Ominous Saudi-Iran Tensions

Diplomatic confrontation between two regional powers puts the Middle East at risk of greater chaos By Hichem Karoui |  Beijing Review | NO. 2 JANUARY 14, 2016 It was through a strange twist of fate that Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, declared the severing of his country’s diplomatic ties with Iran on January 3. This […]

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Chatting with my Chinese Friend (15): Confessional Politics

CCTV.com 01-06-2016 18:47 BJT By Hichem Karoui — The beheading of a Saudi Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia, on January 2, sparked violence, and raised the tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia to a high level. A mob stormed the Saudi Embassy in Teheran and set fire to parts of the building, while condemnations of […]

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Chatting with my Chinese friend (14): No paradise on earth, but hell not hard to find

CCTV.com 12-22-2015 19:06 BJT By H Karoui My friend Yu was anxious. His sister is maybe buying an art shop in Dubai. Seeing the headlines coming out of the Middle East, Yu was trying to discourage her. When I suggested he was over-reacting, he replied to me on WeChat: — You don’t know the whole […]

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A Story of Tension

The downing of a Russian fighter plane sets off a number of chain reactions  By Hichem Karoui | Beijing Review, NO. 50 DECEMBER 10, 2015 On November 24, a Russian Su-24 fighter jet was flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters when it was hit by an air-to-air missile. The plane then crashed into a mountainous […]

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Chatting with my Chinese friend (13):The big Middle East circus of horrors

CCTV.com 12-08-2015 15:30 BJT By: H. Karoui — Did you watch the news in the Middle East these days? Said Yu. I detected some sarcasm in his voice, and waited for more. He added: — They are all pretending to fight ISIS, while mutually accusing each other of betraying and striking secret deals with the […]

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Chatting with my Chinese friend (12): Do Arabs worry about climate change?

CCTV.com 12-01-2015 15:01 BJT By H Karoui As she watched thousands expressing their concern about climate change in cities of the globe on the eve of Paris UN conference,  my friend Chun Ling posed some interesting questions that I attempt to answer here. “Are people in Arab cities also worried about climate change?” “In Arab […]

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Chatting with my Chinese friend (11): Mali terrorist assault: Who? Why? How?

CCTV.com 11-24-2015 15:18 BJT By H Karoui   In the aftermath of the attack on the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako that left 27 people dead and just one day after Malian commandos and international special forces stormed the hotel and freed the hostages, my friend Yu contacted me on WeChat, ostensibly upset by what […]

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Chatting With My Chinese Friend (10): Putin’s decision to suspend flights to Egypt might be the smart move

CCTV.com 11-17-2015 16:46 BJT   By H.Karoui, Middle East expert Why did Putin suspend flights to Egypt? My friend Yu asked. I said, as long as the self-proclaimed “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” (ISIS)  terrorist group confined its military operations to those two countries, the major Western powers – although shocked by its barbaric […]

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Chatting with my Chinese friend (9): “To the British people from a Chinese”

CCTV.com 11-10-2015 11:25 BJT   by H Karoui, Analyst, Expert on the MENA region Today I should like to lend this column to my friend Ma Maiqi, who would like to share her view of complicated East-West relations. Ma is a Chinese business specialist, author and trainer, based in Oxford since 2009.   For her […]

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Chatting with my Chinese friend (8): ‘Islam against Arabs?’

CCTV.com 10-27-2015 14:55 BJT By H Karoui “What is biggest problem facing Arabs today?” Yu asked. I am not sure which problem is biggest, I replied, but one of the biggest problems of Arab countries is their inability to take charge of the defense of their region, despite ranking among the top nations in the […]

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