An avalanche of criticism of FC Bayern Muenchen, a leading soccer brand and Germany's most successful club, for playing a commercially driven friendly against Saudi Arabia's FC Al Hilal amid a crackdown on dissent in the kingdom.
Iran can replace American efforts in the region with informed and constructive policies that define Tehran as a benevolent regional power. The Islamic Republic can also take the path of investing in some religious and political groups while excluding others.
Bahrain must tread carefully. The ruling monarchy finds itself vulnerable to a resilient Shi'ite opposition and a growing current of pro-Daesh elements within the monarchy's political and security structures.
Kuwait may have scored the first goal against Australia in the opening match of the Asian Cup but when the match ended 4:1 in favor of the Australian hosts the message was not simply a defeat on the pitch. It highlighted the importance/impact of Middle Eastern politics on the region's game.
2015 will bring about crucial and positive developments as well as challenges for the Iranian government. One of the tenets of the Iranian political system is unpredictability, nevertheless, projections can still be made.
A decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to abandon plans to adopt a unified contract for domestic workers increases pressure on Qatar to significantly revamp its controversial labour regime in a bid to fend off efforts to deprive it of its right to host the 2022 World Cup.
2022 World Cup host Qatar has announced a series of reforms to improve working and living conditions of its majority migrant labour population that address material concerns but fall short of recommendations made in a government-sponsored study and demands of trade union and human rights activists.
Despite some of the diplomatic headways that President Rouhani and his negotiating team made and despite some of the limited sanction reliefs that Iran has received, the gaps between the six world powers and Iran remain to be deep to bridge.
A Qatari acquisition of Tottenham would no doubt at least temporarily refocus some of the negative reporting on the country. But it could also revive assertions that wealthy Gulf countries are seeking to launder their reputations through soccer acquisition.
The adoption of a human rights declaration by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) that was designed to shield wealthy Gulf monarchies including 2022 World Cup host Qatar from criticism by human rights and trade union activists is likely to increase pressure on the sports-focused Gulf state to significantly alter its controversial migrant labour system.
As to who played the scorpion and who played the crocodile, I'd give the first title "Scorpion" to Dick Cheney and share the second, "Crocodile" between Bush Jr. and Obama. Cheney injected the venom and Bush and Obama have been drowning in it ever since.
Movies change us, for the better or worse, lets deal with it.
I love to discover a thread between the real world and the movies. Particularly if that connection pushes humanity to do better and accommodates my ongoing personal agenda to heal and unite, while watching one inspiring film at a time.
The seven months extension of the nuclear negotiations between the six world power and Iran will likely lead to a more complicated process as well as negative consequences when it comes to domestic politics and reaching a final nuclear deal.
This beautiful city, with its azure seas is the epicenter of where I first realized that the stories being told in the region held the potential to unite us and ideally, help save the world.
Mounting anger among Saudi soccer clubs at their subjugation to quotas designed to encourage employment of Saudi nationals and reduce dependence on foreign labour illustrates problems encountered by wealthy Gulf countries in balancing the contradictory demands of labour markets.