Sep 17 - 23, 2001
Attacks against Arab-Americans escalate in US
A random anger over the attacks on New York and
Washington turned into violence against Arab-Americans and Islamic
centers across the United States on Thursday as officials from
President George W. Bush on down pleaded for tolerance.
Reports of incidents grew as the media speculations
into Tuesday's mass murder air attack pointed toward a Middle Eastern
In suburban Chicago, several hundred people, mostly
teen-agers, staged a noisy pro-American demonstration on Wednesday
night that wound up targeting an Islamic center.
There were three arrests for disorderly conduct,
said police in the town of Bridgeview.
But one Muslim woman said she, her husband and
their eight children endured a night of terror in the aftermath.
"This was a mob," said the woman, who
asked not to be identified out of fear.
"We had people riding up and down our block
shouting obscenities. 'Go home you bleeping rag-heads, bleeping A-rabs,
we're gonna get you'," added the woman, who lives in the town of
Oak Lawn not far from the Bridgeview Mosque Center.
"My husband and I stayed up all night guarding
the windows," she added. "My husband is of Arab descent. He
gave four years of his life in the US Navy... to have some skinhead
with an American flag screaming at your house."
She said the family was afraid to call the police
because it would single out their house, adding that other Muslim
families in the neighbourhood were considering whether they should
leave the area Thursday evening.
Reports of vandalism, threats and other kinds of
intimidation were surfacing from coast to coast.
OPEC wants stable oil market after US attacks
The president of the Organisation of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) said on Wednesday that the cartel would
seek to guarantee a stable oil market and meet demand in the wake of
the attacks in the United States.
"The member countries of OPEC are for the
stabilisation of the oil market. The organisation is working to
satisfy all demand on the market," Algeria's Chakib Khelil was
quoted as saying by the APS agency.
He also asserted that the grouping would stick to
maintaining a target price of 25 dollars per barrel.
The price of oil fell on Wednesday, but traders
were on alert for any US retaliation amid concerns that Gulf Arab
producer nations might become embroiled in a wider conflict.
The price of Brent North Sea crude for October
delivery fell 84 US cents a barrel to 28.22 dollars in late trade in
Brent crude prices had spiked above 31 dollars on
Tuesday in the aftermath of the devastating attacks on the US World
Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The US oil market was not open when news broke
about the attacks.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) was quick to pledge that it would guarantee sufficient oil
supplies to stabilise oil prices.
Israeli tanks take over Jericho
Israeli troops, supported by tanks and helicopters,
took control of the Palestinian-ruled city of Jericho in the West Bank
early Thursday after entering with tanks, armoured cars and helicopter
cover, Palestinian security forces said.
Sporadic gunfire could still be heard after the
Israeli forces moved into the autonomous zone after simultaneous
incursions from the city's north, south and east, the Palestinian
There was no immediate word from the Israeli side.
The Israeli troops reportedly took control of the city.
The tanks entering from the south worked their way
up to the gates of a key Palestinian security base, while the other
two units deployed in the town centre.
Tanks and armoured cars could be seen throughout
the town, according to residents.
Bulldozers destroyed farmland around the town, the
same sources said. There was no word on casualties.
Arab FMs resume meetings in Cairo
Top Arab diplomats entered their second day of
talks Monday, expected to renew calls for international observers to
be sent to the Palestinian territories and for Israeli officials to be
tried for war crimes.
Foreign ministers and heads of delegations entered
their third and final round of closed-door talks and were expected to
announce their resolutions later Monday, Arab officials said.
According to a copy of the resolutions obtained by
AFP, they will repeat an "appeal to the international community
to fulfil its responsibilities to protect Palestinians by sending
At their biannual Arab League meeting, the foreign
ministers were also due to reiterate their calls to the UN Security
Council to "create an international committee to investigate
massacres committed by Israel."
Emirates' GDP soars 20%
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) soared by 20.4 percent in 2000 on the back of hiked
crude prices, the central bank announced in a report published Monday.
"The UAE economy achieved remarkable growth in
2000, benefitting from the increase in oil prices and production
volumes as a result of OPEC members' adherence to their respective
production quotas on the one hand, and the increase in world oil
demand on the other," the bank said.
The bank said the oil and gas sectors of the UAE
generated 22.3 billion dollars in revenue in 2000, up 64.6 percent
from the previous year.
The increase was attributed to the rise in
"average oil prices from 17.60 dollars a barrel in 1999 to 27.20
dollars in 2000." Non-oil sectors generated 43.6 billion dollars
in 2000, accounting for 66.1 percent of GDP, against 41.1 billion in
1999, the report said.
The bank also said per capita GDP increased by 13.8
percent over the same period to reach 21,199 dollars.
Kuwait's fish catastrophe hits pockets of fishermen
Kuwait's once-thriving fish market stands deserted,
while hundreds of fishing boats wallow in port as fishermen endure a
month-long crisis which has seen millions of dead fish wash up on the
Fish dishes, one of the staples of a Kuwaiti
household, have been replaced on the table by meat and poultry, whose
sales and prices have soared since the death of thousands of tonnes of
fish in Kuwaiti waters since early August.
"We're really suffering," Egyptian
fisherman Abdul Fatah Dayim told AFP. "I have a wife and five
children to feed in Egypt. When can we go back to the sea?"
Some 120 dhows and 700 small fishing boats are
anchored up by the fish market, their owners waiting for the official
go-ahead to resume work and recoup some of their losses.
Arafat to make Syria trip
Yasser Arafat will make his landmark trip to Syria
on September 19, after earlier delaying it on fears that terror
attacks in the United States could have swept aside objections to
Israeli plans to "remove" the Palestinian leader, a
Palestinian minister said Wednesday.
