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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 2)

[Independence Day (30 November) in South Yemen saw numerous protests in favor of the southern movement. Here, demonstrators call for secession in London in 2013. Image from David Holt/flickr] [Independence Day (30 November) in South Yemen saw numerous protests in favor of the southern movement. Here, demonstrators call for secession in London in 2013. Image from David Holt/flickr]

[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 Affairs

Saudi Arabia leans on Gulf states to close ranks as region boils William MacLean and Amena Bakr report on Saudi Arabia’s efforts to reconcile differences among the Gulf states.

Analysis: Qatar's foreign policy - the old and the new Jamal Abdullah argues that though regional events have shaped Qatari foreign policy, they have not affected its fundamentals.

Bahraini king congratulates Mubarak on favourable court verdict King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifah congratulates the former Egyptian president on his acquittal in a phone call.

Can Vladimir Putin save Saudi Arabia's sheikhs from the glut of oil? Debbie Carlson argues that Saudi Arabia needs Russia in its efforts to trim oil production.

Saudis block OPEC output cut, sending oil price plunging Alex Lawler, David Sheppard, and Rania El Gamal write on Saudi Arabia’s refusal to cut production of oil.

UAE sees oil price stabilizing, steps up pressure on non-OPEC The United Arab Emirates joins Saudi Arabia in asserting that OPEC should not panic as oil prices will stabilize soon.

Abu Dhabi crown prince in Qatar to seal reconciliation before summit Abu Dhabi’s crown prince pays a brief visit to Qatar ahead of a regional summit to be held in Doha this month.

GCC foreign ministers to meet in Doha The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council met in Doha in preparation for the Doha summit this month.

Qatar ends naturalisation of Bahrainis: official Qatar stops the naturalization of Bahraini nationals, a key point of contention between Qatar and Bahrain.

Egypt welcomes Saudi king’s call on Gulf accord The Egyptian presidency welcomes the Saudi king’s initiative to end the rift between Qatar and Egypt.

Qatar runs covert desert training camp for Syrian rebels Amena Bakr writes on Qatar’s training of moderate Syrian rebels.

Saudi man released from Guantánamo in rebuke of Republican opposition Spencer Ackerman reports on the release of Muhammad al-Zahrani from Guantanamo.

Denmark citizen shot in Saudi Arabia A Danish citizen is shot in the shoulder from “an unknown source” in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia probes motives behind an attack on Canadian Saudi investigators are probing the motives behind an attack on a Canadian national in Dhahran.

Reports and Opinions

Saudi Arabia says Islamic State ordered attack on Shi'ites in al-Ahsa The Saudi interior minister announces that the four arrested suspects in the attacks in al-Ahsa last month received the order from the Islamic State.

Saudi Arabia: Why succession could become a princely tussle Gerald Butt examines the thorny issue of succession in Saudi Arabia.

Wahhabism at the heart of the controversy Hanan al-Hashemi argues that any hint of criticism of Wahhabism is still a red line in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia beheads Turk for drug trafficking The Saudi authorities execute a Turkish national, bringing the number of people beheaded in the kingdom this year to seventy.

Oman considers life after Qaboos Jillian Kestler-D’Amours writes on the implication of the failure of Sultan Qaboos to attend the Omani national day due to his ill health.

Sepp Blatter insists that the 2022 World Cup will be staged in Qatar FIFA president asserts that the World Cup will be held in Qatar in 2022, ignoring serious concerns over the bidding process.

Repression in Bahrain

Bahrain releases pro-democracy activist awaiting trial The Bahraini regime released Zainab al-Khawaja, who was arrested after publically tearing apart a picture of the king.

Bahraini police raid house of top Shiite cleric The Bahraini authorities raid the house of Shaykh Eisa Qasem in Diraz.

Bahrain gears up for run-off elections Ismaeel Naar writes on the upcoming parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain.

Bahrain holds disputed election amid Shia boycott calls A news report on the legislative and municipal elections in Bahrain, which took place two weeks ago.

Bahrain election: What's behind the boycott? A news report on the implication of the opposition’s boycott of the elections.

In remarkable shift, Bahrain voters may support independents Habib Toumi analyzes the results of the parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain.

