Nicolas Pelham

Nicolas Pelham is the Economist’s Middle East correspondent.

On the night flight​ down from Kuwait, along the Saudi coast past Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE, a seafront once dotted with tiny fishing villages glitters like a string of pearls. Needle-thin skyscrapers soar above the desert. Doha’s bay shimmers in purple, as if daubed in lipstick the colour of the Qatari flag. In the restaurants of Dubai, a city built on a Gotham-like scale, the...

Diary: In Gaza

Nicolas Pelham, 22 October 2009

According to World Bank officials, 80 per cent of Gaza’s imports currently come through the tunnels. Once black-market smuggling had turned into Gaza’s formal trade, Hamas inspectors began to impose controls and licensing fees. Some tunnel merchants now operate a telephone order service and send out catalogues: office equipment ordered by phone arrives in 48 hours.

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