Makkah: Pace of Commercialisation Quickens
AMERICAN BEDU: Several thousand families will have their homes razed for villas and apartments in central Makkah. Has commercialisation gone too far?
Shining a little light on the Meaning of Eid al-Adha
MICH CAFE: As Nada’s sister joins the more than 1,222,474 pilgrims in Mecca (as at October 26), I wish all readers a blessed Eid al-Adha…
The Joy of Learning for Atlas Mountain Girls
DEREK WORKMAN, VIEW FROM FEZ: An initiative to provide for the education of a group of young girls in the High Atlas has had an unexpected impact.
How 9/11 Forced Change in Saudi Arabia
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.
Dubai Gets its Blue Mosque
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.
Should There Be A ‘Standard Ramadan Time’?
IBN WARRAQ, THE VIEW FROM FEZ: With Ramadan times varying hugely around the world is it time, for the sake of individuals’ health, to adopt a standard time?
Christian v Muslim Fundamentalists: The Same?
JUAN COLE: In spite of the aggressive blather of Bill O’Reilly it would appear that so-called ‘Christian’ and ‘Muslim’ fundamentalists have much in common.
Saudi Maternity: Good Business, Bad Medicine?
ABU MUHAMMED: I am told that some hospitals and clinics with birthing centers have good reputations in Saudi, but it only takes one to spoil the barrel…
People of the Book: Damning the Exodus of Christians
OMAR AL ISSAWI: The latest round of sectarian strife in Egypt is not about sectarian confrontation. It is about ignorance.
Is Turkey the Role Model for the Arab World?
JAMES M. DORSEY: For the first time in its history, Turkey is emerging as a true bridge between East and West. Unrest elsewhere however puts Turkish aspirations to the test.
Why Bahrain Trumps Dubai – Demographics
STEVE ROYSTON: This is not intended as a fluffy message of support. Bahrain has simply travelled further than any of its neighbours down the path of open-mindedness. And it’s a ‘real’ country.
Saudi Takes Action Against ‘Preachers of Hate’
SABRIA JAWHAR: The volume of hate-filled rhetoric pouring from pulpits in Saudi Arabia has risen over the past ten years; now authorities have taken action.
A View from the Street in Cairo: Fear, and Hope
SUHAIBWEBB: The curfew is in place, police have disappeared, essential supplies are running out. With the excitement there is also a sense of fear.
So what does ‘Fair Trade’ mean for Muslims?
SUZAN EL-AJOU: One fifth of the world’s population identifies itself as Muslim and many of that number are active in business with the other four fifths. What aspects of the Fair Trade Model are in harmony with Islam?
Ibn ‘Big Ben’ Casts its Shadow over Mecca
DANIEL MARTIN VARISCO: One understands the need to provide hotel rooms for the faithful, but Gucci bags?
New Lawrence of Arabia Bio – “Fabulously Weird”
TABSIR: Fanatically brave, chillingly ruthless, he was fastidious, repressed, allergic to physical contact, addicted to roasting baths. He was fabulously weird.
Looking Back on ‘the Year that Was’ in the Middle East
HRH PRINCE EL HASSAN BIN TALAL: It was a year which began with much promise and, whisper it, hope around the Middle East. It ends, however, with feelings that are all too familiar…
Reform in Saudi Arabia: A Battle of the Fatwas
JAMES M. DORSEY: Abdullah appears to be gaining the upper hand in his battle to push through sweeping legal reform and codification of Saudi law to meet World human rights standards.
Saudi’s Succession – ‘Reading Tea Leaves’
JAMES M. DORSEY: With King Abdullah recuperating in the United States, many of the key players who will play a part in the succession to a new generation have returned to the Kingdom.