November 23 to 27, 2009

– Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announces the Iraqi Gov YouTube Channel(27/11/2009)

The government and the National Information Center of Iraq established an Iraqi channel on You Tube to present its message to all the people in the workd and especially the Iraqis in the country and abroad. This new medium is primarily used by the Iraqi government to communicate the real progress occurring in Iraq in the fields of security, economy, politics and construction but also in thec building of a federal and democratic system. The government of Nouri al-Maliki tries by this way to give a more positive image of the country that the one conveyed by traditional media.

– Pèlerinage de la Mecque : A vos masques ! (Pilgrimage to Mecca: to your masks!) (26/11/2009) – Blog de Delphine Minoui du Figaro

Significant medical devices have been set up to prevent spread of influenza A H1N1. Thermal cameras captured the temperature of millions of pilgrims arriving in Mecca. “Suspect” cases have directly been removed and placed under medical examination. The Saudi visa was moreover exceptionally conditioned by the vaccination against normal flu and against meningitis. Delphine Minoui stresses the psychosis that such a virus may cause among the pilgrims, especially since this flu has been called the swine flu and the pig is an impure animal in Islam. However, since the beginning of the « Hajj » (Arabic name for the pilgrimage to Mecca) another phenomenon causes damages : the rain.

– A breathtaking blunder in Dubai (26/11/2009) – Financial Times (FT.com)

The glitzy emirate of Dubai will have trouble in adjusting its lifestyle to the current crisis. The main holding of the emirate, the Dubai World announced a six-month creditor standstill. In recent years Dubai has borrowed a lot to build a non-oil economy based on the property, trade and tourism. To sustain the exceptional growth of his emirate, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum borrowed heavily to its rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. But the question is why did Dubai World announce the freezing all its payments to its bondholders, knowing the effect of such an announcement on its reputation? According to the editorial in the Financial Times, the freezing may only concern suppliers and contractors and not bondholders. It could therefore only be a communication blunder, to repair as soon as possible.

– La presse algérienne et les pressions françaises (The Algerian press and French pressures) (16/11/2009) – IPEMed

The protectionist economic policy conducted by Algeria has consequences on the economic situation of the French region of Marseille. Some French elected people call for more pressure on Algeria, to which the Secretary of State for Trade Herve Novelli answered that it is not a matter of « of dictating an economic policy to a sovereign country » but that « Our Italian and Spanish neighbors are also concerned. So we shall act collectively to convince our Algerian friends they are wrong.  » The Algerian press was indignant at the lack of respect towards the Algeria’s sovereignty.