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21 July 1994
The Rise, Corruption and Coming Fall of the House of Saud 
by Said Aburish.
Bloomsbury, 326 pp., £20, April 1994, 0 7475 1468 2
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... its dynasty and ruled almost entirely by a quite numerous upper class wholly generated from the loins of its founding father, King Abdul Aziz, better known in the West as Ibn Saud. Saudi Arabia was said in the Senate to be ‘scorning basic American interests’, which meant both human rights and Israel. Americans then and since have been obliged to explain that the weapons they were supplying to ...
16 October 1997
A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite 
by Said Aburish.
Gollancz, 414 pp., £20, July 1997, 0 575 06275 4
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... demonstrating that their enemies, the Islamists, are beyond the pale of civilisation: hence the allegations of connivance, if not complicity, by the security forces in some of the worst atrocities. SaidAburish is a persistent and informed critic of virtually all of today’s Arab governments and the events of September should provide plenty of grist to his mill. His previous book was entitled The ...

Return to Nowhere

Charles Glass: Yasser Arafat

18 March 1999
Arafat: From Defender to Dictato 
by Said Aburish.
Bloomsbury, 352 pp., £20, September 1998, 0 7475 3629 5
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... in our house in London). He was assassinated in 1983. The culprit was the anti-Arafat Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal, then in the pay of Syria (his other benefactors were Iraq and Libya). It was said that Arafat had withdrawn his ‘protection’ after Sartawi criticised him. The ‘victory’ of Beirut in 1982 changed everything: Palestinian bravery, though more impressive than that of the Arab ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: France’s foreign policy

3 April 2003
... was to project France’s reluctance for battle as an unscrupulous business-as-usual approach to the Arab world, topped by ingratitude for Allied sacrifice in the two world wars. The Americans have said as much and so has the Blair entourage. Chirac is not an ‘ethical’ person. Nor was Giscard. Both enjoyed the dividend of de Gaulle’s 1960s policy make-over – an Arab dividend above all. This ...


Tom Carver: Philby in Beirut

11 October 2012
... the housekeeper of pushing it off the ledge: she was known to dislike it. For a man who betrayed scores of agents to be tortured and executed, Philby was remarkably sentimental about animals. Eleanor said that after Jackie’s death he embarked on a drinking binge that lasted several days. He even wrote a mawkish article for Country Life called ‘The Fox That Came to Stay’. Following the route that ...

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