The COVID-19 outbreak and weak crude prices is pushing Iraq into a deep financial crisis as Baghdad grapples with political uncertainty, popular discontent, and a struggling economy.
Azerbaijan found itself sitting on a COVID-19 powder keg when the news surfaced in mid-February 2020 that neighbouring Iran had experienced one of the first cases outside China.
Last year, 2019, was the “Year of Tolerance” in the UAE. In the Emirates, the official narrative was, as one author in The National wrote, about “the country’s dedication to welcoming people of all backgrounds and beliefs.
Iraq witnesses massive protests as public outrage spills onto the streets over corruption, unemployment and poor public services.
On August 14, a major explosion occurred at a gas transportation pipeline in Iraq’s Basra. Although local sources have talked of some “technical cause,” the blast’s reason remains unclear.
As one of the driest and wealthiest countries in the world, Saudi Arabia has invested hundreds of millions of petrodollars in desalination to ensure the longevity of its water supply.
Recent clashes in Aden lay bare the untenable sociopolitical status quo in southern Yemen. Weeks of attacks and conspiracies reveal a strained Saudi-Emirati alliance and unaddressed southern Yemeni grievances.
Before Iran-allied Houthi rebels seized the Yemeni capital of Sana‘a in 2014, Yemen harbored geopolitical ambitions. Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country’s former strongman, hoped to join the GCC, yet current events stopped the late dictator from realizing this goal.
Sitting at the edge of Sub-Saharan Africa, Sudan has often seemed an outlier in the Arab world. Nonetheless, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have turned the African country into the latest frontier of a campaign for regional hegemony.
The delicate balance of power in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib appears unsustainable and, to say the least, it is difficult to predict how events will unfold.