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Saudi Arabia’s old regime grows older

By Mai Yamani LONDON: The contrast between the deaths, within two days of each other, of Libya’s Col. Muammar Qaddafi and Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz is one of terminal buffoonery versus decadent gerontocracy. And their demise is likely to lead to very different outcomes: liberation for the Libyans and stagnation for the Saudis. …


Saudi Arabia’s decade of denial

By Mai Yamani LONDON: Saudi Arabia may not have been directly implicated in the conspiracy that killed more than 3,000 people on September 11, 2001, but it has been consumed in a conspiracy of silence ever since. The Kingdom remains in sullen denial of the fact that the terrorists’ ideology — their inspiration to behave as …


The Kingdom betrayed?

By Mai Yamani LONDON: The old saying “lonely is the head that wears the crown” has literally taken on new meaning for Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. Not only has he watched close regional allies, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak and Yemen’s Ali Abdullah Saleh, be toppled, but fellow crowned heads in Bahrain, Morocco, and Jordan have also …


Are Saudi women next?

By Mai Yamani LONDON: The unexpected visibility and assertiveness of women in the revolutions unfolding across the Arab world — in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and elsewhere — has helped propel what has become variously known as the “Arab awakening” or “Arab Spring.” Major changes have occurred in the minds and lives of women, …


Bin Laden’s ghost

By Mai Yamani LONDON: Osama bin Laden’s death in his Pakistani hiding place is like the removal of a tumor from the Muslim world. But aggressive follow-up therapy will be required to prevent the remaining Al-Qaeda cells from metastasizing by acquiring more adherents who believe in violence to achieve the ‘purification’ and empowerment of Islam. Fortunately, …


Deconstructing Saleh

By Mai Yamani LONDON: Ali Abdullah Saleh is finished as Yemen’s president. Popular democratic protests that started on a small scale in mid-February outside Sanaa University have widened to encompass the whole country. The continuity and strength of the demonstrations clearly indicate that the regime’s days are numbered. Tribal leaders have joined the protesters. Even close …


Which side is the world on?

By Mai Yamani The revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, and Yemen — and protests in Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria — will all eventually result in a political solution. But influential outside actors, ranging from the United States and the European Union to the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council, have greeted developments …


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