• An open letter to President Obama

    Dear President Barack Obama, I am pleased that you decided to visit my country, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, recently. I hold no official post and am simply a Saudi attorney in private practice in Jeddah who has the greatest respect for America, as I was fortunate to be educated in your country.Contrary to western perceptions, we here in Saudi Arabia do have freedom of speech, and that’s why I’m free to write you this letter. In 2009 you delivered a famous speech at Cairo University where you expressed your hopes on many issues that are inspiring to all Arabs. Since then, however, many of us have seen stark contradictions in what you said and what positions your government has taken. Your decision

    Arab News q
  • Saudi Binladin workers burn company buses in Makkah

    MAKKAH: Several company buses of Saudi Binladin Group were burned in Makkah on Saturday night, in the latest trouble facing the construction giant.Maj. Nayef Al-Sharif, the spokesman for the Civil Defense in Makkah, said late Saturday that firefighters put out the blaze without any injuries reported. The attack comes a day after the company terminated employment for 50,000 foreign workers and issued them exit visas. The company has seen increasing restiveness among its staff over not being paid salaries for months and a large round of reported layoffs. The Binladin Group has not issued any statements about the reported layoffs or the unrest. Calls and an e-mail request for comment to the company

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  • Will and Kate: Five-year wedding anniversary

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding was watched by millions across the world, with Kate choosing to omit the word "obey" from her vows -- much like William's mother Princess Diana did when she married Prince Charles in 1981.

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  • Iran: Hassan Rouhani's allies set for parliament win

    Reformist and moderate Iranian politicians allied with President Hassan Rouhani have won the most seats in the second round of parliamentary elections, state media have reported. Of the 68 legislative seats being contested on Friday, 33 went to the pro-Rouhani List of Hope coalition and 21 to conservatives, according to the Fars news agency. That would give reformists 128 seats in the new 290-member parliament, 18 shy of a majority but more than their rivals' 124 MPs. Remaining seats went to independents who could hold the balance of power. The outcome, if confirmed officially, would represent a dramatic realignment in the country, with conservative MPs likely being outnumbered by their rivals

    Al Jazeera q
  • Saudis will not forget April 29, 2015

    Mohammed Farhan Al-Anzi JEDDAH — The Saudis will never forget the royal decrees issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman in the first days after his ascent to the throne. Most significant of these decisions were the appointment of Prince Muhammad Bin Naif as Crown Prince, deputy premier and minister of interior, and the appointment of Prince Muhammad Bin Salman as Deputy Crown Prince, second deputy premier and minister of defense. Prince Muhammad Bin Naif was also appointed chairman of the Council of Political and Security Affairs and Prince Muhammad Bin Salman was made head of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs. The royal decrees reflected the King’s desire to assign

    Saudi Gazette q
  • Hijabi Fashion and the “Enslavement of Women”

    Last week, the social media sphere was set ablaze as French Families Minister Laurence Rossignol criticised fashion labels who produce Islamic collections, accusing them of promoting the shutting away of women’s bodies and comparing veiled women with “negroes who supported slavery.” Her comment followed Yves Saint Laurent Co-Founder Pierre Berge’s harsh criticism of the fashion chains who follow the lead of Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana, who released their hijab and abaya collection last January. "Designers are there to make women more beautiful, to give them their freedom, not to collaborate with this dictatorship which imposes this abominable thing by which we hide women and make them live

    Cairo Scene q
  • Trump's Muslim backers celebrate his success

    As a father of four, Tarar is concerned about the safety of his family in the wake of terror attack in San Bernardino, California. As an immigrant from Pakistan, he supports a strong vetting process for newcomers, "where people come legally and live the American dream instead of coming from the troubled areas and bringing the same things with them." Trump has proposed to build a wall across U.S-Mexican border, called for doing away with automatically granting citizenship to people born in U.S and deporting illegal immigrants to secure the borders. On the campaign trail, he has also bluntly called for stopping any plan to accept Syrian refugees in the light of security concerns. And Tarar, who

