Achieving gender equality in the Middle East will be a long process, requiring fundamental educational, social and economic reforms. But giving women the right training now can kick-start the process, writes Arib Ali Al-MandhariMore
Unmarried and childless, Qaboos bin Said Al-Said, Sultan of Oman, is something of a rarity in the Arab world. His reign has already lasted for 45 years. Confusion still remains, however, over the identity of his successor. What is clear is that whoever it is will not have it easy. By Anne AllmelingMore
Far away from the attention of Western media, the oil-rich Gulf monarchies are currently trying to avoid being hit by the wave of uprisings and revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East. So far, they have not only been successful in doing so, they've even managed to exploit the uprisings for their own purposes. Matthias Sailer reportsMore
The Ottoman Empire, founded in 1299, collapsed in November 1922, when the last sultan, Mehmed VI, was sent into exile. The First World War had been a disaster for the empire, with British and allied forces capturing Baghdad, Damascus and Jerusalem. A new government, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, was set up in 1920 in Ankara, which then became the Turkish capital. Constantinople, formerly the imperial capital, was renamed Istanbul in 1930.