Middle East matters – Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East, including Israel and Saudi Arabia
During his campaign for the US presidency, Joe Biden described Saudi Arabia as a ‘pariah state’ in the aftermath of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. But since taking office, Biden’s language has changed. This week, he is making his first trip to the oil-rich kingdom as president, as global energy prices soar in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. To discuss the trip (which also includes Jordan and Israel), we talk to Middle East expert and former CIA officer Douglas London, who is adjunct associate professor at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, this week marks five years since the Islamic State group was forced out of the city of Mosul. Much has changed in the past half-decade, but residents say money for rebuilding has been slow to arrive from the central government. Therefore civil society organisations are the ones bringing Mosul back to life. To mark this anniversary, our reporters met with those behind the city’s rebirth.
Finally, Umm Kulthum had a voice like no other, and remains arguably the greatest Arab singer of all time. A true icon of the Middle East and dubbed Egypt’s ‘fourth pyramid’, she died nearly 50 years ago, but has been recently brought back to life ‘as a hologram’ in Paris. France 24 reporters Mohamed Sha’ban, Myriam Bendjilali and Alison Sargent went to witness the magic.