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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (October 22)

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[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Monday night of every week.]

Regional and International Relations 

US to sell weapons worth $10bn to UAE and Saudi Arabia Elizabeth Dickinson writes on the latest arms sale to the two Gulf states and that the US Department of Defense already approved. 

Saudi Arabia turns down UN Security Council seat A news report on the Saudi decision to turn down a non-permanent seat on the Security Council, after accusing it of failing to act on Syria. 

Why did Riyadh Turn Down UN Seat? Nizar Abboud examines the reasons for Saudi Arabia’s decision to turn down the seat on the Security Council. 

Saudi Arabia Rejects U.N. Security Council Seat in Protest Move Robert Worth provides an analysis of the Saudi considerations behind turning down the Security Council seat. 

Gulf states, Egypt back Saudi rejection of U.N. seat Sylvia Westall writes on the support Saudi Arabia received from Gulf states and Egypt for its decision to turn down the Security Council seat. 

Israel, Gulf states said discussing new alliance to stop Iran Aaron Kalman discusses the meetings held between Israeli officials and representatives from Gulf and other Arab states in order to form an alliance following concerns over US-Iranian talks. 

Saudis fret about US-Iran ‘thaw’ Ian Black argues that Riyadh’s current strained relations with Washington reflect wider tension over US responses to Syria and the Arab uprisings. 

The Gulf’s Gas Conspiracy Against Lebanon Jean Aziz examines the regional factors, and the influence of the Gulf states in particular, that are preventing Lebanon from becoming a gas producer. 

Qatar recovers sites hacked by pro-Assad group Qatari authorities manage to restore most of the government websites that were attacked by hackers from the Syrian Electronic Army.

Reports and Opinions

The Saudi state and its Salafi trends The MENA Report, issued by The Cordoba Foundation, discusses the relations between the Saudi government and Salafi groups within the state.

Qatar upholds 15-year jail term for dissident poet Qatar’s Court of Cessation upholds the prison sentence of Mohammed al-Ajami, who wrote the “Jasmine poem” in 2011.

Gulf countries consider medical checks to bar transgender expats Saeed Kamali Dehghan writes about the proposal that Kuwait submitted to the Gulf Cooperation Council states regarding medical checks to prevent transgender people from entering the region.

Saudi King Abdullah’s female advisers ask him to let women drive Female members of the Shura Council support women’s demand to end the ban on driving cars.

Saudi Arabia – Women should be allowed to campaign freely to drive The Gulf Center for Human Rights issues a statement in support of the campaign calling for women’s right to drive.

Oman to take legal action against striking teachers A news report about the Ministry of Education’s decision to take action against government schoolteachers who have been on strike for more than two weeks.

Repression in Bahrain

Tear-gas shells replace the Pearl as the symbol of Bahrain Patrick Cockburn suggests that the Bahraini regime should choose a tear-gas shell or canister as the new symbol to replace the Pearl Monument, which was destroyed by the regime more than two years ago.

Stop The Shipment A website documenting the Bahraini security forces’ use of tear gas urges countries providing the Bahraini regime with tear gas to stop their shipments.

Bahrain Settlement Scuttled by Saudi Arabia Elie Chalhoub examines a US-backed political settlement in Bahrain that Iran has backed but Saudi Arabia has not.

Bahrain jails 18 for police station attack A Bahraini court sentences eighteen people to five and seven years in prison on charges of attacking a police station.

Crisis in Yemen

Air & Drone Wars Yemen: Analysis The New America Foundation publishes data on US drone and air strikes in Yemen, including the number of casualties and the locations of the strikes.

US has killed far more civilians with drones than it admits, says UN Michael Isikoff writes on the United Nations report on the number of causalities of drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.

Gunmen kill security officer in south Yemen A news report on the murder of Colonel Mohammed al-Habashy, a security adviser in Hadramaut, at the hands of two gunmen.

Five Yemeni soldiers killed in suicide attack on military base Five soldiers are killed in a militant attack on their military base in Abyan.

