CROSSROADS ARABIA: He’s been getting a bit loud recently with positions contrary to those of the King. Time to go.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: The 7th anniversary of my blog, Black Iris, is a time for reflection on the turbulent past year and to ask, where exactly are we now?
NASEEM TARAWNAH: A young man who burned a picture of the King has been sentenced to two years in jail by a military tribunal. Is that justice?
NASEEM TARAWNAH: The way Jordan’s authorities have handled issues of public lands illustrates their meaning of the word ‘transparency’.
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.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: It was until recently thought to be inconceivable to criticise King Abdullah in public. Recent events have shown that, in this remarkable year, another taboo has fallen.
LAYLAH: The decision to allow Saudi women to vote is truly historic. A pity that celebration was interrupted by a very strange announcement.
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.
NASEEM TARAWNAH: There was mention of ‘an elected government’ but apart from this vague aspiration the speech by King Abdullah stuck to familiar themes.
ROB L. WAGNER: Conservatives anonymously attack outspoken women by questioning their morals and beliefs in Islam.
ROB L. WAGNER: Guaranteeing rights for women has taken a backseat to what the government sees as the more pressing issue of economic stability…
SAAD AL DOSARI: If the commission against corruption is willing to take my advice, for it to gain credibility and respect, it should adopt the slogan of the ‘Fast & Furious.’
NASEEM TARAWNAH: We have hit a road bump attempting to silence debate. Assumptions have been made that anyone who is critical of the status quo is to be considered disloyal.
ROB L. WAGNER: Religious conservatives’ disruptive behavior at the Riyadh Book Fair illustrates the Saudi government’s acceptance of intolerance as long as it doesn’t interfere with its push to modernize the country.
ROB L. WAGNER: The Facebook images, twitter messages and online videos fuel Saudi anger and repeatedly raise the question why authorities learned nothing from 2009.