Provocative commentaries on international issues, social development, and people and places by a veteran journalist
PranayGupte's Articles In Current Events » Page 2
January 15, 2008 by PranayGupte
(The following is a longer version of an article I wrote for YaleGlobal, the online magazine of the Yale University Center for the Study of Globalization.)

In the perception of Arab leaders of the Persian Gulf countries, George W. Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mirror each other: they are both widely disliked in this region, their shrill rhetoric is not appreciated around here, and their visits – the Iranian president came to a summit of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council in Doha last mont...
December 18, 2007 by PranayGupte
U.N. Finds Fraud, Mismanagement in Peacekeeping

Task Force Says 'Multiple Instances' of Corruption Have a Cost of $610 Million

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

UNITED NATIONS -- A U.N. task force has uncovered a pervasive pattern of corruption and mismanagement involving hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for fuel, food, construction and other materials and services used by U.N. peacekeeping operations, which are in the midst of their ...
December 7, 2007 by PranayGupte
President's about-face on Iran

(Note: The following article was published in the Pocono Record, Pennsylvania, and can also be accessed at It’s reprinted here with permission.)

The reversal of the Intelligence Community's judgment that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program reduces the likelihood of U.S. military action against Iran and makes new sanctions against Iran less likely. It also ...
December 2, 2007 by PranayGupte
The question of why the Saudis agreed to let Nawaz Sharif -- no special friend of the United States -- leave his exile in Riyadh and return home to Pakistan to confront President Pervez Musharraf, has not quite been adequately dealt with. Was there some "understanding" between Washington and Riyadh that Sharif's return would somehow boost America's already dismal standing in the Gulf region? Or was Sharif fomenting intolerable mischief within Saudi Arabia through his connections with the more ra...
November 30, 2007 by PranayGupte
Full text: Bill Keller's Hugo Young lecture

Not dead yet: the newspaper in the days of digital anarchy

This is the full text of this year's memorial lecture which was delivered at Chatham House in London by Bill Keller, executive editor, New York Times

(Courtesy of Guardian Unlimited, Thursday, November 29, 2007)

It's an honour to be invited to speak at an event commemorating Hugo Young, whom I never met but much admired. Alan [Rusbridger, the Guardian editor] mentioned that I spent ...
November 22, 2007 by PranayGupte
The following is my posting today on G2K, a Web list maintained by Prof. Gary G. Sick of Columbia University:

My first taste of Iranian pistachios was in December 1971, when an Air India flight I'd taken from New York to Bombay (now Mumbai) made an unexpectedly lengthy stop in Kuwait. Unbeknownst to passengers, the war between India and Pakistan had started, one that eventually led to the liberation of the erstwhile East Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh. Passengers were herded into wha...
November 10, 2007 by PranayGupte
Oil Price Rise Causes Global Shift in Wealth
Iran, Russia and Venezuela Feel the Benefits
By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 10, 2007; A01

High oil prices are fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history. Oil consumers are paying $4 billion to $5 billion more for crude oil every day than they did just five years ago, pumping more than $2 trillion into the coffers of oil companies and oil-producing nations this year alone.

The consequences are ...
November 7, 2007 by PranayGupte
May I recommend very strongly a great new media blog just launched by a good friend and former New York Times colleague, Charles Kaiser:
October 27, 2007 by PranayGupte
(The following article appeared in The New York Sun on October 26, 2007, and is reprinted with the kind permission of the newspaper's editor.)

By Pranay Gupte
Special to The New York Sun

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Of the 22 countries that constitute the Arab League, only three have formal diplomatic ties with Israel. The United Arab Emirates is not among them.

But it would be fair to suggest that the U.A.E. – far more than Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania, which maintain legations...
October 25, 2007 by PranayGupte
The following essay was written for a new book, "The Sands of Thought: Essays on The World of Ideas," by John Strassburger, president of Ursinus College. The published was published on the occasion of the Second Biennial Festival of Thinkers in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, October 21-24, 2007.

The Future Is Now

By Pranay Gupte

(Pranay Gupte is a veteran foreign correspondent, author and documentary maker who has worked for the New York Times, Newsweek International, and Forbes, among other inte...
October 4, 2007 by PranayGupte
An Appreciation: James W. Michaels (published in The New York Sun, October 4, 2007)

By Pranay Gupte

Jim Michaels, who died late Tuesday night, liked to say that India was, for him, the cradle of civilization, and that India was also, for him, the cradle of his journalism.

As a very young reporter for what was then United Press, he traveled to the Indian Subcontinent in the 1940s, shortly after World War II ended. He witnessed Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolent movement of satyagraha for indepe...
September 25, 2007 by PranayGupte
Columbia University President Lee Bollinger's "welcome" of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran on September 24 at the university was about as insulting and demeaning as one could imagine (or not imagine). You simply don't insult yourguests in your own home, as it were. I am scarcely a fan of President Ahmadinejad, but I know Iran very well indeed -- and I seriously doubt that even the most virulent foreign visitor invited to any Iranian home or major public institution would ever be "welcomed"...
September 15, 2007 by PranayGupte
The following is the text of the HCT 20th Annual Conference Opening Address by His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, United Arab Emirates, in Dubai, August 30, 2007:

Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to the new academic year of the Higher Colleges of Technology and the start of our 20th anniversary year. It is a great pleasure to greet the returning faculty and sta...
September 9, 2007 by PranayGupte
In a recent posting on the prestigious G2000 List, Charles Naas raises some timely and fundamental questions regarding the "debate" over Iran. Before I address them, let me state my own position, having recently spent several months in the Gulf and in the Middle East (and having covered the region as a journalist since the mid 1970's): All the political posturing aside, the Bush Administration is not going to "attack" Iran by conventional means. And all the political posturing aside, the Iranian...
September 2, 2007 by PranayGupte
The following is the text of the keynote address delivered by Dr. John Strassburger, President of Ursinus College, at the 20th Anniversary Conference of the Higher College of Technology in Dubai, August 30:

I cannot fully describe how honored I am to be here. It is a privilege, Your Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, to see this wonderful collection of colleges of Higher Technology. Thank you also to Vice Chancellor, Dr. Tayeb Kamali, for your gracious invitation and for your informa...