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Saudi Arabia Al-Ula

MBS' vision for Saudi Arabia tests the limits of the art of soft power

Huge art and archaeology projects say a lot about contemporary Saudi Arabia, as Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) pushes ahead with ever-expanding ambitions to remodel the country's economy and society. Major cultural developments in the north-west are emerging as a hub, with big budgets drawing in international institutions, architects, artists and curators, but the changes also provide scope for significant local expression, including for female and younger artists – even as MBS' critics languish in prison, some facing death penalties.

Issue 1170 - 02 June 2023

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Oman's Sultan Haitham

A more confident Haitham returns Oman to its traditional role as regional mediator

Oman's Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al-Said was unusually active in late May, making trips to Cairo and Tehran in quick succession, just as Egypt and Iran were edging towards a diplomatic rapprochement. Recent reports also suggest Oman may once again be acting as a mediator between Washington and Tehran.

Issue 1170 - 01 June 2023

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