[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 to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Regional and International Relations
Israeli PM avoided Saudi airspace because of Houthi missiles – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was deterred from flying to the United Arab Emirates through Saudi Arabian airspace due to the threat of missile fire from Yemen’s Houthis. Netanyahu called off the visit to the Emirates last week over a spat with neighboring Jordan, which had temporarily closed its airspace to the Israeli prime minister’s flight.
Biden defends move not to punish Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi killing – President Joe Biden defended his decision to waive any punishment for Saudi Arabia’s crown prince in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, claiming that sanctions for Mohammed bin Salman would have been diplomatically unprecedented, but overstates US-Saudi ties.
Saudi envoy urges Lebanon politicians to form new government quickly – Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Beirut urged Lebanese political parties to quickly agree a new government to pull the country from financial crisis after months of political wrangling. A standoff between President Michel Aoun and Saad al-Hariri, who was designated as prime minister last October, has delayed a deal on a new government as Lebanon’s worst crisis in decades spirals. Gulf Arab monarchies that once came to Lebanon’s rescue have kept their distance, alarmed by the expanding role of Hezbollah.
Saudis, Egypt embark on long road to ending Arab rift with Qatar – Saudi Arabia and Egypt have begun tackling thorny issues with Qatar to rebuild ties, although the UAE and Bahrain have been slow in resuming diplomatic relations with Doha. All but Bahrain have restored trade and travel links with the small, wealthy Gulf state.
India calls Saudi advice on tapping stored oil 'undiplomatic' – Indian oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan described his Saudi counterpart’s advice to reduce oil stores to tackle high crude prices as “undiplomatic”.
Despite ties, UAE stays clear of Netanyahu election manouver – As Israel heads to the polls next week for the fourth time in two years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to capitalize on his new partnership with the UAE in his desperate campaign to stay in power. But the UAE has been mostly muted — and perhaps unimpressed — in response to Netanyahu’s ebullient descriptions of billions in Emirati commercial investments and promises of a historic meeting with the Abu Dhabi crown prince. The conflicting signals from the countries have set off a firestorm of speculation, highlighted the political differences between the sides and undermined Netanyahu’s talking points about the Gulf Arab sheikhdom’s friendly embrace.
Israel and UAE rugby teams face off in 1st after new ties – In the Middle East, where sport and diplomacy are closely intertwined, political passions can spill over onto the playing field. Months after the United Arab Emirates normalized ties with Israel, an Israeli national rugby squad touched down in Dubai to meet the Emirati team on the field for the first time.
India, UAE vow to strengthen energy cooperation – India and the UAE discussed ways to strengthen energy cooperation, despite the South Asian nation asking its refiners to reduce their reliance on Middle Eastern oil. UAE is a key oil supplier to India and a partner in an Indian joint venture that plans to build a 1.2 million barrels per day refinery and petrochemical complex on the country’s west coast.
Sudan's cabinet backs UAE mediation in border and dam disputes with Ethiopia – Sudan’s cabinet has backed an initiative for the United Arab Emirates to mediate in a dispute over Sudan’s border with Ethiopia, and over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), the Sudanese information minister said.
Beijing and UAE to work together on affordable vaccines – China wants to work with the United Arab Emirates on the production of affordable COVID-19 vaccines, according to China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, kicking off a two-day official visit to the UAE, part of a wider regional tour. The UAE was the first country outside China to roll out the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine in December 2020.
UAE firm to manufacture Chinese Sinopharm vaccine from April – Gulf Pharmaceutical Industries, based in the United Arab Emirates will start commercial production of China’s Sinopharm vaccines in April.
U.S. seeks to reinvigorate diplomatic effort alongside U.N. in Yemen – The US plans to reinvigorate diplomatic efforts, alongside the United Nations and others, to end the war in Yemen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths.
U.N. welcomes Saudi peace initiative on Yemen – The United Nations welcomed Saudi Arabia’s new peace initiative to end the war in Yemen, which aligns with the world body’s own efforts.
