Is the stock market a Ponzi scheme?

I have been thinking about the financial markets a great deal lately and have been considering why some people get rich and some people don't. In Dubai, in the UAE, (a city I know well) many people live a wealthy lifestyle, but do they really have money? This article made me question whether stockmarkets are a place to make money as I, and many oth...
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IS benefits from its manufacture of amphetamines

I was surprised to read that Syria is the world's largest producer of amphetamines, or stimulant drugs. They speed up the messages travelling between the brain and the body. This article tells how the Italian police confiscated 84 million Captagon tablets at the port of Solerno, south of Naples. The shipment was worth $1.2 billion, believed to be p...
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COVID-19: How the UAE is controlling the border

COVID-19 is crippling the global economy. International travel has almost come to a halt- for non-essential travel anyway. EU countries have opened its borders to 14 countries, New Zealand (where I live) is among them. New Zealand is one of the safest places to live right now, given that there is no community transmission of COVID-19. Some 22 live ...
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How The Largest Country In the Middle East (and the Third in Africa) is Ideal Fertile Ground For Fintech Growth

Financial technology (fintech) is taking off, especially in places like Dubai. But how is Africa's largest city doing? I'm talking about Cairo in Egypt of course. Greater Cairo has a population of about 20 million. Here's one opinion. It argues that with its wider economic strategies both generally and specifically with fintech, the country can hel...
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Saudi Arabia well-positioned post-pandemic

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia by Lucia Dore The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is well placed to deal with the impact of COVID-19, according to a report by Oxford Business Group (OBG) entitled "How is COVID-19 impacting the ICT sector in Saudi Arabia?" The report says that KSA 's response to the COVID-19 pandemic was "aided by sustained investments in health...
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Why great leaders are great communicators

I wrote this article two years ago. It is just as relevant now as it was then. Not much has changed. by Lucia Dore To what extent is communication the key to a successful organisation and to great leadership? How does good communication make an organisation great? And what difference does good communication make to the implementation of a public re...
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An unwanted guest returns: The Middle East is fighting a second wave of covid-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected major cities around the world, including those of the Middle East, such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Muscat, Beirut, Doha and Tehran. What will happen to these cities? Will they bounce back? Will the importance of cities like Dubai continue, especially as a financial centre?  Countries that thought they beat ...
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King Abdullah II refuses to take call from Netanyahu. Israel's quest to annex the West Bank met with derision

Israel's urge to annex the West Bank is causing concerns for Jordan. The country's King Abdullah II has refused to meet with Israel's PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, because it continues to annex the West Bank. Abdullah refused to take the call from Israel's PM to discuss its plan to annex parts of the West Bank in July, a big part of the US President's Pe...
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Are more sanctions on the Syrian regime the right way to go?

There is little to suggest that the Syrian War, which has run for nine years, is likely to end soon. Nonetheless, the US State Department is expected to announce on Wednesday (US time) the first round of targets under the so-called Caesar Act. One of the aims of the sanctions is to stop the Syrian regime from seeking foreign investment to rebuild t...
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Will Turkey confront racism?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has brought about huge implications for Turkey. It has to confront its own racism- which it is reluctant to do. The Gulen movement and the Kurdistan Workers Party (the PKK, which is deemed a terrorist organisation in the United States and Turkey) are among the parties that are accused of bringing about the upri...
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Acquiring a passport in the GCC is almost impossible

Living in any country in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) - - no matter for how long it is- will not allow you to acquire a passport. I have a New Zealand (NZ) passport and lived in the United Kingdom (UK) for long enough that I could get a passport there- and that was after only five years. Of course, I lived there for much longer. Coming from ...
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Israel's dilemma. Will annexation of the West Bank go ahead?

What Benjamin Netanyahu does regarding the annexation of the West Bank by Israel is anyone's guess. Will he go ahead with the move? The problem that is he is counting on the US and President Trump to approve it. President Trump, has other things on his mind, however. It's not just the COVID-19 pandemic with which his administration has to deal but ...
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What is the future for seniors?

Seniors, like most people, around the world are struggling with the current lock downs. What of their future? Lucia Dore looks at the economic implications of COVID-19 for seniors and what may happen in the future. The future economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on seniors varies between countries - from Europe and the Americas to Asia/Pacific....
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Palestinian Lives Matter

The killing of George Floyd by a white policeman in Minneapolis, USA, has reverberated around the world. One of the places where significant parallels are made is in Israel, where the Arabs feel marginalised and are targeted indiscriminately by police. The killing of autistic Palestinian man Iyad Hallak is arguably a perfect example of brutality by...
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How to reduce costs in the Gulf countries: Oman

How the Gulf economies will get their economies back on track as COVID-19 numbers reduces is a dilemma I have been mulling over for some time. In the past, most of the countries have relied on oil to keep their budgets in order. Dubai, of course, is dependent on logistics, and on oil from Abu Dhabi. Qatar is reliant on natural gas of which it is th...
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Will sterilising coins and notes in Saudi Arabia work in its fight against COVID-19?

Saudi Arabia will be sterilising all its coins and notes in circulation as a way of stemming the growth of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be put the money in sealed envelopes, which will be out of circulation for 20 days. I'm unconvinced that such a measure works, although South Korea and China have done this. However, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Au...
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Problems between Arabs and Italians in Turkey

I was interested to read that all conflicts are not always  between Arabs and Jews in the Middle East. Sometimes they are between Arabs and Italians. This article explains the problem that erupted in Turkey. May 22, 2020 in Al Monitor IZMIR, Turkey — Residents in several districts in the Turkish city of Izmir could hardly believe their ea...
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A robot helps the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan to fight COVID-19

I am interested to know how robots can help fight coronavirus, and other diseases. This article discusses how the building of a robot and its use has stopped the spread of coronavirus in Jordan's largest refugee camp, the Zaatari camp. Syrian refugees in Jordan build robot to fight coronavirus by Mohammed Ersan for Al Monitor In Jordan's Zaatari re...
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How Arabs in Israel are dealing with the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the Middle East hard, in the same way that the rest of the world has been hit hard. The economic implications of lockdown are severe. The resumption of economic activity across economies is not easy. Most governments are cautious about the relaxing of economies. It is happening slowly. Could governments have done anyth...
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What is the relevance of the GCC?

What is the relevance of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC)? Does it affect intra-regional trade? With only 10% of intra-regional trade being between the GCC countries, is the GCC past its sell-by date? Saudi Arabia has also raised VAT by 300% to 15%, somewhat higher than the 5% in the UAE and the still-zero-rating in Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. With ...
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