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Arab Universities in world league table 5, September 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia.
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I don’t really pay that much attention to University league tables. Well, I do, but I don’t think that they’re infallible by any means and we can all point to absurd examples of where tables chronically lie. But this list is somewhat sobering. Room for improvement, as they say.

Universities in the top 600 list

  1. 200 – King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
  2. 221 – King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia
  3. 300- American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  4. 338 – United Arab Emirates University, UAE
  5. 370 – King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia
  6. 377 – Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
  7. 488 – King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia
  8. 514 – University of Tehran, Iran
  9. 526 – Umm Al Qura University, Saudi Arabia
  10. 529 – King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia
  11. 533 – Qatar University, Qatar
  12. 534 – Cairo University, Egypt
  13. 551 – American University in Cairo, Egypt

And unless Kuwait University has simply been missed off by accident in the Gulf News article of the report, it is a chronic indictment of scandalous proportions that it is not in the top 550 overall.

Qatar: known for being unknown 5, September 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.
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I can’t remember how many presentations and talks I’ve given on Qatar where I’ve used the phrase

Qatar was known for being unknown

It seems that I’m not alone and even the exalted Guinness World Record people agree. Wonder what my University will make of a reference to the Guinness Book of World Records in my PhD?

On Inside Story 4, September 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Qatar.
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So here’s me on Inside Story. Not at my most erudite or convincing, but, frankly, I’m just mostly pleased that I didn’t swear.



Emirati women: modernity and modesty 4, September 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Emirates.
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Salon has a (vaguely) interesting slide show of pictures of Emirati women. To anyone who remotely knows the region, it will show you nothing remotely new. It is mostly, I think, for Americans who don’t know the Gulf to snigger at Emirati women buying or making dresses but not wearing them in public…but by far the most interesting picture is the one below.

Trying as I am to rack my brain now, I really don’t think that I’ve ever come across pictures of Gulfy women toting weapons. Nor, for that matter, does one see photos of disdahas toting guns. Curious (or not…).


Hat tip: Sultan Al Qasseimi

Is Berlusconi the worst leader of any major country? 4, September 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
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asks Foreign Policy.

Yes. By far.

Wikileaks leaks 1, September 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
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Wikileaks are whining about a security breach, a loss of trust and leaked documents? Words fail me.