United Arab Emirates | KBIA

United Arab Emirates

(White House)

Saudi Arabia's 32-year-old crown prince has already shaken up both Saudi Arabia’s internal politics as well as its foreign relations.

Mohammad bin Salman has detained prominent members of the royal family and businessmen after accusing them of corruption. He’s lifted restrictions that barred women from driving or operating businesses. He’s outlined a bold plan to wean Saudi Arabia’s economy from oil dependence.

But bin Salman has also escalated Saudi Arabia’s war in neighboring Yemen, triggering one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. He’s feuded with nearby Qatar and Lebanon and intensified Saudi Arabia’s rivalry with its historical foe, Iran. Even Canada hasn't escaped his wrath.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at a prince upending the politics of both Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. 


AP Photo

In late June, the first Saudi women to legally drive a car in the kingdom started their engines and took off down the road.

The lifting of Saudi Arabia’s ban on female drivers was a step forward for women. But it’s just one of a number of recent steps forward for women’s rights in the Arab world.

Still, many women’s rights advocates are only cautiously optimistic. In some countries, laws aimed at helping women aren’t enforced. Nor are public attitudes toward women’s rights necessarily becoming more progressive.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at women’s rights in the Arab world.


Almigdad Mojalli / VOA

The civil war in Yemen has garnered many superlatives since it began in force in March 2015. It's generated the world's most dire humanitarian crisis and the largest cholera outbreak in a single year ever recorded – even Forbes ranked its economy as the world's worst

Yet despite a conflict that has left 7 million on the brink of starvation, there is little end in sight to fighting between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and the country's Saudi-backed government. Attempts to spur a U.N. investigation into war crimes committed by both sides have so far failed. Complicating efforts is support for the Saudi-backed government by the U.S., U.K. and France. 

On this edition of Global Journalist, we discuss Yemen's humanitarian crisis, the collapse of independent media in the country and the role of outsiders in fueling a conflict that has generated startling levels of human suffering. 


Associated Press

On the surface, the tiny Persian Gulf nation of Qatar has much in common with Saudi Arabia and the other monarchies of the Arabian peninsula. Hydro-carbons have made it enormously wealthy, and it’s conservative Muslim nation ruled by a hereditary monarchy.

That’s made the decision by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to launch a surprise economic and diplomatic blockade against Qatar this month all the more surprising.

On this edition of Global Journalist, a look at the diplomatic conflict between Qatar and its neighbors over funding of militant Islamic groups, the Al-Jazeera news network and relations with Iran.