Tagged with Saudi Arabia

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Qatar Continues

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Qatar Continues

God, Since last week there has been much written but little resolved. Qatar and the Gulf allies have traded accusations and attempted mediation. But now a line in the sand has been drawn. A list of demands has been issued. Egypt, joining Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and others, have given Qatar ten … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Saudi Islands

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Saudi Islands

God, Perhaps the story is over, perhaps the judiciary will still have a role. But two contested islands in the Red Sea have been ceded by Egypt to Saudi Arabia, after parliament ratified the president’s decision. It was an unpopular vote; proponents insist it was the right one. At issue is original ownership. Egypt has … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Red Sea Verdict

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Red Sea Verdict

God, The court has spoken, and the land is Egyptian. Perhaps. Months ago the president and the Saudi king concluded an agreement that included return of sovereignty over two small islands in the Red Sea. Opponents called it an illegal transfer, as Egyptians died in war defending their home soil. This week the High Administrative … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Two Islands

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Two Islands

God, Uninhabited but geo-strategic, Egyptian blood was spilled to defend Tiran and Sanafir at the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. Thankfully, no blood was spilled defending them yesterday. Right or wrong, thousands took to the streets, troubled by a government decision to recognize Saudi Arabian sovereignty over the islands. As … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Coming King

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Coming King

God, As royalty comes to Egypt, prepare well the welcome. It is largely Saudi largess that has kept afloat the republic. But may the need not be so great, God. Inspire investment. Attract tourists. Send global trade through the Suez Canal. And until then, help Egypt act an appropriate ally. For on some issues they … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Regional Balance

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Regional Balance

God, Help Egypt to honor her neighbors, near and far. Help her to satisfy commitments, repay debts, and work for peace. Help her toward a wise and sovereign foreign policy. Egypt is alive economically because of Saudi aid. Egypt supports their offensive in Yemen. Saudi Arabia desires the fall of Syria’s Assad. Egypt backs Russian … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Hajj Stampede

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Hajj Stampede

God, Have mercy on the more than 700 Hajj pilgrims trampled underfoot in Saudi Arabia. Have mercy on the two million still alive, witness to the disaster. May they reflect anew, and seek you with all their heart. Eight of the dead are among the 62,000 Egyptians on the pilgrimage. For them and all nationalities … Continue reading

Why Christianity is Surging in the Heart of Islam

Why Christianity is Surging in the Heart of Islam

My article for Christianity Today was published September 11, 2015. Here is an excerpt: Espada, an architect, is one of the millions of foreign workers transforming the former desert oasis into a global center for business and travel. The UAE’s Dubai is the fifth-fastest-growing city in the world; its population is now more than 80 … Continue reading

Exploiting Saudi Arabia’s Tension of Identity

Exploiting Saudi Arabia’s Tension of Identity

The Washington Institute interprets the targeting of Shiites in Saudi Arabia as hitting at a vulnerable point in their religio-political ideology: Over the past two weeks, the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) has claimed two attacks on Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia’s Shiite-majority Eastern Province, one in Dammam and the other in Qatif. While the incidents … Continue reading

The Muslim Brotherhood in England and Egypt

The Muslim Brotherhood in England and Egypt

London and Istanbul have become the new base of operations for the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. Following the ouster of Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi in 2011 and their subsequent banning in Egypt in December last year, the organization is recalibrating abroad. An early base of operations was Qatar, where the al-Jazeera network was widely perceived, even … Continue reading

Economic Aid to Egypt

Economic Aid to Egypt

Curious about who is funding Egypt these days? American military aid gets all the press, but many have contributed to support Egypt’s economy. Daily News Egypt recently provided a detailed breakdown. Except for deposits made to the central bank, I have not listed loan agreements. In some cases it is not clear if the money … Continue reading

The Case against Qatar

The Case against Qatar

A recent Foreign Policy investigative report details Qatari foreign policy. It describes a strategy of intervention-by-proxy, which keeps its hands clean officially while funneling money to groups it deems ideologically similar, that is, those they can trust. Primarily, this has been the Muslim Brotherhood and various activist Salafi factions. The article is long but worthy, … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Rabaa and the Gulf

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Rabaa and the Gulf

God, Old events and new repercussions affected Egypt this week. The semi-independent National Council for Human Rights spoke publically about its fact-finding mission on the August 14 dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa and Nahda Squares, in which several hundred died. Unrelated but poignant in timing, a row erupted in the Persian Gulf as … Continue reading

Syria: Evidence, Prayer, and Activism

Syria: Evidence, Prayer, and Activism

I confess to not following every detail that emerges about the crisis in Syria, and ask patience from those who have who can bring more to bear in this brief post. Please comment freely. But in searching briefly for a presentation of the evidence tying the recent chemical weapons attack to the Syrian government, I … Continue reading

Making Sense of Syria

Much of the world has been aghast at news coming out of Syria, as the demonstrations now common in much of the Arab world have been brutally suppressed. Government sources, however, claim they are fighting an armed insurgency. Media, notably, has been blocked from the country, lending credibility to the idea that the government has … Continue reading

Bahrain, Conspiracies, and US-Iranian Cooperation

The pace of popular protest and change in the Middle East has been bewildering. In such cases limited information, new realities, and subtle biases make the resort to conspiracy theory understandable. Tunisia caught everyone by surprise. When the demonstrations erupted in Egypt suddenly a connection was seen, and widely feared. Who was running the show? … Continue reading