Christopher Dickey

The Slow Luxury of Oman

This is not an article about Dubai, which is a place you hear about all the time these days as a great tourist destination. Maybe sun lovers who are there for the first time still think it is. (Or maybe they're the kind of people who like any place with sun, even if it's a spoiled tourist trap like Marbella, Ibiza, Phuket or Cancun.) They don't seem to see the pollution, the congestion: the relentless encroachment of property speculation on the sand, the sea and the formerly blue sky.

Who Leads the Middle East?

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah often has the weary air of a simple man who's lived long enough to see it all, and in many ways he has. He was born more than 80 years ago, into a world of desert warriors where his father had yet to conquer the holy cities of Mecca and Medina or found the nation that Abdullah rules today.

Hard Man, Tough Job

On paper, Nicolas Sarkozy offers France its best hope for change. And that's what the French say they think they want. The elegant socialist Ségolène Royal, his rival for the presidency, would certainly be different: France's first woman head of state, who presents herself more as a listener than a leader.

The Last Word: Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie began traveling as a good-will ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) some six years ago. She has visited the victims of violence in Africa, Pakistan and Cambodia—first as an observer in the background, then using her fame to draw attention to the plight of the helpless.

France's Sarko Is Too American

Rarely has a foreign dignitary—especially a French one—gushed so effusively about what's right with America. When Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy spoke at the headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Washington last September, he was Mr.

The Third Man

Jean-Marie Le Pen laughed, and then laughed some more. The right-wing scourge of French politics, now 78, wouldn't say, exactly, whether he thought he'd be up against the Socialists' Ségolène Royal in the final one-on-one duel for the presidency this May.

Intimate Strangers

The statue of liberty, in her curious way, helps tell the tale of America's long, complicated experiences and profoundly contradictory ambitions in the Middle East.

Dire Straits

During America's last and largely forgotten war with Iran, in 1987 and 1988, music meant a lot to those of us in the middle of the action. American warships had deployed in force to the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea.

Liar's Poker

Ever since I read an article last year by poker historian (and poet and novelist) James McManus about the Iranian art of bluffing, I've been re-thinking the confrontation between Tehran and Washington.McManus argues, most recently in the current issue of Card Player Magazine , that the Iranians actually invented poker, or a game quite close to it, which over the centuries made its way to France, across the Atlantic to New Orleans, then up the Mississippi with riverboat gamblers.

Blood And Memory: The Cycle Has Started

Blood feuds flourish where family ties are strong and the rule of law is weak. Add the righteousness of competing faiths along with fierce memories of ancient wrongs and you have the makings of savage, seemingly endless conflicts from Northern Ireland to the Balkans, the lake regions of Africa to the arid Holy Land.

Death of a Tyrant

President George W. Bush was sleeping at 9 p.m. at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, when Saddam Hussein's body plunged through the trapdoor of a gallows in Kadhimiya Prison on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Royal Touch

The French have been watching sego-lène Royal's irresistible political rise with a combination of rapture and disbelief, if not downright wonder. Now it's the world's turn.

The Syria Gambit

Holed up in the grand Serail, the center of government in the heart of Beirut, five surviving members of Lebanon's cabinet have been living in fear. Just last year they were leaders of a mass movement that forced Syrian troops out of the country and seemed to open the way for a thriving democracy.

SÉGOLÈNE ROYAL

An "iron lady" might have been easier for France's old boys' network to deal with. Europe has seen a lot of ferrous females since Margaret Thatcher first appeared across the Channel in the 1970s.

Past Newsweek Coverage

Three people were responsible for the death of Princess Diana in the hot dark hours after midnight on Aug. 31, 1997, and all of them were killed that evening: Henri Paul, who drove the Mercedes that crashed beneath the Place de l'Alma near the Seine River in Paris; Dodi Fayed, who was riding in the back seat, and Diana herself, who was sitting beside him.A massive three-year investigation of conspiracy theories surrounding those deaths, to be issued in London tomorrow by Lord Stevens, may not...

The Taliban's Book of Rules

An extraordinary little document is making the rounds among the Taliban of Afghanistan.  As first reported in NEWSWEEK by Ron Moreau and Sami Yousufzai on Dec.3, the stapled pamphlet called simply " Layeha ," or "Rule Book," is only nine pages long.

Closer to the Abyss

On this the day of the Grand Plan, such as it is, let's dream that a year from now there are a new set of givens in the Middle East growing out of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group: the United States, working with the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, has trained up an efficient military and police force.

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