One of the key principles of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Nahyan, who forged the United Arab Emirates (UAE) out of seven sheikhdoms, was to portray his small and vulnerable country as a friend to all Arabs. The federation he created evolved as an unusual hybrid, with cities as diverse as the liberal Dubai and the religiously conservative Sharjah next door. It has become one of the Arab world’s strongest economies, the second largest after Saudi Arabia despite a population one-sixth of the kingdom’s size, and continues to develop at breakneck speed. What Zayed — who passed away in 2004, leaving power in the hands of his ambitious son — would have made of his country’s involvement in the tangled revolutionary politics of Libya, several thousand miles to the west, is worth pondering. Continue reading UAE attacks in Libya: Not Zayed’s vision
Some media have got the emir of Qatar down as some kind of Haroun al-Rashid, with the massive patronage of the arts… whatever – we wrote this one up anyway, which makes reference to the Arab renaissance pretensions of the Qatari Project.
DUBAI/DOHA Aug 24 (Reuters) – Qatar was one of the first countries to back Libyan rebels seeking to overthrow its one-time friend Muammar Gaddafi and with his 42-year-old rule collapsing, the natural gas exporter hopes to reap the political and economic rewards. Continue reading Qatar hopes for returns after backing Libyan winners