bahraini opposition’s reaction to the king’s call for a dialogue, in The New York Times.

Anger in Bahrain following brutal arrest of female protester A news report on the harsh treatment of Zahra al-Shaikh at her arrest during protests, which included the police slapping her and forcibly removing her veil, on France 24.

Bahraini princess facing multiple torture charges A news report on Noura bint Ebrahim al-Khalifa, accused by Bahraini activists of torturing three people while in detention, on BBC.

Crisis in Yemen

US drone strikes publicly criticised by Yemeni cabinet minister A news report on a rare public condemnation of drone strikes in Yemen voiced by the Yemeni human rights minister, in The Guardian.

UN visit to Yemen draws thousands of protesters: “The People want to put the killer on trial” A news report on protesters’ demands to strip the former Yemeni president of immunity, on al-Akhbar English.

11 Yemen Soldiers Killed in Car Bombing A news report on the death of eleven soldiers after a car bomb exploded next to a military checkpoint, in The New York Times.

Human Rights Watch

Letter to the UN Security Council on human rights concerns in Yemen A letter by the executive director of the organization and the United Nations director addressed to the ambassadors of the UN Security Council on the eve of their visit to Yemen.


Treasure troves of history and diversity Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi examines the narratives of national history presented in national museums in the Gulf states, and their silence on the questions of minorities, tribal feuds and massacres, on Gulfnews.


مللك البحرين يدعو إلى الحوار: مناورة أم إصلاح؟
Shahira Salloum analyzes the seriousness of the Bahraini king's call for dialogue with the opposition.

البحرين: حبس ١٥ متظاهراً شاركوا في "جمعة الكرامة"
A news report on the arrest of fifteen Bahraini protesters during protests last Friday.

الشرطة الكويتية تستخدم قنابل الصوت لتفريق محتجين
A news report on the use of noise bombs by the Kuwaiti police to disperse protesters.

السعودية تدعو إلى استثمار الأموال عربياً: الرياض: انطلاق القمة الثالثة للتنمية الاقتصادية
A news report on the third Arab Economic and Social Development Summit, held in Saudi Arabia.

السعودية: الاستبداد يقتل الأب
Madawi al-Rasheed argues the tyrannical rule in Saudi Arabia is based on a notion of patriarchy, whereby the king, who is elevated to a sacred status and seen as the father of the community, regards his people as children, and presents himself as the wise and loving father. 

احتشاد 700 عامل اجنبي بمركز الملك عبدالله المالي في الرياض لتأخر رواتبهم 3 أشهر
A news report on the gathering of seven hundred foreign workers in front of the King Abdullah Financial Center to protest the three-month delay in receiving their salaries.

السعودية: حالة فصام في الحرب على الإعلام
Ahmad Dahman writes on Saudi Arabia's schizophrenic position in its war on the media.

قصة "النمر" الذي أخاف السلطات السعودية… فسجنته!
A news report on the Shia religious cleric from Qatif, Nimr al-Nimr, who was arrested last July.

ديكتاتورية السفير الامريكي في صنعاء!
A news report on the dictatorship of the American Ambassador to Yemen.

زيارة وفد مجلس الأمن: دعم للعملية الانتقالية أم دليل فشلها؟
Sarah Jamal discusses whether the visit paid by the Security Council delegates to Yemen indicates support of the transitional process or its failure.

اجتثاث عائلة صالح تمهيداً لإطاحة شركائه
A news report on the former Yemeni president's influence in Yemen and the current president's efforts to weaken his predecessor's power.

اليمن: خط جوي تركي لنقل مسلحين إلى سوريا بتمويل خليجي
A news report on the Turkish Airlines' transportation of Yemeni Islamist fighters to Syria to fight along the Syrian rebels, and the Gulf states' funding of this air route.

ضبط شحنة جديدة من الأسلحة التركية
A news report on the discovery of an arms shipment from Turkey to Yemen for the third time within the last few months.

اليمن: بن عمر والقربي يقاطعان اجتماع مجلس الأمن بصنعاء وباسندره يرفض تناول الغداء مع هادى لمسخه قانون العدالة الانتقالية: هادي يفشل في الحصول على عقوبات أممية ضد صالح وقيادة الثورة الشعبية تطالب بتجميد أرصدته ومحاكمته
Khalid al-Hamadi reports on the visit paid by the UN Security Council's delegates to Yemen, the Yemeni prime minister's opposition of the Law of Transitional Justice, and the internal struggle over power, including the Yemeni president's efforts to curb the influence of his predecessor.

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