Britain welcomes Saudi peace initiative for Yemen – Britain welcomes a new peace initiative from Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen.
U.S. welcomes Saudi, Yemen government commitment to new ceasefire plan – The United States welcomes the commitment of Saudi Arabia and the internationally recognized government of Yemen to a new ceasefire plan.
Alone in Oman: Covid worsens abuse for trafficked women – Women from Sierra Leone tricked into servitude find themselves sold on under Gulf’s kafala system, which ties migrant workers to the employer who brings them to the Gulf, allowing widespread exploitation to persist, despite years of campaigning by human rights groups. Now rights groups are warning that the Covid pandemic has made conditions even more difficult for migrant domestic workers in Oman who come from poorer countries such as Sierra Leone. Trapped in private homes during lockdown, many have faced a great risk of violence, are being made to work longer hours and are earning less as the economic dip hits their employers. Such pressures have led to women running away from their employers, but their lack of rights puts them in a nightmarish situation.
Saudi officials issued death threats over Khashoggi probe, says UN rapporteur – United Nations special rapporteur for extrajudicial killings Agnes Callamard, a UN rights expert, has spoken out on death threats from Saudi officials over her public investigation into the killing of Khashoggi. She cited "credible evidence" that the Saudi crown prince was liable for the murder.
Saudi official denies threat to harm UN Khashoggi investigator – A senior Saudi official denied he had threatened to harm the human rights expert who led the UN investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, after the United Nations confirmed the expert’s account of the threat.
Blinken condemns attacks, discusses human rights in Saudi call – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned attacks against Saudi territory and discussed cooperation to end the war in Yemen in a call with Saudi counterpart Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, as well as human rights and social and economic reforms in Saudi.
Slow Gulf economic recovery to have long-lasting impact on banks – Economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis in the region will be slow, weighing on the region’s banking sector. Gulf countries fell into a sharp recession last year as the COVID-19 pandemic affected vital non-oil economic sectors such as hospitality, commerce, and real estate, while lower oil prices hurt state revenues. With events like Dubai Expo this year and the World Cup in Qatar next year, as well as a rebounding oil market, will provide some support but growth will remain below historical levels.
Kuwait liquidity crunch unlikely until third quarter – Steps taken by the Kuwaiti government to mitigate depletion of the treasury’s liquid assets could push back the risk of a liquidity crunch to the third quarter this year, Bank of America estimates. Kuwait’s General Reserve Fund, the sovereign fund used to cover state deficits, has been squeezed by the coronavirus-driven drop in oil prices and a continued stand-off between government and parliament on implementing measures such as a law to allowing state borrowing. The fund raised about 6 billion to 7 billion dinars ($19.87 billion to $23.19 billion) in recent months through asset swaps with Kuwait’s Future Generations Fund (FGF).
Boubyan Bank gives initial guidance for perpetual sukuk – Kuwait’s Boubyan Bank gave initial price guidance of around 4.25% for U.S. dollar-denominated Tier 1 Islamic bonds. The sukuk are designed to be perpetual in nature, but can be called after a specified period. The notes are non-callable for six years.
Oil giant Saudi Aramco sees 2020 profits drop to $49 billion – Saudi Arabia’s state-backed oil giant Aramco announced that its profits nearly halved in 2020 to $49 billion, a big drop that came as the coronavirus pandemic roiled global energy markets. Despite the 44% drop in net income, Aramco said it would stick to its promise of paying quarterly dividends of $18.75 billion — $75 billion a year — due to commitments the company made to shareholders in the run-up to its initial public offering. Aramco’s policy to pay dividends significantly higher than its 2020 free cash flow of $49 billion stands in sharp contrast to other oil giants that have cut payouts. Seeking a cash infusion to pay the billions of dollars in the face of dwindling revenue, Aramco recently has issued international bonds.
