Is the United Arab Emirates the Future of the Arab World?

The 21st-Century Trading Post Embraces Capitalism and Breeds Tolerance

The Hong Kong of India. The Singapore of the Middle East. The Miami of Africa. No wait, make that the Hong Kong of Iran. Or is it the Vegas of this part of the world?

For a first-timer, a week in the United Arab Emirates—essentially a twin-headed city-state of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, though there are five other emirates—is a dizzying experience as you struggle to wrap your mind around the multiple vital roles this small country on the Arabian peninsula plays as a regional, and increasingly global, hub.

“As a …

Why ISIS Declared War on Soccer

The Sport Keeps Winning Over Hearts and Minds Across the Muslim World, Bridging East and West

It’s not surprising that the crazed “Soldiers of the Caliphate” terrorists selected the France-Germany soccer match at the Stade de France as the central target in their assault on Paris. …

A ‘Musical Intifada’ in the West Bank

Criss-Crossing a Traumatized Land With Young, Palestinian Musicians

Over the last five years, as I criss-crossed the West Bank to document one young musician’s dream to build music schools amidst Israel’s military occupation, I’d often come upon a …

We Miss Saudi Arabia’s ‘Humane King’

Abdullah May Have Been Slow on His Promises, But He Had to Modernize a Traditional Country Without Tearing It Apart

“I slept and my king was Abdullah. Then I woke up and my king was Salman.”

This is how some Saudis refer to the smooth transition of power after our …

An American at Home in Yemen

I Found Warmth, Humor, and Kindness in a Misunderstood Country

I miss Yemen.

That may come as a surprise since whenever the country makes headlines–as it has over the past few weeks–the overwhelming themes are war, violent radicalism, the impending doom …

When Punk Rock and Hijabs Collide

An Iranian-American Artist's Veiled, Metal-Studded Self-Portraits

In the 1980s, punk rockers wore black leather jackets dotted with metal, pyramid studs to signal their rebellion and toughness. Today, those studs are a popular fashion embellishment found on …