Reading Time: 4 minutes I’ll never forget what I saw in a dirt-poor, dusty Yemeni mountain village more than a decade ago. It was plastic bags—the kind city-dwellers have long toted groceries in—and they virtually covered the steeply sloping mountainsides that fell away from the roadway bisecting the village. I had never before in my life seen such a […]
Reading Time: 5 minutes It was summer 1985, and I found myself at scorching midday deep in the dry-as-dead-bones central marketplace, the souk, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I was hunting for, of all improbable things at that time, a “personal computer” (PC). Ever since a fellow American expatriate demonstrated the wonders of his clunky, DOS-powered IBM PC at his […]
Reading Time: 6 minutes The 2006 documentary Manufactured Landscapes opens with an eight-minute tracking shot of a Chinese factory floor, seemingly endless rows of machinery in a city-sized complex of 17,000 employees. Revisited in Factory City (2012), this industrial zone played into the idea that Asian cultures were more willing than the West to trade humanity for advancement. Yet […]
Reading Time: 2 minutes Saudi Arabia is attempting a massive leap into the future of urban living with The Line, a city contained in a single massive building 105 miles long, a third of a mile high, and 600 feet wide. Situated at the edge of the Red Sea, the unprecedented structure will be enclosed on all sides by […]
Reading Time: 3 minutes In the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the US and its Western allies ramped up sanctions and political pressure on Moscow. Russia is a major exporter of commodities including wheat and oil, and the sanctions have led to significant volatility in the markets. This has played a large role in the dramatic rise in […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes In March 2020, something unsettling transpired in the global economy. Okay, a few somethings. But while most of the world remembers the sweeping COVID-19 lockdowns, what happened between Saudi Arabia and Russia around oil production is not common knowledge. And yet, as Vladimir Putin has launched a military invasion of Ukraine, we cannot forget the […]
Reading Time: 4 minutes DONALD Trump has been very friendly to Saudi Arabia during his stint as US President. Just this week he announced he’s pushing through a massive arms deal with the Saudis even though everyone else thinks it’s a bad move. He likes to be a zany madcap rebel that way. Meanwhile The Guardian reports: Loujain al-Hathloul, […]
Reading Time: 2 minutes “3,001 Arabian Days” memoir wins a top award in Colorado Independent Publishers Association book competition.
Reading Time: 4 minutes Religious “crimes” are no longer punished in Saudi Arabia by public floggings, only fines and jail time. But the question is why such alleged infractions are punished at all.
Reading Time: 6 minutes Indonesia, as the world’s most populous Muslim country, is a source of great interest for those looking to see how it evolves in the context of the globals cultural milieu of the 21st century. It has traditionally been a pretty tolerant place, relatively speaking, with other religions protected and coexisting. However, this appears to have […]