Bill Law

William (Bill) Law is the editor of Arab Digest. An award-winning journalist, he reported extensively from the Middle East and North Africa for the BBC over a 15-year period. In addition to numerous radio documentaries and articles, his films have focussed on the Arab Spring and its aftermath in the MENA region. He has also reported from West and Central Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Before leaving the BBC in 2014, Law was the corporation’s Gulf analyst. In addition to Arab Digest, he runs TheGulfMatters.com, providing analysis and journalism focusing on the Gulf states and the wider Middle East. He is a regular contributor to Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, Gulfhsp, Gulf State Analytics, Sky News, Al Araby, Fair Observer, BBC and Monocle Radio.

Is There New Hope for Human Rights in Bahrain?

Feb 09, 2021

Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a Bahraini human rights activist, was arrested on the night of April 9, 2011. During the arrest at his family home in Bahrain, he was brutally assaulted and his jaw broken in four places. On June 22, barely two months after his arrest, he was sentenced to life...

JCPOA 2.0: A Pinch of Hope and a Dose of Reality

Jan 28, 2021

On January 18, in an interview with Bloomberg, Qatari Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, speaking in the wake of the settlement of the Gulf feud, took the opportunity to argue that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should sit down with Tehran. “The time should come,” he said “when the...

The Line: Mohammed bin Salman’s Green Blockbuster

Jan 14, 2021

It’s called The Line, a spanking new AI city to be built in the northwest of Saudi Arabia as part of the kingdom’s $500-billion NEOM project. The Line will be a “carbon-positive” community “powered by 100 per cent clean energy” strung, yes in a line, from the Red Sea coast...

Washington’s Sanctions on Turkey Are Another Gift to Putin

Dec 18, 2020

The latest sanctions against Turkey introduced by Washington on December 13 were invoked under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a US federal law that imposes economic sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea. The act came into effect in August 2017. This is the first time it has...

Saudi Arabia’s Mission to Correct “Distorted Narrative”

Nov 23, 2020

The virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia this past weekend was intended to be a moment of triumph for Riyadh and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It was the first time an Arab state has hosted the gathering, which represented a golden opportunity to flaunt on the global...

When It Comes to Israel, Saudi Arabia Is Playing an Astute Game

Oct 21, 2020

The lengthy interview that Prince Bandar bin Sultan gave to Al Arabiya English has been the subject of much commentary. On October 9, the BBC weighed in with an article headlined “Signs Saudis Edging Toward Historic Peace Deal.” Analysis by security correspondent Frank Gardner drew heavily on the Bandar interview to argue that “a...

Mauritania’s Fading Promise and Uncertain Future

Sep 30, 2020

Mauritania is rarely in the news. A member of the Arab League, it shares with its southern neighbor Senegal a large offshore gas field that promises to bring a potentially huge windfall to the impoverished northwest African nation. The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim field sits in the Atlantic Ocean off the...

Is Assad Gearing Up for a Final Push in Syria?

Sep 24, 2020

Ceasefires in Syria come and go, and so do the meetings between the outside players who hold it in their hands to determine if an end to the country’s 9-year civil war is in sight. The most recent meeting in Ankara between Turkish and Russian military officers was intended to discuss issues...

Kushner’s Triumph: The Writing Is on the Wall for Palestine

Sep 17, 2020

In a recent phone interview with reporters, Jared Kushner made the claim that his Peace to Prosperity deal represents salvation for the two-state solution to the Palestine-Israel conflict. He couched the claim in the transactional language that is the mark of the Manhattan real estate wheeler and dealer that he ultimately is: “What...

The UAE and Israel: Not So Big a Deal

Sep 07, 2020

The Abraham Accord is a grand title well in keeping with the Trump presidency’s taste for overstatement and misdirection. But the expectation that other Arab states would fall into line with the United Arab Emirates and quickly normalize relations with Israel has fallen well short of the mark. Jared Kushner’s...

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