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Iranian official sacked for New Year message to Israelis 3, January 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Iran, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
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A high-level official at the Iranian Football Federation has been forced to resign after accidentally emailing the Israeli Football Association with a Happy New Year message. How mature and enlightened of his superiors.

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‘Strip search all 18-28 year old Muslim men’ 3, January 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations.
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…is what retired Lt. General Thomas McInerey thinks should happen at US airports. He said this during an interview on – quelle surprise – Fox News. Though, in fairness, the presenter did then retort that that such a policy of singling out people because of their religion would be [I’m paraphrasing] neither fair, sensible, reasonable not effective in the longer term. Never mind the question of how you know that such a man is Muslim in the first place

Burj Dubai opens 3, January 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Emirates.
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The world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai, opens on the 4th January 2010. It is a potent symbol no matter which way you look at it. Either it represents the ultimate, hubristic and gaudy folly of Dubai’s arrogance or it is a daring symbol of change and progress; a pointer to Dubai’s ambition and – they hope – their future.

Some facts and figures:

  • It cost: $800,000,000 or $4,100,000,000,000 or $1,400,000,000,000 depending on who you believe
  • It is 818 meters or 2,684 feet tall
  • It has more than 50 lifts some going as fast at 40 miles per hour (allegedly)
  • It has 160 floors
  • Although Dubai is not a country known for its abundant water resources, there will be a $218 million fountain in the Burj Dubai lake shooting water some 150 meters into the air
  • It will surely have one of the gaudiest hotels in the world (designed by Armani) rivaling only the Burj al Arab in hideous over-the-top opulence

Here’s a rather nifty video taken from the very top.

A brief Yemen reader 3, January 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Yemen.
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Everyone who is anyone is, you may have noticed, waxing semi-intellectually about Yemen, or rather The Yemen if you want to sound a bit old school about it. Here’s what you need to read to fake it and join in the conversation.

  • Marc Lynch offering an excellent, tempered overall view.
  • Security crank doing much the same.
  • It didn’t just begin to be a problem on X Mas day you know, as Simon Tisdall and Kristian Ulrichsen sagely elucidated some time ago.
  • A bit of background from Carnegie.
  • A little bit on the Iran link.
  • And the answer from Waq al Waq.