Saudi Arabia fund provided firms with $4.5 billion in loans last year – The Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) gave 212 loans worth $4.5 billion to companies last year, most of them small businesses. The loans went to 201 companies in areas including industry, mining, energy, and logistics, with 84% of the financing provided to small and medium enterprises. The government fund aims to promote industry in the kingdom as it seeks to transform its oil-dependent economy.
Saudi Aramco to prioritise energy supply to China for 50 years – Saudi Aramco will ensure China’s energy security remains its highest priority for the next 50 years and beyond as new and existing energy sources run in parallel for some time, CEO Amin Nasser announced.
Saudi's January crude exports hit highest in nine months – Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports rose in January for a seventh straight month to the highest since April 2020. Crude exports from the world’s biggest oil exporter rose to 6.582 million barrels per day (bpd) in January from December’s 6.495 million bpd. Total crude and oil products exports rose to 7.75 million bpd in January from 7.71 million bpd a month earlier. Saudi’s crude output, meanwhile, climbed to 9.103 million bpd in January from 8.98 million bpd in December.
Saudi PIF transfers stakes in food, farm cos to SALIC – The Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund, has transferred its stakes in Almarai, the National Agricultural Development Co and the Saudi Fisheries Co to Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co (SALIC). The transfer is aimed at leveraging synergies within its food and agriculture portfolio and enabling SALIC to stimulate growth in the sector. PIF transferred its 16.32% stake in dairy products firm Almarai, 20% stake in the National Agricultural Development Company and nearly 40% stake in the Saudi Fisheries Company to its wholly-owned unit SALIC.
UAE economy to grow 2.5% in 2021 after shrinking 5.8% last year – The United Arab Emirates economy contracted 5.8% last year but is likely to post 2.5% growth this year, the UAE central bank said in a report on 18 Mar.
Yemen in Crisis
Saudi Arabia Offers Cease-Fire in Yemen and Lifting of Blockade – Saudi Arabia faces growing pressure to break the stalemate as millions of Yemenis verge on famine. The Kingdom proposed what it described as a new peace offering on 22 Mar to end the kingdom’s nearly six-year-old war in Yemen, pledging to lift an air-and-sea blockade if the Houthi rebels agree to a cease-fire. The Houthis, however, appeared to reject the Saudi proposal. A spokesman for the group, Muhammad Abdussalam, said the Houthis would not agree to discuss a cease-fire until Saudi Arabia first lifted its blockade. Many earlier attempts aimed at halting the conflict have failed.
Houthi missile attack kills three children in Yemen's Taiz – Yemen’s Houthi forces fired a missile on 14 Mar at a school in the Taiz region where pro-government forces are stationed, killing 15 soldiers, as well as three children who were nearby.
Yemen Houthis target Saudi airport, air base with armed drones – Yemen’s Houthi movement launched on Monday armed drones on Abha airport and an air base in the southern town of Khamis Mushait in Saudi Arabia, a spokesman of the group’s military said. “It is part of our legitimate right to respond to the crimes of the aggression and its continuing blockade,” Yahya Sarea said in a Twitter post.
UN calls for inquiry after rebels fired missiles into Yemen detention centre – The UN has called for an independent inquiry into a horrific fire at a detention facility in Yemen’s capital Sana’a that left dozens of Ethiopian migrants dead and more than 170 injured. Human Rights Watch said that the fire on 7 Mar occurred after Houthi rebels fired missiles into the detention centre where the migrants were protesting over their cramped conditions. At least 6,000 migrants are detained throughout Yemen, and smugglers are holding thousands of migrants, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Yemen's Houthi rebels admit teargas caused fire in migrant detention centre –The rebels acknowledged that guards fired three teargas canisters into a crowded hangar in the capital, Sana’a, trying to end a protest by the migrants, killing at least 45 people. A statement by the rebel-run Interior Ministry said at least 11 men from the security forces were detained over the incident, along with a number of senior officials who would be tried before court. The migrant community in Sana’a has called for an international investigation into the tragedy, a demand backed by international rights groups. The migrants had been protesting and went on hunger strike against alleged abuses and ill-treatment at the detention facility.
