Demonstrators, Dialogues, Drones and Dialectics

by Sheila Carapico
published in MER269

In 2011 Yemenis shared a vision of revolutionary change with protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria demanding the downfall of cruel, corrupt presidential regimes. Today, like many of their cousins, the peaceful youth (shabab silmiyya) of Yemen face a counter-revolutionary maelstrom from within and without. If Gulf sultans were anxious about insurrection in North Africa, they were even more fearful of subaltern uprisings in their own neighborhood.

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Recession Hits Saudi Oil Sector

by A Special Correspondent
published in MER120

A visitor to the kingdom might be startled to hear Saudis speak of a “recession” here. Non-oil growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) is proceeding at a 6 percent clip. Unemployment is nil and construction sites still appear to be eating up the desert around every major city. It hardly looks like a recession. Nevertheless, a leaner economic climate is unmistakable. Saudi and foreign contractors alike complain of a slowdown in government payments that leaves them short of cash. The private sector is pruning payrolls and expenses, and layoffs are underway at two of the country’s largest employers, Aramco and the national airline, Saudia. Demand for many key goods and services has stabilized, leaving traders in the lurch.

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"We Are Rebuilding Our Organization"

Interview with Saudi Arabian Opposition Figure

by
published in MER130

“Ahmad” is a representative of the Socialist Labor Party in the Arabian Peninsula. MERIP interviewed him in February 1984.

What were the origins of your party?

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Books on Saudi Arabian Economics

by Christian Huxley
published in MER140

Michael Field, The Merchants (London: John Murray, 1984).

John R. Presley, A Guide to the Saudi Arabian Economy (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984).

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Peterson, Defending Arabia

by Fred H. Lawson
published in MER148

J. E. Peterson, Defending Arabia (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1986).

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The Rabita Affair

by Erkan Akin , Ömer Karasapan
published in MER153

The Rabita affair underlines the extent to which the post-1980 regime in Turkey has turned to Islam as a bulwark against the left. “Rabita” -- the Saudi-based Rabit’at al-Alam al-Islami (World Islamic League) -- advocates the establishment of a pan-Islamic federation based on the shari‘a. One would have expected it to be among the last allies sought by Turkey’s Atatürkist generals, since it promotes a political system anathema to the military and funds publications which denounce Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his secular policies.

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Saudi Arabia and the Reagan Doctrine

by Jonathan Marshall
published in MER155

President Reagan came to office with a bold commitment to roll back Soviet gains in the Third World without risking the trauma or cost of another Vietnam-style intervention. The “Reagan Doctrine,” as his policy came to be known, ironically took its cue from Soviet support in the 1970s for leftist insurgencies in Africa and Central America. But the beneficiaries of the Reagan Doctrine were anti-communist resistance and counterrevolutionary insurgencies in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia and Nicaragua.

Embracing Crisis in the Gulf

by Toby Jones
published in MER264

All claims to the contrary, the Persian Gulf monarchies have been deeply affected by the Arab revolutionary ferment of 2011-2012. Bahrain may be the only country to experience its own sustained upheaval, but the impact has also been felt elsewhere. Demands for a more participatory politics are on the rise, as are calls for the protection of rights and formations of various types of civic and political organization. Although these demands are not new, they are louder than before, including where the price of dissent is highest in Saudi Arabia, Oman and even the usually hushed United Arab Emirates. The resilience of a broad range of activists in denouncing autocracy and discomfiting autocrats is inspirational.

Operation Lip Service

by Chris Toensing | published May 14, 2012

The popular uprising in Bahrain shows no signs of going away.

The royal family tried crushing the revolt, importing shock troops from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. It tried jailing important figures in the opposition, such as human rights activist ‘Abd al-Hadi al-Khawaja, who as of early May had been on hunger strike for 90 days. The island’s rulers tried quieting the opposition by promising to investigate the abuses and making minor cessions of power from the king to the parliament.

Human Rights Briefing

by Ömer Karasapan
published in MER168

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