That the Gulf is a site of Baluch nationalist imagination is an open secret – books and literature on Baloch independence are found in routine bookstores of Muscat. The former chief of Dubai Police tweeted calling for an independent Baluchistan.
Visuals of migrants walking hundreds of kilometres have scarred the national consciousness and compelled the middle classes to ask uncomfortable questions. How are we treating the communities who work for/around us?
Never let a crisis go to waste, is a maxim global power player(s) know very well. The Saudi-Russia standoff in which their oil pricing mechanism talks broke off, led Saudi Arabia to flex its muscles and flood the market with oil.
The sentiments of Israelis with the nation can only be understood once you visit the country and listen to the stories of their great grandfathers being killed, cousins being separated or them being looked down upon in other countries.
Oman is an ethnically diverse country with Ibadhi Arabs, Sunni Baluchi’s, Zanzibari’s, Shia Ajmi’s, Hindu Bania’s among others making it a melting pot of tribes and cultures contrary to a linear identity anchored in Arab Bedouin narratives cultivated by its neighbours.
A clever mastermind of unconventional warfare, Soleimani supported and guided terror groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihadis, Yemeni Houthis and Shia militias in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Middle East as a cartographic notion is a product of the European Imagination with respect to its thoughts about the Ottoman Empire. The Middle East therefore is studied through a dominant western gaze.
The ‘Umma’ is the notion of one Muslim Community under God. However, the Middle East, has been fractious since 632 AD, with the deep Sunni- Shia fissures, hence the ‘Umma’ is a contested space rather than a monolith.
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