The UAE Reforms Education System as Part of Vision 2021
The MOE and ADEC announced on 3 September 2017 the launch of a new unified educational system to standardize teaching and learning. The curriculum will be based on building critical thinking skills, developing innovation and teamwork among students, and using information technology in problem-solving.
Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi: the Twitter Giant Who Fell Silent
al-Qassemi has gone silent on Twitter, too. A source close to him said that the Gulf crisis might be the reason why he is not interacting on social media anymore. For now at least, it seems that his social media and activism days are behind him. If the Gulf crisis is resolved, he may go back to Tweeting freely again.
In Egypt, Major Gas Discoveries a Welcome Boost for Ailing Economy
The gas discoveries, notably Zohr, are changing the country’s economic prospects. Egypt started to limit its orders for LNG shipments in 2017 and those planned for 2018. By early 2019, it hopes to break even, and in the years after it plans to become a net gas exporter again. However, The gas discoveries may solve Egypt’s immediate cash crisis, but it will take more to build a resilient economy.
Israeli Boycott Movement Faces Penalties Amid Renewed Clampdown
BDS movement ‘has not yet had a significant negative effect on Israel. However, the movement is growing, particularly in Europe, and some Israeli leaders have warned that the movement’s effects could have substantial detrimental effects on the economic welfare of Israelis.’
From Early Beginnings to Modern-Day Shia
Today, Shiites are divided into numerous sects, the largest being Twelver Shiism. Shiites make up the majority of the population in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Azerbaijan; and they constitute significant minorities in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Turkey, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Saudi’s Crown Prince Jails Opponents, Eyes the Throne
Judges and political commentators, some renowned for criticizing extremists, have been seized. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd has also been imprisoned. Some critics speculate that Mohammed bin Salman is cracking down on anyone who disagrees with his diplomatic feud with Qatar, especially those who believe that the Gulf crisis has exposed the limits of Saudi Arabia’s power in the region
Saudi Women Win Right to Drive
On 26 September 2017, women’s rights activists celebrated the announcement of the royal decree which had lifted the country’s controversial ban ban on saudi women driving.
Abu Dhabi Firm Floats Plan to Tow Icebergs to UAE for Drinking Water
The iceberg project will help support the international effort to combat global warming in many ways, including “providing a new drinking water resource to the world; making the world greener by utilizing the harvested water for farming the Empty Quarter sand desert; reducing pollution from desalination; and lowering the sea level caused by melt water”.
Egypt Opens First Fatwa Kiosk in Metro Station
The idea behind the fatwa kiosk comes from al-Azhar’s effort to promote a ‘moderate Islam’. Through the kiosk, al-Azhar hopes to extend its reach and prevent people from falling for extremist ideas.
Kurdish Referendum: Who, What and Why?
Kurds went to the polls in the hope of making history and beginning the march to an independent state in the eyes of the world. Yet that longed-for result is still far from certain. With such international opposition to their cause, legal disputes at home and the thorny issue of which territories the Kurds should be able to lay claim to, a Kurdish state may remain a pipe dream.
Iran-US Relations Under Trump: Hardening Attitudes on Both Sides
The mounting pressure from Washington has contributed to a hardening of Iranian attitudes towards the US, setting the stage for more instability in the region, if not direct confrontation.
Youssef Ziedan, the Egyptian Intellectual Shaking Up Religious Beliefs
Since winning the Arabic Booker in 2009, he has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of religious extremism and cultural decline in Egypt. His voice is one among a growing number in Egypt calling for cultural change, change that can only happen if Egyptians begin to question dearly held beliefs, especially religious ones.