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 …

The EU is pushing Bosnia towards Islamism

Sami Hamdi Balkans

Handcuffed by a ‘necessary’ IMF loan that has forced stringent austerity measures on a country that continues to struggle from the lagging effects of war, Bosnia once again finds itself caught in the middle of competing agendas. As Serbia warms towards Moscow after alienation from Brussels over the issue of Kosovo and accession, ethnic tensions have begun to simmer once …

UAE-Saudi dynamics: Thriving partnership or usurpation of status quo?

Sami Hamdi World Politics

The alliance between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East has become a mainstay of the regional dynamics in recent times. The two neighbours are cooperating on Egypt, Yemen, Donald Trump, and the Palestine-Israel conflict. Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman and UAE’s Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed have seen their own personal relationship blossom. There …

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 …