Dubai based news and features writer with 20 years' experience in both the UK and UAE media, writing for international titles including The Times and The Telegraph. Offering services including ghost writing, PR and media relations, copywriting and editing.

News And Features Articles

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard given extra billions as economy collapses

Iran’s feared state security forces, which have played a violent role in suppressing nationwide protests, have been allocated $3 billion in the latest budget, despite the country’s collapsing economy. Announced several weeks late by the government, the budget for the state militia, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has been raised by 28 per cent. Some experts estimate the actual income of the militia could be as high as $17 billion.

In Bethlehem, the Christian population is shrinking and afraid

While there is a giant tree and twinkling lights in Manger Square, the celebrations around the 6th-century Church of the Nativity, the site of Jesus’s birth two millennia ago, are being observed by a diminishing number of tourists and locals. The city’s Christian population has dropped from 84 per cent of the total a century ago to about 20 per cent today, and is falling further in the face of discrimination and threats from elements of the Muslim majority.

Morality police retreat from Iranian streets in wake of hijab death protests

Not long after Iran’s ultra-conservative president issued an edict for greater enforcement of the religious code, three women wearing black chadors patrolled the streets of Rasht almost every day in a green-and-white van that marked them out as members of the morality police. President Raisi’s order on July 5 commanded the Guidance Patrols to seek out women failing to wear their headscarves properly.

Iranian journalist arrested after reporting Mahsa Amini’s injuries

An Iranian newspaper journalist who played an important role in covering the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s morality police is being held in solitary confinement. Niloufar Hamedi was arrested after breaking the news that Amini, 22, was in hospital following her arrest this month for “unsuitable attire” by the police force, which enforces the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code. Hamedi is one of several reporters detained during the country’s worst protests since 2019.

Ezba experience: A magical glimpse into the private life of Abu Dhabi's Emiratis

While modern Abu Dhabi can be defined by a space-age skyline and gigantic engineering projects, glimpses of the emirate's traditional old world can still be found and -- if you have the right guide to initiate you into the often private lives of locals -- experienced by visitors. One classic Emirati tradition is the ezba, a place that long played an important role in the lives of Abu Dhabi's nomadic Bedouin tribes.

Saudi feminist jailed for 45 years over social media posts

Saudi Arabia has handed down its harshest ever sentence to a women’s rights activist, sentencing her to 45 years in prison for opposing the regime on social media. Nourah bint Saeed al-Qahtani was convicted in the Specialised Criminal Court for “using the internet to tear the social fabric” and “violating the public order by using social media”, according to a court document received by rights group Democracy for the Arab World Now (Dawn).

Yemen’s warring parties agree to extend ceasefire by a further two months

The UN has announced that the warring sides in Yemen have agreed to extend the current ceasefire for a further two months. Late on Tuesday the government and the Houthi rebels committed to intensify efforts on negotiations, said Hans Grundberg, special envoy for the country. The news will bring some relief for citizens who had been bracing for war to return after what has already been an uneasy four-month truce.

The Yemeni maternity hospital where incubators sit idle as newborns die

Born nine weeks premature and weighing less than three pounds, Mohammed lies doll-like in a hospital incubator as he fights for his life. The odds are not in his favour. In his postnatal intensive care unit in Mukalla, a former Al Qaeda stronghold in southern Yemen, one in five babies do not survive. After eight years of a brutal civil war, the country’s healthcare system is on the brink of collapse as the country’s economy is in meltdown.
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