Saudi Arabia:

Ever the Diplomat

More Political Hypocrisy, More Political Idiocy & the Badass Queen

27 January 2015 | Culture

Some days you scan the morning news and the sheer hypocrisy and idiocy of our political leaders simply stuns you. My last posting was over the gall of political leaders turning up in France to march for free speech while, back home, they were busy torturing, jailing, ...

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Charlie Hebdo, Hypocrisy & Saudi Arabia

16 January 2015 | Culture

As Marc Lynch, a professor at George Washington University, summed it up: ‘Glad so many world leaders could take time off jailing and torturing journalists and dissidents to march for free expression in France.’ Photo: Raif Badawi © Juan Osborne for Amnesty Internati...

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Eight Months on Ghazzah St

14 November 2014 | Media

Hilary Mantel wrote a number of books before her big breakthrough with Wolf Hall. Followed up by her second Booker Prize winner Bring Up the Bodies. I saw the two books, as plays, in London earlier this year. On the same day, matinee and evening performance so it was ...

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Goodbye Mecca

3 October 2014 | Living

True or False? • The house of the Prophet Mohammed’s first wife Khadijah in Mecca has been demolished and replaced by a block of toilets • The Victoria’s Secret lingerie shop in Riyadh was burnt to the ground by angry matawwa, the Saudi Arabian religious police •...

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Islamabad

27 October 2012 | Places

Before my recent trip up the Karakoram Highway through northern Pakistan to Kashgar in China I spent a day on a side trip to the Murree hill station and looking around Islamabad. On my last visit to Pakistan in early 2006 I went to the ancient Buddhist site at Taxila,...

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