The Economist : Middle East and Africa
15h51 14  janvier
The Line in Saudi Arabia is an urbanist’s dream
IT IS PERHAPS the mother of all off-plan sales. The prospectus makes a seductive pitch to weary city-dwellers trapped in polluted concrete jungles. Why spend years of your life stuck in traffic or crammed into public transport? Urban planners would no doubt make different choices if they were free...
15h51 14  janvier
New platforms are bringing African comics to a broader audience
FOR ZIKI NELSON it began with TV cartoons: X-Men and Spider-Man . These led to Archie and Asterix comics, then Japanese anime and manga. But as he devoured animated work from elsewhere, something was missing. We had this African heritage and no one was telling stories about where we’re...
11h03 14  janvier
Uganda’s violent election has exposed divisions of age and class
IN A POOL hall in Kampala, the Ugandan capital, a group of boxers and nightclub bouncers are discussing elections. They were recently taken to meet an army general, who offered them money to wear T-shirts of the ruling party, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), and fight rowdy opposition...
16h00 07  janvier
Making life hard for Syrian refugees will not compel them to leave
ON DECEMBER 26TH a scuffle broke out between Syrian refugees and residents of the Lebanese town of Bhanine, north of Tripoli. That night the row, allegedly over unpaid wages, turned ugly. Shots were fired. Armed villagers then set fire to the refugees’ tents, causing them to flee and sleep rough in...
16h00 07  janvier
What mummified baboons say about globalisation
THOTH HAD a broad bailiwick. He was the god of wisdom, writing and many strands of alchemy. Ancient Egyptians worshipped him alongside Ra, the sun god. So it is no wonder they had such great respect for the baboon, understood to be Thoth’s earthly manifestation in the pantheon of blessed beings....
16h00 07  janvier
South Africa’s black middle class has prospered under democracy
THE HEADY years after apartheid gave rise to what advertisers and the press called black diamonds . Portrayals of newly rich black South Africans were often crass, highlighting their flashy cars and fancy homes that had been out of reach in the era of white rule. Many of the gaudiest examples...
16h00 07  janvier
Can basketball heal South Sudan?
THE PEOPLE of South Sudan are among the tallest in the world. That helps explain why several of them have had stellar careers playing basketball abroad. One is Luol Deng, a former all-star in America’s National Basketball Association (NBA). Mr Deng, who retired in 2019 after 15 seasons on the...
20h29 06  janvier
Iran bares its teeth, while its rivals mend fences
THE THIRD day of January marked a year since America assassinated Qassem Suleimani, a talismanic Iranian general who marshalled militias across the Middle East. The mood was febrile. American officials feared commemorative reprisals. Muhammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, tweeted that ...
15h55 30  décembre
Evidence mounts that Eritrean forces are in Ethiopia
FIRST COME muffled sobs, gradually growing louder with each new voice that joins the chorus. A woman in a black shawl begins to wail, her body rocking towards the portrait of a smiling young man in the middle of the room. Abraham was 35 years old when he was shot, says an older brother who is...
15h55 30  décembre
Jail for a Saudi woman who said women should drive
IF LOUJAIN AL-HATHLOUL is guilty of trying to harm national security and advance a foreign agenda, as a Saudi court found on December 28th, then what about Muhammad bin Salman? For Ms Hathloul merely campaigned to end the ban on woman drivers in Saudi Arabia. Prince Muhammad, its de facto ruler,...
15h55 30  décembre
Abdelmadjid Tebboune returns to an ailing Algeria
LITTLE IS KNOWN about Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s bout with covid-19. For nearly two months beginning in October, Algeria’s 75-year-old president, a heavy smoker, disappeared from public view after travelling to Germany for treatment. On December 13th, amid swirling rumours about his health, Mr Tebboune...
15h55 30  décembre
Binyamin Netanyahu faces a challenge from the right
FOR 15 YEARS Binyamin Netanyahu has been the undisputed leader of the Israeli right. In 2009 he guided his nationalist Likud party to power, becoming prime minister. He has held the office ever since. Challengers from the centre and left have tried mightily, and failed, to unseat him. They pose...
15h55 30  décembre
After 34 years, Uganda’s president has no intention of retiring
THE POLICE vans on the ferry were a bad sign. On December 30th Bobi Wine, a pop star who is running for the Ugandan presidency, was campaigning on an island in Lake Victoria. Police and soldiers were waiting for him. They stopped his convoy and arrested members of his entourage. They threw tear gas...
15h55 16  décembre
Why Iran abducted and hanged Ruhollah Zam
EVEN BY IRAN’S standards the justice was rough. Four days after sentence was passed, Ruhollah Zam was hanged. The judge said he had spied, incited violence and sown corruption on earth . Most Iranians took that to mean that he had simply disagreed with the right of the ayatollahs to rule. Mr Zam...
15h55 16  décembre
In Congo’s gold rush, the money is in beer and brothels
IT IS NOT yet noon but the streets of Luhihi, a tiny town in eastern Congo, are already full of revellers. Men fall about outside bars filled with prostitutes. Gamblers hover over draughtboards. Music blares from a makeshift club near the river where miners sift through mud for gold. The precious...
15h55 16  décembre
More than 300 schoolchildren are abducted in Nigeria
ON DECEMBER 11TH Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, flew off to take a holiday at his country home in Daura, an ancient seat of Islamic learning in the northern state of Katsina. That night hundreds of gunmen riding on motorbikes stormed a boarding school in Kankara, also in Katsina state. Some...
15h55 16  décembre
The Arab spring at ten
IT IS AN anniversary no one is eager to mark. The numbers boggle the mind: half a million people dead; another 16m displaced from states no longer recognisable. There are the individual stories too, of dreams dashed and hopes shattered. One former activist, who long since gave up on the politics of...
19h26 13  décembre
The Israel-Morocco peace deal is roiling Western Sahara
ISRAEL’S FORMAL ties with the Arab world now extend from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the east to Morocco in the west. On December 10th President Donald Trump announced the latest breakthrough in his diplomatic push on behalf of the Jewish state. Morocco, the Arab world’s oldest monarchy, will...
15h53 10  décembre
How a lead mine in Zambia has blighted a town
AZAEL TEMBO takes a seat in the shade of a mango tree outside his house. He kicks up the dust. It’s affected, he says, pointing to the plume around his feet. The 67-year-old lives in Kabwe, a town in central Zambia whose history, like that of much of the southern African country, is intertwined...
15h53 10  décembre
The feuding Gulf states are trying to make nice
MONTHS AFTER four Arab states imposed an embargo on Qatar in 2017, a minister from the emirate made what he thought was a controversial comparison. To be honest, we consider ourselves like Israel, he said, referring to another small country isolated in the region. Improbably, almost three years...