Articles on Saudi Arabia

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Muslim pilgrims wear masks while praying at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca on Feb. 27, 2020. Abdel Ghani Bashir/AFP via Getty Images

Hajj cancellation wouldn’t be the first – plague, war and politics disrupted pilgrimages long before coronavirus

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia halted the pilgrimage of umrah and has now asked Muslims to delay their plans for the hajj. A scholar explains a long history that prevented people from the pilgrimage.
What goes up… Aku Alip

Will American shale oil go bust?

Oil prices are going through what some have termed Black April, but the bigger question is what happens longer term to US oil.
Pumpjacks pump crude oil near Halkirk, Alta., more than a decade ago. Oil prices have plunged into negative territory due to the glut created by the COVID-19 global economic shutdown. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougall

Oil crash explained: How are negative oil prices even possible?

Alberta oil is the collateral damage of the oil war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, with COVID-19 launching an additional attack. The province's oil industry will struggle to recover.
COVID-19 is resulting in dramatically decreased demand for gasoline and jet fuel, but it’s just the latest in a string of bad news for oil producers. (Shutterstock)

The coronavirus is just the latest blow to oil producers

COVID-19 is a huge challenge for the whole world, and Canadian oil producers, already suffering from long-term market trends, will be particularly badly hit.
In an effort to increase tourism, Saudi Arabia recently eased its strict dress code for foreign women, allowing them to go without the body-shrouding abaya robe still mandatory for Saudi women. FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images

Women in Arab countries find themselves torn between opportunity and tradition

In countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, it's now official policy that women should go to college and work outside the home. But cultural pressure to marry and have kids remains strong.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II greets Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at Buckingham Palace in central London on March 7, 2018. Dominic Lipinski/AFP

The impact of Brexit on relations between the UK and Gulf countries

To ensure its energy security and influence in the Gulf region, the United Kingdom will likely deepen its relations with GCC nations in a post-Brexit world.
One of this year’s most refreshing developments was the youth-led action on climate change. AAP Image/Dan Peled

5 human rights issues that defined 2019

From mass climate change movements to cultural genocide of Uighurs in China, here are some of the headline human rights moments that captured Australia’s attention.
The attack on the Abqaiq oil facilities in Saudi Arabia has sparked geopolitical tensions but has had only a minor impact on oil prices. Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters

Attacks on Saudi oil – why didn’t prices go crazy?

Energy-wise, the fallout from the attack on Saudi oil facilities has so far been very muted. The surge in oil production in the US over the past decade helps explain why.
This week’s attack on Saudi oil facilities appears to be the latest effort by Iran to escalate tensions in the Persian Gulf to push back on the US ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions campaign. Pavel Golovkin/EPA

How likely is conflict between the US and Iran?

Iran's goal is to sow discord and inflict pain on energy markets, while avoiding crossing a threshold that prompts retaliation from the US. This is a fine line to walk at the best of times.

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