I spent three days in the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia attending a seminar for the renewed sesame street program Iftah ya Simsim. The conference was well organized and the attendees mostly from the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council were very keen on its success.
My impressions of the Saudi capital and the people of the Kingdom range from the “I would never live in this city” to “the people are warm but totally confused.”
Arriving from the airport to downtown Riyadh, the first thing that hits you is the seemingly endless results of one sand storm after the other. From the moment you touchdown and you notice a low flying cloud that looks like the smog you see in major industrial cities. Despite regular attempts at cleaning them, parked cars have a layer of dust that seem perpetual no matter what time of day you are in. Continue Reading »
By Daoud Kuttab
Negotiators the world over are taught that in order to maximise one’s bargaining position, they should always have credible alternatives.
If you enter negotiations – whether you are a worker, union leaders, a businessman or a political leader – you need to be willing to walk out if your reasonable requirements are not met. A worker presenting his boss a written offer for better pay and conditions can usually get good results. A union leader able to credibly threaten a disruptive strike can usually get a good deal. The same principle applies to political negotiations and can be easily applied to the Palestinian scene. Continue Reading »