Mai Yamani
Mar 28, 2014
Saudi Arabia's diplomatic pilgrimage to Pakistan
Although the strategic value of closer military ties with Pakistan seems highly questionable, Saudi Arabia has little choice.
Feb 17, 2014
The last of the Sudeiri Seven
Never before have the intrigues and intricacies of royal politics in Saudi Arabia had such far-reaching ramifications for the region and beyond as they do now.
Oct 31, 2011
Saudi Arabia's old regime grows older
The contrast between the deaths, within two days of each other, of Libya's Col. Moammar Gadhafi and Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz is one of terminal buffoonery versus decadent gerontocracy. And their demise is likely to lead to very different outcomes: liberation for the Libyans and stagnation...
Jul 30, 2011
Saudi Arabia's anti-Shiite policy empowers Iran
The old saying "lonely is the head that wears the crown" has literally taken on new meaning for Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. Not only has he watched close regional allies, Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh, be toppled, but fellow crowned heads in Bahrain, Morocco, and Jordan...
Jun 16, 2011
Are Saudi women next?
The unexpected visibility and assertiveness of women in the revolutions unfolding across the Arab world — in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and elsewhere — has helped propel what has become variously known as the "Arab awakening" or "Arab Spring." Major changes have occurred...
May 18, 2011
Osama bin Laden's ghost
Osama bin Laden's death in his Pakistani hiding place is like the removal of a tumor from the Muslim world. But aggressive followup therapy will be required to prevent the remaining al-Qaida cells from metastasizing by acquiring more adherents who believe in violence to achieve the "purification" and...
Feb 20, 2010
Saudi Arabia and the Afghanistan chaos
PRAGUE — In his quest to stabilize his country, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, dressed in white robes, arrived recently in Mecca on what can only be called a diplomatic pilgrimage. Although Karzai undoubtedly spent time praying at Islam's holiest site, his mission was intended to prove more...
Jan 27, 2010
Rescuing Yemen from the grip of extremism
LONDON — Yemen has suddenly joined Afghanistan and Pakistan as a risk to global security. Indeed, it is increasingly seen as a nascent failed state and potential replacement host for al-Qaida.
May 17, 2009
Co-opting terror in Saudi Arabia's neighbor
LONDON — In a prominent hadith, the Prophet Muhammad said: "If disorder threatens, take refuge in Yemen." The prophet was referring to the prosperous and civilized Yemen. But today disorder and radicalization in Yemen are beginning to infect Saudi Arabia, and thus the safety of the world's largest...
Mar 18, 2009
S. Arabia's Shiites stand up
BEIRUT — On Feb. 24, violent confrontations between Shiite pilgrims and the Saudi religious police and security forces occurred at the entrance to the prophet Muhammad's mosque in Medina. The timing and location of the clashes may have serious repercussions for domestic security, if not for the...
Sep 29, 2008
Putin of Arabia as America's foil
BEIRUT — Almost undetected, Russia is regaining much of the influence that it lost in the Middle East after the Soviet Union collapsed. Ever since Russia invaded Georgia in August, Arab satellite television and Web sites have been rife with talk about the region's role in an emerging "new Cold...
Nov 19, 2007
Containing the Mideast fires of reform
LONDON — The recent meeting in the Vatican between "Custodian of the Holy Places" King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and Pope Benedict XVI was a seminal event, particularly as it comes at a time when radical Muslims are decrying the role of "Crusaders" in Middle East politics. It was also the clearest...
Sep 14, 2007
Role of EU a year after war in Lebanon
LONDON — It has been almost one year since the European Union committed to stabilize Lebanon following last summer's war. With its decision to send thousands of soldiers to Lebanon to implement U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, the EU took its boldest step yet in creating a common foreign...
Apr 6, 2007
Saudi Arabia hosts a theater of reform
PRAGUE -- Having raised expectations for real political reform in Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah has announced that the time for change has not yet arrived. After reshuffling the Cabinet, everything remains the same.
Feb 28, 2007
Sunni support key to success in Iraq
PRAGUE -- Doctors use the word "crisis" to describe the point at which a patient either starts to recover or dies. U.S. President George W. Bush's Iraqi patient now seems to have reached that point. Most commentators appear to think that Bush's latest prescription -- a surge of 20,000 additional troops...
Jan 11, 2007
Opportunities in Mideast power struggle
PRAGUE -- This week U.S. President George W. Bush is -- reluctantly -- announcing a new policy for the United States in Iraq. A new policy is needed not only in order to halt America's drift into impotence as it tries to prevent Iraq from spiraling into full-scale civil war, but also because the map...
Jun 19, 2006
The radicalization of Western Muslims


The Japanese government updated its English education guidelines in 2017 to emphasize communication over grammar and memorization. Public school teachers are incredibly busy, however, which means schools haven’t been able to implement changes uniformly. Private and alternative schools are attempting to remedy this.
The language of opportunity: Bilingual education is on the rise in Japan