Why Sudan’s Al-Bashir must not fall

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Protests broke out following a hike in fuel prices as Sudan seeks to shore up its budget by lifting the heavy subsidies it has implemented over the years to ease the pressure of sanctions on the general populace. Although if we apply some perspective, 1 litre of petrol became 11 cents (that is 0.11 USD), and is still one of …

Saudi foreign policy is anything but mad

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa, Saudi Arabia

Mohamed Bin Salman has made a splash since he was handed the reins of control from his father King Salman. The kingdom has since entered into a war with the Houthis in Yemen, engaged heavily as a partner in constructing the ‘Deal of the Century’, announced ambitious reforms in NEOM and Vision 2030, imprisoned a whole swathe of influential social …

UAE’s obsession with controlling Palestine transcends the Arab Spring

Diana Alghoul Middle East/North Africa

When the Arab Spring broke out in 2011, the UAE scrambled to contain the protests that shook the region. Many interpreted this as Abu Dhabi seeking to deter the contagious revolutionary sprit from reaching the Emirati people, whereas others saw it as a way of curbing the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, who were clearly the electoral beneficiaries of the …

Understanding Erdogan’s Appeal

Sami Hamdi #TheOtherNarrative, Middle East/North Africa

A ‘firebrand’, ‘polarising’, ‘increasingly authoritarian’, and an ‘arrogant self-indulgent man pretending to be a Sultan’. These are some of the criticisms levied at Turkish president Receb Tayyeb Erdogan who has dominated the Turkish political scene since 2003, winning successive elections with his AK Parti, revamping the Turkish economy, overseeing a period of genuine prosperity, and has expanded Turkey’s international prowess. …

Iran’s Sadr problem

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Sadr’s resurgence complicates the dynamics of Iraqi politics not just for Iran, but also for the Iraqi religious establishment. For Iran, Sadr has always been a useful kingmaker. In 2006, Maliki was short of the required MPs to form a government and could not convince Sadr to back him following a brutal war between them that engulfed Sadr City in …

Palestine: What happens to the peace process now?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

The irony of the celebratory mood at the opening ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem will not have been lost on most people as coinciding live images of protesters being massacred were broadcast on most television stations. If anything, such imagery served to demonstrate the grave imbalance that has obstructed any genuine pursuit for peace; Israel is strong, Palestine …

Director General of Insurance Authority (IA) inaugurates world’s largest Takaful forum

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

  Director General of Insurance Authority (IA) inaugurates world’s largest Takaful forum   -Over 300 Takaful and Technology Leaders converged at the 13th edition of the World Takaful Conference with the aim of fostering industry-wide collaboration.     Dubai, UAE – April 09, 2018: This morning, a packed audience of over 300 key industry leaders gathered from various MENASEA markets, witnessed …