Thousands rally for south Yemen independence Separatists march in Aden, demanding the independence of south Yemen, and chanting slogans against the national dialogue.

Mark Day of the Girl by Allowing Yemeni Girls a Childhood Rothna Begum urges the Yemeni government and participants in the national dialogue to enact a law that sets the minimum age of marriage at eighteen.

Migrant Workers

Qatar detained two Germans who filmed World Cup labour conditions Louise Osborne and Owen Gibson write about the two German broadcasters who were detained after filming the conditions of migrant workers from the balcony of a hotel.

Trapped in Qatar: Footballers Describe Nightmarish Treatment Maik Gorssekathofer reports on the conditions of two foreign footballers who went to play in Qatari football clubs but were not paid or allowed to leave the country.

Saudi Arabia warns foreign workers: get the right visa or get out The Saudi authority issues an ultimatum for foreign workers before the expiration of the deadline to correct legal status next month.

Saudi Arabia under fire at U.N. over women’s, migrant workers Stephanie Nebehay writes on the UN Human Rights Council’s assessment of the kingdom’s records on the rights of migrant workers and women.

Human Rights Watch

Yemen: Stuck Behind Bars A report on five men who have been held unlawfully for more than two years and who allege that they have been tortured.

The Limits of Reform in Saudi Arabia Adam Coogle writes on women’s rights in general and on their right to drive in particular.

Saudi Arabia: Abuses in International Spotlight The organization urges other countries to examine Saudi human rights records closely during the meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council held in Geneva this week.

Mecca and Medina

Historical views of the hajj – in pictures A gallery of hajj photographs from Mecca and Medina dating back to the early twentieth century. 

As the Hajj begins, the destruction of Mecca’s heritage continues Oliver Wainwright blogs on the destruction of Mecca’s historical sites and the lavish hotels constructed on these sites.

Kaaba like imprisoned with construction: Turkey’s topic religion official Mehmet Gormez criticizes the Saudi regime’s renovation work in Mecca for diminishing “the soul of the hajj.”


"تمرد" البحرين: "عاصمة الرموز" ضد "النظام المارق"
Bahrain's Tamarrod movement announces its first program, entitled "The Capital of Symbols."

الصفقة الإقليمية وجدول الإصلاح في البحرين
Abbas Bousafwan writes on the repercussions of a possible ousting of the Bahraini prime minister.

البحرين: اتفاق ترعاه اميركا ويرضي ايران وتجمده السعودية
Elie Chalhoub writes on a US-backed political settlement in Bahrain, which Iran has backed but Saudi Arabia has not.

سجون بحرينية: اكتظاظ. وسوء معاملة
A news report on overcrowdedness and ill-treatment in Bahraini prisons.

البحرين: هل بدأت تصفية المعارضين؟
A news report on the implication of the murder of Hussein Mahdi, a twenty-year-old Bahraini activist who was on the run, at the hands of the police.

الحكم على 18 شيعيا في البحرين بالسجن بين 5 و7 سنوات
A Bahraini court sentences eighteen people to five and seven years in prison on charges of attacking a police station.

الجنوبيون والحوثيون يعلقون الحوار في اليمن
Southern Yemenis and the Houthis bring the national dialogue to a standstill because of disagreement over the federal arrangement.

اليمن | هادي يتوقع حلاً لمسألة الجنوب خلال أيام
Jamal Jubran examines the final session of the national dialogue in Yemen, which has opened the door to new crises.

اليمن: يوميات القتل العادي في ظل الجماعات المسلحة
Jamal Jubran reports on the lack of security in Yemen, with the spread of militias in the country.

إصابة 5 جنود يمنيين بانفجار قرب معسكرهم بمدينة المكلا
A news report on the injury of five Yemeni soldiers in an explosion in Hadramaut.

مقتل 12 عسكريا في هجوم انتحاري ضد مقر للجيش في جنوب اليمن
Twelve military personnel die in a suicide attack on a military base in Abyan in Yemen.

