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Egypt Appoints Controversial UAE Hired Gun As Elections Monitor

James Dorsey | Posted 01.28.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Egyptian-general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi's efforts to lend legitimacy to parliamentary elections scheduled for this spring have gotten off to a murky start with the appointment of a controversial, reportedly United Arab Emirates-backed human rights NGO as one of five foreign election monitors.

Iran's Geopoliticial, Strategic and Ideological Role in Iraq

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 01.15.2015 | World
Majid Rafizadeh

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's Daesh Dilemma

Giorgio Cafiero | Posted 01.15.2015 | World
Giorgio Cafiero

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.

Meet Khaled Abol Naga, Egypt's International Treasure

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.07.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I need a hero. It's the reason I watch films, looking for what politicians, warmongers, our so-called diplomats and those giant corporations haven't given the world yet. And probably never will.

Iran 2015: Strategic, Geopolitical and Economic Priorities

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 01.06.2015 | World
Majid Rafizadeh

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.

Children's Rights...Any of Our Business?

Badr Jafar | Posted 01.05.2015 | Business
Badr Jafar

When Malala Yousafzai collected her World's Children's Prize in Stockholm last month, she donated her prize money to help rebuild schools in Gaza.

Five Perfect New Year's Lessons I Learned from Lee Daniels in Dubai

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.29.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Just in time for the ideal reflections on the new year ahead, I sat down with filmmaker Lee Daniels on a terrace overlooking the splendid Arabian Gulf during the recent Dubai International Film Festival.

Gulf-Iranian Proxy War Spills Onto the Soccer Pitch

James Dorsey | Posted 12.27.2014 | World
James Dorsey

A Saudi-led proxy war against Iran playing out in Syria and Iraq has expanded onto the soccer pitch with a last minute decision by the Palestinian national team to cancel a friendly against Iran.

2014: P5+1 and Iran's Nuclear Negotiations

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 12.23.2014 | Politics
Majid Rafizadeh

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.

Potential UK Club Acquisition Could Help Qatar Polish Its Image

James Dorsey | Posted 12.21.2014 | World
James Dorsey

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 Dubai Film Festival Diaries: Lee Daniels Has Been Brainwashed, Virginia Madsen Is a Super Heroine and Ahd a Real Saudi Woman

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.19.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Out of the Ordinary as a film may end up being misunderstood, but I believe strongly in its message of love being the one emotion that has the power to make us a little bit magical.

The Dubai Film Festival Diaries: The Groundbreaking Dolphins, Paul Bettany's Shelter and Asha Bhosle

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.13.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Ultimately, each time we go to the movies, we, the audience, make a choice for better or worse cinema. We make a decision that influences what gets made, what gets produced, what is distributed and shown.

The Dubai Film Festival Diaries: Opening Night, the IWC Filmmaker Award and Virginia Madsen

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.11.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

As I write this, an elegant little crow has landed on the table of my luxury hotel room's balcony overlooking Burj Al Arab. Yes, it's like that here, a mix of celebrity, cinema, sweeping man-made landscapes and the best that nature has to offer.

The Doha Ajyal Diaries: Qumra, Closing Night and Salma Hayek on Freedom

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 12.10.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Movies change us, for the better or worse, lets deal with it.

Nuclear Extension: US and Iran's Domestic Politics

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 12.05.2014 | Politics
Majid Rafizadeh

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.

Angry Saudi Soccer Clubs Pinpoint Gulf Labor Market Contradictions

James Dorsey | Posted 12.04.2014 | World
James Dorsey

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.

Gulf Agreement on Improved Migrant Worker Conditions Unlikely to Fend Off Activist Pressure

James Dorsey | Posted 12.02.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Wealthy Gulf nations have agreed on measures to improve the working and living conditions of migrant workers who constitute a substantial segment, if not the majority, in a number of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states.

The Nuclear Game: Win-Win Extension for US and Iran

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 12.01.2014 | World
Majid Rafizadeh

Unlike the interim nuclear deal, the extension appears to lack any clear key terms upon which prospective nuclear talks would be anchored in, or a final nuclear would be reached. By extending the nuclear negotiations, the Obama administration can save face, add to its questionable Middle East achievements.

Likely Qatar Deportation of Striking Workers Raises Concerns

James Dorsey | Posted 01.28.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Qatar is signaling rejection of demands by human rights and trade union activists to grant trade union and collective bargaining rights to its majority migrant worker population with the detention and likely deportation of more than 100 predominantly South Asian laborers.

Activists Expand Labor and Human Rights Campaign Beyond Qatar to Include All Gulf States

James Dorsey | Posted 01.23.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Human rights groups and trade unions have stepped up pressure on Qatar to reform its restrictive labour system and expanded their campaign to include all six wealthy members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Best of Abu Dhabi: Aditya Vikram Sengupta's Labour of Love

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.22.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

To describe Labour of Love would prove a personal labor in futility. But what I can say is that it is a film richly shot, beautifully written and acted so organically, I simply felt overwhelmed by its message for days after viewing it.

Gulf Soccer Diplomacy Highlights Regional Divisions

James Dorsey | Posted 01.18.2015 | World
James Dorsey

Wealthy Gulf states have invited Jordan and Morocco to compete in future Gulf Cups as part of a bid to strengthen their fragile six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) at a time that they have at best papered over deep rifts within the group.

Iran: Syria and Iraq the Red Lines

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 01.16.2015 | World
Majid Rafizadeh

Currently, the US and Western allies' major campaign in the Middle East is fighting the Islamic State while ignoring to address Iran's military engagements in other countries, ignoring Tehran's determination for regional supremacy seriously.

Amnesty: UAE Persecutes Political Activists In Unprecedented Clampdown

AP | AYA BATRAWY | Posted 11.18.2014 | World

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has quietly mounted "an unprecedented clampdown on dissent" since 2011, with more than 1...

Charisma Personified: Meeting Ali Suliman at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 01.15.2015 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

Meet Ali Suliman. Not only does Suliman embody all of the above qualities and possess each and every one of those talents, but he's also a great interview.