Tag: Bahrain

Is There New Hope for Human Rights in Bahrain?

Is There New Hope for Human Rights in Bahrain?

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 in prison after...

Bahrain: King Hamad Moves on Reconciliation Bid

Bahrain: King Hamad Moves on Reconciliation Bid

If the release of prisoners includes Nabeel Rajab, King Hamad will have signaled that he is serious about ending the cycle of repression in Bahrain. The decision on April 22 by Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to restore the citizenship of 551 individuals may be a first step in what...

Death Sentence Could Inflame Tension Across the Middle East

Death Sentence Could Inflame Tension Across the Middle East

The fate of a Shiite cleric hangs over the Gulf like a sword of Damocles. Last October, Saudi Arabia’s Special Criminal Court sentenced Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, a popular Shiite cleric and outspoken political dissident, to death. This was not an ordinary criminal trial, even considering...

China and Bahrain: Undocumented Growing Relations

China and Bahrain: Undocumented Growing Relations

Since the 1970s, relations between China and Bahrain have grown far beyond diplomatic ties. In April, China and Bahrain celebrated the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. While many have documented Beijing's ties with Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, China’s relations with the...

The Gulf: Foreign Workers’ Rights

The Gulf: Foreign Workers’ Rights

Despite the spotlight on Qatar, foreign workers' conditions in the UAE are equally harsh. Gulf states are lining up as targets for criticism by international trade unions and human rights groups for their treatment of foreign workers. Qatar, long in the firing line after its winning bid to...

Gulf Security: A Risky New US-Saudi Blueprint

Gulf Security: A Risky New US-Saudi Blueprint

A US-backed Saudi blueprint risks splitting the GCC. In a bid to reassure Gulf states worried about a US-Iranian rapprochement and critical of American Middle East policy, the Obama administration has opted to back Saudi efforts for regional hegemony through greater integration of Gulf military...

Bahrain: Pushing for a New Image?

Bahrain: Pushing for a New Image?

Bahrain needs more than just an image change to solve its long-standing problems. Recently, Bahrain has been making progress not only in the realm of business, but also in matters of international affairs. Prior to the Dubai Airshow this past November, his Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid...

Saudi Arabia’s Snub: A Sword Struck into Water?

Saudi Arabia’s Snub: A Sword Struck into Water?

Despite recent tensions, Saudi Arabia will not alter its diplomatic ties with the US. The United States and Saudi Arabia have a long-standing alliance, sealed in oil since the 1930s. Even though this relationship has experienced ups and downs – due to the oil embargo in 1973 and 9/11 –...

Rethinking Rentier State Theory: Qatar and the Rise of Smart Money

Rethinking Rentier State Theory: Qatar and the Rise of Smart Money

Political legitimacy in the Gulf cannot be explained by oil wealth alone. The bargain between rentier states and their populations is simple: the government ensures the financial well-being of the people, and the people do not rebel or try to influence political decisions of the state. In an...

Sunni vs Shi’a: The Middle East Chessboard (Part 1/2)

Sunni vs Shi’a: The Middle East Chessboard (Part 1/2)

Hostility between Sunnis and Shi’as has taken on an increasingly political core. This is the first of a two part series.  The logic is simple enough, right? In black, we have the Shi’a with the king being Iran. In the white, we have the Sunnis with the king being Saudi Arabia. The...

The Alawite Question

The Alawite Question

Ensuring the protection of Alawites will expedite an end to the civil war in Syria. Syria has become a proxy war to shift the balance of power between Sunnis and Shi’ites in the Middle East. The struggle over the future of the country was not always a sectarian one; the revolution started as...

Understanding India and “West Asia”

Understanding India and “West Asia”

The Middle East can expect the enduring future presence of India. India’s relationship with the Middle East — which Indian policymakers refer to by the perhaps more geographically correct, official United Nations term of "West Asia" — is driven by the cold, hard logic...

Load More

Fair Observer, 461 Harbor Blvd, Belmont, CA 94002, USA