Haitham EL-TABEI
For Haitham EL-TABEI's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Saudi Arabia fans cheer on the national team during a World Cup qualifying match in Riyadh on March 21.
SOCCER / World cup
Mar 27, 2024
Ten years from home World Cup, Saudi Arabia sizes up 'huge challenge'
As the only bidder, Saudi Arabia was anointed host of the 2034 World Cup last October by FIFA.
Al-Ittihad's Karim Benzema during a match against Al-Nassr in Jeddah on Tuesday.
Dec 31, 2023
Tiger or pussycat? Knives out as Benzema slumps with Al-Ittihad
A series of missed chances, including a botched penalty at the Club World Cup, has the 35-year-old Frenchman facing the wrath of the Jeddah club's fans.
Japan Times
Jun 27, 2023
Hajj pilgrims endure Saudi summer as climate change turns up the heat
Global warming has made Saudi Arabia's desert climate even hotter in recent years, probably exceeding the temperatures of the Prophet Muhammed's time about 1,400 years ago.
Japan Times
May 10, 2023
'Done deal': Source says Lionel Messi set for megabucks Saudi move
The deal would mean the Argentine potentially joining his archrival Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League as the Gulf state lavishes its oil wealth on sport.
Japan Times
Mar 24, 2023
'Sea change': Disruptive Saudi prince shows new pragmatism with Iran
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has worked to mend bitter rifts with regional rivals, pointing to a shift from erratic disruptor to pragmatic power player.
Japan Times
Jan 3, 2023
Cristiano Ronaldo arrives in Saudi Arabia ahead of Al Nassr unveiling
The 37-year-old, a five-time winner of the Ballon d'Or, touched down in the capital late on Monday, according to state-run television network Al Ekhbariya.
Japan Times
Sep 27, 2022
As Ukraine war grinds on, Saudi influence grows
Before the war, Saudi Arabia — and Crown Prince Mohammed in particular — was still struggling to overcome diplomatic isolation resulting from the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.


Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on