الصراعات السعودية - السعودية الى أين؟
Madawi al-Rasheed explores the internal conflicts in Saudi Arabia.

السعودية عضو غير دائم في مجلس الأمن للمرة الأولى
Nizar Abboud evaluates Saudi Arabia winning a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the first time.

العرب يحثون السعودية على قبول المقعد الدولي
Arab governments urge Saudi Arabia to accept the non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Country after the kingdom turned it down because of its disagreement with the Security Council's handling of the conflict in Syria.

السعودية تمانع أميركا
Mustafa al-Labad examines the deteriorating relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia in light of the latter's rejection of a non-permanent seat on the Security Council.

بهدوء | بروسترايكا سعودية
Nahid Hatter analyzes the tense US-Saudi relations in light of the US-Russian compromise on Syria.

سفير السعودية لدى الامم المتحدة: الرياض تقف مع الشعب السوري ومع تطلعاته ورغباته
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Nations asserts that his government stands with the Syrian people and their aspirations.

السياسة الخارجية السعودية بين انعدام الرؤية وتبدد الخيارات
Fouad Ibrahim evaluates Saudi Arabia's foreign policy.

المعزولون في الحوار الامريكي - الايراني
Madawi al-Rasheed focuses on the isolation of Saudi Arabia in the US-Iranian talks.

السعودية | الرياض تنتسب إلى مجلس حقوق الإنسان لتغطية انتهاكاتها
Nizar Abboud reviews Human Rights Watch's critical report on human rights conditions in Saudi Arabia.

وزير خارجية قطر: سعود الفيصل عندما يغضب يربك العالم
Qatar's foreign minister asserts that the anger of his Saudi counterpart bewilders the world, in a reference to Saudi Arabia's rejection of the non-permanent seat in the Security Council.

‫"‬حسم" في عامها الرابع، السعودية لم تعد كما كانت
A news report on the fourth anniversary of the foundation of Hasm, a Saudi political and civil rights organization.

نساء سعوديات يتحدين قانون منع القيادة
A news report on Saudi women defying the ban on driving on 26 October.

إيمان النفجان تكشف تفاصيل إيقافها من قبل الشرطة
Iman al-Nafjan, a Saudi activist, reveals the details of her arrest after she drove a car in Riyadh.

قيادة المرأة للسيارة: اختيار وليس اجبار
The motto of the 26 October driving campaign in Saudi Arabia, entitled "A Woman Driving a Car: It Is a Choice and Not an Obligation."

قطر تسجن شاعراً 15 عاماً
Qatar's Court of Cessation sentences the poet Mohammed bin Rashid al-Ajami for fifteen years on charges of incitement against the regime.

السلطان المطلق يعتصم بالحياد ليحفظ البيت العماني
Shahira Salloum examines the impact of the Omani ruler's policy of neutrality on local issues and international relations.

عذراء تسير بخطى سلحفاتية نحو التغيير
Shahira Salloum compares Oman's slow progression towards change to a turtle's steps.

مهمتان مركزيتان للإعلام في الخليج
Abdul-Hadi Khalaf examines the two major tasks of the media in the Gulf states.

اطلاق المخطوفين اللبنانيين: دور قطر ومعايير لبنان
An editorial on the Qatari role in the release of nine Lebanese nationals who were held hostages in Syria for seventeen months.

العلاقات مع 'اسرائيل' تغضب الشعوب ولا تحمي الانظمة
Said al-Shihabi reflects on Gulf states' relations with Israel and people's reactions to the latest news on a Gulf intelligence envoy's visit to Israel.

تململ في المستقبل: لماذا تضغفنا الرياض؟
Maysam Rizq analyzes the change in the Saudi position towards Saad al-Hariri's "Future Movement."

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The photography page aims to provide a space for reflection on photography in its various forms and uses in the Middle East. We showcase the work of photographers active in the region and cultivate critical thinking about photographic practices, representations, and history. The page publishes photo essays, articles, interviews, reviews and more. It also provides information on photographic archives, agencies, and institutions, exhibits, events, and publications.