Bahrain ‘open to dialogue with opposition’ The Bahraini minister of information says that the Bahraini regime is open to dialogue with the opposition.

Bahrainis vote in second round of parliamentary election Bahrainis voted in the second round of parliamentary elections last Saturday.

Bahrain cabinet resigns The Bahraini cabinet resigns following the announcement of the results of the second round of the elections.

Bahrain jails three activists, strips them of nationality A Bahraini court strips three activists of their nationality on suspicion of planning an attack on the police.

Two policemen injured by bomb at Shi'ite village in Bahrain A bomb injured two policemen last week in the village of Deraz.

Crisis in Yemen

Al-Qaeda in Yemen claims 'Houthi killings' Al-Qa‘ida in the Arabian Peninsula claims that it killed twelve Houthi fighters in Radaa.

Yemen's Houthis accused of rights violations Hashem Ahelbarra analyzes a report issued by Human Rights Watch on human rights violations committed by Houthi fighters.

Al-Islah politician killed in Yemen's Taiz Al-Islah’s assistant secretary-general died in an explosion in Taiz.

The rise of the Houthis Martin Reardon analyzes the increasing power of the Houthis.

Yemen troops free al-Qaeda hostages US and Yemeni security forces free seven Yemeni hostages and a foreigner from al-Qa‘ida.

Al-Qaida escapes with British and American hostages before US special forces raid in Yemen A news report on the failure of US and Yemeni troops, who freed the eight hostages, to find other Western hostages.

Five killed in clashes between Houthis, Sunnis in Yemen capital Five people die in clashes between Houthi fighters and tribesmen in Sanaa.

Yemen rival groups seek to de-escalate tensions Delegates of al-Islah party and the Houthi movement meet to reach an agreement to end their hostilities.

Al-Qaeda claims bombings on US embassy in Yemeni capital Al-Qa‘ida claims that its fighters set off explosive devices at the entrance of the US embassy.

Southern Yemenis rally in Aden for secession  Thousands of Yemenis demanded the end of Yemeni unity on the anniversary of South Yemen's independence.

Migrant Workers

GCC, Asian labour ministers agree on new measures to protect workers Gulf and Asian labor ministers approve initiatives aiming to improve the work conditions of foreign workers.

Unified GCC maid contract approved Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council agree on the provisions of a unified Gulf contract for domestic workers.

5-year residency permits for expats in Saudi Arabia The Directorate General of Passports intends to start renewing foreign workers’ permits for five years, instead of one.

Human Rights

Dispatches: The Ugly Truth Behind the UAE’s Gleam Rothna Begum, from Human Rights Watch, documents the working conditions of construction workers in the United Arab Emirates.

UAE: Protect Migrant Domestic Worker’s Rights Human Rights Watch addresses a letter to the Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, urging him to end the exploitation of domestic workers in the Gulf state.

Saudi Arabia: Assault on Online Expression Human Rights Watch deplores the Saudi regime’s harassment of people who post critical views online.

Yemen: Civilian Toll of Fighting in Capital Human Rights Watch accuses the Houthi fighters of committing human rights violations during the fighting in Sanaa.

Bahrain: Maryam Al-Khawaja remains defiant after in absentia prison sentence Maryam al-Khawaja tells Amnesty International that she will continue to expose abuses in Bahrain even though the regime sentenced her to one year in jail in absentia.

UAE: Man tortured and jailed after defending imprisoned father on Twitter Amnesty International describes the trial of Osama al-Najjar, who was convicted of “instigating hatred" against the state, as a charade.

UAE: Ruthless crackdown on dissent exposes 'ugly reality' beneath façade of glitz and glamour Amnesty International reports on the ongoing harassment of activists in the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia: Human rights defender Fawzan Al-Harbi imprisoned for ten years The Gulf Center for Human Rights condemns al-Harbi’s jail sentence.

Bahrain: Women’s rights defender Ghada Jamsheer released and immediately re-arrested The Gulf Center for Human Rights expresses its concern over the arrest of Jamsheer.

Qatar: Anniversary of sentenced poet recalls the need for the promotion and protection of freedom of expression and all human rights The Gulf Center for Human Rights urges the Qatari regime to respect freedom of expression and freedom of speech.

