Saudi Arabia, unfairly or not, long has been considered by many in the investment community as an unattractive destination for their funds and by expatriates as a difficult place to live. In this article, Sultan discusses how perceptions of Saudi will change as the Kingdom goes through a series of reforms. Read more »
In this AJ+ Arabic story, Sultan discusses Manal Al Dowayan’s art installation “Suspended Together,” which discusses the plight of women in Saudi Arabia. Read more »
Last month an Egyptian appeal court sentenced one of the region’s most promising young novelists, Ahmed Naji, to two years in jail for writing a story. Much has been written about the case but what intrigued me is that it appears that as the ceiling of what is publishable in the Arab Gulf States rises, the ceiling of what is allowed in Egypt keeps declining. Read more »
Sunni vs. Shia sectarian tension and violence is raging, and ISIS — a Sunni terrorist group — is taking advantage of it. We cannot defeat ISIS unless parties on both sides — particularly Iran and Saudi Arabia — stop fueling sectarianism. A security-only minded strategy in tackling ISIS will likely fail. We need a more comprehensive solution that tackles incitement on television and social media as well as in educational curriculums. It is difficult to see how a solution to many of the region’s problems will be achieved as long as Iran and Saudi Arabia maintain a zero-sum game approach with each other.
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The relationship between the Saudi government and the Brotherhood in Egypt is being rewritten, and a large part of this rapprochement rests on the shoulders of Egypt’s new president. Although this rapprochement will face many hurdles, including the role of Egypt’s Salafis and the consequent influence of Saudi’s Wahhabi clerics on the country, it looks like we are witnessing a previously unimaginable good start for Egypt’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. Read more »
The demise of Saudi Crown Prince Nayef will have significant repercussions not only in the Gulf but also on the whole region, including Egypt. Over the past 18 months, both Saudi Arabia and Egypt have seen major developments: the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak, the death of former Saudi Crown Prince Sultan, a new Egyptian Parliament and its recent dissolution, the death of the second Saudi crown prince and now a new Brotherhood president in Egypt. While one country has seen changes induced by a popular uprising, the other was the result of divine intervention. Read more »