Congratulations on the 'new look' Middle East magazine. It is always a worry when a publication undergoes a revamp that some of the established sections of the publication will suffer or, in some cases, disappear entirely. I was heartened to see this has not happened with The Middle East. I particularly enjoyed Pamela Ann Smith's article on Saudi Arabia's spending spree which indicates to me that I can probably look forward to a renewal of my contract later this year! Keep up the good work.
Clive Storey, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
As a non-expert on the Middle East who nevertheless recognises the region's crucial economic and political role in the world, I find your magazine exemplary in several ways.
Above all, I appreciate its balance, not only in terms of the endemic conflicts between the parties involved, which often expose readers of other publications to a form of hysterical exaggeration that you successfully avoid, but also in terms of the subjects treated.
It is easy enough for us in the West to forget the role played by the region in the history of world civilisation. Even when this role is mentioned, the accent is often on what happened centuries, or even millennia, ago. What you make clear is that this contribution is a present and not merely a past phenomenon.
I also appreciate the fact that, while the articles are written in a way that non-specialists like myself have no trouble in grasping, there is no attempt to dumb-down the treatment, as even the most serious of our Western media...