AMERICAN BEDU: Several thousand families will have their homes razed for villas and apartments in central Makkah. Has commercialisation gone too far?
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…
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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…
OMAR AL ISSAWI: The latest round of sectarian strife in Egypt is not about sectarian confrontation. It is about ignorance.
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.
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.
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.
SUHAIBWEBB: The curfew is in place, police have disappeared, essential supplies are running out. With the excitement there is also a sense of fear.
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?
DANIEL MARTIN VARISCO: One understands the need to provide hotel rooms for the faithful, but Gucci bags?
TABSIR: Fanatically brave, chillingly ruthless, he was fastidious, repressed, allergic to physical contact, addicted to roasting baths. He was fabulously weird.
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…
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.
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.