DAVID ROBERTS: Reading the runes of Saudi Arabia’s possible succession is an art, a science and a mystery wrapped in one.
STEVE ROYSTON: It’s by no means scientific or representative but here are the people and special moments that resonated with me this year
JAMES DORSEY: It’s likely excellent news for Dalma Malhas but it’s unlikely she’ll be driving to show jumping events in the Kingdom anytime soon.
Baing ‘agnatic’ means you’re limited to a pool of successors with a built in short time span – that’s forever getting shorter. The time to change is now…
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…
JAMES DORSEY: The participation of Qatar’s women athletes opens up differences between it and the Islamic thinking in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
JAMES M. DORSEY: An Egyptian feminist group has challenged the fans that played a key role in toppling Mubarak to recognise women’s rights.
ROB L. WAGNER: It was a very welcome surprise – the announcement that Saudi Arabia will have at least one woman at the Olympics
DAVID ROBERTS: if Qatar’s role is tempered by lack of Saudi support, the region will be without a state willing to push the boundaries of regional politics.
ROB L. WAGNER: His religious comments were ill-chosen but they are not the only reason that he is in serious trouble.
JAMES M. DORSEY: Sepp Blatter, a month after opening the door to an investigation of the Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid, has declared “case closed”.
JAMES M. DORSEY: In a worrying development for Qatar, the FIFA president has opened the door to a possible investigation into its successful World Cup bid.
CROSSROADS ARABIA: It’s a very rich country but faces a serious unemployment problem. Why so and what to do?
CROSSROADS ARABIA: When Saudi awoke, it acted decisively. Its war against Al-Qaeda was successful in driving the group out of the Kingdom, though at some cost.
JAMES M. DORSEY: Irrespective of his motives, King Abdullah has made a major contribution to the ending of the bloodletting in Syria.
STEVE ROYSTON: It’s been a very bad time in Bahrain recently but a recent programme involving all sections of the island’s youth provides hope for the future.
M. LYNX-QUALEY: Son of an acclaimed literary family, Tamim al-Barghouti’s ‘weird accent and non-Egyptian features’ seem to be a problem for some in Egypt…