Lessons in the "MiddleEast" Category

Saudi Arabia agrees to let women drive

Recently the Saudi Foreign Ministry announced that a royal decree had been issued, allowing women to drive in the Kingdom from June 2018. This is a landmark step for the ultra-conservative country.

Saudi Arabian women have been celebrating the news that they will finally be able to drive. Currently, they still need either a male member of their family, or a male chauffeur, to get around. Many women have previously been jailed for trying to drive in the Kingdom.

The gains will be enormous for the oil rich country, as women will now not need to spend vast amounts of their salaries on hiring male drivers, so their spending power will thus increase.

Russian plane brought down by a bomb in Egypt

The Russian plane crash in Egypt was brought down by a bomb. According to French aviation officials it was not due to technical failures. They added the flight data recorder – the black box - suggests a “violent, sudden” explosion caused the crash, killing all 224 people on board.

According to British spies, intercepted militant calls indicated a bomb was put in the hold before take-off. Militants, known as the Sinai Province, and who are linked to the Islamic State group (IS) in Syria, have said they downed the plane.

New Suez Canal for Egypt

A new Suez Canal is being built in Egypt. It will run alongside the current Suez Canal. The idea is simple – by building a second canal it will allow the number of ships passing through to practically double, thus increasing trade. This will mean a lot more money coming into the Egyptian economy.

The idea is the brainchild of Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi who is hoping the new second canal will kickstart the country’s ailing economy. For the last few years it has been down on its knees; due to the Arab Spring happening and ultimately then falling flat on its face.

Iranian ‘Happy’ video dancers released, but not director

Recently six dancers were arrested in Iran after creating a tribute video to the Pharrell Williams ‘Happy’ video. The group of three men and three unveiled women dance to the number one hit in various Tehran locations*.

The Iranians were accused of making an “obscene” video that “offended the public morals” in Iran. Yet Iran’s President tweets “#Happiness is our people’s right”. The hashtag #FreeHappyIranians went viral on Twitter.

Category: Iran / ‘Happy’ Video / Tribute video

Saudi driving ban for women

Today let’s talk about women not being allowed to drive a car in Saudi Arabia. Can you imagine a woman in your country not being allowed to drive a car simply because she is a woman? It’s hard to imagine!

Saudi women have been and still are threatened with immediate arrest or possible legal action if they are caught behind a wheel of a car. So far, the threats have failed. Saudi women continue to flout the ban.

Category: Saudi Arabia / Women drivers / Driving ban

Yemen cargo bombs foiled

An international terror alert was sparked recently at East Midlands airport in Britain after several bomb making devices were discovered. The devices were en route from Yemen to several synagogues in Chicago, USA.

Just before their discovery an MI6 officer responsible for Yemen late on Thursday night received a tip-off from a local source of a possible Al-Qaeda plot to smuggle bombs to America on board a cargo plane. They were said to have been placed in the holds of cargo planes that had already taken off from Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, a country that has become one of the key fronts in the battle against Islamic terrorists.

Both flights were bound for Chicago. One was flying via Dubai, the other via the East Midlands, as it needed a fuel stop. Having passed the information on it became a race against time on three continents to intercept the bombs.

At 3.30am officers from Leicestershire police were asked to check the hold of the UPS mail plane after it landed at East Midlands airport. They discovered a suspect package in a sealed cargo container. It was addressed to a synagogue in Chicago. The parcel contained an office-sized printer cartridge, which had a small circuit board and wires crudely attached and white powder inside it rather than the black toner powder it should have contained.

Category: Yemen / Cargo Bomb / Al-Qaeda