Special Correspondent, Middle East
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Jan 31, 2011

Analysis: Egypt unrest shakes Arab world

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Egypt has long served as the Arab world’s center of gravity — or of inertia under President Hosni Mubarak. An explosion of street protests has changed all that, with untold consequences for the region and for Western policy.

Many Arabs were already entranced by Tunisia’s popular rising, which with the army’s help forced President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee on January 14 after 23 years in power.

Jan 30, 2011

Egyptian army holds key to Mubarak’s fate

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Egypt’s military wants to survive, not to be swept away in what looks like the imminent collapse of President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling apparatus.

So will the generals hasten his exit as their Tunisian counter-parts did in persuading former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country on January 14 after weeks of protests?

Jan 30, 2011

Analysis: Egyptian army holds key to Mubarak’s fate

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Egypt’s military wants to survive, not to be swept away in what looks like the imminent collapse of President Hosni Mubarak’s ruling apparatus.

So will the generals hasten his exit as their Tunisian counter-parts did in persuading former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country on January 14 after weeks of protests?

Jan 28, 2011

Analysis: Egyptian army could hold key to Mubarak’s fate

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Egypt’s military has kept out of this week’s clashes between police and protesters demanding the ousting of 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak, but it could eventually decide his fate, echoing events in Tunisia.

A Tunisian army general’s refusal to back Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali’s crackdown on protesters is widely regarded as a turning point that forced the former president to quit Tunisia on January 14 after weeks of popular protests.

Jan 27, 2011

Analysis: Yemen protests challenge Saleh’s long rule

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Yemeni protesters inspired by unrest in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere are demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s long rule, but peaceful change looks unlikely in a tribal land mired in conflict and poverty.

At least 16,000 demonstrators took to the streets in Sanaa on Thursday in the biggest of a wave of anti-government protests this month, echoing the Arab ferment touched off by the popular overthrow of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Jan 27, 2011

Only reform can rescue Yemen: government official

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Only bold reforms can calm Yemen’s “perfect storm” of economic and political woes, the deputy finance minister said in Sanaa, where angry street protests have erupted against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“People do have fair grievances everywhere in Yemen, but unfortunately they are being used by politicians from both sides,” Jalal Yaqoub told Reuters in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Jan 26, 2011

Hunger stalks children in conflict-prone Yemen

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Children often go hungry in Yemen. Those caught up in the poor southern Arabian nation’s dizzying array of conflicts fare worse, a U.N. official said.

Yemen won sudden global attention and extra aid from the West, mostly for counter-terrorism, after a Yemen-based al Qaeda militant tried to bomb a U.S.-bound plane on December 25, 2009.

Jan 25, 2011

Analysis: Hezbollah power swings Lebanon away from West

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The balance of power in Lebanon shifted toward Syria and Iran on Tuesday when a Hezbollah-backed politician was named prime minister, ousting a Western-allied bloc that has headed governments for nearly six years.

Sunni Muslims loyal to outgoing premier Saad al-Hariri staged a “day of rage,” burning tires and blocking roads in protest at the appointment of Sunni billionaire Najib Mikati, a centrist lawmaker with ties to both Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Jan 18, 2011

Tunisian “contagion” effect hard to predict

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Arabs intoxicated by the popular ferment in Tunisia are wondering if the rapid ousting of an entrenched leader could be replicated in North Africa or beyond.

But given the pent-up fury over economic grievances and political repression felt across all but the wealthiest corners of the Arab world, the region’s security states have proved remarkably resilient and adept at stifling pressure for reform.

Jan 17, 2011

Analysis: Tunisian “contagion” effect hard to predict

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Arabs intoxicated by the popular ferment in Tunisia are wondering if the rapid ousting of an entrenched leader could be replicated in North Africa or beyond.

But given the pent-up fury over economic grievances and political repression felt across all but the wealthiest corners of the Arab world, the region’s security states have proved remarkably resilient and adept at stifling pressure for reform.

    • About Alistair

      "I cover the Middle East, with an emphasis on political analysis, region-wide stories and in-depth features. I live in Beirut and have been in my current post since June 2006. Outside my main Middle Eastern beat, I have covered Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan."
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