    CNN q
  • India's debt problem is bigger than beer baron Vijay Mallya

    Vijay Mallya has his problems: He owes $1.3 billion, his passport has been revoked and India wants Britain to deport the self-styled "King of Good Times." The Indian tycoon's fall from grace has become a media obsession in his home country: How did the beer baron -- a man with his own F1 team, cricket franchise and premium airline -- become a poster child for unpaid debts? Mallya's bad loans are just the tip of the iceberg. More than 5% of India's bank loans are classed as non-performing, meaning they have gone sour. When debts that have been restructured or written off are included, that figure jumps to more than 14%. A booming economy has helped paper over losses, but India's ratio of bad loans

    CNN Money q
  • Who's the NBA's MVP? If you consider salary, the answer will surprise you

    Golden State Warriors' superman Stephen Curry will probably be crowned the most valuable player in the NBA this year. But it was Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside who had the most valuable contract for his team. Whiteside had the best Player ROI, a new tool developed exclusively by CNNMoney to evaluate the big salaries paid to professional athletes -- from Best Bang for the Buck down to Really Overpaid. Of course, Curry had an amazing season on the court -- one of the best ever. But his four-year contract pays him an average of $11 million a year. Whiteside didn't make nearly Curry's impact. But he was paid a mere $1.8 million over the last two seasons, an average of $875,615 a year, according

    CNN Money q
  • Video: The 6th Episode of Margot vs. Lily by NikeWomen Is Out

    This short and sweet episode of NikeWomen's original web series Margot vs Lily will leave you hanging from a cliff until the next one! Margot finally figures out Internet popularity, so - like the attention-seeker she is - she goes on her ex-boyfriend’s show to leech off of his Internet celebrity by bashing her own sister and calling her a "creepy human cyborg!" This just shows how low she would stoop for subscribers! Ikhs! Poor Lily was humiliated on the Internet but, as she was watching Margot’s video rant, feeling vulnerable and hurt, she makes a new friend - Glen, the director of her web series!      

    Cairo Scene q
  • Oman — The Pearl of Arabia

    Paige Peterson   Arriving in the Sultanate of Oman you feel as if you are on a Hollywood set. Orderly. Vast. Visually breathtaking. Often visitors liken it to Disneyland. Controlled. Well-organized, meticulously maintained public grounds. Friendly. Happy. Helpful. Tolerant. No litter. No vagrancy. No graffiti. No terrorism. No violence. No radicalism. No unsafe areas. Did I mention exquisitely clean…..It is all this and more.  Oman is an Arabian dreamscape. I’ve never seen such well-planned urban development. Architectural details are carefully mandated here. Many of the buildings are 46 years young; they’re well thought out in placement and accessibility. Even the street lamps in the cities

    Saudi Gazette q
  • 9 Of The Hottest Spots To Karaoke Around Town

    Karaoke is either the time to share your talents with the world or pierce a hole through your friend’s ears - either way, both are fun. Most of us think we can actually sing, but the sad truth is that, well, we can’t. It’s usually just annoying shrieking like that golden egg in Harry Potter. Maybe we should be put underwater to sound like beautiful mermaids, too… Whether you want to belt out your favourite Shakira song or sing a little 60s tune, the stage is your oyster! We've gathered a list of the nine best spots to hit for karaoke. Shriek away! *buys earplugs*Johnny's In Zamalek Located on the fancy Le Pacha 1901 boat, Johnny's has a karaoke night every Sunday accompanied with live DJs. The

    Cairo Scene q
  • How Tehran is ramping up a trade offensive

    Since 1979, Iran has positioned itself in strategic competition with its neighbours, primarily Saudi Arabia. One of Iran’s major tactics has been to seek to gain popularity and exert influence through soft power. Before the Syrian uprising, Iranian leaders, in contrast to the American political establishment, implemented strategies to expand their influence in the Middle East and establish relationships through soft power. Culturally, Iran enjoys shared societal norms and national festivals with some of the population in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria. Religiously, the Shiite communities across the region have affinities with Iran. When it comes to policy, particularly

    thenational.ae q
  • Want to Start Dating?

    Hey! Are you a part of the 1 in 3 Americans that are single? This Dating site is completely free to check it out! Give it a try!

  • Halal: Is it meat you’re looking for? says China businessman

    The wine-swilling co-founder of Sai Wai Xiang Halal Foodstuff Co enjoys his pork and does not follow Islam, but still sells more than $50 million-worth of food to Muslims across Asia and the Middle East. The company is at the forefront of a Chinese drive into the global halal food and beverage market, exporting as far away as Saudi Arabia. Businessman Deng Zhijun bills his wares as “products with Muslim ethnic flavour”, but has difficulty recalling some of Islam’s basic dietary tenets. “Muslims definitely don’t smoke and don’t drink alcohol,” he said over a lunch at the company, in a garden lined with caged peacocks, macaws and chickens.

