Work in progress on an outdoor observation deck on the 30 Hudson Yards office building in New York, March 8, 2019 (AP photo by Mark Lennihan).
Ever since the first cities emerged as a form of human settlement, urbanites have pondered their future. Plato’s “Republic,” written 2,400 years ago and still read on college campuses today, put forth a vision of Kallipolis, a beautiful “just” city-state run by a philosopher king who prioritized the “power of knowledge,” but who nevertheless resembles a benevolent dictator. A millennium and a half later, Thomas More’s landmark “Utopia” imagined a peaceful island metropolis where citizens would share goods and meals, learn a given trade and worship freely—albeit while also enslaving people, though many believe the inclusion of slavery was more ironic [...]
Egyptian farmer Makhluf Abu Kassem, center, sits with farmers under the shade of a dried-up palm tree in Fayoum, Egypt, Aug. 5, 2020 (AP photo by Nariman El-Mofty).
Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan has long been a hotbed of civil unrest and instability. In 1979, at the height of the Islamic Revolution led by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, segments of the province’s large minority Arab population led a violent push for autonomy. The oil-rich province on the border of Iraq was also at the center of the first major offensive in the Iran-Iraq war during the 1980s. In 2005, a wave of bomb attacks set off by Arab separatists rocked Khuzestan’s provincial capital, Ahvaz. Six years later, in 2011, an Iranian government crackdown on protests inspired by [...]
The Red Sea port, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Dec. 14, 2020 (AP photo by Amr Nabil).
On June 30, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto ruler, announced a wide-ranging National Transport and Logistics Strategy. Billed as a “key pillar” of Riyadh’s sweeping development blueprint known as Vision 2030, the strategy calls for $147 billion in investments over nine years, including plans for a second national airline and new logistics zones. The operator of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Gateway Terminal also plans to spend $1.7 billion to expand its main port in Jeddah and invest in at least three international ports—with each investment totaling some $500 million—over the next five years.  Sustaining such international partnerships will be critical if [...]
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