Geopolitics

Why Kuwaiti Cash For Syrian Rebels Is Drying Up

Infighting among Syrian rebel leaders and radicalization of certain groups are dissuading private donors in Kuwait and elsewhere in the Gulf, who'd backed the Syrian opposition since 2011.

KUWAIT CITY — At the entrance of the Kuwait City villa belonging to former Islamist parliament member Jamaan Herbash, there is a sign encouraging people to support Liwa al-Tawhid, one of the main rebel brigades of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. The fundraising is sponsored by a dozen religious dignitaries and politicians whose bearded faces are displayed on medallions. At the bottom of the sign, there are addresses where potential donors can send contributions. Requested sum: seven million dinars, or $24 million.

“We launched this campaign at the beginning of this year, when the army was closing in on Aleppo and clashes broke out between the rebels and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),” says Jamaan Herbash, referring to the most violent Jihadist groups operating in Syria. “But for now, we haven’t even received 500,000 dinars. People are tired of this endless war. They don’t want to fund fratricidal killings.”

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Juan Valdez Coffee Aims To Conquer Middle East

KUWAIT CITYJuan Valdez coffee shops, as familiar in some Latin American cities as Starbucks is elsewhere, opened their first franchise shop in Kuwait this month. The inauguration heralds the firm's arrival in the cash-rich market of the Middle East, a region also believed to be key in cultural and branding terms.

The chain opened its new 100-square-meter shop inside the Symphony Mall in Kuwait City's exclusive Salmiyya district. Juan Valdez is aiming to have 60 shops in the Middle East-North Africa region in the coming years, with an emphasis on Persian Gulf states. After Kuwait, the next locations are slated for the United Arab Emirates, home to the highest number of international franchises in the region.

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