Yemeni minister unharmed after explosion targets his convoy – Yemen’s internationally recognized government said Minister of Civil Service and Insurance, Abdel Nasser al-Waly, survived an attempt on his life in the southern city of Aden on Thursday, escaping unharmed from an explosion that targeted his convoy.
As Biden pushes for peace, Yemeni rebels ramp up strikes on Saudi Arabia – Yemeni rebels have dramatically ramped up attacks on targets inside Saudi Arabia, on at least 13 days, over the past month, complicating the Biden administration’s efforts to broker a peaceful resolution to Yemen’s years-long conflict and ease its humanitarian crisis. Jamal Benomar, a former U.N. special envoy to Yemen, said that “everybody is anticipating there is going to be a negotiation, and that's why things are heating up.”
U.N. Security Council condemns military escalation in Yemen's Marib – The UN Security Council condemned an escalation in fighting in Yemen’s Marib, calling for the Houthis to end an offensive on the government’s last northern stronghold, and pushing for the government to allow fuel into Hodeidah port.
Yemeni rebel offensive threatens camps of those who fled war – Already displaced once in Yemen’s grinding civil war,
UN: Yemen conflict escalates as country speeds toward famine – UN special envoy Martin Griffiths and UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock painted a grim picture of the political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which is exacerbated by a government blockade of fuel ships entering the country’s main port of Hodeida controlled by the Houthis.
Saudi-led coalition pounds Houthi military sites in Sanaa – The Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi group struck military targets belonging to the Iran-aligned movement in the capital Sanaa early on 20 Mar. The raids come after the Houthis claimed responsibility for drone attacks on an oil refinery in the Saudi capital Riyadh on 19 Mar, which caused a fire that was brought under control.
'How to end a war you didn't win': Yemen's Houthis seek Saudi concessions – Yemen’s Houthis say the US plan for a ceasefire in their war against the Saudi-led military coalition does not go far enough, and are ramping up pressure on Riyadh to lift a sea and air blockade before any truce deal is agreed.
Saudi Arabia proposes ceasefire in Yemen, Houthis sceptical – Saudi Arabia presented a new peace initiative on 22 Mar to end the war in Yemen, including a nationwide ceasefire and the reopening of air and sea links, but its Houthi enemies said the offer did not appear to go far enough to lift a blockade. The initiative, announced by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, would include reopening Sanaa airport, and allow fuel and food imports through Hodeidah port, both of which are controlled by the Houthis. It would take effect when the Yemeni sides accepted.
Yemen's Houthis say they fired drone at Saudi airport after truce offer – Yemen’s Houthi forces launched a drone attack on an airport in southern Saudi Arabia, a day after Riyadh presented a new peace initiative that includes a nationwide ceasefire.
Aid agency sounds alarm over children killed in Yemen’s war – Children accounted for a quarter of civilian casualties over the last three years in Yemen’s grinding war between Houthi rebels and the internationally recognized government, according to Save the Children, with more than 2,300 children were killed between 2018 and 2020. However, the actual toll is likely to be much higher. Save the Children’s report comes on the heels of a UNICEF statement issued Saturday, saying that eight children were killed and 33 wounded this month alone.
Aid to stave off devastating Yemen famine slow to reach needy – Aid agencies have so far received only $374 million of the $3.85 billion the United Nations says is needed this year for Yemen to avert what threatens to become the world’s worst famine in decades. Agencies last year faced a severed funding shortfall which led to various programmes - including food aid - being scaled back. At a 1 Mar conference, donors pledged only $1.7 billion of the $3.85 billion needed in the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan. More than 16.2 million people face hunger in 2021, including nearly 50,000 people who are already experiencing famine-like conditions, it said. The United Nation’s Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths has said the war is “back in full force”, with military action intensifying on several fronts.
