Saudi Arabia Drags Geopolitical Baggage into World Cup

Saudi national team at 2018 World Cup (Wikimedia Commons).

by James M. Dorsey Saudi Arabia has much at stake when its national soccer team enters the pitch for the opening match of the 2018 World Cup in Moscow. With politics a permanent fixture, Saudi Arabia is playing in the World… Continue Reading  

Israel and Myanmar Team Up on Textbooks

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin meeting Senior General Min Aung Hlaing during the Myanmar general’s visit in 2015. (Photo: Min Aung Hlaing's Facebook page)

by James M. Dorsey Israel and Myanmar, two countries with troubled human rights records and disputed histories of dealing with ethnic and national rights, have set a worrisome precedent by giving each other a veto over what students are taught… Continue Reading  

Battle of the Palates in the Middle East

Still from the film Make Hummus Not War

by James M. Dorsey Nothing in a swath of land stretching from the Atlantic coast of Africa to China is undisputed. Food is often emblematic of disputes over identity, history and political claims that underlie an arc of crisis wracked… Continue Reading  

Saudi Arabia Versus Iran on the Football Pitch

football2

by James M. Dorsey Saudi Arabia’s bitter rivalry with Iran has spilled onto Asian soccer pitches with the newly created South West Asian Football Federation (SWAFF) reflecting the kingdom’s bid for regional hegemony, including domination of soccer. Saudi Arabia’s most recent victory… Continue Reading  

May 12: A Potentially Future-Shaping Day for the Middle East

Haider al-Abadi (Joint Chiefs of Staff via Flickr)

by James M. Dorsey With President Donald J. Trump scheduled to announce whether he will uphold the international community’s nuclear agreement on Iran and Iraqi elections slated for the same day, May 12 is gearing up to be a day that could shape the… Continue Reading