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  • Saudi Arabia vs Dubai: The 2020 Race For The World’s Tallest Tower

    It seems like Dubai is bored of smashing Guinness World Records, as flagship developer Emaar Properties announces plans to construct the world’s tallest tower, surpassing the Burj Khalifa that currently holds the current world record, but will Saudi Arabia steal the title? The race is on as property developer Emaar has announced plans to build a new tower, with an estimated cost of $1 billion, that will stand a ‘notch’ taller than 830-metre Burj Khalifa. The proposed project expects completion by 2020, which coincidentally will be the same year that Dubai will host the World Expo Trading Fair. The announcement explained that Spanish-Swiss architect Santiago Calatrava Valls is expected to devote

    Cairo Scene q
  • World's best chefs head to the Philippines

    (CNN)Four and a half centuries ago the galleon trade helped link Asia to the rest of the world, with notable routes including Manila in the Philippines to Acapulco in Mexico. Sharing space with passengers, raw materials, porcelain and silk were an array of never-before-seen ingredients to surprise -- and doubtless bewilder -- foreign palates on both sides of the Pacific. To mark the 450th anniversary of this early culinary globalization, the Philippines capital recently played host to the second installment of Madrid Fusion Manila. This year's edition of the annual culinary congress, held in mid-April, united some of the world's most celebrated chefs, unexpected ingredients and passionate food fans for three days of meeting and eating, presentations and demonstrations.

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  • Imminent terrorist attack foiled in southern Saudi Arabia; two suspects shot dead

    RIYADH – Security authorities shot dead two suspected terrorists and foiled an imminent attack in southern Saudi Arabia at dawn Friday, the Interior Ministry announced. Officers grew suspicious of two vehicles spotted at a location outside the Bisha governorate in Asir Province and monitored their movement, the Saudi Press Agency reported citing the ministry’s security spokesman. “One of the vehicles was laden with explosives. When the drivers saw that the vehicles were being followed, they started firing at the officers before veering off to a desert area,” he said. The officers pursued the vehicles under the cover of security helicopters. An exchange of fire ensued and the two vehicles were

    Saudi Gazette q
  • China wants a fleet of floating nuke plants

    The plans have raised eyebrows and many are asking: Why are they being planned? Will they be safe? Will they be economic? MUST WATCH Eerie footage from inside Fukushima's nuclear plant01:17 Where Russia leads In 1966, the U.S. mounted a submarine nuclear power plant on the Liberty ship, Sturgis, to power the Panama Canal Zone from 1968 to 1975. Now Russia is building floating nuclear plants with reactors taken from their nuclear powered icebreaker program. The first of these plants is being built in a shipyard in St Petersburg. It is destined for the Far East port of Pevek, in the Chukotka Republic of Kamchatka. Advanced plans But China's plans are much more ambitious. Construction of the first

    CNN q
  • Ill Serena Williams to miss Madrid Open

    (CNN)Serena Williams' health woes continue, with the 21-time grand slam champion pulling out of her third tournament of the year. Williams is skipping the Madrid Open because of the flu, which means another big tournament will be without the two highest-profile women's players in the world. Maria Sharapova, the richest female athlete on the planet, is serving a provisional suspension after she admitted to failing a drug test for meldonium at the Australian Open in January. "Unfortunately, I have to withdraw from Madrid because I've been battling the flu and I'm not at 100%," Williams, who won the event in 2012 and 2013, told the WTA's website. "I look forward to returning soon." MUST WATCH Guy

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  • China, Russia renew concerns over U.S.-South Korea missile defense

    (CNN)China and Russia are renewing concerns over U.S. proposals to deploy a missile defense system in South Korea following a stream of nuclear tests, missile launches and provocative statements by North Korea. "Both sides consider this move far exceeding relevant country's actual defense needs," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a joint press conference Friday in Beijing with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. The United States and South Korea have been discussing the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, a truck-mounted platform designed to counter short-range and medium-range ballistic missiles. U.S. officials have said it would focus only on North

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