Saudi Arabia

3:49pm

Fri August 3, 2012
The Torch

Saudi Arabia's First Female Olympian Makes History In Judo Match

Wojdan Shaherkani of Saudi Arabia (left) met Melissa Mojica in the women's +78 kg judo in London. Their match was short, but historic.
Quinn Rooney Getty Images

It's nearly time to set The Torch to "dim" for the night, but we must note something historic that happened today: Wojdan Shaherkani competed for Saudi Arabia in the Olympics, becoming the first woman ever to do so.

Shaherkani wasn't a threat to win her match against Puerto Rico's Melissa Mojica. After all, Shaherkani is only 16, and her highest level of achievement in judo is a blue belt. Their match only lasted 1 minute and 22 seconds.

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3:51pm

Thu May 31, 2012
Energy

Gulf Refinery Expansion May Not Cut Gas Prices

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:44 pm

Expanding the refinery at Port Arthur, Texas, took five years and $10 billion. The facility can now process 600,000 barrels a day.
Motiva Enterprises

In Texas recently there was a grand opening for what is now the largest refinery in the U.S. Shell and Saudi Arabia's national oil company, Saudi Aramco, have more than doubled the capacity of their Port Arthur refinery.

The refinery business has been going through a tough period in recent years. Americans are buying less gasoline and other petroleum products — about 10 percent less than in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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1:01am

Mon May 21, 2012
Middle East

Change Comes To Saudi Arabia, In Slow Motion

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 7:13 am

In the Saudi capital Riyadh, two women stroll into a cosmetics shop in a luxury mall. The desire for greater personal freedoms has prompted Saudi rulers to relax some restrictions.
Chuck Holmes NPR

The shock waves of the Arab Spring continue to reshape countries like Egypt and Syria. But the kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains largely unaffected. King Abdullah and the Saudi ruling family are in firm control of the country's massive oil wealth and Islam's two holiest sites — Mecca and Medina.

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2:33pm

Mon March 26, 2012
Middle East

Saudi Institute Seeks To Build A Bridge To The West

Under King Abdullah's rule, Saudi Arabia has gradually opened up to the West. The country recently established its first institute to study the West. Here, the king is shown at the Gulf Cooperation Council summit in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Dec. 19.
EPA/Landov

When Fahad A. Alhomoudi was studying for his doctorate in Islamic studies at Canada's McGill University in 2000, he discovered something that bothered him.

"There is, in almost every American and European university, a center for Middle Eastern or Islamic or Arab studies," the Saudi professor recalled in a recent interview in his office in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. "But there was not a single center with a focus on the West in the Middle East."

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4:01am

Sat January 21, 2012
World

China Hedges Mideast Oil Bets Amid Iran Tensions

Originally published on Sat January 21, 2012 8:35 pm

China appears to be rethinking its reliance on oil from Iran. Here, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (right) visits with the members of the Saudi Arabia-China Friendship Association on the outskirt of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, earlier this month.
Liu Weibing Xinhua /Landov

China's premier, Wen Jiabao, was in the Persian Gulf this week talking about oil.

China has become increasingly concerned about all the threats of conflict with Iran in the Persian Gulf, which supplies China with a great deal of its oil.

In fact, China is Iran's biggest customer. But Iran was not a stop on the Chinese itinerary — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were.

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