The Gulf Today: May 19, 2013
The Hizb-i-Islami of Afghanistan, led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, claimed responsibility for the attack against an American convoy in Kabul on Thursday May 16. Six American military advisers (two Nato service members, four Nato contractors), and at least ten Afghan civilians were killed, and forty-two others wounded. Thirty vehicles, including two of foreigners, and dozens of houses were destroyed in the bombing.
The spokesman for the party, Haroon Zarghoon, told Reuters, “We planned this attack for over a week.” He identified the suicide bomber as Qari Qudratullah from central Lugar province.
“More attacks against Americans will come soon,” declared Zarghoon to the press. Asked about the reason, he said that Hizb-i-Islami was dismayed by the current talks between Afghanistan and the United States about a long-term security deal under which thousands of American soldiers could be based in Afghanistan for years to come. Read more
The Gulf Today: May 12, 2013
The notion of moving from cooperation to Union in the Arab Gulf occupies more an important place, both in the deliberations of officials during their periodic meetings, and in the discussions of intellectuals. The idea was first introduced by King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, who started the thirty-second session of the Gulf Cooperation Supreme Council, held in Riyadh on 19 December 2011, by a speech in which he invited the six states of the GCC to “move from the stage of cooperation to the stage of Union into a single entity.” In the statement issued by that session, the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council welcomed the proposal of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, while issuing recommendations on regulatory procedures and a timetable. These recommendations were “in line with the provisions of Article IV of the Statute of the Council to cooperate on achieving coordination, integration and interdependence among Member States in all fields and up to the unity.” Arrangements were provided for the formation of a specialised Commission to be selected by the Member States. The meetings of the Commission would take place at the headquarters of the Secretariat General. Read more
The Gulf Today: May 12, 2013
We knew her as a mother of men, a mother to all but back when she was younger she was a girl who would not conform to what she believed was unfair, to what she saw as unjust. She was a girl who possessed the courage to put an end to what was in her eyes, even then, demeaning. It was a time when this country was nothing more than a gathering of tribes. She grew up in it not as we know it today, she lived in a UAE that was tight-knit, sheltered and unexposed.
It was a time when child marriages were the norm, a place where a sign of a man’s wealth was revealed by the number of wives he had, and women’s rights were those that were given to them by men. Even then, she stood tall, resisted an early marriage and refused to be treated like a possession. It was her choice to raise her two boys as a single mother, two boys who grew up to be men who played a pivotal role in shaping the country we know today. Read more
The Gulf Today: May 05, 2013
The April 29 Arab League land swap proposal in the context of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, which stirred a concatenation of reactions and criticising comment, was not a Qatari initiative; and we can hardly hold Doha as uniquely responsible for its initiation.
The day before the meeting with US officials, the Arab Peace Initiative Follow Up Committee organised a co-ordination reunion at the Egyptian embassy in Washington, DC, headed by Prime Minister /Foreign Affairs Minister, and Chairman of the Committee, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim, along with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Dr Nabil Al Araby. The reunion aimed at co-ordinating the Arab positions regarding the Arab Peace Initiative, in connection with the efforts made by US Secretary of State John Kerry for the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine. Those who attended the meeting were Read more
The Gulf Today: April 29, 2013
President Obama said on April 26 that he would respond “prudently” and “deliberately” to evidence that Bashar has used chemical weapons. Everybody understands the caution in this case. The former US President has waged a destructive war in Iraq over fake evidence that Saddam owned WMD. The war turned out to be one of the most costly in human and material resources. Iraq has not yet recovered and, after ten years of the US invasion, the country is still on the verge of a civil war. President Obama, a Nobel Prize winner for peace, if you remember, did not intend to let the events drag him into another war in the Middle East. Before his recent visit to Israel, the relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu was extremely suffering, because of repeated clashes over a real disagreement about how to tackle the Iranian nuclear file and the Palestinian issue, although Israel and the USA are still unconditional allies.
In this context, it is interesting to see how the Israelis have reacted to the new stance of the American President. Read more
The Gulf Today: April 28, 2013
There was a time when people looked up at the sky in bewilderment, felt humbled by its vastness and intrigued by its unattainable wonders. It was the one place that allowed a human being the courtesy of a boundless imagination. But that was then, and this is now.
This month, a Dutch company named Mars One has made the dreamers of us an offer they cannot refuse. It is to send people on a one-way trip to Mars to start a human colony on the red planet. With no way for return, setting foot on this elusive planet means they are eternally on their own. Left to their own devices and vulnerable to whatever dangers lie ahead, they are to fend for themselves. So who would be brave enough or mad enough to take this trip of no return you may ask?
According to Mars One there have been 10,000 applicants so far. Read more