Yemen declares COVID-19 emergency as second wave accelerates – Yemen’s internationally recognised government declared a health emergency in areas under its control, as infections in a second wave of a coronavirus pandemic surge. The war has restricted testing and reporting of COVID-19, but numbers of confirmed cases have risen rapidly since mid-February after levelling off from September to just a couple a day. Oxfam has said the second wave was pushing the country to a tipping point as it edges closer to famine and intensifying fighting displaces more people. Yemen’s government expects to receive its first batch of 2.3 million vaccine doses - through the global COVAX scheme – only after the end of March.
Saudi-led coalition lets four fuel ships dock at Yemen's Hodeidah port – The Saudi-led coalition has allowed four fuel ships to dock at Yemen’s port of Hodeidah, after the Houthi group said it would only agree to a ceasefire proposal if an air and sea blockade were lifted. Four vessels, including two carrying a total of 45,000 tonnes of gas oil, a ship loaded with 5,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and a fourth tanker with 22,700 tonnes of fuel oil have received clearance from the coalition.
Yemen conflict six years: Close to 700,000 people forecast to flee their homes this year – As the world’s worst humanitarian crisis enters its seventh year, another 672,000 people could be displaced by the end of 2021 if current levels of violence continue, according to United Nations predictions. 834 civilian houses have already been hit by armed violence so far this year.
Yemen's Houthis warn of stronger attacks after drone strikes on Saudi Arabia – Yemen’s Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said on 26 Mar that the group had targeted facilities of Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Saudi Aramco in Ras al-Tanura, Rabigh, Yanbu and Jazan. He said they also targeted King Abdelaziz military base in Dammam and military sites in Najran and Asir. “We are prepared to carry out stronger and harsher military attacks in the coming period,” he said on Twitter.
Saudi-led coalition destroys Houthi rigged boats, drones – The Saudi-led coalition has destroyed two explosive-laden boats that the Houthis planned to use in an “imminent” attack launched from the Red Sea port of Hodeidah. The coalition in separate statements also said it intercepted and destroyed three armed drones launched towards southern Saudi Arabia, including the city of Khamis Mushait.
Kuwait Emir departs for Europe after completing medical checks in the U.S. – Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah traveled on 14 Mar to Europe for a private visit, after a successful medical exam in the US, without specifying his destination.
Kuwait court expels harsh government critic from parliament – Kuwait’s constitutional court ordered Bader al-Dahoum, the country’s most outspoken opposition lawmaker, expelled from parliament on 14 Mar, inflaming tensions between the government and legislature, whilst revealing the limits of political freedom in the state.
Kuwait backs down after threatening lawmakers for gathering during pandemic – Kuwait’s government backed down on 17 Mar after threatening legal action this month against lawmakers from the elected parliament for violating COVID-19 rules by holding private gatherings and a press conference.
Kuwait emir returns home after a private vacation – Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah returned home on 23 Mar after a private vacation abroad in Europe, after successful medical checkups in the United States.
Oman blocks audio app Clubhouse citing lack of permit, but some fear censorship – Oman blocked US audio app Clubhouse on 14 Mar because it did not have the right permit, authorities said, but some activists described the move as a further erosion of freedom of expression in the country.
Qatar trade minister to chair financial centre board in restructuring – Qatar’s trade and industry minister will chair the board of the Qatar Financial Centre in a restructuring approved by the council of ministers.
Saudi Arabia: Drones attack Riyadh oil facility, no damage – A drone attack struck an oil installation in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh on 19 Mar, igniting a blaze at the facility. The attack caused no injuries or damage, and did not disrupt oil supplies.
Saudi Arabia, UAE expand COVID-19 vaccination drive – Saudi Arabia and the UAE have expanded COVID-19 vaccinations to all citizens and residents aged 16 and above as Gulf states race to bring the virus under control. Riyadh will start inoculating its population aged 16 and above with Pfizer vaccines, while its citizens and residents aged of 18 and above will have Astrazeneca shots. The Emirati health ministry urged its citizens and residents aged 16 and over to register for COVID-19 vaccinations. The country is providing four types of vaccine free of charge.
