Egyptian banks make big inroads in digital technology

Egyptian banks use financial technology to innovate. Ahmad Abdul-Rahman writes from Cairo. Egyptian banks have enhanced their digital services, especially since the corona pandemic. According to a statement by the Central Bank of Egypt, the National Bank of Egypt has implemented 13 programmes to enhance financial inclusion. These financing programm...
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Clashes between Iranian and Afghan forces. What is the reason?

There were clashes between Iranian and Afghan forces near the Iranian-Afghanistan border on Wednesday (1 December 2021), according to news reports. These clashes have not led to any casualties and have been described as a "misunderstanding". Iran is one of the few countries that has retained a diplomatic presence in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital, de...
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Will Iran revive the nuclear deal with the US ?

In recent years, the West's relationship with Iran has not been easy, especially as regards to Iran's intentions to refine uranium. The West thought that Iran was "controlled" when the US and the EU came to a "nuclear' agreement with it. But it all went bad when the US unilaterally pulled out of the deal three years ago and imposed sanctions on the...
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UNDP: Recovery in Yemen possible despite fast-deteriorating situation

A report by the UNDP says that it is still possible for Yemen to recover even though it has been in a civil war for seven years. If the war were to stop now Yemen could eradicate extreme poverty within a generation. The findings of the report are outlined below. The report projects that in the last six years the crisis has caused Yemen to miss out ...
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Impact Investing in MENA

Impact investing is growing in popularity as more people seek good returns while investing ethically.  Lucia Dore summarises the results of a survey conducted between 2016 and 2021. According to Investopedia: "Impact investing is a general investment strategy that seeks to generate financial returns while also creating a positive social or env...
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Why the president of Tanzania visited Egypt

Many gains were achieved by the visit of the president of Tanzania to Egypt, writes Ahmad Abdul-Rahman Tanzanian president Samia Suluhu Hassan's visit to Egypt on November 10 has affirmed the strength and importance of Egyptian-Tanzanian relations. Experts and diplomats stressed that the relations between Egypt and Tanzania have been very strong fo...
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How the Middle East contributes to the world

Ahmed Abdul-Rahman talks about the various cultures that are in the Middle East and the contribution it has made to the world. Most of the time, analysts and foreign and international policymakers lose sight of the fact that the Middle East has been very important in the development of human civilization. The ancient and diverse cultures and monoth...
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Will pragmatism by the Gulf countries mean relations with Syria are "normalised"?

I read this article with intrigue, interest and no surprise. The Arab Gulf countries are pragmatic. In 2013, a conference was held in Dubai at the Madinat Jumeriah – which I attended- hailing the end of the Assad regime. How would the country rebuild in the post-Assad era? Investors from across the Gulf were invited to attend the event. How the tid...
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The current approach to the Middle East explained

There needs to be a more realistic geopolitical approach to the Middle East, writes Ahmad Abdul-Rahman. He explains how different approaches in the region have affected the Arab world and what should be done to ensure a better outcome. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Arab world was dominated by the "politics of axes". The Middle East region and its...
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Major trade agreements link Egypt to the African continent

Ahmed Abdul-Rahman explains how Egypt's link to the African continent will benefit Egypt and the African continent. Egypt is always trying to create more cooperation and trade interdependence with the countries of the African continent. To achieve this goal, it has signed a number of economic and trade agreements, such as COMESA (Common Market for ...
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Lebanon's woes keep getting worse

While I was reading about Middle East air travel- which is down 67 per cent on pre-Covid levels- I was prompted to read about Lebanon. On top of its many disasters- a continuously falling Lebanese pound, a recession, an only recently formed government, and on-going corruption across the country, the Covid-19 pandemic, now it has a spat with Saudi A...
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Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star closes

Lebanon is in dire straits economically and politically and has been for the last 12 months at least. The media is suffering as a consequence of the recession. Staff have been laid off and numerous media outlets have closed or are closing. Another media outlet is closing as this article outlines. November 3, 20211:08 AM NZDT Last Updated 20 hours a...
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Elections in Iraq: why they matter?

The success of the legislative elections are crucial for the future of Iraq. Ahmad Abdul-Rahman explains. Iraq's legislative elections were held on 10 October, in which 3,243 candidates, including 951 female candidates, competed in 83 electoral districts, for 329 seats. Women had a 25% representation and minorities had nine seats. The Iraqi co...
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The problems facing the Middle East highlighted

The most important challenges facing the Middle East are highlighted in a survey by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Our regular writer, Ahmad Abdul-Rahman, explains the results. The challenges facing the Middle East - terrorism, extremism, civil war, foreign intervention, sectarianism, corruption, and authoritarianism - are both hor...
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Will Israel see an increase in trade with India and Japan?

The "normalization" of relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, as a consequence of the Abraham Accords signed on August 13, 2020, could lead to increased trade between Israel and Japan and Israel and India. Even perhaps with Saudi Arabia. All countries have good relations with the UAE and have a significant presence there. Econ...
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Conflicts and geopolitical tensions shape the Middle East

Intractable conflicts and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East are changing the balance of regional and international power, according to a book on the region. Ahmed Abdul-Rahman delves into the arguments. When will peace come to conflict areas in the Middle East? This is a simple question but is problematic and complex to answer. The question ...
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Egypt continues to show high growth rates

How has Egypt become the third largest Arab economy in 2021? Ahmed Abdul-Rahman explains.  Egypt is ranked third by gross domestic product (GDP) in the Arab world, after Saudi Arabia and the UAE, according to Forbes Middle East magazine. Egypt GDP is expected to reach US 394.3 billion, compared to USD 361.8 billion in 2020. Egypt ranks 9th in ...
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Morocco's role in the Magreb

The Moroccan elections represent a geopolitical reshaping of North Africa. Ahmed- Abdul Rahman explains why. The Moroccan general elections on September 8 were considered particularly important because of the power shift between Morocco and Algeria. Holding the Moroccan elections on time despite the coronavirus pandemic, as well as forming a broad ...
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Can the new US administration regain the reins of leadership in the Middle East ?

The Middle East is on the Biden administration's list of interests. But the region needs, and deserves, more than that. Ahmad Abdul-Rahman explains why. President Joe Biden did not bother to explain his Middle East policy during the presidential election campaign. Although there is an important foreign policy section in Biden's electoral manifesto,...
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The risks of investing in cryptocurrencies

The risks associated with crypto currencies are often immense.  Barrister, Gary Hughes, outlines what some of the problems could be in Australia and New Zealand. By Gary Hughes for Thomson Reuters. Inquiries in Trans-Tasman Region Gary Hughes | September 23, 2021 Crypto-enthusiasts and FinTech businesses across the Oceania region would have be...
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