A fire engulfs a wedding hall in Iraq | Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy moves | Surviving war, ISIL, and Libya’s deadly floods. Here’s the Middle East this week:
A preventable tragedy?
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Could the fire have been prevented? Perhaps, if there were any safety protocols and standards. Flammable material used to build the event hall, toxic gas released as it burned, and a lack of emergency exits and fire extinguishers all contributed to it, according to local officials.
The hall’s owner has been accused of knowing that safety standards were not met: He reportedly fled and is being sought by the authorities.
Saudi Arabia’s first ambassador to Palestine
The Palestinian Authority welcomed its first Saudi ambassador this week.
The decision by Saudi Arabia to improve relations with Iran, a one-time regional pariah, has led the way for other countries to do the same.
Saudi Arabia is also rumoured to be thinking about normalising relations with Israel, although there’s been no confirmation from the kingdom.
“Every day we get closer,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said recently.
She survived war and ISIL, will Libya’s flood break her?
Ahlam describes the inundation of Derna as if she’s in a trance. For the 39-year-old, living through the deadly flood has been her biggest nightmare.
“I’ve been through so much in this city. Wars, ISIL, the assassination of my husband… but this? This? No, this was like nothing before, it was like a nightmare,” she said.
Restoring a revolution
He’s not the civilian leader that the Sudanese fought for back in 2019, but he’s also not the reviled head of the Rapid Support Forces, formed out of the hated Janjaweed militias and accused of war crimes in Darfur in the early 2000s.
Nearly six months into Sudan’s deadly conflict, the battered country’s acting leader is promising better times.
“The Sudanese people deserve to have their revolution restored,” General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan told Al Jazeera. “The military will not stand in their way.”
And now, something different
One coffin is intricately engraved with motifs of a grape harvest, another with dolphins swimming in the sea.
Archaeologists in the Gaza Strip recently discovered four tombs, superb examples of a complete Roman necropolis that is 2,000 years old.
- Israel foreign minister says US to allow visa-free travel for Israelis
- Libya’s top prosecutor orders eight officials arrested after flood disaster
- Syrian IDPs in Idlib recount deadly shelling by Assad forces
- Egypt to hold presidential vote in December as economic crisis worsens
- Canadian journalism school unveiling award in honour of Shireen Abu Akleh
Quote of the Week
“I lost my daughter, her husband, and their 3-year-old. They were all burned. My heart is burning.” | A woman grieves outside a morgue in Mosul, Iraq, where bodies lay outside in bags, burned when a nearby event hall caught fire during a wedding reception.