Saudi Arabia to use deterrents to protect oil exports after Houthi attacks – Saudi Arabia’s defence ministry said it plans to take deterrent actions to protect oil export facilities following a series of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi group.
Value of Saudi imports from Turkey drops further in January – The value of Saudi Arabian imports from Turkey dropped further in January. Imports amounted to 14.1 million riyals ($3.76 million) in January, down from 50.6 million riyals in December, and from 622 million riyals in January 2020. Saudi businessmen and retailers last year called for a ban on Turkish imports in an informal boycott of Turkish goods over political tensions.
Saudi Arabia sees fields of green with major tree-planting drive – Saudi Arabia aims to plant 10 billion trees in the coming decades as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious campaign, the Saudi Green Initiative, to reduce carbon emissions and combat pollution and land degradation. The country aims to reduce its carbon emissions by generating 50% of the country’s energy from renewables by 2030. Riyadh would also work with other Arab states on a Middle East Green Initiative to plant an additional 40 billion trees, for the world’s largest reforestation programme.
UAE cabinet approves programme to attract remote workers – The UAE’s federal cabinet approved a new system allowing professionals to reside in the Gulf state while working remotely for employers abroad.
Third dose of Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine needed for some in UAE after low immune response –According to Walid Zaher, the chief researcher for G42 Healthcare, Sinopharm’s distributor in the UAE – a "very small number" of people in the UAE are being invited to receive a third shot of the Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine after antibody tests indicated they did not have a sufficient immune response following two doses of the Chinese-made vaccine.
Dubai’s deputy ruler Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid dies at 75 – Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and the finance minister of the UAE, passed away on 24 Mar. He was 75.
Rumors of vaccine tourism in Dubai unfounded — for now – Despite media reports to the contrary, travel agents say there's no such thing as vaccine tourism in Dubai right now. But believe that could change.
Testing begins at UAE's nuclear power plant – The United Arab Emirates’s Barakah nuclear power plant testing will begin after the fuel load was completed at the second unit, as part of the process to start up the reactor.
Minister in Sanaa administration in Yemen dies of COVID-19 – Zakaria al-Shami, the transportation minister of the Houthi-controlled administration in Yemen, died on 21 Mar of complications of coronavirus infection.
As Gulf competition grows, Dubai ruler announces government shake-up – Amid growing competition among Gulf states to position themselves for a post-oil future, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum announced plans to restructure his government to make it more efficient. Sheikh Mohammed said that all Dubai officials and directors of government institutions will sign binding three-year contracts with set outcomes and pay.
Reports and Opinions
India and Saudi Arabia spar over oil prices – Tensions this month between India and Saudi Arabia over rising oil prices have underscored the growing importance of the bilateral relationship and its potential to generate conflict as well as cooperation. The decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+), at the start of this month to leave output unchanged despite a near doubling of oil prices since the start of November 2020. The Saudi-Indian dependency is mutual. India and China are expected to provide almost all the marginal increase in global oil consumption over the next few years as more mature markets in North America, Europe and Northeast Asia stagnate or decline. India will therefore become increasingly critical for oil exporters. Saudi Arabia has been keen to forge strategic relationships with India’s refiners and fuel distributors to secure preferential access to one of the largest and fastest growing downstream markets in the world.
Useful enemies: How the Turkey-UAE rivalry is remaking the Middle East – Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are engaged in a decade-long feud that is reshuffling the geopolitical order in the Middle East and North Africa. They see each other as existential rivals and are waging a series of proxy wars between the Horn of Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. Europe should establish a NATO deconfliction mechanism, push ahead with the political process in Libya, and design a constructive new framework to insulate European-Turkey relations from the rivalry.
The Case for More Inclusive – and More Effective – Peacemaking in Yemen – Whether or not the warring parties agree to a ceasefire, UN peacemaking needs to involve other actors, including women’s groups steeped in local peacebuilding. The UN can achieve inclusion by imposing quotas on the warring parties’ delegations, combined with a parallel process that links civil society actors to political talks.