Palestinian international cooperation minister
Nabil Shaath told AFP that "after discussions with Syrian
officials, the date of the visit has been fixed for September
19." Arafat had been due to visit Damascus on Wednesday to clear
the stage for a "strategic" relationship with Syria, Shaath
told reporters this week.
OPEC to make up any shortfall in oil supplies
OPEC will take the steps necessary to ensure no
shortfall of crude oil on world markets following a series of attacks
in the United States, Emirati Oil Minister Obeid bin Saif al-Nasiri
"The market position will be reviewed
carefully, and if there is a necessity, OPEC will take the necessary
steps to ensure there is no shortage, but this depends on price and
stock levels," Nasiri told reporters.
The minister, whose country has an OPEC production
quota of 2.025 million barrels per day (bpd), stressed there was
"no shortage of oil, no disruption of oil supplies to the
market." "What happened was purely speculation. it's not in
our (OPEC's) hands," he said.
Japan's Arabian Oil closer to Kuwaiti oil field
Japan's Arabian Oil Co. Ltd. said Monday it had
agreed basic terms with the Kuwaiti government for continuing oil
operations in an offshore neutral zone shared by Kuwait and Saudi
The framework agreement means Japan's largest oil
producer has cleared the first major hurdle for a new contract
covering the Kuwaiti sector of the Khafji field with Arabian Oil's
existing drilling concession due to expire in January 2003.
A successful outcome to negotiations with Kuwait is
crucial for Arabian Oil after it lost its 40-year-old concession for
drilling in the Saudi portion of the field in February last year.
"We negotiated with the Kuwaiti oil ministry
under the July 7 memorandum of understanding and negotiations were
concluded on September 9 in a manner satisfactory to both sides,"
Arabian Oil said in a statement.
In July, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Adel al-Sebeih signed
a memorandum with the visiting Japanese trade and industry minister
Takeo Hiranuma to open talks on a new contract.
Ship on fire in Gulf
An Iraqi sanctions-busting tanker carrying 5,700
tonnes of smuggled crude oil was still on fire and sinking in northern
Gulf waters, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based US Fifth Fleet said
"The fire is still burning," Commander
Jeff Alderson told AFP, stressing the Honduras-registered Khaled-1
remained the "responsibility of master and owner." The Iraqi
master and 14 crew members — four Iraqis, four Filipinos and six
Indians — had been taken off the craft by members of the
Multinational Interception Force (MIF) operating in the region to
enforce UN sanctions against Iraq.
The fire on the 104-metre (343-foot) long ship had
been started by an electrical short-circuit, according to Alderson.
US jets attack southern Iraq
US and British warplanes attacked three
surface-to-air missile sites in Iraq's southern "no-fly"
zone on Sunday as part of a campaign to disable Baghdad's air defences,
the Pentagon said.
A Pentagon official said three separate strikes
All US aircraft returned safely to their bases, the
Pentagon said in a statement. One Pentagon official said that US Air
Force F-16, Navy F-18 and British Tornado GR-4 aircraft hit missile
sites near al-Numinayah, al-Kut, and Tallil, all southeast of Baghdad.
Gaddafi offers to buy up Caribbean bananas
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has offered to buy up
the banana crops of three Caribbean nations to help them overcome
competition from Central America, The Times newspaper said on Tuesday.
It said the offer was made last week during a visit
to Tripoli by the leaders of the former British colonies of St
Vincent, Grenada and Dominica after the European Union agreed to US
demands to open up to cheaper imports from Latin America.
The newspaper said Gaddafi's offer to buy the
Caribbean bananas at a premium to world prices would embarrass the
United States and Britain by giving him political influence in
Washington's back yard.
A Libyan delegation was due in the Caribbean later
this month to finalise the $21 million deal, the paper added.
Oman picks BAA-led consortium
Oman has signed up a consortium led by the British
Airport Authority (BAA) to develop and manage the sultanate's two main
airports, which are in the process of being privatised, the official
ONA news agency said Monday.
The consortium also includes ABB Equity Ventures
and the Omani Bahwan Trading Company, BTC chief Ahmad Bahwan told the
It will develop and manage Seeb international
airport in Muscat province as well the Salalah airport some 1,000
kilometers (450 miles) south of the capital.
Oman's Transport Minister Malek Ben Sulaimane al-Maamari
for his part said the consortium will keep 75 percent of the
newly-created firm's capital for the managmeent of the two airports.
Iraq says free trade zones with Turkey, Iran
Iraq said Monday it had no immediate plans to set
up free trade zones with its non-Arab neighbours.
"It is premature now to think of establishing
free zones with non-Arab countries neighboring Iraq," Deputy
Prime Minister Hekmat al-Ezzawi told reporters after opening a Turkish
medical supplies fair in Baghdad.
But Ezzawi, who was apparently referring to both
Turkey and Iran, added that the establishment of such zones would be
considered in future in the course of expanding Iraq's ties with
Ezzawi, who doubles as finance minister, said Iraq
was prepared to cooperate "with all its neighbours, whether Arab
or foreign, if they demonstrate readiness" to do the same.
Luxury new business hotel, Fairmont Dubai, has been
announced as the 'official' Hosted Buyer hotel for Arabian Travel
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, North America's
largest luxury hotel management company, has recently been appointed
to manage the 393-room property, which is due to open early next year.
Arabian Travel Market Hosted Buyer Programme 2002,
will again focus on buyers from the MICE — Meetings, Incentives,
Conferences and Exhibitions — industry and on buyers from Saudi
Arabia, two markets which ranked high in a post-show exhibitor survey.