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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 11.29.2014 | 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 11.24.2014 | 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 11.22.2014 | 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 11.19.2014 | 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 11.18.2014 | 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 11.15.2014 | 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.

Best of Abu Dhabi: Samir's Iraqi Odyssey Explains Iraq and the Humanity Within

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.13.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

We're so used to hearing Iraq mentioned on the news and yet, I don't know about you but through the headlines, the violence, the dictators and the wars, I've actually learned very little about this historically rich country, and more importantly its resilient people -- the Iraqis.

Study Asserts That Controversial Gulf Labor Regime Reduces Global Inequality

James Dorsey | Posted 11.10.2014 | World
James Dorsey

With the absence of labor rights in the Gulf under fire as a result of Qatar's successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup, Gulf states are likely to take heart from a recent study that asserts that authoritarian regimes in the oil-rich Middle East and China have contributed more to the eradication of global inequality than Western nations.

Best of Abu Dhabi: Learning the Games People Play Through The Narcicyst's Rise

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.09.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

The talented, charismatic, popular Iraqi-Canadian rapper named The Narcicyst first appeared on my cultural radar in 2009 when I watched City of Life. In his latest short film, a senses-overload experience titled Rise, Alsalman explores his roots and his ability to step away to comment on them.

More Meddling in the Middle East: Challenges Between Civilian and Military Engagement

Patricia DeGennaro | Posted 11.05.2014 | Politics
Patricia DeGennaro

The U.S. is once again intervening in the Middle East with no plan, no idea, no clue and no thinking about how to shape this into a positive outcome.

Sponsorship of FIFA: a new front in Gulf political rivalry

James Dorsey | Posted 11.05.2014 | World
James Dorsey

Lurking in the background of world soccer body FIFA's talks with Qatar Airways to replace its Dubai rival Emirates as a sponsor is the escalating hostility between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as a result of their divergent attitudes towards political Islam.

The Abu Dhabi Diaries: Making the Impossible Possible, for Great World Cinema

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 11.03.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

After all is said and done, the movie screenings finished, the red carpets rolled away and the party venues dismantled, what should a film festival leave a cinema lover with?

Sophia Jones

Meet The Arab Spring Activist Deported By The UAE Who Is Now Speaking Out

HuffingtonPost.com | Sophia Jones | Posted 11.01.2014 | World

ISTANBUL -- When the United Arab Emirates deported prominent democracy activist Iyad el-Baghdadi in late April, he disappeared for nearly six months. ...

The Abu Dhabi Diaries: Through The Valley, Into an Iraqi Odyssey and All for a Labour of Love

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 10.31.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

I rediscovered my love of life and passion for cinema here in Abu Dhabi. And if I sound like I'm gushing, make no mistake. I am.

If Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei Dies, What Next?

Majid Rafizadeh | Posted 10.28.2014 | World
Majid Rafizadeh

There have been rumors about Khamenei's health conditions for several years. Nevertheless, in the last few weeks, more and more images of Iran's Supreme Leader are emerging, reflecting his fragile and weak physical condition.

The Abu Dhabi Diaries: From A to B, With Great Arab Cinema in Between

E. Nina Rothe | Posted 10.27.2014 | Entertainment
E. Nina Rothe

This year, the Abu Dhabi Film Festival feels extra special.

Bahrain rattled by UK court's opening of door to investigation of torture allegations

James Dorsey | Posted 10.21.2014 | World
James Dorsey

By James M. Dorsey A failed effort by a public relations company representing Bahrain and a UK law firm acting on behalf of Prince Nasser bin Hamad a...