JUAN COLE: It’s well worth looking at previous situations where major powers tried to use economics to bring Iran to heel.
ROB L. WAGNER: It was a very welcome surprise – the announcement that Saudi Arabia will have at least one woman at the Olympics
MOHAMED EL-SAYED, CGNEWS: A very unlikely relationship indeed is beginning to take shape.
DANIEL M. VARISCO: The World Press Photo of the Year has been revealed. Is it the defining image of the ‘Arab Spring’?
ALEX KANE, MONDOWEISS: The Israelis are doing all in their power to scuttle ‘back channel’ discussions to ease tension between the U.S and Iran.
DANIEL M. VARISCO: It’s a curious tradition and one worth burying, in my humble opinion – the bore that is the New Year’s Resolution.
STEVE ROYSTON: The diversity of faiths, races and cultures in the Levant is one of its great strengths but this diversity is under threat.
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.
SHELINA ZAHRA JANMOHAMED: Western leaders have recently branded ‘multiculturalism’ a ‘failure’. To succeed practical programmes need to nurture it.
NEWS ANALYSIS: So how does the Middle East do? Not great, but Saudi’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al Saud is in the top 10, at number 7.
ROB L. WAGNER: Shopkeepers easily transition from Turkish to Russian, Polish and German. Yet Hebrew, once among the languages, is virtually non-existent.
ROB L. WAGNER: ‘Unseemly’, ‘undignified’ and ‘a threat to players’ virginity’ in the eyes of religious conservatives but women’s football is making major strides in Saudi Arabia.
I heard ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan saying, when people argued too much about his intention to reconstruct the mosque of Allah’s Apostle, “You have talked too much. I heard the Prophet saying, ‘Whoever built a mosque, Allah would build for him a similar place in Paradise’.”
MICH CAFE: The closer you get, the more splendid the mosque looks. The size is breathtaking and I had difficulty getting the four 60-meter-high minarets in one frame.
JUAN COLE: Klingons and Romulans wandering through the souk in Aqaba? Could be sooner than you think if King Abdullah’s ambitious plans come to fruition.
STEVE ROYSTON: I would suggest that to downgrade US debt while leaving other sovereign debts at a higher rating is a meaningless exercise.
LEWIS GROPP, CGNEWS: A recently released documentary highlights much that was little known about Muslim Spain. Its two ‘stars’ are a couple of Islamic and Jewish philosophers.
JAMES M. DORSEY: Emerging markets are demanding that the heads of major international institutions be chosen on the basis of merit…
AMERICAN BEDU: It’s a topic that seems, more often than not, to generate more heat than light but here’s my attempt to define a Muslim.