Liquid gold: beekeepers defying Yemen war to produce the best honey – Despite the dangers, more Yemenis are turning to the sector as an alternative means of income. According to the Qur’an a lone sidr tree, or jujube, marks the highest boundary of heaven. On earth, amid the harshness of the Yemeni desert, the sweetness of sidr honey is cherished as a symbol of perseverance. While the war has made travel difficult, closing off many roads, for traditional beekeepers life is much the same: they are some of the only people in Yemen who can traverse frontlines with ease, moving around every few months in search of flowers for their bees. “It doesn’t matter who is commanding a checkpoint. They see the beehives in the back of the truck and we don’t have to stop long. Even the Houthis are afraid of bees,” said Said al-Aulaqi. An estimated 100,000 small-scale beekeepers in Yemen produce just 1,580 tonnes of honey a year, of which 840 tonnes is exported, according to a 2020 UN report. Sidr honey can sell for up to $500 (£370) a kilogram in neighbouring Gulf states, the government has identified honey as a key sector for expansion and a means to achieve food security.
علاقات إقليمية ودولية
أعلنت البحرية الأمريكية أنها بدأت مناورات في بحر العرب وخليج عمان مع بعض حلفائها وتأتي هذه المناورات في ظل تزايد التوترات بين إيران و أمريكا بخصوص الملف النووي.
دق الخبراء ناقوس الخطر بسبب شح المياه العذبة في الشرق الأوسط وجرس إنذار أن الطلب على المياه سيزداد في العقود القادمة، وعلى رغم من ذلك، لا توجد أي خطة للحفاظ على المياه ناهيك عن أن هناك تكهنات أن المياه ستكون قضية الأمن القومي.
أكد وزير الاقتصاد أن السلطنة ستتبنى عدة من المبادرات وآليات لتحفيز الاقتصاد المستهدف للقطاع الخاص خصوصا الشركات الصغيرة والمتوسطة ومن خلال هذه الحزمة الاقتصادية تسعى عمان لتنويع الاقتصاد وجذب الاستثمار الأجنبي وناهيك عن تحسين تصنيفها الائتماني.
أعلن مجلس الوزراء الكويتي إلغاء مشروع إنشاء محطة “الدبدبة” لتوليد الكهرباء من الطاقة الشمسية ضمن خطط كانت ترمي إلى تأمين 15% من إجمالي حاجة البلاد من الطاقة عبر مصادر متجددة بحلول 2030.
أعلنت الشركة القطرية الشهر الماضي أنها ستزيد إنتاج الغاز المسال نحو 40% إلى 110 ملايين طن سنويا بحلول 2026 سعيا للسيطرة على السوق.
انخفضت أسعار الخام وتدنت هوامش أرباح مصافي التكرير إثر انتشار فيروس كورونا لذلك أعلنت أرامكو أنها تتوقع حفض الانفاق المالي على مدى القصير.
أعلنت الحكومة اليمنية عن زيادة أسعار الوقود في السوق المحلي على رغم من أن هناك أزمة خانقة لمدة طويل وعزت شركة النفط هذه الزيادات المتلاحقة إلى ارتفاع أسعار النفط ومشتقاته عالميا بسبب تصاعد سعر النفط الخام.
استأنفت السعودية والسودان التعاون بعد فترة من الجمود وقررت السعودية الاستثمار في السودان وتوفير الإمدادات التي تشتد الحاجة إليها.
تواجه إيران أزمة إنسانية وتصاعد صوت الإيرانيين احتجاجا على تردي أوضاعهم المعيشية. وقال الخبراء إن البلد وصل إلى طريق مسدود.
انتشر وسم #نظام التخصيص على تويتر في المملكة العربية السعودية بعد موافقة الحكومة على فتح باب الاستثمار الخاص في قطاعات حيوية. وعبر الوسم عبر سعوديون عن خوفهم من أن التخصيص قد يعني عدم قدرتهم على الحصول على الخدمات الأساسية كالصحة والتعليم إذا لم يتوفر لديهم المال.