Bahrain: Statement by Maryam Al-Khawaja on the Decision to Boycott Bahrain Court The Gulf Center for Human Rights publishes Maryam al-Khawaja’s statement on her decision to boycott her court hearing yesterday.

Bahrain: Update in relation to human rights defenders Zainab Al-Khawaja and Maryam Al-Khawaja, daughters of imprisoned Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja The Gulf Center for Human Rights deplores the ongoing harassment of the two sisters.

Bahraini Security Forces Attack and Intimidate Boycotters of Parliamentary Elections The Bahrain Center for Human Rights documents the attacks on peaceful protests against the parliamentary elections in Bahrain.

Bahrain Security Forces Weaponize Tear Gas Canisters The Bahrain Center for Human Rights condemns the use of tear gas against peaceful protesters.

Stateless in Bahrain: 52 Nationalities Revoked The Bahrain Center for Human Rights, along with another two organizations, condemns the recent denaturalization of three Bahraini citizens.

Joint Statement: Bahrain elections must not be used to cover human rights violations The Bahrain Center for Human Rights, along with another twenty-five local and international organizations, argue that the Bahraini regime should not use the recent elections to cover human rights abuses. 

Bahrain: Mother and Her Child Detained On Freedom of Assembly Charges The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls upon the Bahrain regime to immediately release Zahra al-Shaikh and her son.


Al-Jazeera case: Egypt president says pardons ‘discussed’ The Egyptian president asserts that he is considering the possibility of pardoning two of the three jailed Al Jazeera journalists.


البحرين تسقط الجنسية عن 3 مواطنين
A Bahraini court strips three activists of their nationality on suspicion of planning an attack on the police.

البحرين: الإفراج عن زينب الخواجة
The Bahraini authorities release the Bahraini activist, Zainab al-Khawaja, who was arrested after tearing apart a picture of the king in public.

رهانان في انتخابات البحرين
A news report on the upcoming parliamentary and municipal elections in Bahrain.

المعارضة البحرينية تقاطع الانتخابات اليوم: لا نتحمل مسؤولية قوانين السلطة المجحفة
The Bahraini opposition boycotts the elections.

الانتخابات البحرينية: تقدّم السلفيين... وتشكيك في نسب الاقتراع
A news report on the results of the parliamentary elections in Bahrain.

البحرين: انهيار نسبة التصويت
A news report on the low turnout during the Bahraini elections.

البحرين: نرفض الفوضى ونرحب بالحوار مع المعارضة
The Bahraini minister of information asserts that the Bahraini regime will not close the door of dialogue with the opposition.

غضب في البحرين: اقتحام منزل عيسى قاسم
The Bahraini authorities raid the house of Shaikh Eisa Qasem in Diraz, who is considered the spiritual leader of the opposition.

ما سر الاغتيالات الأخيرة في السعودية؟
Mohammed Mu’een al-Masri writes on the recent assassination attempts in Saudi Arabia.

القاعدة يتوعد الحوثيين
The leader of al-Qa’ida in Yemen gives orders to attack the Houthis.

اليمن: دمج عشرات آلاف الحوثيين في الجيش والأمن
The Yemeni defense minister announces that tens of thousands of Houthis will be incorporated in the army and security forces.

اليمن: اغتيال قيادي من اصلاحي
Al-Islah’s assistant secretary-general died in an explosion in Taiz.

اليمن: تفجير خط الأنابيب الرئيسي يوقف تدفق النفط
The main oil pipeline is damaged in an explosion in Yemen.

اليمن: الحوثيون يتقدمون إلى الجنوب
The Houthis are approaching Aden in the south.

متعب في واشنطن اليوم: دعم للحرس الوطني السعودي
Prince Mutab bin Abdullah, the Saudi king’s son, pays a visit to the United States to ask for support for the national guard.

أوباما يستقبل متعب: شكراً
The US president meets with Prince Mutab bin Abdullah in Washington.

عودة سعودية إلى البوابة الروسية.. لماذا؟
Mohammed Ballout reflects on the significance of the Saudi foreign minister’s visit to Moscow.

لا تفاهمات روسية سعودية
Hani Shadi argues that no Russian-Saudi agreements have been reached.

