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Taking to the wheel in Saudi Arabia - Dotemirates

Taking to the wheel in Saudi Arabia

June 24, 2018, will be marked as a significant date in Saudi history. For it is on this date that female residents of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive their vehicles legally.It has been a long journey to get to this point — one more victory of resistance from hardline fundamentalists, who, for decades, had objected to the notion that women be granted such rights. Women had in the past been a subject of great debate with many clerics favouring their exclusion form a variety of rights, with driving being among the top.When King Salman Bin...


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World has failed Syria

‘I believe that with this agreement we prevented a humanitarian crisis in Idlib,” Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently said. He was talking after his summit meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow. This came only days after Ankara warned of a Russian plan to launch a huge offensive with government forces to control Idlib province.Now both Russia and Turkey are saying they had agreed to create “a buffer zone”, jointly under their supervision, in the province to separate Syrian government forces and their Iranian and Hezbollah militia allies from rebel fighters. Putin explained the demilitarised zone (15-25km)...

Changing dynamics in Saudi Arabia

There is no question that there are many issues in the Gulf countries that may appear odd or disturbing to some visitors. One has to understand that these countries have been going through a colossal change to lifelong traditions over the last four decades, and the growing pains can be often unsettling.And yet these countries have opened their arms to millions of guest workers from all parts of the world, welcoming them with promises of decent jobs and security during their stay. For the most part, the states have lived up to their promises — just witness the extraordinary number...
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Is India’s RSS losing its ideology?

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the national volunteer organisation, held a three-day conclave recently in Delhi. And the chief of the RSS, Mohan Bhagwat, made some startling statements at the convention. Some so staggering that they seemingly upended the RSS’s core beliefs; he even urged its followers to move beyond some of the more contentious and toxic comments made by the organisation’s founder K.B. Hedgewar.Was Bhagwat’s effort simply an image makeover, intended for the upcoming 2019 elections, or a genuine pivot, or a radical departure from its long-held ideological position? Is there a full-blown revisionism underway, and a creeping acceptance...

Reason Israel is running scared of Palestinian youth

Palestinian children pay a heavy price during every uprising or flare-up that erupts against the Israeli occupation, although they do not pose any real threat to the heavily armed Israeli soldiers. Many knowledgeable Israelis attest to the fact that Palestinian children are, like adults, subjected to torture, unjust trials (denied special courts) and inhumane treatment that violate their basic rights, with complete disregard to their age. Indeed, the Palestinian child in Israel’s view is a ‘terrorist in the making’. Thus they face military courts and harsh and degrading treatment, beatings, sleep deprivation, threats, sexual harassment and denial of visits by...

Who gets to define the meaning of anti-Semitism?

The ruling United States clique selectively ignores certain vital aspects when it comes to protecting and preserving human rights. They view even human rights from a religious or racist angle. That American lawmakers exhibit blatant hypocrisy in this matter is too obvious, but rarely reported.Take the case of the US State Department that recently released a report to the US Congress, identifying any vocal criticism of Israel as anti-Semitism, warning that anti-Jewish attitudes and incidents were on the rise worldwide.This was based on a study conducted by Tel Aviv University’s Stephen Roth Institute. The study found an increase in serious...

The war against Palestinian refugees

The US administration’s campaign against the United Nations Relief and Work Agency in the Near East (UNRWA) is undoubtedly the most serious threat facing the Palestinian refugees since the 1948 war that led to the partition of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel (Nakba or Catastrophe). In fact, the campaign amounts to an existential threat to more than 5 million refugees registered with the agency, with the eventual aim of settling the refugees in places of their residences.In 1948 the world faced its first major international crisis after the Second World War: the plight of Palestinian refugees...