Saturday, October 27, 2012
Royal News Roundup
In the Middle East, a documentary on the making of a film by the Egyptian Royal Family about the downfall of a monarchy shortly before their own overthrow debuted at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. It featured members of the old Egyptian aristocracy, chronicled the coup that brought down the Egyptian monarchy, the events outside the palace, the British officials who supported the King and the American officials who supported the coup. In Bahrain the 10-year jail terms for two dissident Shiite teachers have been reduced by half and in Kuwait, after violent clashes in the streets, the authorities have now banned all large-scale demonstrations in an attempt to restore calm and normality. In Oman, eleven dissidents who were sentenced to a year in jail for insulting the Sultan have appealed their case. The big royal news from the region though was the visit of the Emir of Qatar to the Gaza Strip, making him the first head of state to visit the Palestinian-held territory since Hamas came to power in 2007 (which the west considers a terrorist group but they wanted there to be elections so…). The Emir called for Palestinian unity between Hamas and Fatah (the faction of the Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas). The leader of Hamas called the Emir’s visit a “victory”.