Could Freelance Gigs Be Better for the Arab Economy than Oil?

The inflation rate in the Middle East is now estimated to be 8.8% in 2020. With Egypt, possibly the fastest growing Arab country, growing at only 2%, most oil producing countries in the region are seeing economic contractions. The combination of Covid-19 hitting the local population and the oil decline has severely affected this region.

Arab oil exporters are forecasting oil supply cuts of about 50% in 2020 and 2021, levels that have been approved by OPEC agreements.  The combination of significant cuts in production, $42 a barrel for oil, and Covid affecting local marketplaces, will have a significantly negative impact on regional economies.

Israel Roundup: Vaccine to be Tested on Rodents, Citizens Strain Under Restrictions

In February, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israel Institute of Biological Research to join fight against the coronavirus pandemic. They are making “significant progress,” and are now commencing animal trials, using rodents. The laboratory is located in Nes Ziona, in central Israel, and hopefully positive results will come from these tests.

Coronavirus: Oman to Quarantine Travelers, Gulf States on Alert

The Ministry of Health of the Sultanate of Oman confirmed on Saturday that no cases of coronavirus have been registered in the country. In a statement issued by the Omani News Agency, it stated that within the framework of the procedures adopted to fight the infection, Oman would carry out domestic or institutional quarantine of travelers from those countries affected for a period of 14 days.

Assad Army Bombings Displace Thousands in Aleppo Countryside

About six thousand families from the western countryside of Aleppo have been displaced, amid intense Russian and Syrian bombing of the area during the past three days, since the ceasefire collapsed within the de-escalation zone. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in a report, stated that the wave of displacement from the towns and villages of the west of Aleppo escalated against the backdrop of the intense bombing. The area is mainly exposed to Russian planes since the ceasefire collapsed in the region subject to Russian-Turkish misunderstandings.

The Battle Between Conservative and Liberal Ideals in the World

Progressive liberal influences are affecting Orthodox Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews throughout the world. In the news is an article regarding the Catholic church Pope Benedict warns against relaxing priestly- celibacy rules. Pope Benedict resigned from his position and Pope Francis is his successor. Many people guess the reason for his resignation which was very unusual for a Pope to resign.  He may have seen that in the future there would be pressure on the Catholic Church to institute reforms and he was not willing to make these changes. One of the changes is being talked about by Pope Francis regarding priestly celibacy rules under the pressures of his opponents that have pressured the church on the issue of immunity of Priests to sexual abuse accusations. Pope Francis has opened the Catholic Church to gays, and has endorsed interfaith dialogue.

Lebanon: Dozens Detained After Protesters Hit Banks

Dozens of Lebanese demonstrators were released by security forces after two nights of angry movements in Beirut. A number of them targeted banks, and were arrested, according to attorneys accompanying them to their files. The Lawyers Committee to defend the demonstrators, through its Facebook account, announced that “all detainees were released during the demonstrations in Hamra and Mazraa on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the exception of seven foreigners who will be referred to General Security.”

Nations Urge Restraint After Soleimani Strike

Many countries have issued statements urging calm and restraint among all parties, since the U.S. launched a rocket attack on Baghdad International Airport early Friday, killing Qasem Soleimani. The Iranian general was the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. At least eight other people have died in this and other subsequent American airstrikes.

Palestinians to Resume Friday Protests along the Gaza Border

After a three week lull, demonstrations will resume on Friday at the Gaza Border fence. The High National Committee for the March of Return announced the organization of demonstrations at the border Friday. The decision to resume the weekly border protests came as Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad leaders continued their discussions in Cairo with senior Egyptian intelligence officials about reaching a long term ceasefire with Israel. The Hamas delegation is headed by Ismail Haniyeh, while Islamic Jihad is headed by their secretary general.

Lebanese Mark 76th Anniversary of Independence With Protests

Lebanese celebrated their 76th Independence Day Friday. However, this anniversary of the independence of the republic has its own flavor on the impact of unprecedented protests that prevail in the country, demanding the departure of the political class. “It іѕ thе first time that Lеbаnеѕе frоm аll rеgіоnѕ dеmоnѕtrаtеd wіthоut inviting a раrtу,” said a unіvеrѕіtу student іn downtown Beirut. “Thіѕ is real independence, home-grown independence.”

Lebanese Protesters Postpone Parliament, Politics Paralyzed

Lebanese dеmоnѕtrаtоrѕ hаvе bееn flocking tо thе сеntеr оf the capital ѕіnсе Tuesday mоrnіng tо block rоаdѕ lеаdіng to thе Pаrlіаmеnt, in аn аttеmрt tо prevent the ѕсhеdulеd meeting today. The рrоtеѕtеrѕ were роurіng іntо Mаrtуrѕ’ Sԛuаrе, іn сеntrаl Bеіrut, in аn attempt to dіѕruрt thе session оf the Lеbаnеѕе раrlіаmеnt, whісh wаѕ роѕtроnеd lаѕt wееk, nеwѕ ѕоurсеѕ rероrt.