الوهابية في قلب الجدل
Hanan al-Hashemi argues that any hint of criticism of Wahhabism is still a red line in Saudi Arabia.

الرياض: الحكم على قاتل مصور "بي بي سي" بالإعدام
A Saudi court sentenced a man accused of killing a journalist, who worked for the BBC ten years ago, to death.

الرياض: حكم الإعدام لثلاثة من القاعدة
A Saudi court sentences three men to death on suspicion of belonging to al-Qa’ida.

هل ترعى الجزائر مصالحة تركية ـ خليجية؟
Adam al-Sabiri writes on Algeria’s efforts to intermediate between Turkey and the Gulf states.

السعودية «تمون» على مصر للصلح مع قطر السيسي يستقبل تميم قبل القمة العربية؟
Ahmed Jamal al-Din writes on the Egyptian president’s visit to Riyadh and Saudi Arabia’s efforts to reconcile the rift between Qatar and Egypt.

الملك السعودي يدعو مصر للإنفتاح على قطر
The Saudi king calls upon Cairo to reconcile its differences with Qatar.

هل يصبح «الإخوان» ضحية التفاهم الخليجي؟
Mustafa Basyouni analyzes the implication of the Saudi efforts to reconcile Egypt and Qatar for the Muslim Brotherhood.

خيارات «الإخوان» بعد مصالحة النظام مع قطر
Ahmed Sulaiman examines the Muslim Brotherhood’s options following the reconciliation between Qatar and Egypt.

وقف التدخل ولجم حملات «الجزيرة» شرطا المصالحة مع قطر؟
A news report on the Riyadh summit, which ended the rift between Qatar on the one hand, and Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia on the other hand.

البحرين: انتهاء الخلاف الخليجي
The Bahraini minister of foreign affairs announces that the rift among the Gulf states has ended.

أمير قطر يهاتف ملك السعودية
The Qatari emir phones the Saudi king following the announcement that the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain would return to Qatar.

الخوف من قوة إيران النووية يوحّد الخليجيين
The fear of Iran’s nuclear power has unified the Gulf states.

ولي عهد أبو ظبي يزور قطر ترسيخاً للمصالحة
The Emirati crown prince will visit Qatar soon.

العراق | رؤساء أجهزة مخابرات السعودية والأردن والإمارات في بغداد
Mustafa al-Furati reports on a meeting of the heads of intelligence agencies of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates in Baghdad.

السعودية توسع المنطقة العازلة مع العراق
Saudi Arabia enlarges its buffer zone with Iraq.

داعش يمتلك في السعودية أسلحة دمار دينية وعسكرية شاملة
Nizar Abboud argues that the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria has military and religious weapons inside Saudi Arabia.

النصرة: تمويل سعودي وسجون سرية وتساهل بالدماء
A news report on figures close to the Saudi regime who are supporting al-Nusra Front in Syria.

المجتمع السعودي والتعاطف مع داعش
Mohammed al-Sadiq analyzes the Saudi society’s sympathetic views of the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria.

الوهابية بلا أنياب
Badr al-Ibrahim examines the power of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia from 1929 until the present, arguing that it has recently been curtailed significantly.

قطر تدرّب "جماعات سورية" على أراضيها
Qatar is training groups in the Syrian opposition in coordination with the United States on its territories.

قطري من القتال في سوريا إلى تنفيذ عملية الإحساء
A Qatari man who fought in Syria is one of the people involved in the attack on mourners commemorating 'Ashura in the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia last month.

أبو ظبي: السجن ثلاث سنوات لمتهم بالانتماء الى "تنظيم سري
An Emirati court sentences a man to three years in prison on charges of belonging to a secret organization and smearing the reputation of the state.

الوليد بن طلال يدق ناقوس الخطر: الاقتصاد السعودي يواجه خللاً كبيراً
Prince Walid bin Talal warns that the Saudi economy is facing a big deficit.

قطر تستعد لشراء 24 مقاتلة فرنسية
Qatar is planning to buy twenty-four jet fighters from France.

الرياض: هجوم بالرصاص على وفد دنماركي
A Danish envoy comes under fire in Riyadh.

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