INSIGHT: Youth Unemployment in Middle East, North Africa

As the graph below makes painfully clear, the Middle East and North Africa face significant challenges when it comes to youth unemployment. A World Economic Forum report from 2012 notes, “Unemployment in the MENA region is the highest in the world…and largely a youth phenomenon.” I’ve previously highlighted troubling trends in youth employment, including the More »

INSIGHT: Women in the Workforce in the Arab World

A great debate has been raging over whether the so-called Arab Spring has been good or bad for the women of the region. Some argue that the rise of Islamist governments in places like Egypt and Tunisia has led to a stark reversal of women’s rights. Others believe that the vibrant social and political More »

‘Harlem Shaking’ It Up Across the Middle East

Just when the Gangnam Style craze began to fizzle, and we thought that the world would be spared another viral dance phenomenon, enter the Harlem Shake.   It began as a 2012 heavy bass instrumental music track produced by Baauer, the stage name of American music producer Harry Rodrigues,  uploaded to YouTube in August 2012.  More »

INSIGHT: The ‘Chicken and Egg’ of Skills, Jobs in the Arab World

A new report from the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – Rethinking Economic Growth: Towards Productive and Inclusive Arab Societies – examines employment issues, the relative lack of dynamic private sectors, broken social contracts, and more in the Arab world. The chapter on education is particularly interesting. The report More »

INSIGHT: Bolstering Education and Science in the Arab World

A decade ago, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) shone a spotlight on the sorry state of education in the Arab world with its inaugural Arab Human Development Report in 2002, and its 2003 follow-on report, “Building a Knowledge Society.” The reports’ statistics still shock: in one year, Spain translates the same number of More »

Arab Women Launch Online Uprising

On October 1st, 2012, women organizers launched a Facebook page, “The Uprising of Women in the Arab World,” to highlight the discrimination against them which they don’t feel comfortable – or safe – enough to protest in the streets.  In just ten days, the page has generated nearly 35,000 “likes” and conversation among more More »

Images of the Week: September 29 – October 5

This week in the Middle East, fighting continues in Syria and tension develops on the Syria-Turkey border after a deadly attack that killed five Turkish civilians on Wednesday. In Egypt, women protest against the Muslim Brotherhood, demanding rights, and President Mohamed Morsi visited former President Anwar Sadat’s tomb. In Israel, many celebrated the Jewish More »

American Businessman on Hunger Strike in Dubai Jail

There was never a real estate boom like it:  In May 2002, Dubai’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoom, issued a decree granting foreigners lifetime rights to buy, sell and lease property in specifically designated areas of the oil-rich emirate. The result was a scramble of buying, selling and lending in which huge More »

Samsung, iPhone, Nokia and the Next Arab Spring

FILE - A Saudi woman is seen using an iPhone at a festival on the outskirts of Riyadh. (Reuters)

If there is to be another Arab Spring in the next few years, it will look markedly different from what has transpired in 2011-12. Social media and mobile phones clearly played a role. But satellite television was deemed the amplifier that took self-organizing groups on Twitter and Facebook and turned them into million-man (and More »

Modern Slaves: Domestic Migrant Workers in Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia

The newspaper stories are shocking: Man stapled maid several times and left her disfigured…Heated nails hammered into Sri Lankan maid…Housemaid plunges to her death from Sharjah tower…Ethiopian domestic worker beaten on camera commits suicide… Open any newspaper in Lebanon or the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and you will likely find similar stories More »

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Countdown to Bahrain F1: Will Protests Derail It?

This is a special live blog of the ongoing controversy surrounding the Bahrain Grand Prix. The teams and drivers have arrived in Manama, but two Force India team members left after their vehicle was caught in a traffic jam caused by a clash between police and demonstrators. Meanwhile, Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has called for a boycott of the race. Meanwhile, some Bahrainis are voicing support for the race, and the head of the Bahrain Circuit says there is no reason to cancel the competition. More »

Without iTunes in Middle East, Music Piracy on the Rise

If you want to buy a CD in the Arab world – legally, that is – you can’t go online and simply download it.  You either have to resort to piracy or hope that the local music shop sells the artist you are looking for.  iTunes, the world’s biggest music store, is available in More »

Damon Hill: Bahrain GP Could 'Create More Problems'

The Bahrain Grand Prix is scheduled for later this month. F1 Supremo Bernie Ecclestone says it's a go; leading drivers say they feel safe. But protests against the government continue.  More »

VOTE: #Dubai Police Wants Crackdown on #Twitter . Are You Afraid?

Reactions to recent speech by Dubai Chief of Police that judges should crack down on Twitter use. More »

#Dubai World Cup Takes Off with #Females Hoping to Make History

A full field of 14 horses has been entered for Saturday’s running of the Dubai World Cup race, the world’s richest horse race.  Canadian Chantal Sutherland will make history by being the first female jockey to ride in the contest.  Meanwhile, Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott is hoping the filly Royal Delta will More »

A New Era? Saudis to Send Women to London 2012

A New Era? Saudis to Send Women to London 2012

After negotiations with the International Olympic Committee, it appears that Saudi Arabia will send its first female competitors to the London 2012 Olympics in July.  Is this the beginning of a new era or just a token response to outside pressure? Saudi Arabia is one of three nations in the Olympic movements that have not More »

Desperate Measures, Iranian Moves Shake Up Oil Markets

Iran has cut its oil shipments to Britain and France and is threatening to cut off all sales to the E.U. in response to sanctions. What could a reduction in Iranian oil mean for the world economy and are there other countries that could fill the void? Flux in oil sales The United States and its allies More »

Arab World Experiences Serious Poverty, Food Security Challenges

International Food Policy Research Institute says situation worse than had been reported More »

Hit Film ‘Zenne Dancer’ Explores Turkish Gay Community

Movie based on true story of homosexual man who police suspect was murdered by his father in honor killing More »

POLL: What Arabs Really Think About Turkey

A newly-released survey finds that majorities across the Middle East have positive views about Turkey and its role in the region.  This according to the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), which yesterday released its third annual Perception of Turkey in the Middle East survey. Out of more than 2,300 respondents  TESEV surveyed across More »