Palestinian families face new Israeli demolition threat in Silwan
An Israeli court to decide if some 80 homes in occupied East Jerusalem could be demolished to make way for a park.Fakhri Abu Diab, a member of the Silwan Lands Defence Committee, said the threats against homes in Silwan is part of an attempt to target neighbourhoods in the “Holy Basin” where Israel is forging ahead with the City of David theme park.
Ehab Fouad was a teenager when he marched in the parade marking the birth of the United Arab Emirates, that has gone from desert outpost to regional powerhouse in 50 years. © Giuseppe CACACE People walk next to a monument at Dubai Expo 2020, on November 28, 2021, celebrating the upcoming United Arab Emirates' 50th anniversary which falls on December 2 © Giuseppe CACACE Dubai, a former pearling town and now a brash trade and financial centre, boasts a forest of skyscrapers including the world's tallest building, the 830-metre (2,723 feet) Burj Khalifa
The retired civil engineer, now 64, vividly recalls December 2, 1971, when he proudly held aloft the photo of the oil-rich Gulf state's founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, and saw its new flag for the first time.
LaMelo Ball renews spark in Hornets, much to Michael Jordan's delight
For the first time in Michael Jordan's ownership tenure, Charlotte is a player in the East -- thanks largely to his phenom guard, LaMelo Ball.This was once the site of the old Charlotte Coliseum, which drew enormous crowds and somehow still had enough room for all 5-foot-3 inches of Muggsy Bogues. On the plaque commemorating the Coliseum, there’s an inscription by the great poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, that reads: “Look not mournfully into the past, it comes back not again. Wisely improve the present and go forth to meet the future with optimism and without fear.
© Giuseppe CACACE Golden jubilee celebrations will include an airshow, a floating theatrical performance on a mountain lake, parades, concerts and fireworks
Fouad, who strode directly behind the flag-bearer, tears up when he remembers the Abu Dhabi parade and reflects on the decades that followed.
"Fifty years later, I feel special," said the Egyptian father of one.
"It was a remarkable journey for me, and a remarkable journey for this country," said Fouad, who lives with his family in Dubai, one of the country's seven emirates.
Foreigners make up 90 percent of the UAE's population, which has grown to 10 million from around 300,000 when its emirates came together to form a federation, even if its tough laws make most of them ineligible for citizenship.
Interpol success throws spotlight on high-flying Emirati general
Interpol's new president has lived a life rich in awards and achievements, but none has attracted such controversy as his latest success which was accompanied by allegations of torture. Emirati General Ahmed Nasser Al-Raisi always looked favourite to win Thursday's vote over veteran Czech police officer Sarka Havrankova, and he duly delivered 68.9 percent of the votes cast by member countries. It is far from the only success for a man who became head of the United Arab Emirates' security forces in 2015 and has held several high-level police positions, including general director of central operations in the Abu Dhabi force.
© Giuseppe CACACE An Emirati flag and a banner bearing the portrait of Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum hang on the side of a building in the Gulf emirate
Driven by major oil wealth, the former British protectorate has left behind its humble beginnings of tents and simple, mud-brick houses to become one of the biggest players in the Middle East, both economically and politically.
Dubai, a former pearling town and now a brash trade and financial centre, boasts a forest of skyscrapers including the world's tallest building, the 830-metre (2,723 feet) Burj Khalifa.
"Some people here used to build their houses from date tree branches, then mud bricks, and today it is all villas and towers," Fouad said.
- 'Activist foreign policy' -
The late Sheikh Zayed "believed deeply in Arab nationalism, and worked to unite the seven emirates into a single federation", said Elham Fakhro, senior Gulf analyst at the International Crisis Group think tank.
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You don’t have to look far to find evidence of the variety of visitors who visit Seattle’s Central Library. Located on the basement floor, amidst a globe-spanning collection of DVDs, is a work from artist Ann Hamilton which allows visitors to walk all over on 556 first lines of books, etched into the hardwood floor in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Yes, it’s a small detail in a large building, one that could literally get lost underfoot. But it’s embellishments like these that make Seattle Public Library-Central the latest selection for The Daily Beast’s monthly series, The World’s Most Beautiful Libraries.
"It remains the only functional system of federalism in the Arab world."
Among the world's top producers of crude, the UAE's rapid growth since the 1970s is linked closely to its oil and gas wealth.
However, Dubai, with scant oil resources compared to the capital Abu Dhabi, has blossomed as a financial, transport, tourist and media hub.
The Arab world's second-biggest economy behind Saudi Arabia also wields growing political influence, filling a space ceded by traditional powers such as Egypt, Iraq and Syria.
Since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, the UAE's increasingly assertive foreign policy has included taking part in wars, such as Yemen, and mediating in several conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.
It is also a beacon for many Arab youth fleeing conflict-ridden countries.
"The UAE has long been concerned about its relative vulnerability, in a region where it is surrounded by larger, more powerful states," Fakhro told AFP.
"Its policy following independence was relatively neutral, but since the Arab Spring it has adopted a more activist foreign policy that aims to shape events in the region to its favour."
Iranian police crack down as protests over dry river turn violent
Protests in Iran turned violent as police cracked down on thousands of people who turned out to demand the revival of a river the government diverted to factories. Farmers last week protested in Isfahan province along the Zayandeh Rud Riverbed, which dried up after the government diverted the water to factories owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
- 'We cannot stand by' -
The UAE, a staunch opponent of political Islam, has become something of a steward in the turbulent region.
Last year, it took the surprise step of recognising Israel, breaking with decades of Arab consensus that eschewed ties with the Jewish state.
"As a committed regional and international actor, we know we need to take on even more responsibility for the future direction of our region," presidential adviser Anwar Gargash said.
"We have had numerous vacuums over the last decade... We cannot stand by and watch these vacuums filled by malign actors."
Accusations by human rights groups of violations during its intervention in Yemen's conflict, and in prosecutions of dissidents, have not stopped the Emirates becoming a magnet for investment.
The UAE has in recent years relaxed its laws to attract more investments, branding itself a "zero tax" haven.
It lifted a cap on non-local ownership, allowed full foreign control of business ventures, and offered long-term "golden" visas to investors and "exceptional talents" such as artists, doctors, engineers and scientists.
Known in the 19th century as the Trucial States, named after a maritime truce, the seven emirates had been a British protectorate since 1892.
But Sheikh Zayed, who ran oil-rich Abu Dhabi, the biggest and wealthiest of the emirates, saw an opportunity to slowly build a powerful state by joining its family-run neighbours under one flag.
On Thursday, golden jubilee celebrations will include an airshow, a floating theatrical performance on a mountain lake, parades, concerts and fireworks.
Macron wraps up Gulf tour in Saudi with MBS meeting .
After visiting UAE and Qatar, France’s Macron met Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia to discuss regional ‘stability’.The meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday, after Macron’s meeting with the Qatari emir, was to discuss regional stability, in particular crisis-hit Lebanon, after insisting he has not ignored Riyadh’s rights record.