بحثت عمان والصين عددا من القضايا ذات الاهتمام المشترك والعلاقة الثنائية بين البلدين.
عاد اليمنيون إلى الزراعة بعد انقطاع الرواتب في بعض القطاعات إثر انتشار فيروس كورونا والحرب المستمرة وتتسم محافظة لحج بمساحات زراعية غنية ومثمرة في الغطاء النباتي.
أعلنت الحكومة العمانية قراراً لمنع الحركة وإغلاق جميع الأماكن العامة والمحلات التجارية من أجل مكافحة انتشار فيروس كورونا.
أعلنت قطر فرض المزيد من القيود والضوابط على التجمعات والأنشطة، بعد تسجيل ارتفاع في الإصابات بالسلالة المتحورة من فيروس كورونا في خطة وضعتها الحكومة لتطويق الجائحة.
أعلنت لجنة تحكيم جوائز “شورتي” المتخصصة في مجال الإعلام الاجتماعي القائمة النهائية للمرشحين للفوز بجوائز الدورة الثالثة عشرة، وحظيت شبكة الجزيرة الإعلامية بعدة ترشيحات في فئات متنوعة في منافسة مع قنوات عالمية منها “سي إن إن” و”بلومبيرغ” و”سي بي إس”.
تجمع قطر بيانات ومعلومات عن مكونات زراعية لإجراء تعداد ويعد أمرا حيويا في التخطيط الزراعي ووضع السياسات والبحث والتطوير ورصد تأثير الزراعة على البيئة.
الحرب في اليمن
التحالف بقيادة السعودية يقول إن الحوثيين حاولوا استهداف جامعتين
نقل التلفزيون الرسمي السعودي عن التحالف بقيادة السعودية قوله، اليوم الخميس، إن جماعة الحوثي اليمنية حاولت استهداف جامعتي نجران وجازان وإنه دمر طائرة مسيرة ملغومة استهدفت نجران أيضا.
كشف أن الجماعة الحوثيين تواصل الاتصالات مع أمريكا عبر سلطنة عمان وجاءت هذه المستجدات بعد أن أعلنت السعودية عن مبادرة لحل الأزمة اليمنية تتضمن وقف إطلاق النار.
ذكر تقرير من ميدل إيست أي أن اليمنيين الذين فقدوا منازلهم يأملون في إعادة بنائها، لكن الذين فقدوا أرجلهم أو أجزاء منهم بسبب النزاع لم يعد بإمكانهم الأمل في المشي بشكل طبيعي مجددا.
كان هناك تداول على وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي في عدد من الدول الخليجية بعد انتشار لافتات تحذر الناس من وجود كاميرات لرصد حالات التحرش بالنساء وضعها مجمع تجاري في مدينة الطائف السعودية
شدد بعض الأعضاء في الكونغرس على أن الرئيس جو بايدن عبر عن التزام الولايات المتحدة تجاه حقوق الإنسان، وضرورة وضع حد للانتهاكات المرتكبة في عدد من المناطق، حيث أكد على ضرورة لعب واشنطن دوراً في تحقيق العدالة.نظام الكفالة: السعودية تخفف إجراءات توظيف الأجانب
أعلنت السلطات السعودية إجراءات لتخفيف نظام الكفالة للموظفين الأجانب الذي تنتقده منظمات حقوق الإنسان وحقوق العمال.
الشاعر العماني زاهر الغافري وحوار عن الشعر والرواية
سيرة الشاعر العماني زاهر الغافري حافلة بالكثيرة من المسرات والاكتشافات المذهلة أمام تنوع الأمكنة، وفي حواره مع الجزيرة نت تحدث شاعر النثر عن التعدد والارتحال المعرفي.
رغم استمرار جائحة كورونا، والحالات العديدة التي طالت الوسط الفني، فإن ذلك لم يمنع صناع الدراما من بذل قصارى جهدهم لضمان وصول أعمالهم للشاشة والتنافس خلالها بالماراثون الرمضاني المقبل.