DAVID ROBERTS: Once again Qatar has caught the world by surprise with an abdication which has resulted in one of the world’s youngest leaders coming to power.
DAVID ROBERTS: The Qatari authorities have a very difficult diplomatic tightrope to walk and they have to play their hand with consistent skill
DAVID ROBERTS: Qatar’s been punching above its weight in foreign affairs but its rulers are mindful of the voices of its small local population
DAVID ROBERTS: Reading the runes of Saudi Arabia’s possible succession is an art, a science and a mystery wrapped in one.
The only thing better than a nice map is a particularly informative nice map, like this one on Arab dialects or the one above….
DAVID ROBERTS: Qatar’s involvement in Mali is subject to some colourful speculation. It’s a familiar feeling for the peninsula state.
DAVID ROBERTS: It’s a while since I’ve left Qatar but the differences between the tiny peninsula state and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are striking
DAVID ROBERTS: The number of people protesting has gone down dramatically and there is a good chance that the Parliament may even get something done.
DAVID ROBERTS: While Israel and the Palestinian Authority may view Qatar’s embrace of Hamas with chagrin, it is Iran that is the central loser…
DAVID ROBERTS: While monarchy as a concept is still resolutely the preferred system, Kuwait is entering a new era, one that is certain to be more violent.
DAVID ROBERTS: The Olympics Opening Ceremony was striking for many reasons not the least of which was the presence of so many women leading Arab teams.
DAVID ROBERTS: Russia is unfazed about alienating swathes of the Middle East not to mention the majority of Syrians, believing in time their position can be reasserted
DAVID ROBERTS: The tactical masterstroke that the Free Syrian Army unleashed on Assad’s regime marks a spiral downwards for the regime
DAVID ROBERTS: The Saudi authorities have been actively promoting a union of Gulf states but with little success. There’s a clear reason why.
DAVID ROBERTS: That the Saudi Royal family has suffered another key death within a year is concerning but can come as no surprise.
DAVID ROBERTS: A key part of Saudi succession lies in the different power blocks of family lineage, but influence also comes with ability…
DAVID ROBERTS: There has been some utterly dreadful reporting of the recent fire in a mall in Qatar. One particular report, however, stands out
DAVID ROBERTS: Qatar had better develop a very thick skin and employ some very smart PR people to deal with the storm that faces them.
DAVID ROBERTS: It’s too early to say what exactly happened but it’s possible to make some educated observations on the Villagio tragedy