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Mai Yamani

For Mai Yamani's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Commentary / World 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.

Commentary / World 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 ...

Commentary / World 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 ...

Commentary / World 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 ...

Commentary / World 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 ...

Commentary / World 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 ...

Commentary / World 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. The attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day by a young Nigerian ...

Commentary / World 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 ...

Commentary / World 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 ...