Tag Archives: Saudi Arabia

A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city and everyone in it – possibly inspiring the Biblical story of Sodom

 Artist’s evidence-based depiction of the blast, which had the power of 1,000 Hiroshimas. Allen West and Jennifer Rice, CC BY-ND Christopher R. Moore, University of South Carolina As the inhabitants of an ancient Middle Eastern city now called Tall el-Hammam went about their daily business one day about 3,600 years ago, they had no idea an unseen icy space …

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Pilgrimage in a pandemic: lessons from Mecca on containing COVID-19

Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan around the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque complex in the holy city of Mecca, on April 13, 2021. AFP via Getty Images Ahmed Kalebi, University of Nairobi As a Muslim, at least once a year I go on pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, located in Saudi …

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Middle Eastern monarchies: how do Arab ruling families hold on to power?

David B Roberts, King’s College London When the Jordanian royal family gathered on April 11 to celebrate 100 years since the kingdom’s foundation, it was a picture of dynastic unity. Alongside King Abdullah was his half-brother, the former crown prince Hamzah bin al-Hussein, who had only days ago been placed under house arrest, following what was reported in the world’s …

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Israel election: why is Palestine no longer an important campaign issue?

Peter Malcontent, Utrecht University Israeli voters are about to head to the polls for the fourth time in two years. And, once again, the issue of Palestine has been almost completely absent from debate during the campaign. Once upon a time this would have been unimaginable. In 1992, Yizhak Rabin’s Labor Party won because of his willingness to strike a …

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Oil: why higher prices will complicate the energy transition

Oil and trouble. Pix One Jorge Guira, University of Reading The oil price is on a rollercoaster. Having crashed into negative territory just last April, the price of Brent crude climbed all the way to US$70 (£50) earlier in March. It has since slid below US$64. So where is it heading and what are the implications? There are several reasons …

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Why the Gulf monarchies have survived

Saudi King Salman accompanies Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, left, during the 40th Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in December 2019. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil) Edmund Adam, University of Toronto When the Arab Spring protests erupted in 2010, many political pundits predicted the uprisings would ripple through the entire region and ultimately reach the oil-rich …

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